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
Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2012 (submitted FY 2011)

1.1 The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative 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 Virginia Department of 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

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

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
James A. Rothrock

Title of Signatory
Commissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/17/2011

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2012
No

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

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.

Recommendation: Develop a plan to ensure that the VR consumer satisfaction survey results are utilized by Field Rehabilitative Services staff for continuous improvement.

Agency Response: On an annual basis, the results of the consumer satisfaction survey are shared with Field Rehabilitative Services (FRS) staff; staff receive statewide results as well as results by each Region. In addition, as previously agreed with the SRC, FRS managers are now receiving a mid-year preliminary summary of consumer input gathered from the open-ended questions of the consumer satisfaction survey. This new procedure is a nice enhancement to the annual report of consumer satisfaction and allows managers to utilize the information in quality improvement.

Recommendation: Develop a “Report Card” to provide VR counselors with information on individual Employment Service Organizations (ESO) services to VR consumers.

Agency Response: The SRC was briefed on the status of the ESO “Report Card” at its May, 2011 meeting. A committee, consisting of DRS staff and ESO partners, has been formed to develop the “Report Card” with a January, 2012 expected completion date.

Recommendation: Continue efforts to support disability-owned businesses through the self-employment enterprise initiative.

Agency Response: DRS has developed a very unique program to support our vocational rehabilitation consumers in their desire to be small business owners. Our Self-Employment Enterprise Coordinator has worked with hundreds of consumers through the years to help them determine the feasibility and viability of their proposed business and to develop and implement a plan leading to success. DRS plans to continue with this program and keep the SRC members apprised of its status.

Recommendation: Continue to expand efforts with Employment Networks and other work incentive initiatives available through the Social Security Administration. Offer opportunities for DRS and ESOs to help people with disabilities become gainfully employed and recoup the costs through other funds.

Agency Response: DRS is working with the Social Security Administration and its contractors MAXIMUS and CESSI to increase the number of Employment Networks (ENs) in Virginia and to promote the use of Partnership Plus along with work incentives by VR counselors. DRS is part of the strategic plan for MAXIMUS to increase the use of Partnership Plus and the Ticket and to increase the number of ENs available in Virginia. To this end, DRS already has participated in four meetings with ENs and potential ENs in Virginia with MAXIMUS. In addition, DRS staff have been actively pursuing Partnership Plus agreements to develop strategies to increase use of this Ticket opportunity.

Recommendation: Support more visible coordination between the vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs in providing services for Virginians with disabilities.

Agency Response: DRS looks forward to continuing to support the efforts of the SRC and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) in determining ways that the VR and independent living programs can have enhanced coordination. A joint SRC/SILC meeting was discussed for last year, but did not occur due to logistical reasons. There seems to be specific interest in better coordination of public hearings and the sharing of public input. DRS will continue working with members of the SRC and SILC to determine the best means to effect a stronger collaboration between these two bodies.

Recommendation: Continue to work to expand outreach to, and meet needs of, people with disabilities who have limited English proficiency (LEP) by addressing recruitment, training, and interpreter/translation services to ensure ability to access VR services. Disseminate information about DRS services to non-traditional sources such as churches to reach individuals from different ethnic backgrounds.

Agency Response: DRS appreciates the continuing interest of the SRC in ensuring effective outreach and services to Virginians with disabilities from different ethnic backgrounds, and those with Limited English Proficiency. DRS has developed a Diversity Team composed of staff from Central Office, WWRC, Field Services, and Disability Determination Services. The Team has created three committees: Services, Outreach and Training. These committees are working to enhance services and outreach to individuals with disabilities who have Limited English Proficiency. A Spanish speaking counselor has been hired in Northern Virginia and she is creating a Hispanic caseload, plus doing outreach to Hispanic organizations in the Northern Virginia region. DRS has had all VR standardized letters and the Individualized Plan for Employment translated into Spanish and put into Word software that allows for these documents to be translated into any foreign language. Language access posters are displayed in all field offices that provide assistance for non-English speaking consumers to identify their native language for the purposes of securing interpreting services, as needed. In the coming year, DRS plans to revise its Agency Services Flyer and have it translated into Spanish.

Recommendation: Proceed with plan to improve transition services by collaborating with other agencies serving youth who are hard to serve (high school dropouts, foster care, and Limited English Proficiency).

Agency Response: DRS will continue with its collaborative efforts with the Department of Education and other partners to improve our transition services. The Limited English Proficiency efforts described above will assist in outreach and service provision to transition-age youth and their families who are from different ethnic backgrounds, and may be limited in their English speaking skills. DRS continues to have some involvement in the Prisoner Re-entry initiatives of Governor McDonnell which also could positively affect transition-age youth.

Recommendation: Continue to provide a broader dissemination of information regarding the role and initiatives of the SRC and the benefits of the VR program to stakeholders and policy makers, including enhancements to the SRC’s website to make it a more useful site for the public.

Agency Response: This past year, the SRC developed an outstanding Annual Report, which provided information on the role and initiatives of the SRC, and again highlighted employers who were recognized by DRS for championing the employment of people with disabilities and VR consumers who reached successful employment outcomes. This report was widely disseminated to stakeholders and State policy makers by the SRC. In addition, the agency will continue to facilitate other efforts of the SRC to inform the Governor and members of the General Assembly about the role of the SRC and the benefits of the VR program. DRS also will work with the SRC to further inform the public and policy makers of the role and initiatives of the SRC. DRS is working collaboratively with the SRC to enhance the SRC website and launched DRS’ new and improved website this past year.

Recommendation: Continue to apprise the SRC regarding DRS’ need to remain in order of selection as we look towards FFY 2012.

Agency Response: DRS will continue to apprise the SRC regarding order of selection. DRS plans to remain in order of selection in FFY 2012. Currently, all four order of selection categories are closed and DRS is working to identify sufficient funding to open one or more categories in the future.

Recommendation: Investigate and publish the return on investment for Virginians with disabilities who become employed after receiving VR services. Policy-maker and stakeholder support for the VR program might be strengthened if DRS could illustrate the return on investment of the program in assisting people with disabilities in becoming employed.

Agency Response: DRS is continuing to work with economists at the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia to develop sound econometric models for assessing return on investment in the VR program. We are currently focusing on developing robust cost-benefit estimates for VR program participants who received supported employment services, including those who have continued to receive long-term employment supports following VR case closure, and are also working on an analysis of transition-age youth. We will be happy to report to the SRC on the results of these analyses.

Recommendation: Develop clear, simple and consistently communicated public educational and information about the VR program. The general public and those who come to DRS for services seem to lack a clear understanding of the VR program, including eligibility requirements and services. While applicable to all age groups, this seems to be particularly true for transition-age youth, their parents and school personnel. Eligibility rules, including the intricacies of functional limitations and the availability of services, are difficult to understand and not always consistently communicated.

Agency Response: DRS is very pleased with its newly revised website that we believe is much more user-friendly and contains helpful information for those interested in finding out about the VR program and current clients. With the assistance of our new Public Relations Manager, DRS looks forward to continuing to revise our outreach materials to ensure that they are easily understandable and clearly communicate the services of the Department. We look forward to any advice and assistance that the SRC may provide.

Recommendation: Continue the collaborative efforts by SRC and DRS to examine ways of increasing public and consumer input regarding VR services, including looking at opportunities to coordinate with other agencies and organizations to receive public input.

Agency Response: Over the past year, the External Affairs Committee of the SRC continued to examine ways to increase public and consumer input for our VR program. DRS looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the SRC, the Statewide Independent Living Council, and other agencies and organizations in enhancing our public input mechanisms.

Recommendation: Develop on-line training for SRC members and provide a session on transition services for the SRC New Member Orientation Program.

Agency Response: San Diego State University has developed an on-line training program regarding the role and responsibilities of a State Rehabilitation Council. SRC members have viewed portions of this program and found it very helpful. DRS will continue to use this on-line training program in SRC New Member Orientation and SRC training retreats. In addition, DRS will revise its SRC New Member Orientation program to include specific information about transition services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 2:23PM by Elizabeth Smith

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2009 10:52AM by savasmith e

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.

In addition to partnerships established and enhanced through development and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) system in Virginia, DRS continues to emphasize the importance and necessity of cooperating with other community partners (federal, state and local agencies and programs) to assist in providing comprehensive and effective services for VR customers. One of the most successful cooperative relationships has been with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services(DBHDS) to provide services to individuals with substance abuse and with serious mental illness. The relationship with DBHDS continues to grow and the data shows the success to our customers brought about by this relationship.

DBHDS, Office of Substance Abuse, has provided DRS with fiscal and personnel resources to support the co-location of vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors in the Community Services Boards (CSBs) since 1988. The resources that are being contributed by DBHDS allow DRS to have dedicated specialty counselors to provide VR services to individuals that experience substance abuse disabilities that also receive treatment services through the CSBs service system. The program expanded in the middle of SFY 2000 from three counselors to twenty-one counselors serving 18 of the forty CSBs. In addition, DRS provides services to individuals with serious mental illness, most of whom are also served by CSBs. There are twelve VR counselors dedicated to serve this specialty population. In addition, DRS staff serve on the statewide Mental Health Planning Council, the Councils’ Adult Services Committee, and work closely with DBHDS on various work groups and initiatives that focus on recovery and the integration of work into the mental health service system. Consultants from both the Office of Substance Abuse and the Office of Mental Health collaborate with DRS in conducting monitoring visits at the dedicated specialty staff sites, provide in-service training opportunities, and regularly share information to promote a common understanding of the strategies and practices to serve individuals with substance abuse and/or serious mental illness.

Since 1998, the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) and DRS have worked together under either a Memorandum of Understanding or more recently grants detailing how DRS offices around the state will accept referrals and serve TANF recipients who have disabilities. These recent grants from DSS have allowed DRS the opportunity to expand current successful programming by providing targeted case service funds which enhances the ability of DRS counselors statewide to assist eligible TANF recipients with disabilities overcome the functional limitations created by disability through the vocational rehabilitation service model. The grants also afford DRS mechanisms which build capacity by enhancing and expanding opportunities to serve increased numbers by placing dedicated VR counselors in four areas of the state with large TANF populations and providing dedicated diagnostic services through WWRC and the DRS Eastern Region. Overseeing the implementation of the grants is a TANF Coordinator who serves as a liaison between DRS Field Offices, local DSS offices, and partner agencies to develop a seamless system for service delivery for TANF recipients with disabilities.

DRS also has established a collaborative relationship with the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to provide funding for interpreter services for consumers accessing services at the Centers for Independent Living. DRS also collaborates with local community colleges in the provision of interpreter services designed to enhance access of VR consumers who are deaf to college resources and services.

In 2007, DRS entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services that will have the two agencies work together to mutually enhance their services to Virginians with disabilities.

The Commonwealth of Virginia (Section 2.2-1117 of the Code of Virginia) has a state use contracting program for services, articles and commodities performed or produced by persons, or in schools or workshops, under the supervision of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. In addition, Section 2.2-1118 of the Code allows for the purchase of items or services from Employment Service Organizations without competitive procurement with certain requirements.

This screen was last updated on Jul 27 2009 10:26AM by Elizabeth Smith

  • 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.

DRS and the Department of Education (DOE) have a formal agreement to provide cooperation and coordination among DRS and DOE to facilitate effective transition services for students with disabilities and to engage in gainful employment, post-secondary education, and community living. The cooperative agreement contains the following provisions:

-DOE is designated as the lead agency to ensure that students with disabilities are properly referred to DRS and DRS will serve as the lead agency to determine eligibility for DRS services and to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment. Both agencies agree: to promote the development and expansion of collaborative structures for planning and evaluating transition services; identify procedures for sharing student information within the local cooperative agreements; share relevant data; share contact information on school divisions’ special education directors and 504 coordinators; explore new opportunities for collaboration and seek additional resources to improve transition services. Each agency will assign or designate primary program responsibility for transition to one individual within the agency.

-The agencies will promote a comprehensive personnel development approach through the provision of collaboratively planned and jointly sponsored training opportunities. DOE has the responsibility for ensuring the requirements for the provision of special education services by Local Education Agencies (LEA) to students with disabilities in accordance with federal and state laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines.

-DOE shall commit financial resources to: (1) teaching positions for Occupational Skills Training and Life Skills at WWRC; (2) training and technical assistance in secondary transition programming; (3) activities of the Community of Practice and Transition Practitioners Council; and (4) the annual Virginia Transition Forum.

-DRS is responsible for the coordination, provision, and/or payment of rehabilitative/transition goods and services for individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines.

-DRS also commits financial resources to: (1) transition services for youth at least three years prior to their exit from high school to include: vocational evaluation, case management, career counseling, situational assessments, field transition consultant services, and technical assistance, as appropriate; (2) the Post Secondary Education Rehabilitation and Transition Program at WWRC; (3) activities of the Community of Practice and Transition Practitioners’ Council; and (4) the Virginia Transition Forum.

DRS also has formal cooperative agreements in place with each of the LEAs in Virginia to provide cooperation and coordination among the local school division and any specified adult service agencies to facilitate effective transition services for students with disabilities and to engage in gainful employment, post-secondary education and community living. The coordination effort includes the identification of agency services provided by all participating parties and the development of practices to avoid duplication of transition services and strengthen the provision of a continuum of transition services.

The cooperative agreements contain the following provisions:

-The LEA serves as the lead agency to insure that students with disabilities are properly referred to the local DRS office. The local DRS office serves as the lead agency to determine eligibility for DRS services and to develop and individualized plan for employment.

-Standards of eligibility for the LEA and DRS, and the requirement that following eligibility, DRS will develop an individualized plan for employment that is coordinated with the student’s IEP goals and objectives, or the student’s 504 plan prior to the student’s completion of high school. DRS’ financial participation policy determines the level of financial support, if any, that DRS will provide under an individualized plan for employment.

-Planned activities to include collaboration in providing vocational evaluation and transition planning services at WWRC thru PERT; transportation by LEAs for students to participate in PERT; and collaboration in the establishment, operation and maintenance of a local intercommunity transition council.

-The school division is responsible for implementing regulatory requirements for the provision of educational services to students with disabilities in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines. LEAs are responsible for coordinating transportation to and from WWRC for transition assessments. DRS is responsible for the coordination, provision, and/or payment of rehabilitative/transition goods and services for eligible individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines.

As a separate section of the cooperative agreement, each LEA and DRS specify planned activities, resources needed to implement them, planned results and how the outcomes will be measured. This allows for more effective planning at the local level on outreach and other collaborative activities.

DRS also continues to provide leadership in transition in collaboration with the DOE, and other state and local agencies, organizations and individuals. Specific activities related to outreach to address needs of students in transition include:

-Continuing to provide staff support and programmatic leadership to Virginia's Intercommunity Transition Council (VITC), a statewide council composed of representatives of state agencies, parents, consumers and employers, and seeking to promote, in collaboration with VITC, participation of underrepresented agencies, service providers, and community/ advocacy groups in VITC.

-Continuing to provide staff support and programmatic leadership to the Higher Education Leadership Partners Workgroup (composed of college and university faculty and staff, the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), the Association of Higher Education and Disability, consumers and disability agency personnel, secondary education personnel and representatives from DOE). Also, in collaboration with VITC, DOE, the State Council of Higher Education, the Association of Higher Education and Disability and other partners, developing statewide guidelines for Disability Documentation at the post-secondary level, as well as improvement of transition from secondary to post-secondary institutions.

-Continuing to promote collaboration among DOE, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Virginia Assistive Technology System, the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, and other interested partners to increase the appropriate utilization of assistive technology for students with disabilities in Virginia.

-Aligning all current and future transition activities, when appropriate, with the WIA system.

-Continuing to collaborate with Adult Education and Literacy programs, DOE, the Department of Social Services and other partners in pursuing creative models of providing assessment and screening for learning disabilities among clients of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.

-Continuing to coordinate Virginia's annual Transition Forum, a statewide training conference that is planned and sponsored in collaboration with DOE and related professional associations, and promoting and implementing regional school counselor meetings.

-Producing transition-related products (e.g., newsletters, brochures, power point presentations, and posters) with examples of current legislative information, best practices and problem solving.

-Collaborating with staff of the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Program at DRS to increase awareness of PAS services for students in transition, especially in postsecondary institutions.

-Collaborating with employment services organizations staff to increase awareness of local vendor programs that could provide services to schools and transition age youth.

-Collaborating with DOE to utilize VITC, the Transition Forum and other venues to increase awareness and understanding of the Youth Councils that will be part of the local Workforce Investment Boards established under the WIA system. Encouraging disability professionals, consumers and advocacy groups to submit applications for appointment to the local Youth Councils.

-Continuing to provide the Youth in Transition service line to supplement and enhance services to high school youth enrolled at WWRC.

-Continuing the two-year training institute at WWRC that offers workshops designed to enhance staff skills in providing services to students with disabilities and youth in transition.

DRS’ policies require that for students with disabilities who i) are receiving special education services from a public school, and ii) also are determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services (and able to be served if DRS is on an order of selection), the Individualized Plan for Employment shall be completed and signed before the student leaves the school setting.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2010 3:47PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

Private non-profit VR service providers apply to become DRS service providers. Applicants’ qualifications are evaluated based on services to be offered and criteria in the standard vendor agreement. DRS and each qualified Employment Service Organization (ESO) establish a written vendor agreement. Updated annually, this agreement provides assurances to DRS that each organization complies with federal and state requirements for a community rehabilitation program. By clearly defining roles, expectations, and evaluation criteria, it protects the agency, the service provider, and customers.

Other mechanisms to cooperate with private non-profit VR services providers include:

•Receiving and utilizing stakeholder input from the Employment Services Organizations (ESO) Advisory Committee that provides the DRS Commissioner counsel on funding and policy issues related to community rehabilitation programs.

•Receiving and utilizing stakeholder input from the Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) Steering Committee that recommends to the DRS Commissioner a mechanism to allocate LTESS state funds to ESOs.

•Fostering close working relations between DRS staff and ESOs.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2009 2:00PM by savasmith e

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.

Private non-profit VR service providers apply to become DRS service providers. Applicants’ qualifications are evaluated based on services to be offered and criteria in the standard vendor agreement. DRS and each qualified Employment Service Organization (ESO) establish a written vendor agreement. Updated annually, this agreement provides assurances to DRS that each organization complies with federal and state requirements for a community rehabilitation program. By clearly defining roles, expectations, and evaluation criteria, it protects the agency, the service provider, and customers.

Other mechanisms to cooperate with private non-profit VR services providers include:

•Receiving and utilizing stakeholder input from the Employment Services Organizations (ESO) Advisory Committee that provides the DRS Commissioner counsel on funding and policy issues related to community rehabilitation programs.

•Receiving and utilizing stakeholder input from the Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) Steering Committee that recommends to the DRS Commissioner a mechanism to allocate LTESS state funds to ESOs.

•Fostering close working relations between DRS staff and ESOs.

Efforts to Identify and Make Arrangements with Other State Agencies and Entities for Supported Employment and Extended Services for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities:

-DRS continues to provided additional state funds to ESOs to increase the availability of extended services and reduce barriers to offering integrated, community-based employment options for persons with most severe disabilities after the DRS time limited services are completed. A total of $5,005,907 in extended services will be available through the Virginia Legislature to Employment Services Organizations through DRS under the Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) program in FY 2010.

-Conducting regional meetings designed to directly enhance the quality of supported employment services to consumers with the most significant disabilities. These sessions, to be conducted through collaboration with the agency's Supported Employment Coordinator and LTESS Coordinator, will address increasing supported employment options and consumer choice for meeting physical, behavioral, medical, and overall rehabilitation needs; and accessing and expanding placement resources.

-Continuing to provide technical assistance in the maintenance of ESOs meeting CARF, the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission standards. DRS establishes and maintains written minimum standards for the ESOs used by the agency in providing VR services. The 1999 decision by DRS to require CARF standards in Virginia, include requirements regarding accessibility, physical plants, equipment, and health and safety for ESOs. In addition, the standards cover specific service delivery expectations for each approved program of service, general organizational standards, wages, hours, and working conditions. The decision to seek national standards also emphasizes integrated community employment and quality program outcomes.

-Ensuring consistently high quality services for individuals with most severe disabilities by encouraging and facilitating the use of the agency's Virginia Guide to Supported Employment and Job Coach Training.

-DRS, working closely with the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports and Job Retention, identified the need for training job coaches in basics responsibilities that would be reasonable in terms of time away from the job. VCU responded with the following:

*Supported Employment Web-based Certificate Series (ACRE- certified)

*Supported Competitive Employment for Individuals with Mental Illness (ACRE-certified)

*Customized Employment

-Promoting an active network of inter-agency and inter-organizational professionals working with mutual supported employment consumers, with an emphasis on increasing linkages with rehabilitation engineering and technology experts and enhancing current linkages with employers, consumers, the education community and family members.

-Continuing with the statewide inventory of ESOs as a tool to maximize the use of ESOs in the Commonwealth. The completed inventory provides:

(1)A list of ESOs and available services.

(2)A description of the utilization potential and patterns of each organization.

(3)ESOs determination of local intentions to support new, expanded or modified rehabilitation services and facilities.

Continuing to obtain stakeholder insights and assistance through the ESO Advisory Committee. The committee represents a cross-section of stakeholders. Committee members include individuals with disabilities, representatives of ESOs, representatives of the Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs and Virginia Association for Persons in Supported Employment, DRS staff, and representatives of other state agencies. The committee meets quarterly to:

(1)Provide ideas and recommendations regarding program changes and procedures.

(2)Identify and address special regional needs, unique needs of rural, suburban and urban communities, and needs of different populations of individuals with disabilities.

(3)Provide information to the department and help develop priorities and initiatives.

(4)Help the department develop and analyze statewide studies, such as the statewide needs assessment and inventory of ESOs.

Maximizing employment opportunities under the federal Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) Act, especially for individuals with most severe disabilities. JWOD contracts provide a wide variety of quality employment options to many Virginians employed by ESOs. In 2007 (the latest statistics available), Virginia ESOs provided jobs under these federal contracts to more than 2,368 individuals with severe disabilities, ranking fourth in the nation. That same year, Virginia ranked fourth nationally in total wages paid ($28,480,494) and fifth nationally in total sales (over $114 million). Other planned activities in this arena include:

(1)Sharing information about employment opportunities to increase client placements.

(2)Collaborating with (NISH) staff to help ESOs secure federal services and commodities contracts through meetings, conferences and inviting NISH participation on the agency’s ESO Advisory Committee.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2009 1:50PM by savasmith e

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

To determine agency personnel needs, DRS will assess:

•The number and types of personnel providing VR services to agency customers in relation to the number of customers served;

•The number and type of personnel currently needed by the agency to provide VR services; and

•Projections of the number and type of personnel who will be needed by the agency to provide VR services in Virginia in five years based on projections of the number of customers to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and assessment of the job functions of personnel.

The chart below shows the number of personnel who were employed by the agency in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services in relation to the number of individuals to be served. The personnel are as of March 31, 2011 in relation to the anticipated number of individuals to be served during FFY 2012.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 179 2 24
2 Program Support 87 1 32
3 Field Directors/Managers 23 0 9
4 Placement Counselors 24 0 5
5 Vocational Evaluators 18 0 2
6 Other Service Staff 27 0 7
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

Every year, DRS collects information from state institutions of higher education on the number of students enrolled in vocational rehabilitation programs and the number of students graduating with vocational rehabilitation certification or licensure. This information helps DRS anticipate and plan for short- and long-term personnel shortages.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is the university located in Richmond, Virginia that has an accredited program to prepare vocational rehabilitation professionals. In the 2009-2010 academic years, VCU graduated 34 students from the Rehabilitation Counseling M.S. program; all of those students were CRC eligible. VCU also graduated two students from the Post-Masters Certification in Professional Counseling program; each graduate was either CRC eligible or eligible to pursue the Licensed Professional Counselor credential. Currently, VCU has 138 students majoring in the Rehabilitation Counseling M.S. program and 22 students in the Post-Masters Certification in Professional Counseling program. The significant increase in student enrollments at VCU is due to the results of recruitment to fulfill objectives of the new RSA CSPD Grant for VCU, which was awarded beginning July 1, 2008.

DRS will continue to work with this institution to attract their graduates to the agency to fill needed counselor vacancies as they occur.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Virginia Commonwealth University 160 74 8 34
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

The agency cooperates with Virginia colleges and universities and higher education institutions in other states to place student interns in vocational rehabilitation counselor, vocational evaluator, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, nursing and other appropriate professional positions. DRS offers paid internships to graduate students when possible. We are able to provide unpaid practicum and internship placements as well. In 2010, sixteen internships were initiated, with thirteen concluding during that same year. Of the thirteen, two graduates secured full-time rehabilitation counselor positions within DRS. Two other graduates returned to the agency in part-time capacities, helping to fill vacancies where budget shortages precluded hiring full-time counselors. Internship requests continue to come in on a regular basis from schools including Norfolk State University, George Washington University, University of Maryland, West Virginia University and Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, occasional requests for internship opportunities are received from schools outside of Virginia, including Western Oregon State, Auburn State University, and Pennsylvania State University. The agency is committed to continuing formal and informal internship programs as a workforce planning tool in an effort to attract and retain qualified professionals. Discussions are underway to consider expanding the Internship Program to allow for additional paid internship opportunities in the coming year.

DRS continues to work closely with the Virginia Commonwealth University Internship Coordinator to coordinate placements within the public vocational rehabilitation system wherever possible. DRS visited West Virginia University in March, 2011 to participate in a student intern seminar/career fair to recruit rehabilitation counseling graduate students to Virginia.

In 2010, VCU received a new RSA Distance Learning Training Grant to provide RSA traineeships to highly skilled sign language users who wish to become rehabilitation counselors working for state vocational rehabilitation agencies specializing in work with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind. Recruitment is in progress for the August, 2011 semester. The DRS State Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is working with VCU to develop this new program and currently serves on the advisory committee.

The Comprehensive Personnel Plan and agency recruitment and selection policies assure that all newly recruited staff meet minimum state requirements. Information from the personnel study also is used to refine job classifications, job descriptions, and performance standards. The management of the Field Rehabilitation Services Division will annually review newly refined performance standards to determine if they continue to meet requirements and needs, and will recommend revisions as appropriate.

 

The personnel standard that DRS uses to comply with the qualified personnel requirement of the Rehabilitation Act is the educational requirements of the national CRCC or the actual CRC or CVE certifications. DRS’ program ensures that all VR counselors, vocational evaluators, and VR managers will meet the qualified rehabilitation provider standard by 2008. Currently, all of the agency’s counselor and vocational evaluator positions meet the requirement. At this time, no agency funds are committed to support CSPD coursework. However, funding continues to be available to support the CRC application and examination for those staff who choose to pursue this credential.

Human Resources screening procedures for vacant VR counselor positions allow only applicants with a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation, CRC/CVE certified, or otherwise eligible for CRC examination, to be screened in for an interview.

 

DRS has an exceptional process for assessing the developmental needs of its personnel. Every three years, DRS administers a personnel development needs survey, which is updated annually. The survey allows staff to provide important input into the development of training programs that will enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities. Results of the survey also are utilized to modify current training programs to ensure that they are relevant to the needs of staff.

Through the Rehabilitation Services Administration In-Service Training Grant, DRS continues to provide a comprehensive in-service training program for VR staff. The training programs contained in DRS’ grant application were identified from the needs survey, information from the VR consumer satisfaction survey, and discussions with agency management and the State Rehabilitation Council. DRS will utilize the In-Service Training Grant funds for the following training activities: counseling and negotiation skills, leadership development, assistive technology, caseload management, job development and placement, transition services for youth with disabilities, and training in serving hard-to-serve or specialized disability populations, to include Autism Spectrum Disorder, substance abuse, serious mental illness and individuals with criminal backgrounds.

In addition, all newly hired VR counselors are required to participate in New Counselor Skills Training, which teaches them the VR process, from referral to case closure, and the availability of other services and supports to support consumers in their rehabilitation plans. During the new counselors first few years on the job, they also are required to participate in individual training modules on caseload management, documentation, a tour and orientation to the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, assistive technology and job development/job placement.

Through participation in the Transition Forum and the Collaborations Conference, both of which are supported by DRS, VR staff have the opportunity to receive significant knowledge about the latest research and trends in VR. DRS has a strong collaborative relationship with the Virginia Commonwealth University CRP, Rehabilitation Counseling Department, and the GWU TACE Program affording our staff training on current rehabilitation trends and topics. Experts in the rehabilitation and disability fields are utilized to provide training activities so that VR staff are exposed to recent research and best practices in rehabilitation.

Training opportunities through professional associations including Virginia Rehabilitation Association and Virginia Rehabilitation Counselor Association, and Virginia ACCSES (CRP professional association) are also open to VR staff with support through In-Service Training Grant funds.

 

DRS continues to address the communication needs of customers by having counselors who specialize in caseloads serving individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing and has other employees who can communicate in sign language. There are ten “dedicated” Regional Counselors for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing across the State. In addition, sign language and foreign language interpreters and translators are contracted as needed for employees and consumers in need of these services and counselors use other resources, including assistive technology, to communicate with consumers with special needs. All VR forms used by the public have been translated into Spanish and posted on the Internet for public use.

DRS has cooperative agreements with the Virginia Community College System and the four year colleges and universities which outline the reimbursement process for interpreters and CART services for consumers who are enrolled at these institutions of higher education and have an Individualized Plan for Employment with DRS. There are videophones located in each office of the Regional Counselors for the Deaf, State Coordinator for the Deaf, and in the Special Population Services Unit at WWRC. This allows staff and consumers to access Video Relay Services and for consumers to call in “point to point” to discuss their services with counselors. The agency works with community partners (Workforce Development Centers, Community Services Boards, the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Local Deaf Service Centers) to pilot software to enhance telecommunications and accommodation needs of staff via text and video services.

DRS has developed and implemented plans to enhance outreach and services to individuals with disabilities from different ethnic backgrounds, including those with Limited English Proficiency. The DRS Diversity Team develops and implements staff training and outreach plans to address the unique service needs of this population, particularly as it relates to interpreting and translation services. In addition, DRS has a Spanish speaking Counselor in Northern Virginia who has a caseload predominantly of Spanish speaking consumers.

 

The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) is the state agency responsible for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. DRS and DOE currently collaborate on many in-service and pre-service training activities, including annual joint training forums for educational and rehabilitation professionals. DRS will continue to collaborate with DOE on respective policies, eligibility criteria, information requirements, agency programs and services, the coordination of transition services, and the development of cooperative agreements, working relationships, and best practices in the provisions of services to students with disabilities.

One of the most important collaborative activities between DRS, DOE, and other state agencies and organizations is the Virginia Transition Forum. This annual conference, which will be in 27th year in 2012, brings together DRS counselors, school personnel, consumers, family members and community partners to discuss issues related to transitioning students and promote best practices in working with these individuals. The Transition and Education Services Unit of DRS provides staff to co-chair the Forum Planning Committee and funding support. Other agency staff serve on the various Forum committees to ensure relevant programs for DRS counselors who work with transition aged consumers and networking opportunities. The 2011 Conference was held in Norfolk and the theme was “Taking Steps to Person-Centered Thinking: Ask…Listen…Respect…Commit. Over 1000 people attended the Forum; youth and families were prominently represented. The “I’m Determined Youth Summit” sent 25 youth leaders. Lynnae Ruttledge, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, provided the keynote address, expressing her support of transition services and commending Virginia on its progressive work in transition.

A successful two-part preconference session entitled “Work Incentives and SSI/SSDI: Making It All Work to Go to Work!” was held as a part of the Forum. Over 50 participants attended each day including:

•Parents/guardians of transitioning students who may receive SSI/SSDI and want to work

•Project SEARCH participants who may receive SSI/SSDI, family members, and staff

•Agency professionals working with SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who want to work

•Education professionals specializing in school-to-work transition

The sessions involved a discussion of the concerns relating to loss of benefits, common myths, and ways we can better communicate the variety of work incentives available to SSI/SSDI beneficiaries.

DRS continues to be a stakeholder in the review of data that DOE collects to report the Office on Special Education Programs (OSEP) to support and accomplish respective post school and employment outcomes required by the federal government and to provide meaningful data collection by each agency.

DRS and DOE have joined to replicate several Project SEARCH sites. Eight sites are currently active and four more are in the development stage.

Additional DRS and DOE collaborative activities include co-chairing the Virginia Interagency Transition Council (VITC) and the Virginia Transition Practitioners Council (TPC). The VITC is comprised of representatives from 14 state agencies who have leadership roles and transition as part of their responsibility in serving youth with disabilities. The Council works to stay abreast of current transition information and to identify gaps and avoid duplication of services within transition services. Through an annual report, VITC keeps government officials apprised of transition progress, needs and barriers to service and develops Fact Sheets to be used by potential consumers and community partners addressing many areas of transition. The TPC consists of DRS counselors, special educators and other transition practitioners, and conducts training and facilitates workgroups to plan, develop and implement practices at the local level. Both of the Councils are now referred to as Communities of Practice on Transition. Virginia DRS and DOE also have a strong presence on the National Community of Practice on Transition.

The Virginia DRS Transition Services Guide, a Roadmap to Successful Employment for Virginia’s Youth is in its second edition. The book provides essential information for students, families and school personnel.

The Transition and Education Services Unit works with the Higher Education Leadership Partners (HELP) to develop products to enhance the services provided to students with disabilities at colleges and universities. HELP is looking at bringing k-12 representatives, Disability Support Counselors and DRS counselors together to share information to assist with documentation needs and to look at the functional limitations and strengths of students moving to higher education. This focus will decrease the exponential cost of documentation and provide solid information to assist in retention for students with disabilities.

In addition, the Transition and Education Services Unit continues its involvement with the Virginia Association of Financial Aid Advisers to share information about DRS and enhance working relationships between VR counselors and the financial aid offices. Training will continue to be provided to counselors on the use of our comparable benefits form and to financial aid officers to encourage the use of this form in its electronic format. By continuing to provide this training, we will recognize a savings in our college support expenditures by following policy and ascertaining what institutions provide the best services to our consumers to reach their ultimate employment goals.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 2:39PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

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

The Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) is conducting a full comprehensive statewide needs assessment (CSNA) of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities. To fulfill this task, DRS utilized the Rehabilitation Services Administration Model CSNA Guide for guidance. DRS and the State Rehabilitation Council are partnering to conduct the CSNA. In addition, DRS is partnering with the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI). The goal is share information, and in some instances, resources to ensure quality CSNA products for both agencies. In order for this partnership to occur, DRS is conducting its CSNA over a two-year period of time, as DBVI already had completed Year One of their CSNA. In this way, the two VR agencies will be fully in-synch for the next three year CSNA process.

The DRS CSNA is both a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities. Specifically, DRS and the SRC are focusing on determining the needs of (1) individuals with most significant disabilities, including their needs for supported employment services; (2) individuals who are minorities, including individuals who been unserved or underserved; and (3) individuals who are served through other components of Virginia’s statewide workforce development system. DRS also will assess the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs (Employment Service Organizations) that potentially serve individuals with disabilities.

CSNA Work Plan

DRS and the SRC have developed a two-year work plan which breaks down discrete assessment activities including: (1) formation of a CSNA Steering Committee, composed of DRS staff and members of the SRC, to assist in developing, implementing, and analyzing the CSNA and making recommendations; (2) development of data and information collection strategies; and (3) determination of CSNA timeframes. The entire needs assessment is being conducted over a two-year period.

Year One- 2011

2011 activities included a comprehensive review of external data that was gathered from national and state sources. Sources of national-level disability statistics included the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). One source of state-level data was the needs assessments conducted and published by the Disability Services Boards in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Also during Year One, a survey of DRS employees, employees from the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, and stakeholders was conducted to assess their perspective on unserved and underserved populations and geographic regions, barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities, and VR service provision. Stakeholder groups included, but were not limited to, Employment Service Organizations, Centers for Independent Living, representatives from Virginia’s workforce system, the SRC, and representatives of unserved and underserved populations.

DRS also held four public hearings throughout the year to receive stakeholder and consumer input; one of these public hearings was held at the 2011 Transition Forum in collaboration with DBVI.

Summary of Year One Review

American Community Survey Results

Information from the ACS shows that out of a population of 4.8 million it is estimated that 440,575 Virginians or 9% have at least one disabling condition identified. The disability rate for males was only slightly higher at 9.16% versus 8.89% for females. The majority or 70% are of the white race. African Americans or Blacks at 23.6%, and Asian at 2.26%. A small percentage (2.38%) identify with two or more races. Only .6% identify as American Indian or Alaskan native. In addition to race, 3.69% are of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.

Among disability groups, those with hearing difficulties comprise 1.8% of the state’s total population between the ages of 18-64 and 20.23% of those with disabilities in this same age group. Persons with visual difficulties make up 1.4% of the population and 15.21 % of those with disabilities. Those with cognitive difficulties comprise 3.6% of the state’s overall population and 39.35% of those with disabilities. Persons with ambulatory difficulties comprise 4.7% of the total population and 51.74% of Virginians with disabilities. Those with difficulties in independent living comprise 2.9% of the population and a little over 32% of those with disabilities. 17.27% have a self-care difficulty. These percentages add up to more than 100% because 43.04% report having two or more disabilities and are counted in multiple groups.

The employment rate for all disabled persons 18 to 64 years of age in Virginia in 2009 was 38.26% compared to the 76.7% of people without disabilities. The employment gap, which is the difference between the employment rate of persons without disabilities and those with disabilities, decreased by 5% from 2008 to 2009. Twenty-three percent of all persons with disabilities are employed full time year round compared to 55.7% of persons without disabilities, making the full time employment gap 32.6%. Within the disability groups identified by the ACS, 55.7% of those with hearing disabilities, 43.3% with vision disabilities, 27.2% with cognitive disabilities, 28.3% with ambulatory disabilities, 18.7% with self-care disabilities, and 17.9% with independent living disabilities are employed.

Out of 440,575 Virginias with disabilities, 90,090 (20.4%) are estimated to have incomes below the poverty level. This is compared to 8.8% of Virginians without disabilities. Although the poverty gap from 2008 to 2009 has lessened by 2.8%, Virginia’s poverty gap ranks 43 compared to other states and the District of Columbia. . Among persons with disabilities whose income is below the poverty level, 20.42% have hearing difficulties, 20.48% have vision difficulties, 41.12% have cognitive difficulties, 63.02% have ambulatory difficulties, 22.73% have self-care difficulties, and 43.01% have independent living difficulties. These percentages of persons with disabilities who have income below the poverty level exceed 100% because some individuals have 2 or more disabilities and are counted in multiple groups.

The ACS also provided statistics on the earnings of individuals with and without disabilities. The earnings are defined as regularly received income from salaries, wages, and self-employment before any deductions are taken out. The age group used for this calculated statistic is 16 and over. The median earnings for persons with disabilities are $21,697 compared to $32,319 earned by persons without disabilities. This results in a difference of $10,622 in median income.

The ACS estimated that out of 716,578 civilian veterans, 135,563 (18.9%) have disabilities. Compared to the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, Virginia has the lowest estimated percentage of civilian veterans with disabilities.

It is estimated that 83.5% of Virginians with disabilities have health insurance compared to 84.1% of persons without disabilities. Among persons with disabilities who have health insurance, 53.9% have private insurance and 43.1% have health insurance from public sources. Some individuals have insurance from both public and private sources.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Results

The BRFSS is a state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. More than 350,000 adults are interviewed each year, making the BRFSS the largest telephone health survey in the world. States use BRFSS data to identify emerging health problems, establish and track health objectives, and develop and evaluate public health policies and programs. Many states also use BRFSS data to support health-related legislative efforts.

Prevalence of disability (based on whether one’s activity is limited) is between 15-18% in Virginia. This compares to 9% prevalence in the ACS. The ACS is somewhat more restrictive in its definition of disability as it requires an impediment to employment.

Eighteen percent of Virginians translates in to 1.2 million Virginians and the prevalence has remained stable since 2001 with slight increase in 2008. In addition, the survey results show that 7% of the respondents stated they had a health condition that required the use of special equipment. This closely matches the ACS and percentage has been increasing since 2001.

Adults with and without disabilities were compared on health status and health behaviors based on findings from the Virginia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (VABRFSS), an annual, statewide random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone adult health behavior survey. The most current health status data on a statewide basis is only available as of 2006. Approximately 5,500 adults participated in the survey each year. About 18% of the sample (~ 1.1 million adults in Virginia in 2006) report having a disability (responding “Yes” to “Are you limited in any way in any activities because of physical, mental, or emotional problems?”). Key findings are listed below for Virginia

•One-in-four (26.1%) adults with a disability use special equipment (e.g., wheelchair, walker).

•Disability is equally prevalent among men and women, whites, blacks and Hispanics.

•Disability is more common among older adults (29.7% of adults 65 and older) and military veterans (21.8%).

•Adults with disabilities tend to have lower incomes and fewer years of education. 20.4% of adults with disabilities are unable to work (compared to 0.9% of adults with no disabilities).

•Although adults with disabilities tend to have health insurance coverage and a usual source of care (i.e., primary care provider) at similar rates as adults with no disability, 20.5% report difficulty in accessing healthcare when needed due to cost (compared to 9.1% of adults with no disabilities).

•38.5% adults with disabilities rate their health “fair” or “poor”. They report having more days in the past month when their physical health (~ 10 days) and mental health (6.1 days) was not good or when their health prevented them from doing their usual activities (6.9 days).

•16.9% of adults with disabilities experience current symptoms of major depression – 3-1/2 times the rate for adults with no disability (4.8%).

•24.7% of adults with disabilities smoke cigarettes, 34.6% are obese, 34.9% are overweight, and 36.6% are not physically active.

•Related to the above-mentioned risk factors, 62.6% of adults with disabilities have arthritis, 14.1% have diabetes, 16% have current asthma, 45.6% have high blood pressure, and 48.8% have high cholesterol. In addition, they are four times (14.4%) more likely to have had a previous cardiovascular event (i.e., heart attack, stroke).

•47.9% of adults with disabilities have no dental health insurance, and 23.7% have not visited their dentist for routine teeth cleaning. As a consequence, 58.5% report permanent tooth loss.

•Adults with disabilities, particularly young adults and women, were more likely to be victims of sexual (16.2%) and non-sexual violence (36.7%).

•11.2% of adults with disabilities suffered a fall with injury in the past three months.

•Adults with disabilities are more likely to get their flu and pneumonia vaccinations. They are less likely to consume alcohol.

•With the exception of mammography, adults with disabilities are screened for preventable cancers at similar rates as adults with no disabilities.

Current Population Survey (CPS)

The CPS is a monthly survey of households conducted by the Bureau of Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It provides a comprehensive body of data on the labor force, employment, unemployment, persons not in the labor force, hours of work, earnings and other demographic and labor force characteristics. In June 2008, questions were added to the CPS to identify persons with a disability in the civilian non-institutional population age 16 and older. The addition of these questions allowed BLS to begin releasing monthly labor force data from the CPS for persons with a disability. As of March 2011, the unemployment rate of persons with a disability in the United States was 15.6% compared to 8.9% unemployment among those with no disability.

Disability Services Boards (DSB) Needs Assessments

As provided for in the Code of Virginia, every city and county in Virginia, either singly or in combination with others, was required to have a local DSB. One of the purposes of the DSBs was to provide information on the service needs and priorities of individuals with physical and sensory disabilities that resided within their identified geographical areas. Therefore, each DSB was required to conduct its own needs assessment. Although discontinued funding of the DSBs by the 2009 Virginia General Assembly removed this needs assessment requirement, several DSBs elected to complete an assessment that had already been initiated. For the purposes of the CSNA, DRS reviewed the DSB Needs Assessment Reports from South Hampton Roads, Fauquier County, Jefferson Area, Middle Peninsula, Chesterfield County, and Arlington County. The needs varied by region, but include: housing, transportation, employment opportunities, medical/therapeutic services, independent living, assistive technology, and personal care assistance.

Staff Survey

In Year One, preliminary results were compiled from the survey conducted with DRS and WWRC staff. There were 282 respondents with general caseload counselors making up 25.5% of the responses. Result of the services that lead to successful outcome question showed that all of DRS’ VR services are integral, but guidance and counseling and job placement received the highest ranking. For barriers to success, staff responded that the predominant issues are lack of jobs, transportation and consumer’s lack of skills. Groups that emerged as both underserved and unserved were those with criminal background, Hispanics and veterans. The geographic areas of Rockingham and Page Counties emerged as areas of service needs and a majority of the respondents believed that there was a need to enhance and expand Employment Service Organizations.

Year Two – 2012

The focus in 2012 will be completing the analysis from results of the DRS/WWRC employee survey and the stakeholder survey to help define issues, goals and strategies related to the needs of the eligible consumers. DRS also will consider conducting focus groups and/or key informant interviews to gather input from the SRC, business, service providers, consumer advocacy groups, and other state agencies who partner with DRS in services to our mutual consumers. DRS also will review existing consumer satisfaction surveys and current and historical VR data to look at trends and issues.

Finally, DRS will analyze findings from data collected. The primary goal will be writing the CSNA report incorporating the analysis of findings, developing and prioritizing recommendations with the assistance of the SRC, and using those priorities to form the DRS State Plan goals, priorities and strategies.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:01PM by Elizabeth Smith

The American Community Survey estimates that in Calendar Year 2010, 10.9% of the 7.8 million Virginians age 16-64 were disabled. The rate of disability has remained relatively constant in Virginia from 2005-2010, averaging around 11% each year. In FFY 2012, DRS expects to serve 15,449Virginians with disabilities with funds provided under Part B of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and about 1807under Part B of Title VI of the Act.

DRS will continue in order of selection in FFY 2012. The following chart shows the estimated number of consumers to be served under each priority category and the service costs for each priority category. The estimated number to be served is all clients receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Most Significantly Disabled Title VI $504,560 1,807 $279
Most Significantly Disabled Title I $14,416,000 11656 $1,236
Significantly Disabled-2 Serious Limitations Title I $1,088,000 2623 $414
Significantly Disabled-1 Serious Limitation Title I $416,000 1100 $378
Non-Significantly Disabled Title I $80,000 70 $1,142
Totals   $16,504,560 17,256 $956

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:06PM by Elizabeth Smith

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 following goals and priorities were jointly developed and agreed to by the Department of Rehabilitative Services and the State Rehabilitation Council. The strategies to achieve these goals are found in Attachment 4.11(d).

Goal 1: Virginians with disabilities will achieve quality employment through consumer-focused, timely and effective VR services.

Indicators:

1.1: 4000 VR consumers will achieve a successful employment outcome.

1.2: 56% or more VR consumers will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.

1.3: The average hourly earnings of our consumers will equal or exceed $9.75.

1.4: 95% of consumers who achieve successful employment upon completion of their VR programs will be competitively employed.

1.5: The VR consumer satisfaction rate will equal or exceed 82%.

1.6: Annually, there will be case audits totaling 100 caseloads with 10 cases per counselor audited.

1.7 In 85% or more of the cases, consumer eligibility will be determined within 60 calendar days of application.

1.8: If eligibility cannot be determined within 60 calendar days, the consumer will be appropriately notified of the in 100% of the cases.

1.9 In 85% or more of the cases (those in which consumers who are not transition age), the Employment Plan will be developed within 90 days of eligibility.

Goal 2: FRS, WWRC, and our service providers will be accountable for the achievement of employment by our consumers and the effective use of resources.

Indicators:

2.1: Annual number of VR consumers served will be 24,000 or greater.

2.2:Training and case review processes will be implemented to ensure that consumers are placed in integrated settings leading to a successful employment outcome.

2.3: Client average daily census at WWRC will be 300 or greater.

2.4: 3,000 or more cases will be served annually at WWRC.

2.5: 62% of VR consumers receiving services at WWRC will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.

2.6: The Employment Services Organization (ESO) Report Card, which provides information on services provided by ESOs to VR consumers, will be implemented in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council and the ESOs.

Goal 3: To ensure that the VR Program continues to be a collaborative leader in the integration of services for people with disabilities in the Workforce Centers and the use of Social Security Work Incentives.

Indicators:

3.1: Complete up to 10 Workforce Center accessibility surveys annually, as requested.

3.2: 100 or more VR consumers will obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.

3.3: Provide 10 Disability Resource Coordinators/Disability Program Navigators to increase access to programs and services for vocational rehabilitation consumers.

3.4: Implement ten active Partnership Plus Employment Network agreements to support long term employment efforts by DRS clients who receive Social Security benefits.

3.5: Create and implement Milestone/Outcome agreements with DRS acting as an Employment Network with 3 partners in order to capture SSA Milestone/Outcome payments to enhance current funding streams.

Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment.

Indicators:

4.1: State-of-the-art assistive technologies will be showcased at annual AT Training held at WWRC for up to 60 agency staff and/or targeted agency stakeholders.

4.2: Regional AT team will conduct hands-on training for up to 60 agency staff and/or targeted agency stakeholders to enhance their knowledge and understanding of AT devices, equipment, and resources.

4.3: Expand to additional regions and ESOs AT training and interactive devices for supported employment consumers.

Goal 5: DRS will continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities.

Indicators:

5.1: 1,100 students in transition will achieve a successful employment outcome.

5.2: 56% of students in transition will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.

5.3: 450 or more students will be served through the PERT Initial Evaluation Services.

5.5: 250 or more students will be served through WWRC’s 9-week Life Skills Transition Program.

5.6: Expand work experiences for transition age youth still in school to improve their employment at graduation.

Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved.

Indicators:

6.1: Increase from 850 to 880 the number of returning veterans receiving VR services.

6.2: Increase from 1500 to 1700 the number of VR consumers from different ethnic backgrounds (Asian, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander).

6.3: Implement and evaluate the Autism Speaks Community Family Services Grant awarded to WWRC, to be piloted in collaboration with the Henrico and Fairfax DRS Offices, as well as identified ESO partners.

6.4: Increase access to a core of statewide qualified providers in the use and application of research-based intervention strategies that have been demonstrated as successful in improving employment outcomes of youth and adults with autism/Autism Spectrum Disorders (such as Positive Behavior Supports and hand-held assistive technologies/software applications).

Goal 7: Ensure that WWRC’s programs and services benefit VR consumers, resulting in increased referrals to WWRC.

Indicators:

7.1:Utilize WWRC’s Annual Blueprint for Direction to identify and target WWRC resources to attain key operational goals that result in improved employment outcomes for VR consumers.

7.2:Utilize the annual report on WWRC customer satisfaction and Sponsor Satisfaction surveys for ongoing program and process improvements.

7.3: Utilize the WWRC Pegboard Committee as a formal operational team to monitor and develop strategies to maximize census and service opportunities for VR consumers.

7.4: Enhance the utilization of video-conference technology capacity for service coordination between WWRC and FRS Offices.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:24PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

Justification for order of selection

An order of selection is required under Section 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, if a vocational rehabilitation agency determines that it is unable to provide services to all eligible individuals who apply for services. Due to limited financial resources, the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) has been unable to provide services to all eligible individuals since 2004. With the receipt of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), DRS opened Priority Category I (Most Significantly Disabled) on May 1, 2009. However, once the ARRA funds allocated for case services were expended, DRS needed to again close categories in FFY 2011. Therefore, DRS will remain in order of selection during FFY 2012. DRS’ order of selection ensures that eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities receive priority.

 

Description of Priority categories

DRS’ established order of selection priority categories are as follows:

Priority Category I:An individual with a most significant disability

Priority Category II: An individual with a significant disability that results in serious functional limitations in two functional capacities.

Priority III: An individual with a significant disability that results in a serious functional limitation in one functional capacity.

Priority IV: All other individuals determined eligible for the Vocational Rehabilitation program.

Definitions and Terminology:

An individual with a significant disability means an individual with a disability:

•who has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or more functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome;

•whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over and extended period of time (6 months); and

•who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disabilities, end-stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.

An individual with a most significant disability is an individual with a significant disability that seriously limits three or more functional capacities.

Extended Period of Time: Needing services for a duration of six months or more.

Multiple Services: Two or more services needed to achieve a successful rehabilitation.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

Depending upon agency resources, the categories are closed for services in order beginning with Priority Category IV, then III, then II and, finally Priority Category I. This policy does not affect consumers who began to receive services under an Individualized Plan for Employment prior to the implementation date of order of selection, or those in need of post-employment services.

After a consumer is found eligible for VR services, an order of selection determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make the eligibility determination may be provided. The VR counselor, in collaboration with the consumer, determines the consumer’s Priority Category by evaluating the consumer’s serious functional limitations, anticipated services needed and the duration of those services.

All consumers must be officially notified of their individual order of selection determination. Consumers in closed categories are provided with referral services to the One-Stop Centers or other appropriate sources, and are placed on a waiting list. After 12 months, consumers are contacted to determine if they wish to remain on the waiting list or have their case closed. If they do not notify their counselor that they wish to have their case closed, they remain on the list. Consumers in closed categories may request a review of their priority category assignment by submitting evidence that their disability has become more severe.

 

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

The following table provides information on the service and outcome goals for individuals in the four Priority Categories: Most Significantly Disabled (MSD); Significantly Disabled with two serious functional limitations (SD-2); Significantly Disabled with one serious functional limitation (SD-1); and all other Eligible Individuals (All Other).

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 11,656 3,047 2,391 822 days $14,416,000
2 2,623 685 576 914 days $1,088,000
3 1,100 287 246 795 days $416,000
4 70 18 16 698 days $1,142

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:29PM by Elizabeth Smith

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.

1. Providing supported employment services to 2803 or more eligible individuals with most significant disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 defines supported employment as competitive work in integrated settings for individuals with severe disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred, or for individuals for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a severe disability, and who, because of their disability, need ongoing support services to perform such work In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2010, 2977 individuals with most significant disabilities received services through supported employment programs of the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS). This represents a 362 person increase from 2009. Of the 2977, 1936 were new cases. DRS projects to serve in supported employment at least 2894 individuals in FFY 2011 and 2803 in FFY 2012.

2. Continuing to improve the quality of supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities through training and technical assistance. DRS will continue its efforts to deliver quality supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities by:

a) Maintaining the Supported Employment Guide as a training tool for VR counselors and Employment Service Organizations (ESO’s). b) Providing ongoing training and technical assistance to field staff and ESOs on long term follow along options. d) Conducting, on a regular basis, reviews of cases in long term follow along to ensure that appropriate quality services are being provided along with effective and efficient use of funds. e) Develop an annual “report card” for each ESO in Virginia. The report card will be based on standardized outcomes for all vendors. The report card will summarize the outcome measurements and will be used as a tool to assist consumers making decisions regarding ESO selection.

3. Providing training to ESO staff and DRS counselors and staff. DRS will continue to strengthen the skills of supported employment professionals through training conducted by DRS staff and regional provider forums. Training will be developed in part based on gaps and needs identified in the ESO report card, stakeholder feedback and program evaluations. Training will include an increased emphasis on community integration and raising average hourly wages of consumers.

4. Expanding services to areas across the Commonwealth that have limited choice of provider options. a)Identify areas of the Commonwealth where supported employment services are not readily accessible. b)Establish a system to assist existing ESOs to expand into areas of the Commonwealth that are underserved.

5. Assure a full range of choices are available in order to meet the vocational needs of consumers requiring supported employment services. Virginia uses all supported employment models, including the individual placement model, the enclave model, the entrepreneurial model and mobile work crews. Individual placement is the most widely used, and generally offers higher wage rates, better benefits and more flexibility in meeting the needs of customers and employers in an integrated work setting. The group models are important options that provide for the constant presence of the Employment Specialist at the job site to support customers who need intensive supervision in order to maintain employment.

6. Explore alternative funding mechanisms for long term follow along supports for consumers needing supported employment services, including Social Security Work Incentives

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:30PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

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

Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

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

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

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

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

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

Expanding and Improving Services to Individuals with Disabilities

Expanding and improving services remains an agency priority as the needs and demographics of individuals with disabilities evolve.

I&E activities designed to expand and improve services include:

1.Participating in a joint effort with four other state agencies to maintain and support WorkWORLD software.

2.In collaboration with targeted Virginia Workforce Centers, providing outreach services to businesses to ensure employment opportunities for persons with most significant disabilities.

With regards to students in transition, I&E funding will be used to:

1.Establish new Project Search sites around the Commonwealth to provide internship opportunities for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders leading to successful employment opportunities.

2.Provide support for WWRC and the agency to develop and institute new service models for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This initiative is in support of the Autism Speaks grant received by WWRC.

3.Use AZTEC software to assist transition age youth to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate at the bronze level or above.

4.Integrate supported employment, positive behavioral supports and AT into job coach training services for clients with Autism to prepare them for work in community settings.

5.Support 20 transition age clients in job development, supported employment services, and positive behavioral supports in order to integrate these services towards successful employment outcomes. This is in support of the Autism Speaks grant.

6.Provide PDA or other AT for clients with Autism in order to support them in job readiness and job training. This also supports the development of a service model with a NIDRR grant received by Virginia Commonwealth University.

7.Support community internship opportunities for transition age youth in collaboration with the Martinsville ARC, as Martinsville is an underserved region of the Commonwealth that currently leads the state in unemployment rates.

I&E funds also support the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Statewide Independent Living Council. The SRC is a full and active partner in the enhancement of and the evaluation of the VR program. In addition, I&E funds support DRS’ employee succession efforts and enhancing staff skills. With an expected loss of a large number of managers in the next few years, it is important that DRS prepare new leaders to ensure the efficient and effective continuing operation of our VR program.

Additional activities designed to expand and improve services are included with the strategies listed to obtain the Goals for the VR program.

How assistive technology is provided to individuals on a statewide basis at each stage of the rehabilitation process.

DRS has an entire Goal, with strategies, to address the assistive technology needs of our VR consumers on a statewide basis. The Goal and strategies are listed later in this Attachment. At the center of this effort is the continuing implementation of a plan to integrate assistive technology resources and staffing across the agency through an intensive collaboration between the Field Rehabilitation Services Division, WWRC and the Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS) and I&E funds will be utilized to support this plan implementation.

DRS policies provide for the provision of assistive technology at all stages of the rehabilitation process. DRS has five rehabilitation engineers located in each region of the State. In addition, a new rehabilitation engineer position was created at WWRC to serve WWRC and areas surrounding WWRC. DRS also has rehabilitation fabricators located in three of the regions. Additionally, there are two Computer Accommodation Labs, one in Richmond that covers the Eastern and Central Regions and one at WWRC that covers the Southwest, Blue Ridge and Northern regions. In 2010, there will be two more Computer Accommodation Labs developed by hiring additional Assistive Technology professionals who have expertise in computer accommodations.

Through the VATS Northern Virginia site, DRS will provide training and technical assistance for VR staff and Employment Service Organizations to increase the use of AT in the supported employment process. This effort is being supported with I&E funds.

Outreach to Identify and Serve Individuals who are Minorities, Including those with the Most Significant Disabilities

The majority of clients determined eligible to receive services are Caucasian. However, other ethnic races are represented. In FFY 2010, 56% of clients determined eligible were Caucasian, 39% Black, 3% Hispanic, and 1% Asian. The number of Hispanic clients determined eligible increased from 262 to 313 from 2008 to 2009. An increase of 3.4% Black consumers determined eligible occurred from 2008 to 2009 (3705 to 3830).

To respond to the VR needs of people in Virginia of different ethnic backgrounds, who also may have Limited English Proficiency, DRS has a Diversity Team composed of agency employees across the Commonwealth to provide guidance and direction on the development of outreach and training plans to enhance service provision. This Team has been providing training to VR staff on cultural competency and effective means for outreach to ethnic minorities. Currently, the agency utilizes contractual services to provide language interpretation or translation services as needed for consumers and/or their family members. The agency also has a Spanish speaking VR counselor in Northern Virginia who is developing a caseload of Hispanic/Latino consumers. In addition, consumer VR forms and standardized letters have been translated into Spanish and the agency’s website contains translation software.

Outreach to Serve Those who are Unserved and Underserved by the VR Program

Besides the strategies listed under Goal 6 below, DRS has collaborative efforts in place with the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services to provide services to consumers who Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and consumers with substance abuse and serious mental illness.

In collaboration with the SRC, DRS will be looking at ways to increase public knowledge of the VR program, particularly for students in transition and their families. It is hoped that these new mechanisms will enhance our outreach activities to unserved and underserved individuals.

DRS will be working to identify non-traditional referral sources to increase the referrals of those unserved and underserved in the Commonwealth, to include individuals with disabilities of different ethnic backgrounds and those with Limited English Proficiency.

Individuals with criminal background have been identified as an underserved and underserved group in DRS’ Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. Individuals with disabilities who have in the past committed a fraudulent or dishonest act, or who have demonstrated other past behavior casting doubt upon their credibility or honesty, very often are rejected for employment due to their personal backgrounds. More specifically, employers view these applicants as being “at-risk” and potentially untrustworthy workers. Accordingly, DRS will be participating in an effort to secure bonding which is insurance purchased to indemnify employers for loss of money or property sustained through the dishonest acts of their employees (i.e., theft, forgery, larceny, and embezzlement). This effort will be funded through I&E funds.

Strategies to Assist Other Components of the Workforce Investment System to Serve Individuals with Disabilities

DRS is actively engaged at both the state and local level in the Workforce Investment System. A memorandum of understanding is in place with each Local Workforce Investment Board and DRS works closely with One-Stop Centers to assure access to people with disabilities. DRS currently is co-located as a One-Stop partner in Charlottesville, Chesterfield County, Roanoke, Martinsville, Danville and South Boston and is in negotiations for multiple other co-location efforts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Establishing, Developing and Improving Community Rehabilitation Programs

There are approximately 87 Community Rehabilitation Programs (known as Employment Service Programs or ESOs) in Virginia. DRS employs staff in the Office of Employment Services and Special Programs to support and enhance the unique relationship between DRS and our ESOs.

Because DRS recognizes the need to continue to establish, develop and strengthen the infrastructure of ESOs to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, DRS establish a grant award(s) through competitive negotiations to seek projects from the ESOs to improve the overall employment for persons with disabilities.

DRS is working with the ESO Advisory Council to examine the effectiveness of supported employment services, particularly the impact of supported employment on post-VR employment outcomes.

Overcoming Identified Barriers to Equitable Access to and Participation of Individuals with Disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the State Supported Employment Services Programs.

All DRS offices are fully accessible and DRS has been instrumental in ensuring the accessibility of the Commonwealth’s One-Stop Centers. In addition, the ESOs CARF accreditation requires ADA accessibility.

DRS will continue to develop video teleconferencing capacity and service applications, including remote interpreting and its Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) technological applications, to enhance direct client services, enhance the administrative effectiveness of VR services and improve collaboration with community partners. This initiative also supports the development of technical assistance capacity. Also, this would support video interpreting and video relay services for the deaf and hard of hearing and video interpreting of services for English speakers of other languages.

Additional Strategies to Improve Performance on the Evaluation and Performance Indicators and to Achieve the Below Stated Goals identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1)

Goal 1: Virginians with disabilities will achieve quality employment through consumer-focused, timely and effective VR services.

Strategies:

A.Intensify our efforts to retain and hire qualified VR staff by:

-hiring student interns as a means of recruiting qualified VR personnel to fill staff vacancies.

- providing professional development programs that strengthen the knowledge, skills and abilities of our VR staff and prepare them to move into leadership positions.

- implementing new programs to retain staff who might otherwise leave the agency for other professional opportunities.

B.Utilize established procedures to manage our caseload system so that consumers will not be unserved due to staff vacancies.

C.Support Business Development initiatives to identify high wage/career track employment for our consumers and respond to Federal hiring initiatives.

D.Maintain a quality assurance and accountability system that includes ongoing case reviews addressing such issues as consistency with policy, timeliness, effective counseling and guidance, effective use of resources, and appropriate employment outcomes.

E.Continue to educate staff on the consumer satisfaction survey results as well as interim reports on consumer comments regarding satisfaction.

F.Revise counselor job descriptions, giving attention to quality outcome measures.

G.Provide effective training for all staff, including target areas such as the identification of integrated employment settings, counseling and negotiation skills, job development and placement, and training in serving hard-to-serve or specialized populations such as substance abuse, serious mental illness, and individuals with criminal backgrounds.

H.Provide effective training for newly hired counselors to enhance their ability to provide appropriate VR services leading to enhanced employment outcomes.

I.Continue to provide have counselors who specialize in caseloads serving individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, TANF recipients, and individuals with substance abuse or serious mental illness in order to enhance the employment outcomes of these populations.

Goal 2: FRS, WWRC, and our service providers will be accountable for the achievement of employment by our consumers and the effective use of resources.

Strategies:

A.Conserve administrative funds by:

- expanding opportunities for “mobile workers”

- reducing our real estate footprint through co-location with other agencies, WIA partners and Workforce Centers

- effectively utilizing video teleconferencing to increase staff collaboration and reduce staff travel time and costs.

B.Continue a collaborative relationship with the Employment Service Organizations (ESO) through the ESO Advisory Committee.

C.Develop and implement an ESO “Report Card”, based on standardized outcomes, to summarize outcome measures and be used as a tool to assist consumers in making decisions regarding ESO selection.

D.Strengthen the skills of supported employment professionals through training and regional provider forums, with an increased emphasis on community integration and raising hourly wages.

E.Pursue State funding dedicated to the VR program.

F.Effectively utilize the resources provided by other state agencies to ensure the employment of individuals with substance abuse or are TANF recipients.

G.Utilize the expertise of agency consultants to determine appropriate consumer goods and services.

H.Effectively utilize the resources of other state agencies and collaborate with community partners to provide medical and vocational rehabilitation for veterans with disabilities through WWRC.

I.Effectively utilize WWRC’s capacity to serve VR consumers with the most severe disabilities through its diverse medical and vocational rehabilitation programs and services.

Goal 3: To ensure that the VR Program continues to be a collaborative leader in the integration of services for people with disabilities in the Workforce Centers and the use of Social Security Work Incentives.

Strategies:

A.Continue to implement the Work Incentive Specialist Advocates vendor program to provide Social Security work incentives for VR consumers.

B.Provide leadership to the disability navigator initiative.

C.Assist VR consumers in utilizing learning software to enable them to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.

D.Continue as a collaborative partner in the Virginia Workforce Centers.

Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment.

Strategies:

A.Implement a plan to integrate AT resources and staffing across the agency through an intensive collaboration between the FRS, WWRC and VATS.

B.Ensure that the Assistive Technology and Computer Accommodations units in the Field Rehabilitation Services Division and at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center have up to date equipment, software and training for use in identifying AT needs and solutions.

C.Update vocational evaluator knowledge of AT devices, equipment and resources and develop and pilot an integrated AT technology and vocational evaluation assessment model at WWRC.

D.Provide training for VR staff and partners on the availability and uses of AT devices to accommodate consumers’ needs in employment settings.

E.Promote the use of AT kits in Virginia Workforce Centers through a joint endeavor between the VR Program and Disability Program Navigators.

F.Continuation of a shared Rehabilitation Engineering position to be housed at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center that provides services at the Center and in the Field Rehabilitation Services Division.

Goal 5: DRS will continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities.

Strategies:

A.Establish additional Project Search sites around the Commonwealth.

B.Enhance outreach efforts to school personnel and students and their families to educate them on the availability and purpose of DRS transition and PERT services.

C.Utilize a teamwork approach to service provision that includes the involvement of the student, family members, school personnel and the VR counselor.

D.Develop and implement new services models to support transition-age youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders in preparing for and becoming successfully employed.

E.Ensure that there are cooperative agreements in place in every LEA so that students receive the services that they need in a “seamless” process.

F.Provide VR counselors with the technology and other resources that they need to work more effectively in the school environment.

G.Adjust caseloads in the regions and field offices to respond to documented growth trends in the numbers of students in transition.

H.Collaborate with the Department of Education and other state agencies and organizations to develop innovative systems for the delivery of transition services.

I.Continue to offer Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation (PERT) Initial Evaluation Services through WWRC for eligible youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 22 years, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education.

J.Maximize the number of local school divisions across Virginia that participate in WWRC’s Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT) Program.

K.Continue to offer a 9-week Life Skills Transition Program (LSTP) through WWRC targeting a growing population of young adults with disabilities between the ages of 18-22 years who require intensive pre-employment and independent living skills training in addition to vocational rehabilitation to successfully attain employment goals.

L.Continue to provide funding, leadership and technical assistance for the annual Transition Conference.

Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved.

Strategies:

A.Collaborate with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services on VR services for returning veterans.

B.Continue to support the DRS Diversity Team in its efforts to provide effective outreach and services to individuals from different ethnic backgrounds.

C.Collaborate with other state agencies to focus on individuals who have left the secondary school system, are in mental health institutions, are in foster care or in the criminal justice system and could benefit from VR services.

D.Provide information and training to VR staff to help them more effectively serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Goal 7: Ensure that WWRC’s programs and services benefit VR consumers, resulting in increased referrals to WWRC.

Strategies:

A. WWRC will host quarterly WWRC/Field Rehabilitative Services (FRS) Employment Forums to mutually identify and resolve issues impacting WWRC training programs and employment outcomes and to ensure that WWRC programs and services continuously meet identified employment needs of our VR consumers.

B.The WWRC Admissions Director will have lead responsibility for the marketing of WWRC programs and services to FRS Offices, with the goal of referral development, and the identification of any systems issues and trends that impact referrals.

C.Utilize video-conference technology capacity to enhance service coordination between WWRC and FRS for referral development and pre-admissions planning.

D. Assess customer (VR counselor, VR consumer) satisfaction with services and programs and ensure that satisfaction information is shared with WWRC and DRS management and other stakeholders for quality improvement purposes.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:40PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

For Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2010 and State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2010, DRS and the State Rehabilitation Council identified goals for the VR Program and established performance indicators to measure the achievement of those goals. The following is a list of each goal, the associated performance indicators and DRS achievement on these indicators.

Goal 1: Virginians with disabilities will achieve quality employment through consumer-focused, timely and effective VR services.

1.1: 4000 VR consumers will achieve a successful employment outcome.

DRS had 3,390 successful employment outcomes in FFY 2010, a 5.4% increase over FFY 2009.

1.2: 58% or more VR consumers will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.

DRS achieved a 49.6% rehabilitation rate in FFY 2010.

1.3:The average hourly earnings of our consumers will equal or exceed $9.02.

In FFY 2010, DRS exceeded this target with an average hourly wage of $9.47.

1.4:90% of consumers who achieve successful employment upon completion of their VR programs will be competitively employed.

93% of the consumers achieved competitive employment in FFY 2010.

1.5:The VR consumer satisfaction rate will equal or exceed 82%.

DRS achieved an overall consumer satisfaction rate of 80% in FFY 2010.

1.6:Annually, there will be case audits totaling 100 caseloads with 10 cases per counselor audited.

In FFY 2010, 100 cases from 10 caseloads were audited.

1.7: 80% of WWRC training graduates will be employed one year post-exit.

During SFY 2010, 62% of WWRC training graduates were employed one year after leaving their training program.

1.8: VR consumers will be assigned another counselor within 10 work days of a staff vacancy.

DRS utilized “floating” counselors and Lead Counselors to respond to VR counselor vacancies so that there was no, or limited, interruption in service provision.

Goal 2: FRS, WWRC, and our service providers will be accountable for the achievement of employment by our consumers and the effective use of resources.

2.1:Annual number of VR consumers served will be 24,000.

In FFY 2010, 29,002 consumers were served (based on eligibility).

2.2:50% of case service funds will be utilized for services provided by community partners.

In SFY 2010, 41.3% of case services funds were spent on supported employment services, 7.3% on job coach training services and 6.6% on situational assessment. These are services provided by the Employment Service Organizations as vendors of DRS.

2.3:20% of total budget will be utilized for administrative costs for the FRS program.

During SFY 2010, 19% of the total FRS budget was utilized for administrative expenses.

2.4:98% of Virginia Employment Services Organizations will be CARF accredited.

In 2010, 99% of the ESOs were CARF accredited. One ESO received an extension to become accredited.

2.5:Client average daily census at WWRC will be 300.

The average daily census at WWRC was 329 for SFY 2010.

2.6: 3,000 clients will be served annually at WWRC.

In SFY 2010, 3,074 clients were served at WWRC.

2.7:Increased referrals of veterans with disabilities served through WWRC.

During SFY 2010, 7 veterans with disabilities were referred for services at WWRC.

Goal 3: To ensure that the VR Program continues to be a collaborative leader in the integration of services for people with disabilities in the Workforce Centers and the use of Social Security Work Incentives.

3.1:Complete 15 Workforce Center accessibility surveys annually.

Every request for an accessibility survey was conducted. Four accessibility surveys were performed using the comprehensive team approach. Three assessments were conducted as preliminary work-ups for planning purposes. Comprehensive Workforce Centers that are required to be accessible have been evaluated using the team approach so consequently the need for assessments has tapered off. It is anticipated that there will be an increase in requests for evaluations as Workforce Centers come up for state certification, sites need to be reassessed, and new locations are established. Sixteen follow-up assessments were done to provide technical assistance and additional information so that accessibility could be enhanced.

3.2:Fifteen or more VR consumers will obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.

One of WWRC’s 2010 Blueprint for Direction priority action items was to increase VR client workplace literacy and readiness skills, resulting in attainment of the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), an industry-recognized credential endorsed by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Workforce Investment System Network. The following outcomes were realized during FFY 2010:

?192 VR clients served at WWRC were tested using WorkKeys, with an overall pass rate of 78%; 39% received the Bronze Level CRC (n=75), 29% received the Silver Level CRC (n=55), and 10% received the Gold Level CRC (n=19).

?For the aggregate period July 1, 2008 – October 30, 2010, 280 VR clients served at WWRC were tested using WorkKeys, with an overall pass rate of 79%; 35% received the Bronze Level CRC (n=97), 31% received the Silver Level CRC (n=86), and 13% received the Gold Level CRC (n=36).

3.3:Provide 10 or more Disability Program Navigators to increase access to programs and services for VR consumers.

In 2010, there were10 Disability Program Navigators with coverage provided in all workforce areas.

3.4:Enhance the use of Work Incentive Specialist Advocate (WISA) vendors which will result in 40 VR consumers utilizing work incentives to reach their employment goals.

111 WISA authorizations were issued in 2010 and 39 WISA services were paid.

3.5:Implement ten active Partnership Plus Employment Network agreements to support long term employment efforts by DRS clients who receive Social Security benefits in FY 2010.

Nine Partnership Plus Employment Network agreements were implemented.

3.6:Create and implement Milestone/Outcome agreements with DRS acting as an Employment Network with three partners in FY 2010 in order to capture SSA Milestone/Outcome payments to enhance current funding streams.

One agreement was implemented in FY 2010.

Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment.

4.1:State-of-the-art assistive technologies will be showcased at biannual AT Training hosted at WWRC for up to 60 agency staff and/or targeted agency stakeholders.

Fifty-three agency staff and stakeholders (including the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, Employment Service Organizations, other state agencies, and private organizations such as AgrAbility and the Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment) participated in training on “Linking Virginia’s AT Resources Together: Early and Often” at WWRC. The training included sessions that highlighted assistive computer technologies, seating and positioning technologies, accessibility and adaptive technologies, work site accommodations, augmentative/alternative communication, driving/vehicle accommodations, accommodations for ‘hidden disabilities’, Smart Home technologies, and accommodations for persons with sensory disabilities.

4.2:Annual hands-on training will be held for up to 60 agency staff and/or targeted agency stakeholders to enhance their knowledge and understanding of AT devices, equipment, and resources.

See above evaluation response.

4.3:Utilize the AWARE Service Authorization capability to track internal services for all employees that provide direct AT services to clients, including AT Assessments, home modifications, worksite modifications and vehicle modifications.

The AWARE client database system now allows for the capability to track AT services. As this is still in its infancy stage, no AT service baseline has been established.

4.4:Develop requirements and methodologies to consolidate AT reporting for vended services and purchase of AT devices from AWARE.

See above response.

Goal 5: DRS will continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities.

5.1:1,100 students in transition will achieve a successful employment outcome.

During FFY 2010, 1,231 students in transition achieved a successful employment outcome; this constituted 36.3% of all successful closures.

5.2:59% of students in transition will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.

The rehabilitation rate for students in transition was 46.2% in FFY 2010.

5.3:450 students will be served through the PERT Initial Evaluation Services.

In SFY 2010, 488 students with disabilities participated in PERT Initial Evaluation Services.

5.4:90% of local school divisions across Virginia will participate in the PERT Program.

During SFY 2010, 92.4% of local school divisions participated PERT. This is consistent with annual patterns established since 2005 (average 4 year is 90.7%).

5.5:180 students will be served through WWRC’s 9-week Life Skills Transition Program.

In SFY 2010, 346 students were served through WWRC’s 9-week Life Skills Transition Program.

Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved.

6.1:Number of returning veterans receiving VR services.

During FFY 2010, 853 (9.4%) veterans received VR services.

6.2:Increased number of Hispanic VR consumers served.

During FFY 2010, 930 (3.2%) of VR consumers served self-reported as being Hispanic. This compares to 716 (2.8%) in FFY 2009.

6.3:Number of wards of Culpepper Correctional Center who are served by VR program.

As of September 25, 2009, 278 residents from the Culpeper Juvenile Correctional Center (JCC) had been referred to a VR counselor. At least 260 of those referred applied for DRS services and 13 moved to service status. Due to budget reductions, the cooperative relationship between DRS and the Department of Juvenile Justice on providing services to residents at JCC ended. However, DRS is continuing to provide assistance to those residents with open cases.

6.4:Number of VR staff receiving training on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Ninety WWRC staff participated in at least one of eighteen distinct workshops and in-services sponsored by DRS, WWRC, or other state agencies/organizations to increase understanding of this population and implications for the VR process. In addition, two staff members completed university graduate level courses on instructional and learning strategies to improve outcomes for youth and adults with autism/ASD.

Goal 7: Ensure that WWRC’s programs and services benefit VR consumers, resulting in increased referrals to WWRC.

7.1:Twice per year (minimum) contact with assigned FRS Offices by each WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor thru office visits, case consultations, etc.

The WWRC/FRS Liaison Program, designed to include at least twice per year face-to-face contact by WWRC Rehabilitation Counselors with assigned FRS Offices to develop referrals and resolve issues, was modified to facilitate communication and collaboration using video-conferencing and other technologies as cost saving measures. Most of the pre-admissions case consultations, and other communications occur in this manner, with travel to FRS Offices approved on a case-by-case basis.

7.2:Production of an annual report on WWRC customer satisfaction and Sponsor Satisfaction surveys.

The annual report summarizes data, findings, and recommendations relative to VR consumer and sponsor satisfaction with WWRC services and programs. This report is mutually reviewed by DRS and WWRC Administration for program and process improvements, as well as organizational strategic planning and development of priorities and activities included in each annual WWRC Blueprint for Direction.

7.3:Three or more meetings of the WWRC/FRS Operations Committee will be held.

One WWRC/FRS Operations Committee was held in FFY 2010, with the number strategically reduced as a cost savings measure and in response to travel restrictions across the agency. Alternative strategies were implemented to ensure that the spirit and intent of the Committee’s purpose was not compromised as a result of this change initiative. Specifically, the WWRC Director participated in monthly FRS Director/Management Team meetings, using videoconferencing technologies, and routinely contributed agenda items.

7.4:Continued development and review of WWRC Centers of Excellence Strategic Plans, Design Team findings or recommendations.

WWRC utilizes the Centers of Excellence and Design Teams to look beyond typical service offerings and speculate what might be required to achieve excellence in four areas: Comprehensive Evaluation and Assessment, Youth in Transition, Neuro-Rehabilitation, and Assistive Technology. This work has provided a contextual template for program enhancements and recommendations for the WWRC Blueprint for Direction, an operational document developed through a collaborative process with stakeholders and service providers to identify key operational goals of the Center.

Strategies that Contributed to the Achievement of the Goals

In FFY 2010, DRS operated with all order of selection categories open. The final two categories were opened in December, 2009 with the use of Federal Stimulus funds. This had a positive impact on DRS’ ability to meet its performance indicators related to successful employment outcomes, rehabilitation rate and numbers served. It also had a positive impact on the many of the performance indicators for WWRC.

Other strategies that helped DRS meet or exceed its established Goals include:

•Utilizing student interns and “floater” counselors to assist in serving over 25,000 individuals.

•Continuing to provide an excellent professional development and employee succession program for VR staff to enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities to serve consumers and to prepare for the loss of a significant number of management positions in the future.

•Utilizing the “Roadmap to Success” philosophy to positively impact consumer employment outcomes and expedited service delivery.

•Continued collaborative relationships with our Employment Service Organizations in providing services for our most significantly disabled consumers and with the Department of Social Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services on service provision to TANF recipients and those with substance abuse disorders.

•Continuing as a collaborative partner in the development of the One-Stop Center System in Virginia.

•Implementing new plans to integrate AT services across the agency.

•Continuing to provide “dedicated” VR counselors to serve students in transition and continuing to develop cooperative relationships with the Department of Education and organizations that focus on transition age youth to better serve this population.

•Continuing to provide “dedicated” VR counselors to serve consumers with a substance abuse disorder, those with serious mental illness, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

•Continuing to have Business Development Managers who do outreach to potential employers and identify quality jobs for consumers.

•Continued development of an annual WWRC Blueprint for Direction that clearly articulates expected actions to be taken, with defined lines of responsibility and accountability for outcomes. There were targeted Blueprint goals that impacted all of WWRC’s goals and indicators within the DRS State Plan.

•Routine utilization of the WWRC Pegboard Committee which implements policies and procedures that effect the Center’s client operations and makes

• As an “official” WorkKeys test administration site, WWRC hired an instructor n in 2009 to implement a Career Readiness Lab to prepare VR clients in the Life Skills Transition Program (LSTP) and vocational training programs for successful completion of the WorkKeys test, resulting in attainment of a CRC. In addition, Aztec Ready for Work and Occupational Foundations Learning Series was purchased as the ‘curricula of choice’ to use in the Career Readiness Lab.

•The WWRC Autism Advocacy Partnership was chartered to champion the 2010 Blueprint initiative to enhance programming for VR clients with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder. One of the activities conducted included training of VR staff on these disabilities.

•Marketing WWRC services for veterans with disabilities through a collaborative partnership with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services/Wounded Warrior Program, outreach with the Central Shenandoah Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), and, coordination of guided WWRC tours for prospective veterans and their families as well as veterans organizations throughout the year.

•Conducting case audit reviews to help ensure quality and timely service provision.

Factors that Impeded the Achievement of the Goals

•The VR program continued to feel the effect of the downturn in the Commonwealth’s economy which affected the hiring opportunities for our VR consumers. The economy also affected several of the WWRC training programs, with Building Trades/construction industry the most notable. The WWRC Drafting/CAD program was discontinued due to the low enrollment rate, along with the industry asking for a college degree in Engineering to work in this field. Because of the continued rising unemployment rate across industry sectors, WWRC training graduates had a more difficult time finding employment post-graduation and curriculum was adjusted throughout the year to accommodate the need for an increase in skill-sets and credentialing required to make WWRC training graduates more competitive (outcomes of these strategies will not be realized until SFY 2011). Additionally, some of the training programs have had to graduate students without the experience of an external internship program as businesses have been less willing to participate in a student internship program when they are simultaneously laying off workers due to the economy.

•DRS’ large transition population continues to affect the overall hourly wage of our consumers as this population tends to come into the workforce in entry level jobs at minimum wage.

•Loss of vocational rehabilitation counselors to other employment opportunities and difficulty filling these positions in a timely fashion, particularly in Southwest Virginia.

 

During FFY 2010, 2961 individuals with most significant disabilities received services through supported employment programs of DRS. This represents a 345 person (increase) from 2009. Of the 2961, 1920 were new cases. Each year, DRS supplements its Title VI funding for supported employment with Title I funding. This strategy allows DRS to provide supported employment services to all consumers who require that service to become successfully employed.

In addition, in FFY 2010, DRS continued its collaborative relationship with the more than 80 Employment Service Organizations (ESO) across Virginia that provide services to DRS’ most significantly disabled consumers. This was accomplished with the assistance of the ESO Advisory Committee that meets quarterly to provide guidance to DRS on its supported employment program. With the assistance of this Committee, DRS has begun to examine the effectiveness of supported employment services, particularly the impact of supported employment on post-VR employment outcomes. In addition, the ESO Advisory Committee established a subcommittee to review the agency’s ESO Survey that assesses the quality of service provision by the ESOs.

DRS maintains its goal of having Employment Services Organizations (ESO) obtain CARF…The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission national accreditation standards in order to ensure quality in employment service provision.

 

In FFY 2010, DRS exceeded the Rehabilitation Services Administration performance levels for two of the six performance indicators in Evaluation Standard 1. Evaluation Standard 1 requires DRS to assist eligible individuals with disabilities, including individuals with significant disabilities, to obtain, maintain, or regain high quality employment outcomes. DRS exceeded the performance level for Standard 2 which measures our service to minorities. The following lists the indicators and DRS’ performance on those indicators:

Indicator 1.1:Difference in the Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes: Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010.

RSA Standard: Must equal or exceed previous period

DRS Performance: 3,390 (+176)

Indicator 1.2:Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services who had Employment Outcomes

RSA Standard: 55.8%

DRS Performance: 49.61%

Indicator 1.3:Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes who were Competitively Employed

RSA Standard: 72.6%

DRS Performance: 92.89%

Indicator 1.4:Percentage of Individuals with Competitive Employment Outcomes who had Significant Disabilities.

RSA Standard: 62.4%

DRS Performance: 99.05%

Indicator 1.5:Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average State Hourly Wage (Only preliminary state wage data for 2009 were available in June 2010)

RSA Standard: .52

DRS Performance: .411

Standard 1.6:Difference in Percentage of Individuals Achieving Competitive Employment who Report own Income as Primary Source of Support at Closure and Application

RSA Standard: 53.0%

DRS Performance: 56.18%

Standard 2.1. Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate

RSA Standard: .80

DRS Performance: .927

 

The following is a description of the proposed I&E activities for FFY 2010 and a report on status of these activities.

Participating in the development of Virginia’s Medicaid Buy-In program to enhance access to employment by continuing Medicaid coverage to individuals receiving Social Security disability benefits who go to work.

While no I&E funds were used to support this initiative, DRS worked through the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) on the development and implementation of Medicaid Works, resulting in 27 enrollees at the end of the MIG report deadline of September 17.

Promoting and supporting the use of the DRS work incentive services to increase use of SSA work incentives by DRS clients, including students in transition.

While no I&E funds were used to support this initiative, DRS’ Work Incentive Services Coordinator promoted the use of work incentives with VR counselors, resulting in WIS provider’s service authorizations and payments of $9,700.

Participating in a joint effort with four other state agencies to maintain and support WorkWORLD software.

DRS partnered with the Departments for the Blind and Vision Impaired and Social Services and the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant to support the maintenance and multi-agency staff and WISA training on WorkWORLD.

Collaborate with Adult Education and Literacy, the Disability Program Navigator initiative, local Workforce Investment Boards and WWRC to use AZTEC learning software to enhance the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) attainment for VR consumers.

At WWRC, Aztec software was used as part of the Life Skills Program, as well as in most occupational training areas. After establishing two CRC Labs and becoming a Testing Site, students completed various training programs and returned to their community with a workforce certification to provide them an edge in securing employment. The following are the results of this collaborative effort:

•AZTEC: 186 students were tested

18 received Gold Level (10%)

55 received Silver Level (30%)

68 received Bronze Level (37%)

24 failed to receive at least the Bronze level (23%)

Overall pass rate = 77% of students tested for the Workkeys exam.

Support VR participation and collaborative pilot research project to develop strategies to improve vocational rehabilitation outcomes for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

DRS collaborated with Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Career Links Grant to conduct evidence-based research on VR services models for individuals with ASDs. In addition, DRS participated in a local Community of Practice model (CoP) in collaboration with George Washington University, providing training and technical support to establish the Northern Virginia Autism Employment Collaborative.

Implement a process of developing AT Training Vendors through collaboration of VATS, VATS Regional Sites, FRS and WWRC.

The process and protocols to develop AT Training Vendors was completed; the process and protocols insure that AT training vendors have the technical knowledge to train on the products and proficiency in providing effective training. Application to become an approved vendor in the AWARE vendor data system was supported. To date, all VATS regional sites are approved AT vendors for the agency.

Build the inventory of the AT Loaner Library that is coordinated by VATS and administered through the Computer Accommodation Services programs at WWRC and statewide in FRS.

WWRC and the Center for Career and Business Development AT lab coordinated with VATS to enhance and administer the loaner library. The following items were purchased: 50 Dragon software license renewals; Kurweil 3000 upgrades; laptop computers; joysticks; reading pen; coWriter Outloud - write & read software license renewals; and miscellaneous computer equipment.

Forty-one items were loaned. Of the consumers who received the loaned equipment:

•Four individuals became employed

•Nine found the loaned equipment helpful

•Four clients used the AT in college

•Three found the AT helpful in their jobs

Implement web-based AT training and integrate with other AT training to enhance services to persons with the most significant disabilities.

Tech Points has been reviewed and determined that it can be offered as a stand-alone module, but would be more appropriate as part of a larger training effort that would include content to provide a context for this theoretical framework.

Update and provide facilitated hands-on AT training at WWRC for FRS staff and VR partners. This program is jointly coordinated by VATS and the OD/QA Unit at WWRC.

Sixty agency Field staff, WWRC staff and community partners participated in the facilitated hands-on AT training. Participants included several VR professionals from other states sponsored by the TACE Center at George Washington University.

Continue implementation and evaluation of the AT case management pilot in the Northern Region of FRS.

No I&E funds were used for this project. However, this AT case management pilot was supported jointly by FRS and WWRC.

Update vocational evaluator knowledge of AT devices, equipment and resources. Develop and pilot an integrated AT and vocational evaluation assessment model at WWRC.

Six WWRC vocational evaluators participated in AT Training held at WWRC. A training plan for new hires and refresher training for all evaluators was developed. WWRC identified an Occupational Therapist Senior and a retired Vocational Evaluator Supervisor to share expertise and collaborate to demonstrate best practices in the integration of AT and vocational evaluation services through practical applications of defined business processes and available technologies. These staff members worked side-by-side with evaluators in assigned labs to demonstrate and mentor how to integrate AT and vocational evaluation services through direct service applications and to build evaluator confidence in using this model. This collaboration resulted in a set of recommendations to fully implement the integrated model.

The Rehabilitation Engineering position at WWRC has been vacant for several years and has recently been approved to be filled. The new position is jointly funded by WWRC and FRS and is seen as a bridge position to improve integration of our rehabilitation engineering services across the state. Funds are allocated in the I&E Plan to re-stock the fabrication shop at WWRC.

WWRC used designated I&E funds to restock the fabrication shop for the Rehabilitation Engineer to use for wheelchair fittings for clients. The Rehabilitation Engineer position recently became vacant, but the intent is to fill the position and continue to do wheelchair fabrications out of the WWRC shop.

Participating in the disability program navigator cooperative agreement initiative and supporting costs for the equivalent of two navigator FTEs.

Accomplishments for this I&E activity included partnerships with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, ARRA Wagner-Peyser Re-employment Services and Business Economic Development Specialists; implementation of universal design consultations for businesses; piloting the AZTEC software system for workforce certifications; and employment of the IRT model to help coordinate services for workforce customers with disabilities.

Participating in co-location at workforce investment board locations (costs would be related to moving, building out, telephones & video teleconferencing, etc.)

While no I&E funds were used for this initiative, DRS continued to participate in the process of determining the physical accessibility of the One-Stop Centers. In addition, DRS completed the co-location process in Prince William and Fredericksburg and began planning for co-location in Emporia. DRS continued with co-location in Roanoke, Martinsville, Danville, South Boston, and Charlottesville.

Continuing to provide support to the VA customized E: Rehabilitation training module for One-Stop partners.

While no I&E funds were used for this initiative, in-depth training on the WIA and Workforce Services was provided about 18 months ago. Due to lack of response from the VR staff for its use, DRS discontinued maintenance of the eRehab site.

Continue to develop video teleconferencing capacity and service applications, including remote interpreting and its Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) technological applications, to enhance direct client services, enhance the administrative effectiveness of VR services and improve collaboration with community partners. This initiative would also support the development of technical assistance capacity. Also, this would support video interpreting and video relay services for the deaf and hard of hearing and video interpreting of services for English speakers of other languages.

A monthly average of 355 attended Video Conferences in FFY 2010 connecting an average of 4 remote sites per event. Host sites included DRS Central Office, CCBD, WWRC, Winchester, Danville, Manassas, Leesburg, and Fredericksburg Field Offices, and Disability Determination Services. Community partners connected through VTC to include the Virginia Employment Commission, Employment Service Organizations, CILs, DBVI, Workforce Centers, and VCU. CART and remote interpreting was used and will continue to be used when appropriate.

Investigate and support the use of portable computing devices, video relay devices, audio enhancement devices and connectivity options to improve specialty direct and support services for persons with most significant disabilities.

In support of this I&E initiative, DRS tested the use of new Tanberg Movi software with Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and with DRS Regional Counselors for the Deaf. The application was found superior as a use for remote interpreting, based on the clarity of image and its ability to provide on-demand sign language. Also during this period, additional VTC units were purchased to support new sites. The average use was 20 VTCs and 400 participants per month during this period.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:54PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

Quality of Community Rehabilitation Providers

The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) requires that each of Virginia’s Employment Services Organizations (ESOs) vendored to provide vocational rehabilitation services be nationally accredited through the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF). CARF accreditation provides a host of benefits to DRS as a state-funding source, as well as to DRS consumers, and taxpayers. In addition to assuring accountability and consistent quality levels, national accreditation allows DRS to focus on program expansion, improvement and accountability.

Extent of Services

DRS currently purchase services through 92 ESOs throughout the state. During FY 2008, these organizations provided vocational services to approximately 12,000 individuals. That same year DRS purchased $18,320,203 of vocational services from these approved ESOs. Of that figure, DRS counselors spent $9,936,995 in basic VR time-limited programming. The balance, $8,383,208 in state general funds, was spent on long-term supports administered by DRS, after time-limited programming was completed.

Scope of Services

The ESOs provide both time-limited and extended employment services, including:

-Vocational evaluation and situational assessment,

-Extended employment,

-Follow along services

-Work adjustment training,

-Psychosocial rehabilitation services,

-Individual and group model supported employment services,

-Vocational skills training, and

-Vocationally related transportation services.

Timing of Transition to Extended Services

Transition to extended services from DRS supported time-limited services is accomplished after the consumer reaches stability in employment with intervention appropriate for the individual for a minimum of 30 days. After that time the funding is transferred from the basic federal VR grant to the state sponsored long term follow along funding. Coordination among service provider, counselor and long term support office ensures timely accountable transition.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2009 11:35AM by savasmith e

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 07/20/2011 at 2:27 PM

Last updated by rscomartint

Completed on 07/20/2011 at 2:27 PM

Completed by rscomartint

Approved on 07/28/2011 at 9:32 AM

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Published on 09/27/2011 at 10:52 AM

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

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

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