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

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Texas Division of Rehabilitative Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

1.1 The Division for 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 Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative 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

Assistant Commissioner

... 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

Assistant Commissioner

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Jim Hanophy

Title of Signatory
Assistant Commissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/28/2012

Assurances Certified By

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

Comments:

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Jim Hanophy

Title of Signatory
Assistant Commissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/28/2012

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

  1. The designated state agency is a state agency that is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (Option A was selected/Option B was not selected).

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
Division for 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

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

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

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

The Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT) is comprised of representatives from many backgrounds including business, industry and labor; the Client Assistance Program; the Statewide Independent Living Council; service providers; VR counselors; the Workforce Investment Board; the Texas Education Agency; and consumers and consumer advocates from all over the state of Texas.

  Prior to making recommendations, the RCT obtained information through the following sources:   ·         Designated state unit’s performance on Evaluation and Standards and Performance Indicators; ·         Quarterly RSA-113 Reports; ·         Quarterly consumer satisfaction reports; ·         Input received from consumers, advocacy organizations and providers; ·         Information obtained in the most recent statewide needs assessment; ·         Quarterly updates provided by the director of the designated state agency; and ·         Program updates provided by designated state unit staff.   The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) takes into account the views of the RCT in connection with matters of general policy arising in the administration of the State Plan.   The RCT presented this summary of recommendations for inclusion in the State Plan for General VR Services, Fiscal Year 2013. The RCT assumes and supports informed consumer choice in all of its recommendations.   1: The RCT recommends that DRS continue to implement and expand the use of trial work opportunities prior to determining consumers as unemployable. DRS Response: DRS Agrees.   2:  The Council recommends that DRS increase the availability of exploratory work opportunities such as paid and unpaid internships, temporary work experiences and volunteer work opportunities, and, as part of this process, cultivate community partners who would be willing to be host entities for these work experiences. Suggested target consumer groups might be those who have no work experience, those with a recent disability onset, or those whose disabilities have become more severe over time. DRS Response:  DRS appreciates the RCT bringing this recommendation forward and has begun to look at these options. DRS will work with the RCT to explore options. One thing should be noted regarding the term “unpaid internships”. The criteria specified by DOL for qualifying as an unpaid internship is very narrow. DRS is currently dealing with this issue with practicum and internship students from university programs. As we move forward with these options, it is important to note that DRS does not plan to use these options in lieu of career exploration or as a prerequisite for training or assistance with work placement.   3:  Through the committee on Policy, Procedure and Personnel, the RCT recommends that the Council provide ongoing input on training topics and methodologies for DRS VR staff. DRS Response: DRS agrees and supports the RCT working with CLM on this.   4: Based on a pending ruling from RSA, and assuming a said ruling is an approval for the dual case management approach, the RCT recommends DRS and the Division for Blind Services place a high priority on working together to develop and implement a structure to allow for a dual approach to service delivery when doing so would be of maximum benefit to a consumer with multiple disabilities in reaching a vocational goal. DRS Response: DRS Agrees.   5: Since studies have shown that a high percentage of individuals in the criminal justice system have disabilities, particularly mental and/or learning disabilities, the RCT proposes that an analysis of VR services to this population be reviewed by the RCT and DRS and methods of improving or expanding overall effectiveness be discussed. DRS Response: DRS agrees – Currently this population does access services from DRS. DRS is in the process of revising an MOA with TDJC (including DADS/DSHS). DRS agrees there would be a benefit to evaluating services to this population with the RCT to see what, if any, strategies need to be implemented.   6:  The Council recommends that DRS and the RCT explore ways of making the use ofWellness Recovery Action Planning, (WRAP), more feasible within the VR process. Baseline data from VR counselors recently trained in the WRAP methodology should be gathered to determine if a noticeable impact on employment outcomes has occurred. If a successful correlation between the implementation of WRAP and job placement and/or retention is evident, the RCT further recommends that training in, and use of, the WRAP process be extended among DRS counselors and consumers. DRS Response: Studies have apparently shown the benefit of having a WRAP with job retention. Although DRS had a group of staff trained in WRAP, the challenge is with the time necessary for staff to take to facilitate a WRAP for consumers. Relatively few consumers have had a WRAP facilitated by DRS staff. However, the Program Specialist for Behavioral Health at DRS is currently evaluating options for obtaining WRAP from external sources for consumers. As with other successful support strategies and person-focused planning strategies, DRS believes that participation in developing a WRAP must be completely voluntary on the part of the consumer, and participation in a WRAP can in no way be viewed as a prerequisite to receiving any VR services.   7: As part of the VR Renewal initiative, the RCT recommends that DRS consider reviewing and, when appropriate, revising written case documentation in order to streamline the eligibility and service delivery systems. DRS Response: DRS agrees and plans this as part of the VR Renewal.  

This screen was last updated on Aug 21 2012 2:10PM by sahanophyj

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.

This screen was last updated on Aug 27 2009 10:55AM by Edward West

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 for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) enters into appropriate cooperative arrangements with, and utilizes the services and facilities of, various federal, state, and local agencies and programs. DRS coordinates with other agencies and programs to ensure people with disabilities receive appropriate services. These agencies and programs include:   ·         Texas Health and Human Services Commission for the purpose of creating administrative efficiencies and better services to consumers of health and human services statewide. Initiatives include co-location of offices across the HHS enterprise for improved access by consumers and to reduce administrative costs; ·         Texas Education Agency and Education Service Centers for the purpose of coordinating services to transition age students with disabilities; ·         Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation for the purpose of enhanced referrals for return-to-work efforts; ·         Social Security Administration for the purpose of collaboration on employment incentives and supports and the maximization of SSA/VR reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work; ·         Department of Veterans Affairs to save case service funds through better access to comparable benefits. A Memorandum of Agreement provides for concurrent employment plans to enhance case management while avoiding duplication of services; ·         Texas Workforce Commission for the purpose of facilitating for Texas businesses the electronic verification that job applicants for the Work Opportunities Tax Credit program are receiving or have received vocational rehabilitation services under an individualized plan for employment; ·         Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for the purpose of reducing duplication and fragmentation of employment services provided to the shared client population of Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and DADS; ·         Other federal, state, and local public agencies providing services related to the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. For example, to provide services to eligible consumers, DRS participates in Community Resource Coordination Groups (known as CRCGs) which are local interagency groups, comprised of public and private providers who come together to develop individual service plans for children, youth, and adults whose needs can be met only through interagency coordination and cooperation; ·         Other private and public, for-profit and not-for-profit entities: corporations; partnerships; and sole proprietorships for the purpose of providing a number of rehabilitation services purchased only from entities that have been approved as Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs). Contracts with these providers reference the DRS Standards for Providers and specify the terms and conditions of the relationship, including approved services, expected outcomes, fees, staff qualifications, and required documentation; and     ·         Texas AgriLife Extension Services and the Texas AgrAbility work in partnership with DARS/DRS to assist consumers with modifications of agricultural equipment and tools to allow agricultural producers to continue with farming and ranching in spite of disabilities.        

This screen was last updated on Aug 21 2012 2:10PM by sahanophyj

  • 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 for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) works closely with the education system through the DRS VR Program. DRS is part of an Interagency Letter of Agreement with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for coordination of transition planning services for students receiving special education services in Texas. The agreement represents each agency’s continued commitment to collaborate and cooperatively facilitate the successful transition of students with disabilities through outreach, consultation, coordination and the provision of transition services. The letter of agreement also outlines the responsibility of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) for the provision of transition planning services as required by the Rehabilitation Act as well as the financial responsibility of TEA for the provision of services as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).        Fiscal responsibility for services and accommodations outlined in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) rests with the local education agency. DRS may purchase services for high school students with disabilities to help with vocational exploration. This is done so that students have an opportunity to gain the skills needed for success in making the transition to post-secondary education, training or employment.   DRS recognizes the importance of providing timely transition planning services for students with disabilities as they prepare to exit the high school setting.  To increase successful outcomes for transition consumers, DRS will use strategic partnerships to outreach to schools and communities as a direct pipeline to direct business hiring.   DRS works with high schools to ensure youth with disabilities are referred to DRS. To improve service delivery and maintain student retention rate, DRS will define measurable parameters for retention as well as set clear, realistic goals and expectations to enhance accountability. (DRS Business Plan Activity 9.2)   DRS remains committed to the continued collaborative working relationship with public education in Texas. Alliances with members of the community, service providers and business results in providing more opportunities to expand available option for students who may find employment, embedded training for employment, supported employment, customized employment, self employment or traditional collegiate activities as possible paths to success.  DRS works in conjunction with TEA’s Special Education Division, Texas School for the Deaf, Education Service Centers, Independent School Districts and high schools to provide a wide variety of VR services. These services help strengthen the connections between school, student, parents and community to promote a smooth transition to adult life.    In addition to working with consumers and parents on their Special Education rights and responsibilities, DRS provides educational support by working with the education team to contribute as needed to the IPE. The goals developed in the IEP are included as necessary in the DRS Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) to facilitate the successful completion of the goals developed in the IEP. Agency staff offer current vocational information to assist students in identifying a potential career pursuit.   DRS will continue to provide technical assistance and consultation services to education officials and provide timely and appropriate transition planning services to eligible students. All 588 VR counselors located throughout the state take part in preparing students with disabilities for entry into the world of work. VR counselors: DRS will support innovation, expansion activities and overcome barriers to accessing VR programs. DRS will utilize individual school plans to: develop consistent schedules for time spent in schools, arrange specific meeting times with students for planning, counseling and guidance, connect with school contacts and referral sources, and coordinate time for connecting students to community resources. Other specific strategies and outreach efforts to serve students better, faster and smarter include:   ·         Actively seek and identify all students (freshman-seniors) with disabilities enrolled in regular and special education, including those students with physical disabilities not traditionally in special education; ·         Complete the federally established IPE prior to the eligible student leaving high school; ·         Coordinate transition planning activities with the IEP using developmentally appropriate DRS Transition plans; ·         Provide age appropriate activities that enable transition students, parents, education personnel, and others to actively plan for and assist the transition student to prepare for life after leaving high school; ·         Actively educate youth about emerging labor markets as an ongoing endeavor to help youth make informed choices; ·         Continue to monitor outcome of youth with disabilities to see that they enter work with living wages; ·         Identify youth receiving SSI as early as possible to help with concerns regarding impact of employment on benefits; ·         Connect SE Providers with eligible youth as appropriate to help in development of work skills and informed choice; ·         Establish Best Practice programs in partnership with education and business to provide successful training and employment services; ·         Leverage alliances with school and business to provide both demand and supply side needs for better outcomes for students; ·         Continue to work with programs like Project SEARCH to help youth with disabilities develop work skills while in high school; and ·         Work in partnership with business to assure youth entering the world of work will be equipped as needed with appropriate technology to adapt to work in the 21st century.       VRCs develop partnerships with schools and community alliances to help students with disabilities make a smooth transition to adulthood and work. Alliance members bring resources focused on increasing employment options for students. Additionally, VRCs’ flexible work schedules allow them to:   ·         Work with students (freshman-seniors) with disabilities on an ongoing basis and be available to participate as needed in Admission, Review and Dismissal, in school activities, parent meetings, community forums, summer skill building activities, job clubs and flex schedules; ·         Be assigned to schools to work with the students determined eligible for DRS services and assist schools make appropriate referrals for students not determined eligible; and ·         Be available through use of flex schedules to work with families, business and students as needed.   DRS is examining the roles and expectations of VRCs to determine what is appropriate and relevant for all as found in the DRS Transition Guide. This activity is expected to assist DRS develop valuable tools and resources for all VRCs to use that will improve service delivery and VR outcomes. (DRS Business Plan Activity 9.3)   Additionally, DRS makes available in each of its five regions a Regional Transition Specialist to work with VR counselors to assist in the development of greater interagency cooperation between DRS, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities.    Regional Transition Specialists work with all VR staff to assist in the development of local Community Support Groups. This partnership helps students and families understand what students need to know to transition effectively into the community.

This screen was last updated on Aug 21 2012 2:11PM by sahanophyj

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

 

The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) has identified a number of services that are purchased only from entities that have been approved as being in compliance with the DRS Standards for Providers. These services are provided in the most integrated settings possible and consistent with the informed choices of the individual. Services include: Vocational Evaluation and Assessment; Personal Social Adjustment Training; Work Adjustment Training; Room, Board and Supervised Living; Supported Employment Services; Supported Self Employment; Vocational Adjustment Training; Job Placement; Job Coaching; Vehicle Modification; Durable Medical Goods; and Post Acute Brain Injury Services. Approved Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) include private and public, for-profit and not-for-profit entities; they may be sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations; they may be facility based or non-facility based. DRS has entered into contractual relationships with many of its providers of rehabilitation services, including all CRPs. Contracts with these providers reference the DRS Standards for Providers and specify the terms and conditions of the relationship, including approved services, expected outcomes, fees, staff qualifications, and required documentation. In an effort to expand opportunities and efficiently recruit additional providers, DRS posts notification of contracting opportunities on the Electronic State Business Daily. The DRS Standards are made available to providers and to DRS staff.  Along with the Rehabilitation Policy Manual (RPM),the DRS Standards contain information and policies for VRCs and consumers regarding the availability of and the appropriate utilization of CRPs and other providers that offer approved services.  Information on all providers, including CRPs, is available in the electronic case management system, ReHabWorks, making this information immediately available to VRCs and consumers as they choose services and service providers. A CRP Specialist in each of the five DRS regions is responsible for identification and development of providers who are interested in providing CRP services. The regional CRP specialist provides technical assistance and guidance as new providers are approved and as existing providers add new services. On-site monitoring of each approved CRP service is performed regularly by assigned Liaison Counselors and on a risk assessment basis by Central Office staff.  Monitoring visits may also include considerable technical assistance and recommendations for refinement and improvement of the services reviewed. In 2012, DRS implemented new CRP credentialing requirements for service provider staff and directors who provide job coaching, job placement, supported employment and supported self employment services. DRS has developed a database of CRP information and outcomes entitled “Information on Providers for Informed Consumer Choice (IPICC)” which is available to consumers as they exercise informed choice of providers. The database includes information regarding the types of services offered, provider contact information, success rates and consumer satisfaction information. (DRS Business Plan Activity 6.6) DRS will continue to evaluate CRP roles by determining and evaluating the need to change or modify CRP services based on the emerging needs of consumers and businesses. (DRS Business Plan Activity 6.1).

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2012 3:37PM by sahanophyj

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 timing of services leading to Supported Employment is important to successful outcomes for Texans with disabilities. When developing the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), the counselor must list the VR services leading to supported employment, specify the expected extended services needed after VR services are successfully completed, and include the name of the public or private provider of the extended services or a statement explaining that there is a reasonable expectation that extended services will become available before transition to extended services. At case closure or at the conclusion of any time limited post-employment services, the services paid for by the Title VI, Part B and/or 110 funds are terminated. A key component of the Texas Supported Employment Outcome Based System (TSEOBS) is to emphasize the use of the naturally occurring work supports and building on those supports as the consumer progresses into extended services in supported employment. The payment structure used in the TSEOBS creates financial incentives for the Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) provider to assist the employer with training and supervision of the supported employee rather than supplanting with direct training provided by outside job skill trainers. Additionally, the documentation requirements for all benchmarks require the CRP to identify strategies for using the naturally occurring work or social supports for extended and ongoing supports as well as paid supports when necessary that are usually administered through other state agencies.   Due to the multitude of resources (human and fiscal) typically required for successful employment of consumers needing supported employment services, the DARS Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) has learned that collaboration with all available entities is essential. Efforts to develop collaboration with respect to supported employment services are on-going. DRS collaborates with community organizations providing direct services and with other state agencies that serve various disability populations when establishing both funding and service provisions that assist an individual with the most significant disabilities maintain employment. Potential funding sources include Medicaid waivers, Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program, Department of State Health Services (DSHS) (the state mental health division), Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) (the state intellectual and developmental disabilities department) and a variety of local community level sponsorships. Currently, DRS has a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DADS, the state agency operating authority for state Medicaid waivers. DRS is also committed to the continuation of extended supports with the state mental health entity, the DSHS. DRS Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) routinely provide technical assistance to DADS and DSHS as both agencies implement changes to their employment services. This creates opportunities for joint responsibilities and effective use of resources. These improvements are expected to enhance the employment success of shared consumers. DRS SMEs also actively participate in the State Employment Leadership Network, which is also working to clarify the definitions related to employment services offered through Medicaid Waivers. DRS uses its current partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Providers to become Employment Networks (ENs) under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. Through SSA’s Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program, DRS partners with CRP-ENs to provide extended services and long term supports to Ticket consumers after VR case closure. DRS offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs who provide Supported Employment or Job Placement services during the provision of VR services; and who provide extended supports to Ticket consumers after VR case closure that advance employment or increase consumer earnings.       In addition to collaborating with DSHS and DADS, DRS continues to collaborate with community organizations directly providing services to consumers and also with other state agencies which fund the various components of supported employment for various disability populations.  This helps identify and establish the continuum of supports needed from the services leading to supported employment to the extended services. Development of these “learning communities” should enhance DRS’ partnerships with these organizations to ensure coordination of services and long term supports after DRS closes a supported employment case.  (DRS Business Plan Activity 6.4) DRS and the Division for Blind Services (DBS) collaborated with the University of North Texas (UNT) to develop a supported employment web-based training for new and existing providers. This training requires all supported employment specialists and job skill trainers that provide services to DRS and DBS consumers pass a competency test that evaluates each staff person’s knowledge, as it relates to the provision of supported employment services in accordance to the TSEOBS. The training also includes topics related to skills, philosophies and theories. The training is available to other state agencies, staff and providers through UNT.   DRS conducted trainings across the state of Texas regarding the TSEOBS.   These trainings are targeted to DRS staff working with supported employment consumers. Trainings focus on:   ·         Payment structure; ·         Best practices regarding outcome based supported employment; ·         Counselors’ and providers’ roles in successful supported employment; ·         Monitoring for quality services; ·         Internal processes for purchasing supported employment; and ·         Use of natural supports and community resources for extended service upon the completion of the DRS funded supported employment program.   DRS introduced supported self-employment services this past year. This service is available to any consumer who meets eligible requirements for supported employment, who has an interest and the extended long term supports necessary to maintain a supported self-employment goal after DRS has closed the case. This service parallels the TSEOBS benchmarks. In rolling out this service, the first year has focused on the training of both providers and DRS staff in the concepts, resources, philosophies, and theories related to supported self-employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2012 3:45PM by sahanophyj

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

 

The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS), Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is committed to maintaining Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) standards as set forth in section 101 (a) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18. Toward this goal, DRS has established procedures and supporting activities to ensure the administration of a comprehensive system of personnel development designed to provide an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation personnel including professionals and paraprofessionals. DRS has a State Rehabilitation Council to assist both DRS and the Division for Blind Services (DBS) in addressing issues related to personnel development. The CSPD Committee meets quarterly, and the Council contributes to development and maintenance of policies and procedures to support these efforts. DRS has developed and maintains an electronic database that communicates with relevant fields from the Health and Human Services Human Resources databases. Academic achievement is gathered from official transcripts submitted as part of the personnel hiring process. Transcripts are reviewed to determine whether the indicated degree meets the agency standard for Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (QVRC). In addition, systems are in place with DARS’ internal Program Reporting and Analysis department to confirm specific information necessary for frequent analysis of positions and projection of need.   As of September 30, 2011, DRS had the following Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions to meet the needs of agency consumers: 498 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs), 99Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (TVRCs), 21 Unit Program Specialists (UPS), and 365 Rehabilitation Services Technicians (RSTs). Based on this complement of VRC/TVRC/UPS FTEs and the 2011 Texas population of 25,920,812, DRS had a ratio of one VRC/TVRC/UPS to 41,943 people at the beginning of FY2012. As a result of the population growth and increased demand for Vocational Rehabilitation services, additional counselors are needed to serve eligible consumers with significant and most significant disabilities.    Projected needs for the next five years are based on the number of counselors needed (1) to maintain an optimum caseload size in relation to Texas population growth and (2) to continue to focus on serving consumers with significant disabilities that require multiple, comprehensive and complex services over an extended period of time. Using this methodology, we project the need for additional FTEs to support the rehabilitation program during the next five years as follows: 79 additional VR/TVRC/UPS FTEs needed between 2013 and 2018 and 47additional RST FTEs needed between 2013 and 2018.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VRCs 498 13 64
2 TVRCs 99 1 13
3 UPSs 21 1 2
4 RSTs 365 14 47
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

 

DARS conducted a Work Measurement Study of DRS Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, time, which began in FY2011 and ended in early FY2012. A Work Measurement Study is an intensive analysis of staff time that assists agencies in determining how much time is spent on various services and tasks.  Participating counselors were prompted at random (by a device that resembles a pager/beeper) to record the service and task in which they were engaged at the time the prompt occurred.  Each counselor participated during a randomly selected period of approximately 2 to 2½ weeks duration during the course of the study period.  Eighty-two percent of counselors targeted for participation completed the study and recorded more than 50,000 observations. The data is currently being analyzed and results will be used to support programmatic and management decisions. For FY2013, DRS will continue to pilot subcontracting certain important, but noncore, VR functions previously performed by the VRC and RST in order to address increasing caseload sizes, to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of VR services and to reduce the number of unsuccessful closures with plans. (DRS Business Plan Activity 6.2)   Texas has a total of seven university rehabilitation programs available at the Master’s degree level.  At this point, the statistics for the quickly evolving, on-campus Vocational Rehabilitation program at the University of Texas – El Paso are not included for this reporting period. A total of 131 students graduated during the previous year (2010-2011) from in-state universities listed below with credentials consistent with academic preparedness to meet national certification requirements. Texas has also developed partnerships with out-of-state university distance programs. These universities include University of Arkansas at Little Rock, George Washington University, University of Kentucky, Southern University at Baton Rouge, Virginia Commonwealth University, and West Virginia University.   Texas Tech University - 2010-2011 Students enrolled 92 Employees’ spons 16 Master’s Grads 25 Master’s Grads pv yr 28

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Stephen F Austin University 2010-2011 13 1 3 3
2 University of North Texas 2010-2011 154 26 29 29
3 University of Texas - Austin 2010-2011 22 0 9 6
4 University of Texas- Pan Am 2010-2011 103 1 37 20
5 University of Texas Southwestern Med Ctr 2010-2011 18 0 2 5

 

 

DRS has established a number of strategies for recruitment, preparation and retention of qualified personnel. Plans are in place that reflect continued annual needs assessment, quarterly review of strategies and interventions for recruitment, and updated review of the QVRC program following each semester to ensure satisfactory progress.   Recruitment DRS has a recruitment plan that identifies in-state and out-of-state entities from which qualified personnel may be hired. DRS also has a designated recruitment coordinator who works closely with each of these organizations. For each identified organization, the coordinator has made contact to establish specific recruitment strategies for each program. The Recruitment Plan coordinator regularly reviews and updates the plan. Depending on location, size/nature of the class and need of the institution, the following approaches to recruitment are employed:   ·         DRS participates in advisory committees for partnering universities allowing access and contribution to program improvement processes and to students for on-site visits;   ·         DRS staff conducts classroom orientations and distributes recruitment information for graduating students;   ·         DRS works with administration of distance programs to determine effective processes for recruiting distance students;   ·         DRS contracts with universities for graduate VR internships to recruit rehabilitation counselors. DRS had 27 active interns in FY2011 (DRS Business Plan Activity 8.2); and    ·         DRS annually participates in job fairs or employment conferences to recruit individuals from minority backgrounds and persons with disabilities.     Preparation DRS is committed to the development and continued growth of professional staff who reflect the communities we serve. All strategies for DRS’ CSPD programs encourage the retaining and hiring of staff from minority backgrounds and staff with disabilities. DRS collaborates with a number of constituency organizations in order to build a better understanding of consumer needs and encourage contributions to the field of rehabilitation. For example, staff regularly attend training in public workshops delivered by contractors for deaf and hard of hearing services. As a result, the staff not only have the opportunity for training but also for networking and outreach.   Additionally, DRS staff attend functions of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Technical Assistance Education Center (TACE) to maintain focus on information and professional training to meet the needs of staff who meet standards for CSPD. DRS encourages professional development of all staff through community involvement, membership in state associations such as the Texas RehabACTion Network and membership in national associations such as the National Rehabilitation Association. Regular attendance in national conferences and state and local subchapters as available offers opportunities for training, outreach and relationship building.   DRS will continue to access internal training opportunities as well. Training focused on emerging trends is routinely developed.   A needs assessment process has been developed that provides information regarding training needs. Staff perceptions, personnel development data and management information are all considered and evaluated.   The training provided in FY2011 included topics such as:  Basic and Advanced Workers’ Compensation, Substance Abuse, Diabetes, Choices/O’Net, Outcome Based Supported Employment, Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services, Transition Services, Internal Continuous Quality Improvement, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Coaching, Dealing with Ex-Offenders and Autism and Vocational Strategies for Behavioral Health Issues. In addition, skill building modules are made available to managers to use as training tools for staff. These modules focus on decision-making in the VR process and are designed to improve accuracy in eligibility decisions and effectiveness in the assessment and plan development phases. New counselors attend internal training to enhance skills and develop a basic operational understanding of policy and implementation of processes during the initial training year. Opportunities for professional and competencies based development are also offered through leadership and other professional development workshops and academies.   In order to build a more qualified workforce, DRS has initiated a number of processes to recruit and hire individuals as Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors who have Master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling. DRS maintains a database to monitor the number of counselors who do not meet CSPD qualifications. In order to encourage a focus on CSPD standards, DRS policy requires Area Managers and counselors to discuss the counselor’s plans for meeting the CSPD standard.    Since some DRS rehabilitation counselors do not meet the highest requirements in the state, DRS continues with recruiting and preparation strategies. DRS has policies and procedures for administration of the funding for academic coursework, textbooks, and when necessary, in-state travel, for counselors to meet the standard.     Newly employed VRCs/TVRCs must complete the QVRC program within seven years from the end of the initial training year.   DRS has encouraged staff to reinstate their Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) status where it has expired. As part of the QVRC incentive program initiated by DRS, the division will pay for certification exam fees and related in-state travel to encourage staff to obtain their CRC certification.   DRS continues close monitoring of the percentage of counselors who meet the standard in order to determine progress toward the goal. Monitoring includes the number of counselors with Master’s Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling or closely related fields, those with doctoral degrees and the number who are CRCs or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). DRS management is provided a monthly status report identifying our counselors’ achievements in reaching CSPD standards.   Retention As part of its comprehensive statewide training program, DRS supports a wide range of learning activities for all classifications of employees. Staff view professional growth and development activities as a benefit that enhances retention. All staff have professional development plans created in coordination with managers in the performance management process. Other retention strategies developed are as follows:   ·         Flexible work schedules allow for 4 or 4 ½ day workweeks, as well as teleworking opportunities, when feasible;   ·         A variety of training opportunities in leadership skill development are available;   ·         DRS will cover the cost of the exam and in-state travel to achieve CRC examination;   ·         There is a recognition award program in place to highlight staff achievement;   ·         Access to training to support credential maintenance is available at no cost to the employee; and   ·         There is an educational reimbursement program in place for support staff working toward attainment of Bachelor’s degrees.  

 

 

Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (QVRC) DRS is committed to ensuring the agency workforce is highly skilled, professionally trained and duly prepared to serve Texans with disabilities with the highest quality service delivery. Toward this goal, DRS has a plan to achieve standards for counseling staff in compliance with 34 CFR 361.18 (c) 1 (i). There are no state-approved or recognized certifications or licensing requirements in Texas. Therefore, DRS has established standards for academic preparedness consistent with national requirements of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) for CRC certification. This includes, at a minimum, a course in Counseling Theories and Techniques and a course in Medical or Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities. A counselor meets the CSPD standard by holding a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling; or Master’s degree in “Counseling or Counseling-related” with specific coursework; or Master’s, Specialist or Doctoral degree in specific majors with specific coursework; or current CRC certificate from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification; or current licensure for LPC.  A counselor with an undergraduate or Master’s degree who does not meet the QVRC minimum standards at the time hired, is informed by management of the requirement to successfully meet those standards within seven years from completion of the initial training year. Administrative systems are in place to monitor hire dates, transcripts and use of in-service training funds to assist staff in accomplishing necessary coursework, or in some cases, obtain a full Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling.

Existing counselors and all newly hired counselors are required to sign an acknowledgement of QVRC requirements. In-Service Training funds are used in coordination with partner universities for RSA grant slots to assist these counselors in meeting minimum standards. In order to facilitate successful class completion, DRS has allowed flexible work scheduling, tuition reimbursement, textbook reimbursement, and available computer resources. DRS will continue to utilize available resources in both distance learning and on-campus programs to support academic preparedness.

Although DRS has taken steps to hire rehabilitation counselors who have Master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling, a number of other factors require that DRS hire counselors with other degrees. DRS uses a values-based interviewing system to ensure counselors hired have individual values that align with the organization. A significant barrier to hiring counselors with Master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling is the expanse of Texas that must be served. DRS affords RSTs who attain an undergraduate degree the opportunity for employment in DRS as VRCs. RSTs may apply for financial assistance through the Educational Leave and Financial Assistance program if they choose to attain their undergraduate degree and pursue employment as a VRC. The years of knowledge and experience on a caseload coupled with their undergraduate degree have proven beneficial to DRS.

 

 

DRS is committed to maintaining support for in-service and academic training that ensures all staff receive necessary knowledge and skills to be successful and to provide developmental activities for new and emerging leaders. DRS has identified a needs assessment system to develop internal and external training initiatives to address programmatic needs. While there are a number of positions within the division that support field operations, the focus of statewide training typically addresses those programmatic areas of concentration to enhance direct service delivery for consumers. All staff have access to training opportunities through the professional development plan created through the professional development process in the management chain. Content for field staff is typically developed within the system of statewide modules of training products disseminated through field management staff. Content learning includes topics that directly address the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to perform jobs as expected by management and as described through job descriptions. The content training strategies include:   ·         Continued focus on the foundation of the vocational rehabilitation process for counselors and rehabilitation services technicians, including: accurate eligibility determination, inclusion of consumers in planning for service delivery, thorough assessing and planning practices, models for vocational counseling, informed consumer choice, service to culturally diverse populations, good purchasing practices, supported employment, customized employment, other strategies for quality employment assistance, service delivery and effective case note documentation; ·         Training in working with employers and consumers to increase knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the Olmstead decision, available independence initiatives, and VR participation in the Workforce Investment Act to enhance employment options and employment knowledge; ·         Training in Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), appropriate options and alternatives for effective transition services and Social Security Work Incentive Programs, including programs under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999; ·         Training in assessing appropriate rehabilitation technology interventions; ·         Extending opportunities to take advantage of training available from sources external to the agency for ongoing dissemination of timely trends related to disability and treatment modalities within the field of rehabilitation; and ·         Creating leadership training opportunities for field level staff that will develop skills and potential for succession into management positions in the rehabilitation industry. Opportunities such as participation in the DARS Leadership Academy and the Texas DRS Leadership Academy will continue to be available to field staff. Area Managers as part of routine planning, will identify leadership opportunities for staff at all levels in the unit. (DRS Business Plan Activity 8.3) ·         DRS will ensure that staff have access to training opportunities focusing on targeted disability groups identified by the various regions. DRS will coordinate with TACE and other entities as appropriate to develop localized training in targeted disability areas. (DRS Business Plan Activity 4.1) ·         Implementation of training for new counselors that focuses on critical thinking and sound decision making. (DRS Business Plan Activity 5.5)   Managers receive training in a variety of management issues including ethics, communication, leadership, monitoring for quality service delivery and compliance and the use of management information system tools.   DARS provides on-going quality improvement training to staff to ensure that they have every opportunity to achieve. As described above, learning opportunities in a wide variety of topics are also provided as a part of the comprehensive statewide Center for Learning Management effort using a variety of delivery strategies. These include self-directed learning, coaching, Intranet and workshops at the unit, regional and state levels.   DRS also has developed partnerships with organizations such as the NCRE, the American Society for Training and Development, and the TACE centers to ensure that the agency is active in the dissemination of research development for the field of rehabilitation. In addition, Texas DRS uses studies from the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues to assist in the development of practices for service delivery.   The following are examples of the types of training DRS provides to staff members with emphasis placed on new counselors:   New Counselors:   All new counselors are trained using a sequence of learning events. The sequence includes an assigned coach who uses a published coaching guide that outlines their learning during their probationary period. Training is provided throughout the initial training year and focuses in detail on specific rehabilitation issues such as effective decision making in the VR process, ensuring that services are provided to those eligible individuals who are interested in actively participating in the VR program, informed consumer choice, employment assistance, and successful closures. In addition, staff learn effective strategies for caseload management and working within a team structure, practical guides for applying liaison responsibilities for consumers receiving community rehabilitation program services, the intricacies of working with schools and the transition of students to work. At the completion of nine months, the counselor and supervisor create a professional development plan which addresses the CSPD requirements. The professional development plan is updated annually regarding in-service training activities and progress toward meeting the CSPD requirements.   Rehabilitation Services Technician (RST): All new RSTs are trained using a sequence of learning events. The sequence includes an assigned coach who uses a published coaching guide that outlines their learning during their probationary period. Training is provided throughout the initial training year and focuses in detail on specific rehabilitation issues such as effective decision making in the VR process, ensuring that services are provided to those eligible individuals who are interested in actively participating in the VR program, informed consumer choice, employment assistance, and successful closures. The RST and supervisor develop a professional development plan at month six that identifies the job and classroom training for the next six months. The plan is then updated annually and designed to enhance the growth of RSTs through their tenure. A program of educational assistance encourages RSTs to consider application of their experience in an academic arena where they may grow into the pool of degreed professionals available for hire as rehabilitation counselors.   New Area Managers:   New Area Managers also have a sequence of activities to develop their skills for the job. There is a regional orientation followed with self-directed activities using a comprehensive Orientation Outline. These activities train new managers in the specific components of the job as described in the job description and competency model. New Area Managers also attend training in the Central Office that includes agency-specific management, leadership, and monitoring topics. Following completion of the sequenced learning activities, the new Area Manager attends professional development training from among a selection of management courses available through the Governor’s Center for Management Development and other available resources. The Regional Director and a mentor Area Manager guide the new Area Manager through this process.    DRS maintains a formal system for evaluating the performance of VR staff within the division. This system requires that supervisory personnel formally evaluate an employee’s performance in the essential functions of the employee’s position.  The main purposes of this system are to:   ·         Document the employee’s performance, ·         Provide a development plan, ·         Improve performance, ·         Provide a basis for personnel management decisions, and ·         Facilitate open communication.   The three central aspects of the system for VR staff are:   ·         Consumer satisfaction with services and outcomes, ·         Area manager and other management review of case records to ensure compliance with policies and procedures, and ·         Evidence of quality service provision for consumers to access the most appropriate employment outcomes.   This system promotes clear understanding between the supervisor and the employee of the priorities and objectives for the upcoming period. In reviewing performance against expectations, emphasis is placed on results achieved through delivery of world class service, identification of reasons for variance from expected results, and establishment of appropriate development plans that serve to deliver skill enhancing, practical learning opportunities. The Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT) has the opportunity to review and comment on the policies, procedures and programmatic direction of DRS. Representatives from the RCT are invited to fully participate in development and review of policy and procedures. The Assistant Commissioner for DRS meets regularly with the RCT to present updates and share input regarding knowledge, skills, and abilities of the VR staff and overall VR program outcomes.   In summary, a comprehensive and overarching training design is in place to meet the learning needs of all DRS staff. While these activities are provided in a myriad of venues and through multiple modalities, all opportunities for training are specifically directed toward skill enhancement and credential building to form the most qualified staff possible to deliver services for consumers in Texas. Although all staff do not have direct consumer contact, all staff do have direct impact on the success of this program designed to provide vocational and independence opportunities for the community of people with disabilities we serve.  

 

 

DRS continues to provide effective modes of communication for staff, applicants, eligible individuals with disabilities and our community partners and stakeholders based upon individualized needs. Alternate formats include, but are not limited to: American Sign Language interpreters, Spanish language interpreters and use of the AT&T Language line for interpreters of many other languages such as Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese dialects, etc. Also available are captioning, Braille through our partner DBS Braille unit, large print, reader services, electronic formatting and use of readers. DRS also recruits staff that are bilingual for caseloads with heavy concentrations of languages other than English. Additionally, all DARS staff are required to take web-based Language Services Training for People with Limited Language Proficiency (LEP). This training provides guidance on best practices and DARS-specific resources for effectively communicating with LEP consumers. Some unit management decisions lead to the development of specialty caseloads where a concentration of consumers is in need of services requiring additional counselor skills. For example, both counselors and rehabilitation services technicians who are hired to serve caseloads with a concentration of deaf and hard of hearing consumers are preferred to have manual communication skills at the time of hire.  All counselors and technicians who are assigned a specialty caseload to serve individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing receive ongoing professional development specific to this target population. The professional development plan created for these individuals includes specific skill maintenance or enhancement activities that may be accessed through external training providers, in addition to traditional training opportunities within DRS.   Similarly, caseloads with significant numbers of Spanish-speaking consumers are typically served by counselors proficient in Spanish or an interpreter is available.   

 

In some areas, community partners such as churches, workforce centers, or cultural community centers assist in locating appropriate interpreter services.  Training objectives that include sensitivity to cultural issues are integrated in the provision of the principles of ethics in service delivery.  Given the cultural diversity within the expanse of Texas, this is an issue often addressed in external conferences and topic learning to ensure that staff are sensitive and aware of the manner in which the VR process is applied. In the area of transition, DRS also focuses on the requirements of IDEA and concerns of the No Child Left Behind initiatives. 

 

DRS has specialty Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to partner with the educational system to more appropriately serve those transition age students seeking assistance to access adult service provision.  Partnering with Independent School Districts allows counselors to use office space on campus to ensure that student consumers have access to the resources available through the workforce investment system, community, business, and other necessary partners to build a web of support.   The increase in the number of students we will be serving with autism, physical, psychiatric or dual diagnoses reinforces the need to continue best practices of those programs expected through components of IDEA.  State and local staff work closely with the Education Agency, Centers for Independent Living and other related agencies and community services to address collaboration, effective programming and consumer satisfaction with efforts to improve the effectiveness of transition services.  These collaborations take many different forms to accomplish training of agency staff, educational staff and impacted families.  DRS staff are often invited to Education Service Centers to participate in educator training and to present training, particularly for more effective transition programming for students.  Family nights are hosted in some areas to invite interested public to the vocational rehabilitation offices for sharing of resource information, discussion of service delivery issues and to gain input regarding best practices that would better support students and their families. DRS successfully supports a network of vocational programs to enhance the ability of students to enter the workforce with services needed and community partners contributing to their outcomes.

 

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2012 3:47PM by sahanophyj

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.

Purpose:

TheRehabilitation Act of 1973calls for periodic comprehensive statewide needs assessments to be conducted jointly by each state’s vocational rehabilitation agency and State Rehabilitation Council to inform the VR State Plan. The Act is specific regarding areas that a needs assessment should address. In addition to the overall need for rehabilitation services in the state, the Act focuses on several VR subpopulations and services:

 

·         Individuals with most significant disabilities, including those in need of supported employment;

·         Unserved and underserved individuals, including minorities;

·         Individuals served by other parts of the statewide workforce investment employment system; and

·         Establishment, development or improvement of community rehabilitation programs (CRPs).

The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services’ (DARS) Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS), Division for Blind Services (DBS), the Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT), and the State Independent Living Council (SILC) conducted a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CSNA) to learn more about vocational rehabilitation and independent living needs in Texas. The information gathered will aid DARS and the SILC to better plan for the expansion and improvement of VR and Independent Living (IL) services throughout Texas. This report will also inform the 2012-2014 VR State Plans.

 

In addition to the CSNA, DRS undertook a comprehensive self-study in the fall of 2010 through a contract with the Virginia Commonwealth University. The purpose of the self-study was to reaffirm the values and activities that the agency views as most critical to achieving its overall mission, assess the agency’s current performance in these highly critical areas, and identify areas where gaps may exist between the values the agency holds and the extent to which these values and activities are being implemented across the state. The assessment focused on three major areas: the Adult Vocational Rehabilitation Services program (Adult Services); Business Relations activities and services; and Transition Services.  A summary of the results is at the end of this attachment.

 

Frequency of CSNA:

 

The DARS Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment is conducted every three years. The most recent CSNA occurred during fall-winter of 2011-2012.   

 

Approach:

 

The methodology to complete the CSNA is outlined in the VR Needs Assessment Guide, provided by the Rehabilitation Services Administration to help state agencies conduct assessments with an approach that satisfies the Act’s requirements and produces useful and timely information.  DRS was asked to pilot the Guide and had an onsite visit by the authors of the Guide. During that visit, previous CSNA strategies used by DRS were reviewed and enhanced approaches were explored. 

DRS and DBS collaborated with the RCT to develop an action plan designed to guide development of the CSNA.

 

The assessment was accomplished through a range of data collection techniques to ensure broad representation from the public.  These techniques included town hall meetings in various locations in the state, phone surveys of VR consumers, online surveys of VR counselors, IL workers and Centers for Independent Living (CIL) staff members, and interviews with individuals considered to be “key informants” (stakeholders.) The model included two new approaches: obtaining information via focused key informant interviews rather than via a key informant survey, as was administered in the past, and the use of a survey monkey to obtain feedback from VR counselors, IL workers and CIL staff. 

 

Elements of the CSNA included:

·         Consumer Satisfaction,

·         Key Informant Interviews,

·         Town Hall Meetings,

·         Surveys of VR Counselors, IL workers, and CIL staff, and

·         Consumer Data Analysis.

Consumer Satisfaction–The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) staff compared the trends identified by the Consumer Satisfaction Survey contractor over the past three fiscal years to determine if there are any indications of populations that are unserved or underserved or indications of comprehensive rehabilitation services that need to be established, developed, or improved.

 

Key Informant Interviews – Based on consultations with the authors of the Guide, the RCT CSNA committee decided to use key informant interviews instead of a key informant survey as a method of obtaining stakeholder feedback. RCT CSNA committee members developed a list of key informants to be contacted. Skilled interviewers were necessary to ensure consistency and quality of information gleaned from the interviews. To this end, DBS and DRS asked DARS Center for Program and External Relations staff to conduct the key informant interviews, using an interview tool from the RSA Guide and tailored for DRS/DBS use by the RCT.

 

Town Hall Meetings – Town hall meetings hosted by Centers for Independent Living and facilitated by a member of the RCT were held in Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, Beaumont, and Austin. VR staff were also present to facilitate responses to any critical issues identified during these meetings. In addition, a town hall meeting specifically for on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Stakeholders was hosted by DRS. Information gleaned from these meetings was used in the CSNA analysis.

 

Surveys of VR Counselors, IL Workers, and CIL staff – An on-line survey was developed to obtain information from staff who work directly with our target populations throughout the state. Of the 660 respondents to the survey, 501 were DRS VR and IL counselors, 127 were DBS VR and IL counselors or teachers, and 32 were CIL staff. Their feedback provided a broad grass-roots perspective to inform the CSNA.

 

Consumer Data Analyses – – DARS staff analyzed aspects of the population of Texans with work disability based on projections from the latest available U.S. Census source that addressed work disability. Comparisons were made to the DRS eligible served consumer population on the aspects of age, ethnic composition, metropolitan/non-metropolitan residential status, and in three general categories of impairment: mental, physical and sensory. 

 

 

Limitations:

 

The findings of the Comprehensive Statewide Assessment rest primarily on the stakeholder surveys, town hall meetings, consumer data analysis, and key informant interviews. The review of the consumer satisfaction data did not yield findings that would be helpful in determining which population groups are unserved or underserved. The consumer satisfaction survey focuses on the experience of the consumer during the provision of services and the satisfaction with the outcome of the VR process. 

 

 

Findings:

 

Consumer Data Analysis

Results from the comparison of persons served by DRS with current projections based on the latest available U.S. Census sources for Texans with a work disability are as follows:

 

Age

Persons aged 16 to 22 comprise 33.2% of consumers served, while the percentage of Texans with a work disability in that age range is 2.6%.  DRS consumers aged 23 to 65 comprise another 65.1% of those served, and the remaining consumers served are aged 66 and up or under age 16. The percentage of DRS consumers served between the ages of 16 and 22 reflect an emphasis on services provided to transition youth.

 

Ethnicity

Texans with a work disability identify their ethnicity as 17% African American, 31% Hispanic, and 52% Anglo. Consumers served in fiscal year 2010 identify1 their ethnicity as 24% African American, 27% Hispanic, and 74% Anglo.

1 Consumer percentages exceed 100% because many consumers designated themselves in more than one ethnic category.

Urban/ Rural

87.9% of Texans with a work disability and 87.5 % of consumers served have a metropolitan2 residence, with 12.1% of work-disabled Texans and 12.5% of DRS consumers residing in a non-metropolitan situation.

2 Metropolitan/Non-metropolitan from federal Office of Management and Budget assignments to Texas counties in 2007 American Community Survey (census).

 

 

Impairment 

51% of consumers served have a primary impairment that is mental (cognitive or mental/emotional), 36% have a primary impairment that is physical, and 13% have a primary impairment that is sensory / communicative, predominantly a hearing impairment or deafness at DRS, since persons with vision impairment in Texas are served by the Division for Blind Services. Comparatively, of Texans with work disabilities, 45.01% have a mental impairment, 68.51% have a physical impairment, and 20.15% have a sensory impairment3.

3 Census percentages exceed 100% because some census respondents designated themselves in more than one impairment category.

 

 

Underserved Populations and Needs Identified in CSNA:

 

Services for Persons with Developmental Delays, Intellectual Disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Results from the CSNA revealed a perception that Texans with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders (including persons with Asperger’s syndrome) are underserved.  DRS has recently enhanced its program expertise in services for consumers by adding a program specialist who is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). A BCBA is an expert in analyzing & creating behavior change plans for socially significant behaviors. Typically in the areas of ASD, developmental & intellectual delays, challenging behavior is a barrier to employment. DRS is adding behavioral analysts as a new category of providers to help remove these barriers and is enhancing policy to reinforce this focus. DRS is taking a two-pronged approach to enhance services to these consumers. First, the new program specialist is presenting training seminars throughout the state to build field staff capacity to serve consumers. The trainer of trainers’ model will be implemented to keep staff continually updated on best practices for these consumers. The second focus is to partner with businesses to educate, create and or adapt their work environments to promote sustainable employment opportunities. (DRS Business Plan Goal 4)

 

Supports to Help VR Consumers Succeed

 The CSNA identified a perceived need for additional supports to help persons with disabilities successfully prepare for and compete in the workplace. DRS is engaged in several initiatives in this regard including the following:

  • Child care support - In recognition of the fact that many consumers need child care services so they can participate in planned vocational activities and start working, but are not able to pay for child care on their own, DRS piloted a Child Care Pilot Project using dedicated stimulus funds during FFY 2010 and FFY 2011. The pilot was successful, and the new support service will be published in policy and implemented statewide September, 2011. Through this new service, DRS may paid for child care necessary for consumers to participate in planned VR activities for the duration of a consumer’s work training and for a limited time after the consumers began to work.  Maximum payments are decreased each week as the consumer’s income allows their increasing participation in child care costs. (DRS Business Plan Activity 4.2)
  • On-the-job training enhancement- While OJT is not a new service, policy has been revised to reinforce its use (after a successful pilot supported by AARA funds). The new policy allows the VR counselor greater flexibility in negotiating payment rates/length of service with employers. There is also an incentive for CRPs to facilitate OJT situations as the CRP will receive payment for job placement. The OJT report is now much simpler for the employers to complete and submit for billing. Also, an OJT brochure is available to use as an external marketing tool. There has been more interest from VRCs in OJT based on questions from the field. There have also been questions from CRPs as to how they can be utilized. DRS’ expectation is that VR counselors who have purchased OJTs in the past, will continue to do so and that other VR counselors will consider OJT as an excellent service leading to a successful outcome with the OJT employer/or providing experience for consumers to take with them on other jobs. (DRS Business Plan Activity 4.2)
  • Peer support for consumers with mental illness – DRS is exploring the use of peer supports to support people with mental illness throughout their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Under this model, the consumer would be assigned a trained peer support specialist (who also has a mentalhealth diagnosis and is stable) to assist the consumer in progressing through the various stages of their IPE.  (DRS Business Plan Activity 4.2)

  • Employment supports - The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) is providing assistance to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on their “Money Follows the Person” behavioral health pilot, as well as their proposed 1915(i) Medicaid State Plan Amendment. MIG funding and DRS collaboration will modify and test existing evidence-based services, such as Cognitive Adaptation Training to provide employment supports to consumers with serious and persistent mental illness, as well as create standards and expectations for supported employment. In addition, DRS and the MIG are working with the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and DSHS to create cross-training on systems eligibility and processes, so that consumers may maximize services from each funding agency, and eliminate any possible duplication. The MIG will continue to partner with Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on the Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) Program. The MBI is in the process of being redesigned to be a more consumer and staff user friendly process. DRS will continue participation as a key member of the MBI workgroup facilitated by HHSC. (DRS Business Plan Goal 6)

 

 

 

 

 

Barriers to Serving Unserved and Underserved Populations Identified by CSNA:

 

·      Some potential consumers do not know that there are government services that

      can help them;

·      Consumers have a fear of working resulting in the loss of benefits;

·      There is inadequate funding for services, and

·      Scarcity of available transportation creates challenges for potential consumers,

      especially in rural areas, to access DRS offices, providers, and jobs.

 

 

 

Mitigation Strategies to Address the Identified Barriers:

 

Public Awareness of VR Services and Community Resources

Information taken from public meetings and electronic comments suggests there is aperception that DRS should enhance public awareness of its services and other community resources across the state and develop more business community partnerships with potential employers for people with disabilities. 

 

DRS has enhanced its public website to include a video, narrated by former consumers who are now DRS employees, that explains the vocational rehabilitation process. Plans are underway to enhance the website by adding an interactive self-screen tool for potential consumers interested in vocational rehabilitation services. Additionally, DARS is developing an additional website for businesses and job seekers.

 

DRS has created an Integrated Employment Plan and established a Business Services Unit that reports directly to the DRS Assistant Commissioner. This unit’s charge is to work with area managers to assist them in building an infrastructure aimed at strengthening relationships with businesses throughout the state. As part of this effort, DRS has implemented an agency-wide initiative to train and equip counselors to develop effective relationships with business community partners. This relationship will continue to expand awareness of DRS services as well as broaden the availability of job placement opportunities in the market place for persons with disabilities and include a broad range of services such as:

  • Providing qualified applicants, saving employers time and money in recruiting;
  • Evaluating applicants to improve job matches;
  • Following up to ensure satisfaction;
  • Helping new employees come ready to work;
  • Offering services for some employees who have been injured on the job to help them return to work as early as possible; and
  • Providing leading edge technology.

(DRS Business Plan Goal 2)

 

Addressing Consumers’ Fear of Returning to Work

In November 2010 the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) was transferred to DRS. The MIG will be doing statewide training for all VRCs and other community partners on basic benefits and work incentives supports and services. Additionally, the MIG has collaborated with Virginia Commonwealth University to train eight DRS staff to become Subject Matter Experts in benefits and work incentives. DRS VR counselors and other staff will be able to inform consumers of all 35 state specific programs that support employment, as well as give basic information and referral on federal benefits programs that beneficiaries with SSI and/or SSDI can utilize.

 

Inadequate Funding

DRS will continue to work through DARS and state legislative channels to educate state officials about the value of VR services to Texans with disabilities and to the overall state economy and request increased funding and FTEs when the economic climate is conducive to do so. Despite the significant budget cuts made to a multitude of state services during the 2011 state legislative session, the DRS VR funding was maintained at FY 2010 levels for the next biennium.  DRS will leverage existing resources and partnerships in order to provide needed services for its consumers.

 

Transportation Services

Information taken from public meetings and electronic comments suggests there is a perception that persons with disabilities, especially those in rural areas, are in need of transportation systems that will facilitate better access to DRS offices, providers, and jobs.

 

DRS will continue to participate in Health and Human Services regional coordination forums related to public transportation to advocate for local improvement.

 

DRS is collaborating with Mobility Partnerships and other community partners on Tarrant Rides and Information Partnership (TRIP) and Denton Works in Tarrant and Denton counties. Both initiatives seek to provide mobility management services designed to reduce barriers to transportation services and expand the viable mobility of person with disabilities. In addition, DRS’ Medicaid Infrastructure Grant is funding a guide based on these two initiatives so that other communities throughout the state can replicate their success. 

 

 

Individuals Served by Other Parts of the Statewide Workforce Investment Employment System:

 

As referenced under Mitigation Strategies to Address Identified Barriers, the CSNA identified a perception that DRS should enhance public awareness of other community resources across the state. Accordingly, DRS is coordinating with its Workforce Center partners to increase services with persons with disabilities, integrate programs and leverage resources. (DRS Business Plan Goal 6)

 

DRS has agreements with 21 of the 28 local workforce boards across the state. These local agreements address issues related to effective working partnerships. One of the key issues addressed is that of accessibility, with the intended result being that persons with disabilities will have increased opportunities related to employment services and, ultimately, a job.

 

In a number of areas of the state, DRS senior management staff serve on Workforce Boards. In addition, a DRS staff person has been assigned liaison responsibilities with each of the local Workforce Development Boards. Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Informing the board and workforce centers about vocational rehabilitation services and eligibility criteria;
  • Processing referrals from the workforce centers;
  • Referring to the workforce centers consumers who can benefit from employment services provided at the workforce centers;
  • Providing technical assistance to the local workforce boards regarding adaptive technology; and
  • Providing disability sensitivity and awareness training to staff of the workforce centers.

 

DRS has established relationships with Disability Navigators hired by local workforce boards. All 28 local workforce development areas in Texas have hired a disability navigator.

 

 

Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs within the State:

 

The CSNA confirmed DRS’ observation that there is a lack of a trained statewide provider base that knows how to work with VR consumers. Additionally, concerns were raised that more information needs to be made available regarding providers. This was already a major concern of the agency (DRS Business Plan Strategy 6.1), and DRS has the following initiatives underway:

  • CRP Credentialing- DRS has contracted with University of North Texas (UNT) to develop web-based training and a credentialing test for Job Coaches/Job Skill Trainers, Job Placement Specialists, Supported Employment Specialists and CRP Directors. UNT will credential all attendees for each training track that pass the post-test. It is expected that all employees in the above roles will be trained and credentialed before the end of FFY 2012. In order to maintain their credentialed status, providers must earn ten CEU credits yearly as documented by UNT. Going forward, DARS will not contract with CRPs providing these services unless their staff are credentialed.
  • Special Contracts for Job Training & Placement–CRPs participating in the program are actively recruited for training in various types of industries with a goal of securing employment for DRS consumers at the training site or at another business in the same industry. The contracts are managed by DRS Business Relations Consultants and include job training/placement in the hotel, medical services, and restaurant industries.
  • Information Directory–A workgroup is in the process of developing an information repository (for VR counselors to share with consumers via the agency’s Intranet) of CRPs throughout the state that will include basic information regarding their services, including their staff expertise in serving specific populations/disabilities, locations, contact information, consumer satisfaction ratings, and ability to serve non-English speakers. (DRS Business Plan Strategy 6.6)
  • Outcome Report– A workgroup is in the process of developing an interactive Outcome Report (for VR counselors to share with consumers via the agency’s Intranet) focused on enhancing consumer informed choice. The report will provide cumulative data in many categories regarding employment-related CRPs such as percent successfully rehabilitated (where relevant), disabilities served, services available, etc. (DRS Business Plan Strategy 6.6)

 

 

DARS Self-Assessment Results Summary:

 

The combined results of focus groups, a self-assessment conference, and an online survey of DRS staff present a clear picture of the agency’s values, the degree to which these values are currently implemented across the state, and gaps that exist between the values and current performance.  Several of the key findings of the self-study are described below, and plans are under development to address the identified gaps.

 

·         Commitment to the Agency’s Core Values - Results of the self-study revealed a spirit of innovation and experimentation at work in the agency with multiple cutting-edge initiatives underway. Data from all sources confirm the DRS’ commitment to the core values of delivering responsive, high quality and effective services to consumers. Responses to the online survey found that items related to direct service delivery were overwhelmingly viewed as most valued and most critical to the agency’s mission. (DRS Business Plan Strategy 3.1)

 

·         Commitment to the Dual Customer Approach - The implementation of the agency’s dual customer values and practices has been embraced by staff at all levels of the agency and across all areas of the state. While the dual customer approach is a relatively new initiative, DRS staff highly value its importance and business services activities continue to grow in the state. The focus groups and self-assessment conference confirmed that innovative practices are being developed and implemented across the state. Staff from many localities expressed interest in replicating promising practices and expanding their efforts in this area. (DRS Business Plan Goal 2)

 

·         Transition Services - Transition Services are highly valued across the agency. Concerns expressed by focus group participants and survey respondents addressed improving the school to DRS referral process and coordination between Transition VR Counselors and Adult VR Counselors. (DRS Business Plan Goal 9)

 

·         Relationships with Community Rehabilitation Providers - The relationship between DRS and CRPs was raised repeatedly throughout the self-assessment study.  Results of the online survey in both the Adult Services and Business Relations areas indicated that DRS staff are concerned about the ability of CRPs to provide high quality services to consumers, provide the supports necessary to meet the needs of businesses, and address the employment training and support needs of consumers facing multiple challenges to employment. Counselors of consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing expressed concerns about availability of qualified vendors in their area. Initiatives are currently planned or underway to address several of these concerns as noted in the previous section of this report. (DRS Business Plan Goal 6)

 

·         Addressing the Needs of the Rural Communities in the State - The unique needs and challenges of rural communities in the state were frequently raised during the study. Clearly, DRS staff in rural locations are committed to the same values and practices as other DRS staff in the state. Concerns were raised regarding lack of employment opportunities, availability of qualified vendors, and transportation problems that make the delivery of high quality services to consumers quite difficult.  It was also noted frequently that implementation of the dual customer approach and business services require adapting practices and innovative approaches to the characteristics of rural communities. As noted in the CSNA, transportation issues are one of the core obstacles for rural consumers. While the problems in addressing rural challenges in such a large and diverse state cannot be eliminated by DRS, initiatives are underway to help communities mitigate their impact.

 

·         Training and Technical Assistance - The training and technical assistance needs of DRS staff members were identified by focus groups and the online survey as important concerns for staff across the state. Training on the dual customer approach and the strength-based team approach were mentioned frequently, as well as training directed at meeting the needs of consumers with multiple disabilities and high support needs. (DRS Business Plan Goals 4 and 5)

 

 

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 10 2011 12:17PM by sahanophyj

DRS estimates that approximately 74,789consumers will be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services in FFY 2013and that DRS will provide vocational rehabilitation services to all 74,789 consumers in FFY 2013.   This estimate is based on a review of historical information such as numbers served, case load size, numbers of applications, the number of Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs) written, and the referral sources. In addition, DRS reviewed the number of consumers who continue to require services from one year to the next. Area Managers and Counselors reviewed each caseload to determine the number of consumers who would be referred for services and the number who would be determined eligible and receive vocational rehabilitation services. All of these factors were considered in determining the estimates of individuals to be served.

  The estimated cost per person for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services is $2,912. The estimated cost for the provision of services to all consumers is $217,750,720 including approximately $1,451,119 inSupported Employment costs.    The estimated number of consumers that will receive supported employment services in FFY 2013 is 7,479.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Title I Title I $217,750,720 74,789 $2,911
Title VI Title VI $1,451,119 7479 $194
Totals   $219,201,839 82,268 $2,664

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2012 8:56AM by sahanophyj

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 Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and the Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT) have collaborated to establish goals and priorities to advance the continued provision of high quality vocational rehabilitation services for eligible consumers. Goals and priorities are based on analysis of: ·         DRS’ performance on Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators, established by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA); ·         Quarterly consumer satisfaction reports; ·         Information obtained in the most recent statewide needs assessment; ·         Quarterly updates provided to the RCT by the DRS Assistant Commissioner or designated representative(s); and ·         Recommendations from RSA monitoring activities. Both DRS and the RCT agree that the following priorities are essential to the successful accomplishment of these goals: ·         The quality and scope of services must be enhanced through appropriate coordination with other agencies and organizations; and, ·         Funding for the program must be maximized by identifying and utilizing available comparable services and benefits.  Following are the DRS goals and priorities for FY 2013. It is important to note that some targets set for FY 2013 are at or below the baseline number. In these instances, the baseline achievement is considered satisfactory. Many targets are based on Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators, established by RSA. Because these goals are important, they remain as goals even though past performance has been satisfactory.     Goal 1: To provide vocational rehabilitation services that result in individuals with significant disabilities achieving a quality employment outcome. (Aligns with DRS Business Plan Goal 1)   (Targets are based on RSA Standards & Indicators).   Measure 1.1: The number of employment outcomes (successful closures) achieved will be equal to or exceed 11,530. (Baseline FY 2011: 11,526)   Measure 1.2: Of the individuals exiting the VR program after receiving services, a minimum of 55.8% will have achieved an employment outcome.  (Baseline FY 2011: 59.28%)   Measure 1.3: Of the individuals achieving a competitive employment outcome earning at or above minimum wage, the average hourly earnings when compared to the State’s average hourly earnings will equal or exceed a ratio of .52. (Baseline FY 2011: 0.501.)     Goal 2: To effectively provide VR services to consumers from minority backgrounds with significant disabilities and to ensure they are satisfied with services provided.   Measure 2.1: Of the total number of individuals residing in Texas with a work disability who: (1) receive services under an IPE and (2) achieve an employment outcome, at least 46% will be from a minority background. (Baseline FY 2011: 51.21%)   Measure 2.2: On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 80% of the respondents from minority backgrounds will indicate they are satisfied with their overall experience with DRS. (Baseline FY 2011: 84.94%)     Goal 3: To provide a consumer service delivery system that: (1) enhances available information about service providers, employment options and other choices and (2) is based on informed consumer choice and designed to enhance the delivery of quality and timely services to VR consumers.     Measure 3.1: On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 80% of the respondents will indicate that they were satisfied with their overall experience with DRS. (Baseline FY 2011: 86.9%)   Measure 3.2: On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 80% of the respondents will indicate they discussed with their counselor when services would begin and end. (Baseline FY 2011: 81.1%)     Measure 3.3: On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 71% of the respondents will indicate that they took part in choosing who would provide the services (schools or colleges, doctors or hospitals, job coaches, etc.).  (Baseline FY 2011: 73.1%)   Measure 3.4: On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 85% of the respondents will indicate that they were satisfied with the explanation of services to help them reach their goal. (Baseline FY 2011: 86.4%)     Measure 3.5: On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 85% of the respondents will indicate that they had input in setting their employment goals.  (Baseline FY 2011: 84.1%)   Measure 3.6: On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 90% of the respondents will indicate that they were treated in a friendly, caring and respectful manner when they dealt with DRS staff. Baseline FY 2011: 92.6%. (Question 1-Closed Case Consumer Satisfaction Report FY 2012)   Goal 4:  To provide supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require extended supports in order to achieve and maintain an employment outcome.    Measure 4.1: 50% or greater of consumers exiting the VR program after receiving supported employment services will achieve an employment outcome. (Baseline FY 2011: 52.2%)   Measure 4.2: Establishment of a baseline for supported self-employment consumers: i.e., the percentage of consumers with an established supported self-employment service plan who achieve the business plan benchmark.     Measure 4.3: Establishment of a baseline for supported self-employment consumers: i.e., the percentage of consumers who have achieved the business plan benchmark and who go on to achieve the service closure benchmark in supported self-employment.         Goal 5 To expand and improve transition services for youth with disabilities that will support the agency’s efforts to become a nationally recognized leader in the provision of transition services.   (Aligns with DRS Business Plan Goal 9 and Activities 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3)   Measure 5.1: Enhancement of policies and procedures that support consistency and clarity in the collaborative roles of both DRS and schools so that students can successfully achieve their established goals.   Measure 5.2: Redirection of the DRS Business Plan to integrate transition into overall Unit level strategies by December 2012     Goal 6 To improve and expand VR services to individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.   Measure 6.1: Number of successful closures for consumers with diagnoses of autism and intellectual disability will be 2,400 or higher. (Baseline FY 2011: 2444)

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2012 3:51PM by sahanophyj

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

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Aug 27 2009 11:00AM by Edward West

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 for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) will continue to provide opportunities for Texans with the most significant disabilities to enter competitive employment through the use of funds received under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Title I funds may be used to provide Services Leading to Supported Employment when Title VI, Part B funds are not available resulting in the availability of these services for more consumers with the most significant disabilities. During FFY 2011, 6,938 Texans with the most significant disabilities were eligible for services under the Supported Employment program and 1,163 of these individuals were closed rehabilitated. Methodology for reporting data has been adjusted based on guidance provided by RSA. Competitive employment is the objective for many Texans with the most significant disabilities.  It is the objective considered during any assessment of need for supported employment or supported self-employment services. VR Counselors must place consumers in jobs which are integrated within the local community. The goal for distribution of Title VI, Part B funds is to provide supported employment services resulting in a competitive employment outcome under the outcome-based system for consumers who require supported employment. Measure: 50% or greater of consumer exiting the VR program after receiving supported employment services will achieve an employment outcome...  Baseline FFY 2011:   52.2% In the outcome-based purchasing methodology, providers of supported employment and supported self-employment services receive payment when they assist eligible consumers achieve specific outcomes called “Benchmarks”. These are:

                                    Supported Employment                         Supported Self- Employment
  Benchmark1A  Career and Community Support Analysis(CCSA) and CCSA Review Meeting  
Benchmark1b·   Supported Employment Service Plan (SESP)-Part I ·   Business Plan & Supporting Documentation
Benchmark 2·   Job Placement & SESP Part II ·   Business Concept Development & Feasibility Study
Benchmark 3·   Four weeks Job Maintenance ·   Supported Self-Employment Services Plan
Benchmark 4·   Eight weeks Job Maintenance ·   SSE Business Start-Up
Benchmark 5·   Job Stability ·   SSE Business Maintenance
Benchmark 6·   Service Closure ·   SSE Business Stability
Benchmark 7 ·   SSE Service Completion

The desired outcome of all supported employment and supported self-employment services is that each eligible person achieves competitive employment, either at a business or in their own business within the community and are provided individualized training and necessary support to maintain their employment goal.

A key component of both the Outcome Based Payment System for supported employment and supported self employment is the emphasis on making use of the naturally occurring work supports and building those into extended services for the consumer. The payment structure creates financial incentives for the providers of supported employment to assist employers with the training and supervision of their supported employee rather than supplanting that with direct training provided by outside job coaches. Supported self-employment services uses the payment structure to teach extended long-term supports whether paid or natural to assist the consumer in efficiently and effectively running a business.  Additionally, the documentation requirements for both supported employment and supported self-employment requires the providers to identify strategies for using the naturally occurring work or social supports for extended and ongoing supports when Title VI Part B and/or 110 funding ends.

This screen was last updated on Aug 21 2012 2:10PM by sahanophyj

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.

 

The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) has developed the following State strategies to address identified needs of people with the most significant disabilities and determine how Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities will be used. Strategies 1-2 are activities to be funded through I & E Funds.  

 

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.

 StrategyMeasureBaseline FY 2011
1  DRS will maintain public access to a broad range of assistive technology services, including individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis through: ·         DARS Internet. Site contains items specific to assistive technology and vehicle modifications; ·         DARS Rehabilitation Technology Resource Center (RTRC) Intranet. A Virtual Tour of Assistive Technology (AT) can be accessed by counselors to view the latest AT advances to help consumers make educated decisions about their vocational and independent living goals; ·         RTRC access. The center is open to both agency staff and the disability community for product demonstrations and testing; ·         Continuation of the statewide rehabilitation demonstration and loan program; ·         DRS participation in statewide conferences to inform employers of  the technology available that will enhance a consumer’s ability to engage in employment and live independently; and ·         Vehicle modifications for DRS consumers.  The number of assistive devices loaned for consumer demonstration and testing.375
2  The comprehensive statewide needs assessment completed in 2011 revealed a perception that Texans with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders (including persons with Asperger’s Syndrome) are underserved. To enhance services to these consumers, DRS added a program specialist who is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to: ·         Present training seminars throughout the state to build field staff capacity to better serve population of consumers; ·         Create a statewide team that will focus on autism and also collaterally improve service delivery to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; ·         Identify Community Rehabilitation Programs with autism expertise who will each develop at least one partnership with a business that has an autism-friendly work environment; ·         Partner with businesses to educate, create or adapt their work environments to promote sustainable employment opportunities (DRS Business Plan Goal 4)  ·         Number of field staff trained as specialists to serve persons with autism spectrum disorders ·         Number of successful closures for consumers with diagnoses of autism and intellectual disability   ·         Statewide autism team consisting of 32 VR counselors and 21 Regional and Central office staff. ·         14 CRPs have been identified as autism specialists. Each is charged with developing at least one business partnership with an autism-friendly business.
3  DRS will continue to maintain involvement with the Texas Workforce Investment Council and local workforce development boards, maintain memberships on local boards, look for opportunities to partner with Disability Navigators, and assign counselors to one stop centers to provide consultation on disability issues to workforce system staff and to provide direct assistance to people with disabilities as needed.   The number of agreements with local workforce development boards, the appointments to local workforce development boards and the number of one stop centers with counselors assigned to them.18 of 28 local workforce development boards; 24 of 28 Public VR appointments; 28 of 28 boards have Disability Navigator Program; 266 of 266 One Stop Centers.
4  To increase successful outcomes for consumers, DRS will continue to modify the program business plan until all Standards and Indicators meet or exceed the performance levels.   DRS will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new partnerships to include working with HHS agencies, Workforce, Social Security, etc. to assure coordination of services and long term supports when DRS closes a consumer’s VR case. (DRS Business Plan Goal 6 and Strategy 6.4)The number of Standards and Indicators that are met or exceeded.DRS met and/or exceeded performance levels for 5 of the 6 performance indicators in Standard I of the FFY 2011 Standards and Indicators, including primary indicators 1.3, and 1.4. 
5  Maintain a comprehensive training and evaluation system for VR Counselors and support staff.  The number of times the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) Committee meets with DRS.4 meetings during FFY 2011  
6  Expand program capacity through collaborative relationships with businesses and community partners that enable more quality employment opportunities for consumers. ·         Project Search ·         Clubhouse ·         Pilot projects for training and placement (DRS Business Plan Strategy 4.2)The number of developed agreementsNo baseline
7 To increase successful outcomes for transition consumers, DRS will use strategic partnerships to outreach to schools and communities as a pipeline to direct business hiring.Number of closures for transition students.New – Baseline count pending revision of methodology for determining number.
8With a continued effort to expand service options for consumers, DRS will explore the possibility of entering into third-party agreements with strategic partners to make available to DRS the non-federal share of funds and increase the draw-down of federal matching funds.·         Actions taken to explore options for third-party agreements ·         Determination of whether to pursue third-party agreementsNew- no baseline
9With the goal of creating a more efficient VR delivery process, DRS will analyze business systems (with the assistance of a grant funded by Institute for Community Inclusion) and create a better, smarter, and faster VR system that generates 1000 more successful closures (over a three year period) and reduces unsuccessful closures by 10% using methodologies such as appreciative inquiry and decentralized leadership model.Revamped business plan with a more flexible, responsive VR system resulting in increased outcomes for consumers and business partners: ·         Revamped business plan ·         1000 more successful closures (over a three year period) ·         Unsuccessful closures reduced by 10% Note: Public meetings are planned for stakeholder review and input regarding any proposed process changes that would potentially impact service delivery. Revisions will accordingly be made to the State Plan to document any substantive changes in service delivery prior to implementation.New – no baseline 

 

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.

 

DRS statistical data compiled for FY 2011 reveals the following regarding eligible consumers’ indication of their race and ethnicity:

Population CategoryTotalBlackHispanicWhiteAll Others
  NumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercent
Eligible Served DRS VR  74,579  18,209  24%  20,655  28%  55,150  74%  2,040  3%
Texans With a Work Disability11,102,155128,90312%383,90735%530,06448%  59,281  5%

  1      Based on 2007 three-year American Community Survey by the US Census Bureau.   2      Total of Black, Hispanic, and White exceeds Eligible Served DRS VR as some consumers claim more than one race/ethnicity and all race/ethnicity categories a consumer claims are counted.  In other words, some consumers are counted in multiple categories.   As of September 30, 2011, personnel records indicate that DRS vocational rehabilitation counselors identified themselves as follows: 49% White, 27% Black, 20% Hispanic and 4% “other”.  DRS has made and will continue to make a concerted effort to place staff and offices in the appropriate locations to enhance service delivery and increase its visibility to minorities who have the most significant disabilities. Each DRS region engages in numerous programs and activities that are designed to inform and make available VR and Supported Employment services to minorities who have the most significant disabilities. Some examples of these activities include: ·         All DRS staff are required to take the Limited Language Proficiency training developed by the DARS Center for Learning Management. This training provides guidance on best practices and specific resources for effectively communicating with our unique population of limited language proficiency consumers. It also includes web-based instruction and desk references for quick access to information. ·         DRS staff are collaborating with the Yselta Tribe of West Texas and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of East Texas to make services available to Native Americans with disabilities;  ·         Outreach to minority transition students, particularly Hispanics, is occurring with the local independent school districts and the Education Service Centers; ·         DRS staff are attending community job fairs held for the Hispanic population and meeting with groups, such as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Casa de Amigos and Catholic Charities; ·         Outreach activities with the African American population are occurring, such as meetings with the local Sickle Cell Anemia Association, Minority Business Alliance, African American Family Conference and NAACP; ·         DRS staff are actively involved in the Colonias Initiative, a collaborative workgroup of state and private non-profit agencies designed to increase access to services for residents of the Colonias located along the Mexican border region who are primarily Spanish-speaking Hispanics; ·         Some counselors are participating in training to learn to speak other languages and attending sign language classes; ·         DRS is establishing specialized caseloads for certain disabilities to develop the expertise needed to most benefit the consumers served; ·         DRS is actively recruiting rehabilitation counselors who are Spanish speaking to better serve the Hispanic population; and ·         Counselors and managers at all levels have developed relationships with local referral sources that serve individuals who are minorities who have the most significant disabilities.  

 

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

 

DRS partners with a well-developed network of community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) across the state.  DRS continues to operate an outcome-based payment system for supported employment and job placement services.  DRS continues to implement new initiatives to increase the competencies of these CRP partners thereby enhancing services to consumers with disabilities.  DRS now requires CRP’s to obtain training and credentialing to ensure that CRP Job Coaches, Job Skills Trainers, Job Placement Specialists, Supported Employment Specialists and CRP Directors who oversee those positions meet basic criteria to effectively deliver employment services.  This credentialing is required in order to remain a CRP and began in FFY 2012. DRS has implemented a statistical CRP outcome report entitled “Information on Providers for Informed Consumer Choice (IPICC)”. This Intranet-based interactive database is available for counselors to share with consumers to facilitate informed choice as they select their providers. The database includes information regarding the types of services offered, provider contact information, and success rates. Plans are underway to enhance this tool to include counselor and consumer satisfaction survey information regarding CRP services as it becomes available. DRS is also considering a CRP recognition program in the near future. DRS, in FFY 11, provided training to CRPs in Supported Self Employment and has incorporated new policy and standards for Supported Self Employment Services which begin in FFY 2012.   DRS continues to review the need for revising the outcome-based payment method for supported employment to better serve (1) transition of employment for people with persistent and serious mental illness, (2) supported self-employment and (3) autism.     The department developed and is implementing new, innovative projects that are partnerships between community rehabilitation providers and employers to provide employer based skills training programs. These projects promote opportunities for consumers to become employed with partner employers (or employers within similar industries) and for employers to have access to trained potential employees. New provider standards will be published to encourage the continued growth of employer based skills training projects. DRS will continue to evaluate CRP roles by determining and evaluating the need to change or modify CRP services based on the emerging needs of consumers and businesses.  These additional requirements will ensure CRPs are more aligned with the core mission of DRS and work toward additional employment outcome possibilities for consumers with disabilities. (DRS Business Plan Goal 6)

 

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

To increase successful outcomes for consumers, DRS will continue to modify the program business plan until all Standards and Indicators meet or exceed the performance levels.   DRS will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new partnerships to include working with HHS agencies, Workforce, Social Security, etc. to assure coordination of services and long term supports when DRS closes a consumer’s VR case. (DRS Business Plan Goal 6 and Strategy 6.4)The number of Standards and Indicators that are met or exceeded.DRS met and/or exceeded performance levels for 5 of the 6 performance indicators in Standard I of the FFY 2011 Standards and Indicators, including primary indicators 1.3, and 1.4. 

 

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

 

DRS will continue to maintain involvement with the Texas Workforce Investment Council and local workforce development boards, maintain memberships on local boards, look for opportunities to partner with Disability Navigators, and assign counselors to one stop centers to provide consultation on disability issues to workforce system staff and to provide direct assistance to people with disabilities as needed.   The number of agreements with local workforce development boards, the appointments to local workforce development boards and the number of one stop centers with counselors assigned to them.18 of 28 local workforce development boards; 24 of 28 Public VR appointments; 28 of 28 boards have Disability Navigator Program; 266 of 266 One Stop Centers.

 

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 Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) has developed the following State strategies to address identified needs of people with the most significant disabilities and determine how Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities will be used. Strategies 1-2 are activities to be funded through I & E Funds.

The comprehensive statewide needs assessment completed in 2011 revealed a perception that Texans with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders (including persons with Asperger’s Syndrome) are underserved. To enhance services to these consumers, DRS added a program specialist who is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to: ·         Present training seminars throughout the state to build field staff capacity to better serve population of consumers; ·         Create a statewide team that will focus on autism and also collaterally improve service delivery to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; ·         Identify Community Rehabilitation Programs with autism expertise who will each develop at least one partnership with a business that has an autism-friendly work environment; ·         Partner with businesses to educate, create or adapt their work environments to promote sustainable employment opportunities (DRS Business Plan Goal 4)  ·         Number of field staff trained as specialists to serve persons with autism spectrum disorders ·         Number of successful closures for consumers with diagnoses of autism and intellectual disability   ·         Statewide autism team consisting of 32 VR counselors and 21 Regional and Central office staff. ·         14 CRPs have been identified as autism specialists. Each is charged with developing at least one business partnership with an autism-friendly business.

 

Maintain a comprehensive training and evaluation system for VR Counselors and support staff.  The number of times the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) Committee meets with DRS.4 meetings during FFY 2011  
Expand program capacity through collaborative relationships with businesses and community partners that enable more quality employment opportunities for consumers. ·         Project Search ·         Clubhouse ·         Pilot projects for training and placement (DRS Business Plan Strategy 4.2)The number of developed agreementsNo baseline
 To increase successful outcomes for transition consumers, DRS will use strategic partnerships to outreach to schools and communities as a pipeline to direct business hiring.Number of closures for transition students.New – Baseline count pending revision of methodology for determining number.
With a continued effort to expand service options for consumers, DRS will explore the possibility of entering into third-party agreements with strategic partners to make available to DRS the non-federal share of funds and increase the draw-down of federal matching funds.·         Actions taken to explore options for third-party agreements ·         Determination of whether to pursue third-party agreementsNew- no baseline
With the goal of creating a more efficient VR delivery process, DRS will analyze business systems (with the assistance of a grant funded by Institute for Community Inclusion) and create a better, smarter, and faster VR system that generates 1000 more successful closures (over a three year period) and reduces unsuccessful closures by 10% using methodologies such as appreciative inquiry and decentralized leadership model.Revamped business plan with a more flexible, responsive VR system resulting in increased outcomes for consumers and business partners: ·         Revamped business plan ·         1000 more successful closures (over a three year period) ·         Unsuccessful closures reduced by 10% Note: Public meetings are planned for stakeholder review and input regarding any proposed process changes that would potentially impact service delivery. Revisions will accordingly be made to the State Plan to document any substantive changes in service delivery prior to implementation.New – no baseline 

  Activities to 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   During fall 2011 - winter 2012, the Division for Rehabilitation Services, Division for Blind Services, State Independent Living Council, and Rehabilitation Council of Texas collaborated to conduct a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA).   The CSNA used several approaches to obtain information from individuals knowledgeable about the needs of people with disabilities and to identify existing barriers to serving those identified as being unserved or underserved, including key informant interviews with stakeholders, a survey of counselors, demographic research, and town hall meetings. Barriers to serving unserved and underserved populations identified in the CSNA were as follows:   ·         Some potential consumers do not know that there are government services that can help them; ·         Consumers have a fear of working resulting in the loss of benefits; ·         There is inadequate funding for services; ·         Scarcity of available transportation creates challenges for potential consumers, especially in rural areas, to access DRS offices, providers, and jobs.   Strategies for addressing these barriers are as follows:  

BarrierDRS Strategy
Some potential consumers do not know that there are government services that can help them.  ·         Increase collaboration with other organizations to access services for consumers that do not duplicate services by DRS; ·         Increase outreach efforts to the business community; ·         Educate community leaders of the availability of DRS services to enhance outreach efforts to all ethnic groups; ·         Offer the 211 Statewide Referral Helpline, a service that assists consumers with referrals to appropriate agencies for help; ·         Enhance DRS website with more information regarding services, including adding an interactive self-screen tool for potential consumers (accomplished in FY 2011) and use of social media; and ·         Conduct outreach activities as identified on pages two and three of this attachment. (DRS Business Plan Goal 2)
Consumers have a fear of working resulting in loss of benefits.  ·         Work closely with community partners such as the local Social Security offices and Work Incentives Planning programs to dispel inaccurate perceptions regarding loss of benefits and attempt to work efforts (Agency’s ability to support this effort may be affected by in the event WIPAs are not reauthorized); ·         Training for eight DRS staff to become Subject Matter Resources (SMRs) on benefits and work incentives(accomplished in FY 2011); and ·         Statewide training for all VR counselors on basic benefits and work incentives supports and services.(During FFY 2011, 92 VRCs trained in basics if SSI and SSDI work incentives) ·         Developed five year plan that includes training additional15 DRS staff to be Benefits SMRs; a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all DRS staff.  
Inadequate funding for services.  ·         Request increased funding through appropriate legislative processes; ·         Identify and utilize available comparable services and benefits; ·         Explore third-party agreements as a vehicle for increasing federal matching funding (see strategy 9 in first section of this attachment); ·         Fully utilize the programs of the Social Security Administration and work to maximize SSA/VR reimbursements (DRS Business Plan Strategy 6.3); ·         Ensure VR consumers receive best value services; ·         Sustain critical thinking and values-based decision making to enhance use of available resources; ·         Pilot outsourcing of non-core activities to afford VR counselors more time to focus on core VR functions; and ·         Provide budget management training for staff. (DRS Business Plan Strategy 5.2)    
Scarcity of available transportation, especially in rural areas, creates challenges for potential consumers to access DRS offices, providers, and jobs.·         Continue to participate in Health and Human Services regional coordination forums related to public transportation to advocate for local improvement (Continued participation in established forums and participation in newly formed forums during FFY 2011 Rural Transit Alliance); ·         Collaboration with Mobility Partnerships and other community partners on Tarrant Rides and Information Partnership and Denton Works in Tarrant and Denton counties to provide mobility management services designed to reduce barriers to transportation services and expand the viable mobility of person with disabilities (We continue this collaboration); and ·         Funding a guide based on these initiatives through DRS’ Medicaid Infrastructure Grant so that other communities throughout the state can replicate their success. (Guide released March 2012)

  The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) does not discriminate in the provision of services against any person (employee, applicant or consumer) because of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status. DRS administers all programs and conducts business, either directly, indirectly, or through contractual or other arrangements in accordance with:  

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended;
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended;
  • Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Age Discrimination Act;
  • U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Regulations; and

·         Other applicable rules, regulations or guidelines.  

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 21 2012 2:10PM by sahanophyj

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

 

The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and the Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT) annually review and report on the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program. The following sections include the required components of the evaluation.     A.   Evaluation of the extent to which the goals identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) were achieved:  

FFY 2011 Progress Report on Goals and Priorities
  Goal 1: To provide vocational rehabilitation services that result in individuals with significant disabilities achieving a quality employment outcome.  
MeasuresDescription of Progress FFY 2011
1.1. The number of employment outcomes (successful closures) achieved will be equal to or exceed 11,381     (Note: The correct measure for the number of successful employment outcomes for the 2011 is 11,381. The 11,862 measure cited in the 2011 VR State Plan was an error.)The number of employment outcomes DRS achieved in FFY 2011 was 11,526.
1.2. Of the individuals exiting the VR program after receiving services, a minimum of 55.8% will have achieved an employment outcome.Of the individuals exiting the VR program after receiving services during FFY 2011, 59.28% achieved an employment outcome.
1.3. Of the individuals achieving an employment outcome, the average hourly earnings when compared to the State’s average hourly earnings will equal or exceed a ratio of .52.Of the individuals achieving an employment outcome during FFY 2011, the average hourly earnings when compared to the State’s average hourly earnings was 0.501
1.4. Of the individuals achieving an employment outcome, a minimum of 82% will be individuals with significant disabilities.Of the individuals achieving an employment outcome during FFY 2011, 81.08% were individuals with significant disabilities.
  Goal 2: To effectively provide VR services to consumers from minority backgrounds with significant disabilities and to ensure they are satisfied with services provided.  
MeasuresDescription of Progress FFY 2011
2.1. Of the total number of individuals residing in Texas with a work disability who: (1) receive services under an IPE, and (2) achieve an employment outcome; at least 46% will be from a minority background.Of the total number of individuals residing in Texas with a work disability who: (1) received services under an IPE, and (2) achieved an employment outcome; 51.21% were from a minority background.
2.2. On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 87% of the respondents from minority backgrounds will indicate they are satisfied with their overall experience with DRS.84.94% of respondents from minority backgrounds indicated they were satisfied with the services received.

 

  Goal 3: To provide a consumer service delivery system that: (1) enhances available information about service providers, employment options and other choices and (2) is based on informed consumer choice and designed to enhance the delivery of quality and timely services to VR consumers.  
MeasuresDescription of Progress FFY 2011
3.1. On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 87% of the respondents will indicate they were satisfied with their overall experience with DRS.86.9% of respondents indicated they were satisfied with the services received.
3.2. On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 80% of the respondents will indicate that they discussed with their counselor when services would begin and end.81.1% of respondents indicated they discussed with their counselor when services would begin and end.
3.3. On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 86% of the respondents will indicate that they had input in planning the services they received.86.3% of respondents indicated they took part in planning the services they received.  
3.4. On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 71% of the respondents will indicate they took part in choosing who would provide the services (schools or colleges, doctors or hospitals, job coaches, etc.).73.1% or respondents indicated that they took part in choosing who would provide services (schools or colleges, doctors or hospitals, job coaches, etc.).
3.5. On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 84% of the respondents will indicate that they were satisfied with the explanation of services to help them reach their goal.86.4% of respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the explanation of services to help them reach their goal. 
3.6. On the consumer satisfaction survey, a minimum of 87% of the respondents will indicate that they had input in setting their employment goals.84.1% of respondents indicated that they had input in setting their employment goals.
  Goal 4: To increase the quality of available supported employment services  
MeasuresDescription of Progress FFY 2011
4.1. 57% or greater of consumers exiting the VR program after receiving supported employment services will achieve an employment outcome.In FFY 2011, of the individuals exiting the VR program after receiving supported employment services, 52.2% achieved an employment outcome.

 

 

  Goal 5: To expand and improve transition services for youth with disabilities  
MeasuresDescription of Progress FFY 2011
5.1. Recruitment or reassignment of staff so that no less than 101 transition vocational rehabilitation counselor positions are available to assist special education students preparing to leave high school. Priority will always be given to keep these 101 positions filled as soon as possible. In FFY 2011, 99 transition vocational rehabilitation counselor positions were available to assist special education students preparing to leave high school.
5.2. Expansion of the CHIRP (Centers Hatching Initiatives for Realizing Potential) methodology to at least two more CILS in Texas beyond the original ten.Federal grant for Centers Hatching Initiatives for Realizing Potential was not renewed.
5.3 Provision of services under an IPE for a minimum of 4000 eligible transition students.In FFY 2011, 3,671 eligible transition consumers provided services under an IPE.
5.4 Upon graduation, 4000 students will transfer to adult services. In FFY 2011, 3,129 students transitioned to adult services.
  Goal 6: To improve self employment services for consumers with the most significant disabilities.  
6.1. To implement new policy for self employment services for consumers with the most significant disabilities by end of FY 2011.DRS added new policy and Standards for Providers in FFY 2011 for Supported Self-Employment. The service delivery runs parallel to DRS current Supported Employment services.
6.2. Obtain data to establish a baseline for consumers with the most significant disabilities who successfully achieve a self employment outcome for FY 2011.DRS has extended this goal into FFY 2012. It was determined that after training both providers and DRS staff in FFY 2011, there was not sufficient time for DRS consumers to achieve the entire benchmark system for supported self-employment, thus DRS was unable to establish a meaningful baseline at the conclusion of the reporting period.    

     

 

 Goal/PrioritiesStrategies/Impediments to Achievement
1)To provide vocational rehabilitation services that result in individuals with significant disabilities achieving a quality employment outcome.In FFY 2011, the number of employment outcomes increased over the previous year, exceeding the Standards and Indicators target by 145.  The percentage of individuals exiting the VR program with an employment outcome after receiving services during the fiscal year also increased, exceeding the Standards and Indicators target by 3.48%. This is a direct result of implementing strategies to reduce the number of unsuccessful closures and increase successful closures by keeping consumers engaged throughout their VR program.   DRS has used ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds to initially fund several initiatives that have resulted in consumers obtaining employment: These initiatives include but are not limited to:  ·         Imbedded training with Community Rehabilitation Programs and businesses. ·         Implementation of an automated appointment reminder system to prompt consumers to keep appointments (accomplished). ·         Credentialing CRPs who provide job coaching, job placement and supported employment services to DARS consumers. With better skilled CRPs, placements and job retention should improve for consumers with disabilities that DRS VRC refers to CRP for placement activities (ongoing). ·         Infusing ARRA funds into direct consumer services assisting consumers to locate employment and maintain employment which helps the economy within the local areas around the state.  
2)To effectively provide VR services to consumers from minority backgrounds with significant disabilities and to ensure they are satisfied with services provided.In FFY 2011, of the total number of individuals residing in Texas with a work disability who: (1) received services under an IPE, and (2) achieved an employment outcome; 51.21% were from a minority background, a slight increase over the previous year For FY 2011, the satisfaction rate for consumers’ overall experience with DRS for all consumers was 86.9%. This was unchanged from the previous year. For white consumers the satisfaction rate was 87.4% and for minority consumers the satisfaction rate was 84.94%.
3)To provide a consumer service delivery system that: (1) enhances available information about service providers, employment options and other choices and (2) is based on informed consumer choice, and designed to enhance the delivery of quality and timely services to VR consumers. Consumer satisfaction survey data for FY 2011 reveals that by far the majority of DRS consumers report that they receive timely services and that they are afforded necessary information about service providers, employment options, and other choices in order to assist them in making informed choices. Satisfaction rates for Measures 3.1 through 3.6 range from exceeding the target by 2.4% to falling below the target by 2.9%. It should be noted that demographics affect the level of consumer choice options. Provider options within a reasonable proximity of the consumer’s home are often limited in remote rural areas in contrast to large metropolitan areas where multiple options are readily available. Multiple initiatives focusing on enhancing quality service delivery and consumer choice were implemented or started during FFY 2011. Examples include:   ·         Two open-case Consumer Satisfaction Surveys were implemented to assess consumer satisfaction throughout the continuum of service delivery in addition to the closed-case survey that was already in place. ·         Deployed a replicating success SharePoint for Area Managers statewide to network, evolve and compare successful strategies for improving service delivery and consumer outcomes. ·         CRP Report Card workgroup – A workgroup continued the development of a methodology to provide DRS counselors and consumers with information to foster consumer informed choice, slated for deployment in early FY 2012. ·         Statewide implementation of E-Notify, an automated appointment reminder system to prompt consumers to keep appointments. ·         Started an imbedded training initiative with Community Rehabilitation Programs and businesses.  
4)To increase the quality of available supported employment services. Despite the continued down-turn of the economy throughout the state, DRS continued to work on reducing the number of unsuccessful closures by promoting effective up-front planning and implementation strategies. DRS fell short of meeting the FFY 11 goal by 5.2%. It appears that consumers with most significant disabilities continue to face challenges when it comes to gaining competitive employment when there are so many over-qualified individuals competing for positions.  In upcoming year, DRS anticipates that the percentage of Supported Employment consumers who will reach an employment outcome will be maintained as the economy continues to rebound. DRS has introduced a new service, supported self-employment. This will allow for additional opportunities for consumers with the most significant disabilities. It is believed that this will benefit consumers in currently underserved areas where wage supported employment opportunities are limited.   Another initiative DRS is continuing in FFY 2011-FFY2012 focuses on creating a web-based training and certification program for all community rehabilitation programs providing job coaching, general job placement and supported employment services. This began as a project funded by AARA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and General VR funds. This training is expected to ensure that providers can demonstrate competency in service delivery for consumers served.   Partnerships with the Department of Aging and Disability Services and Department of State Health Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division -continue to focus on how the agencies can work together to provide employment placement and extended long term supports so consumers with the most significant disabilities can maintain competitive employment outcomes.  
5)To expand and improve transition services for youth with disabilities.To improve service delivery and VR outcomes, DRS implemented the DRS Transition Guide and made available to all VRCs. This guide provides tools necessary to work with younger students within school settings.    
6)To improve self employment services for consumers with the most significant disabilities.DRS has extended this goal into FFY 2012. It was determined that after training both providers and DRS staff in FFY 2011, there was not sufficient time for DRS consumers to achieve the entire benchmark system for supported self-employment, thus DRS was unable to establish a meaningful baseline at the conclusion of the reporting period.      

     

 

 

For FFY 2011 DRS exceeded performance levels for 5 of the 6 performance indicators in Standard I, including primary indicators 1.3 and 1.4.  In FFY 2011,  DRS’ focus continued to be on implementing strategies to keep consumers actively engaged throughout the VR process. Accordingly, the number of employment outcomes increased in FFY 2011. The percentage of individuals exiting the VR program with an employment outcome after receiving services during the fiscal year also increased, exceeding the Standards and Indicators target by 3.48%.Partnering with businesses and working closely with CRPs continues to play a pivotal role in the success of our DRS consumers achieving employment. Of the consumers that earned over minimum wage, 81.08% were people with significant disabilities.    

PrimaryIndicator No.DescriptionFFY 2011 Performance
 1.1The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period, compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period.ExceededNumber of successful closures increased from 11,380 in FFY 2010 to 11,526 in FFY 2011, an increase of 146.
 1.2Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.Exceeded59.28%achieved an employment outcome by the end of FFY 2011.
P1.3Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage.Exceeded97.80% of rehabilitants earned more than minimum wage
P1.4Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities. Exceeded81.73% of rehabilitants earning more than minimum wage were people with significant disabilities.
P1.5The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed.Did not meet  0.501. Performance is derived by calculating an hourly wage figure for each record, then determining the average of all those records. 
 1.6Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services.Exceeded54.68%
 2.0The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities.Exceeded0.9518

   

 

 

DRS continued to streamline consumer service delivery by improving the technological infrastructure to support processes such as the vocational rehabilitation process through the Consumer Case Management System (ReHabWorks), Individual Desktop Hardware and Software (Seat Management) and all other hardware and software (Infrastructure and Development Platform Refresh).   In FY 2011, DRS spent $1,050,548 on Seat Management and $360,683 on Infrastructure (hardware and software). Also in FY 2011, DRS spent $1,425,099 on ReHabWorks and an additional $859,930 on Infrastructure (DRS Infrastructure Enhancements, DRS Consumer Training, Communication Services and Network Infrastructure Improvements) using ARRA Stimulus funds.”        

  FY 2010 & FY 2011 Innovation & Expansion Activity Comparison
I & E Activity  $ FY 2010$ FY 2011
RCT Support$76,591$75,324
State Independent Living Council Support$150,038$150,038
Rehabilitation Technology Devices & Services$4,994,644$988,892

                          The Rehab Technology Resource Center The primary mission of the Rehab Technology Resource Center (RTRC) is to facilitate the receipt of assistive technology to enhance employment and independence for DARS consumers and other Texans with disabilities. The RTRC seeks to create a dependable, consistent system of service delivery that is consumer driven to meet disability-related challenges through assistive technology.  Assistive technology or adaptive technology (AT) is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using these devices. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to or changed methods of interacting with the technology needed to accomplish such tasks. The RTRC Device demonstration - Various devices are demonstrated providing a basic information and features and functions of the technology.  Consumers can try out equipment “before they buy it” through this hands-on approach.  Information is provided about State and local vendors, providers and repair services. An AT device can be checked out through the loaner program by consumers or their representatives for a limited time (typically 2-4 weeks) to be sure it meets their needs at home, on the job, at school or in their perspective community. If the consumer or individual finds that the device isn’t right for them, they can return it and borrow another piece of technology. They can also utilize the loaner program if their device is "in the shop for repairs," or if they are waiting for their "own" device to be purchased. Counselors in addition to OTs, PTs and other rehabilitation professionals can work with the RTRC to borrow devices in order to conduct evaluations or to become more informed about the devices that are available to the individuals they serve. The RTRC works with DRS Businesses Relations Unit as a consultation service to business extending the loaner program for accommodations for employees with disabilities, or to try out alternative solutions as "public accommodations."

The RTRC provides information and referral to help educate consumers about their choices of AT devices and service providers. Consumers can call, write, or email for AT help. The RTRC provides AT training to DARS staff, employers other government agencies, organizations, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, schools and universities. The RTRC also attends group meetings and participates in conference or exhibit forums to provide information and demonstration.

The RTRC also offers training to service providers in order to increase their AT-related knowledge and skills to better support people with disabilities. The RTRC provides technical assistance to public and private agencies to develop and improve policies related to access to AT devices and services.      

This screen was last updated on Aug 21 2012 2:10PM by sahanophyj

  • 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 for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is committed to the provision of quality services to persons with the most significant disabilities. DRS has developed collaborative programs with appropriate public and private non-profit organizations, employers and other appropriate resources for training, employment and other time-limited services leading to supported employment. Supported Employment (SE) provides competitive employment in the community for consumers with the most significant disabilities who need individualized assistance finding the most appropriate job match, and will require extended long term supports within the work environment, community and home environments after DRS has closed the case. DRS consumers who benefit from supported employment services are those for whom traditional vocational rehabilitation approaches have not been effective. Although consumers can work competitively, they need assistance to compete in the open market, be represented to potential employers, and receive ongoing supports to maintain the job. Often, consumers have been excluded from community services, institutionalized, or participated in segregated work programs such as sheltered workshops for long periods of time. SE services provided for DRS consumers finds the best possible match between consumer skills, interests, abilities, support needs and the employer’s unmet needs. Supported employment specialists either put supports or arrange for supports to be in place to accommodate these consumers. DRS uses the “place then train” concept to describe supported employment, which is a two-part process: first, place individuals with significant disabilities into competitive jobs; and second, provide training and support directly related to the job. DRS has implemented supported self-employment (SSE) services as an alternative employment option for individuals who choose to own their own business within their community. In supported self-employment the extended long term supports assist the consumer in effectively and efficiently run their business for a profit. The extended supports are put into place and assist the consumer’s team in establishing researching a business idea for feasibility, creating a business plan and implementing as well as, evaluating the business plan to ensure the business is successful. Consumers determined by a DRS counselor to be eligible for SE or SSE services are those:

  • who have a significant disability;
  • who require considerable assistance competing in the open job market;
  • who can maintain competitive employment with necessary supports;
  • who will need extended services to maintain employment following successful VR closure;
  • for whom competitive employment has not occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability;
  • for whom supported employment or supported self employment has been identified as the appropriate employment outcome by the consumer and the DRS counselor; and
  • for whom another individual, organization, or other resource agrees to provide the extended services after the DRS-funded services cease.

  In the outcome-based purchasing methodology, providers of supported employment and supported self-employment services receive payment when they assist eligible consumers achieve specific outcomes called “Benchmarks”. These are:

                                    Supported Employment                         Supported Self- Employment
  Benchmark1A  Career and Community Support Analysis(CCSA) and CCSA Review Meeting  
Benchmark1b·   Supported Employment Service Plan (SESP)-Part I·   Business Plan & Supporting Documentation
Benchmark 2·   Job Placement & SESP Part II·   Business Concept Development & Feasibility Study
Benchmark 3·   Four weeks Job Maintenance·   Supported Self-Employment Services Plan
Benchmark 4·   Eight weeks Job Maintenance·   SSE Business Start-Up
Benchmark 5·   Job Stability·   SSE Business Maintenance
Benchmark 6·   Service Closure·   SSE Business Stability
Benchmark 7 ·   SSE Service Completion

  Extended services are ongoing support services identified in the in all benchmarks of both SE and SSE and usually remain in place for the duration of the consumer’s employment whether it is SE or SSE. The need for extended services are reviewed and documented at each benchmark in both SE and SSE. Extended service providers both paid and “natural” or in-kind are trained with the responsibility of facilitating extended support no later than the achievement of benchmark 5-Job Stability in supported employment and in benchmark 6- SSE Business Stability in supported self-employment.   A SE case must remain “stable” for at least 60 days from the achievement of benchmark 5 to be considered ready for the achievement of benchmark 6, service closure.  A SSE case must be an established business open for at least 138 days for the achievement benchmark 6 -SSE Business Stability and theSSE consumer must continue to run the business for 7 months (258 days cumulatively days) to be considered eligibility for achievement of benchmark 6- SSE Service Completion.      Extended services may include, but are not limited to: ·      consultation with the employer or the consumer business owner for problem areas or training needs (including direct skills training, if necessary); ·      facilitation of natural supports on and off the worksite; ·      facilitation of business related responsibilities necessary to run a small business and ·      other services required by the consumer to maintain employment.   Extended services are provided and/or funded by sources other than DRS, which might include the employer; family, community resources and involve either on-site or off-site monitoring, as requested by the consumer.   Title VI, Part B and/or 110 funding is available statewide to all VR counselors to serve Texans with the most significant disabilities. Services leading to SE have been integrated into the VR service delivery system. To ensure quality of services provided by supported employment specialist (SES) and supported self-employment specialist (SSES), both positions must become credentialed in supported employment from the University of North Texas. SSES must also be certified by The Center for Social Capital as a Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant (CBTAC).   DRS in collaboration with DBS continues to implement the Texas Supported Employment Outcome Based System (TSEOBS) process which includes standardized forms, policy and quality criteria to ensure quality performance by providers. A key component of the (TSEOBS) is the emphasis on making use of the naturally occurring work supports and building those into extended services for the consumer. The payment structure creates financial incentives for the SE Provider to assist the employer to train and supervise their supported employee rather than supplanting with direct training provided by outside job skill trainers. Documentation requirements of the SE Provider identify strategies for using the naturally occurring work or social supports for extended services and ongoing supports through all benchmarks in the system.   The timing of services leading to supported employment and supported self-employment is important to successful outcomes for Texans with disabilities. When developing the IPE for SE, the IPE must specify:   1.            a goal for the number of hours the consumer will work each week; 2.            a list of the employment supports,  including extended supports needs such as natural supports, equipment and training needs at and away from worksite that need to be in place and continue after DRS closes the case; and 3.            the name of the public or private provider of the employment support, including extended support services, or a statement explaining that there is a reasonable expectation that extended services will become available before transition to extended services.    When developing the IPE for SSE the IPE must specify:

  • a goal describing the intent of the approved business plan for the consumer’s business,
  • a list of the specific employment support needs that have been identified, including

    • natural supports, and
    • equipment, tools, software, products, or services related to establishing the business as referenced in the CCSA and Business Plan;

  • the expected extended services needed, including natural supports;
  • the coordination of services provided under other individualized plans for other federal or state programs, and
  • the consumer’s contribution of other resources to help establish and maintain the business.

VR counselors monitor SE and SSE cases closely including evaluating the case for employment stability prior to closure. Cases are closed when the consumer:  

  • has been provided substantial services that have had a discernible impact on the consumer’s employment outcome;
  • has achieved the employment outcome that is consistent with the consumer’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice;
  • is employed or has an established business making a profit at closure;
  • and family member(s), (if applicable) and the VR counselor consider the employment outcome to be satisfactory, are satisfied with the supports, and agree that the consumer is performing well on the job or is able to maintain the established business, maintaining a profit;
  • has substantially met the goal for hours of employment listed on the IPE and SE Service Plan—Part 1 or the Supported Self-Employment Services Plan ;
  • has maintained suitable and “stable” supported employment for a transition period of at least 60 days in SE and the consumer has been running the business for eight weeks (168 days) cumulatively90 SSE; and
  • has maintained the employment outcome for a total of at least 90 days in SE or a SSE consumer has been running the business for 7 months (258 days cumulatively.

  At case closure, or at the conclusion of any time limited post-employment services, the services paid for by the Title VI, Part B and/or 110 funds are terminated.

This screen was last updated on Aug 21 2012 2:10PM by sahanophyj

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 08/21/2012 at 2:12 PM

Last updated by sahanophyj

Completed on 08/21/2012 at 2:12 PM

Completed by sahanophyj

Approved on 08/23/2012 at 4:48 PM

Approved by rsaweste

Published on 09/05/2012 at 11:41 AM

Published by kschelle

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

  • Monitoring Report for Texas - General — as of December 16, 2009
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