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
Virgin Islands Division for Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2012 (submitted FY 2011)

1.1 The DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

Commissioner of Human Services

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

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

Commissioner of Human Services

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Christopher E. Finch

Title of Signatory
Commissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
07/01/2011

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2012
Yes

Comments:

H126A060081C - Basic Support H187A060082A - Supported Employment H177B060056B - Independent Living Olderblind H169A060078B - State Independent Living Services

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Christopher E. Finch

Title of Signatory
Commissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
07/01/2011

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
Disabilities & Rehabilitation Services

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

X This agency is requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

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

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

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

Recommendations made by the SRC to VIDDRS:

  1. Development of Performance Based contracts with CRPs to meet the Supported Employment needs of the significantly   disabled population
  2. Development of internships for transitioning students.
  3. VIDDRS should review and analyze the Statewide Needs Assessment (conducted in 2008) to address service gaps and collaborate with SRC and SILC in the development  and completion of a  Needs assessment for FY 2012 .
  4. The SRC strongly recommends that  that VIDDRS continue its efforts to promote highly qualified personnel and ensure continuous training to meet varying challenges that persons with disabilities face.
  5. Improve and Expand outreach efforts to the unserved or underserved population of persons with disabilities. 

VIDDRS Response to SRC Recommendations

VIDDRS is in agreement with the recommendations of the SRC.  It is apparent that if the above recommendations are implemented in FY 2012 it will result in an increase in successful outcomes for the program.   

  • Supported employment and revitalization of VIDDRS relationships with CRPs is imperative so that transitioning students can engage in competitive employment.
  • It is critical that a needs assessment be completed so that VIDDRS can more effectively project how resources will be allocated for FY 2013 and beyond.
  • It is necessary for VIDDRS to promote a standard of "highly qualified" VR counselors  so that it can ensure that services are administered with sensitivity and in accordance with the regulations and agency policies and procedures. 
  • In order for VIDDRS to meet the needs of eligible persons with disabilities, VIDDRS must continue its oureach efforts in various media and in varying formats.

The State Rehabilitation Council in collaboration with the DSU held two public hearings (St. Thomas and St. Croix) to obtain input from the general public as well as current VR Clients. The Hearings were publicized via local media in both printed and radio formats. Despite our efforts to reach our target population; attendance at the public hearings was disappointing. The SRC in collaboration with the DSU will implement a plan to address this issue for the FY 2013 State Plan Public forums. One consumer expressed concerns about the manner in which notice was given to clients. Management contacted the client to acknowledge receipt of the written concerns; additionally, management will continue to provide platforms throughout the territory in which all VR consumers and the general public can bring forth issues and gain knowledge about the VR program. Concerns or issues arising from the public hearings are as follows:

Question: Is it allowable for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to provide transitioning students stipends and Job Coaches so that they can be successful while they are on a job sites?

Answer: The program is in the process of developing a plan that will assist in increasing employment outcomes for consumers in the territory. Part of the plan includes enhancing collaboration with the Department of Labor, as well as, identifying Vocational Rehabilitation funds to provide subsidized employment to consumers. When Supported Employment has been identified as a needed service for a consumer, the service must be provided. In addition, the program is in the initial phase of considering the possibility of staff restructuring to include a territorial Job Developer for the program whose primary responsibility would be to network with small businesses as well as develop alliances with national corporations to enhance the availability of job opportunities throughout the company and to promote awareness within the business community.

Question: Is there specific training for persons to become Job Coaches and is that something being included in staff professional development trainings for Supported Employment?

Answer: Yes, specific training is needed for persons interested in becoming Job Coaches. Presently, these trainings have been provided through the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) center at the University of New York at Buffalo. Persons working with supported employment consumers have to understand the vocational and personal needs of the consumers, as well as, the needs of the employers. This is necessary in order to develop a plan that will facilitate successful outcomes for our consumers when they engage in job try-outs in an attempt to obtain competitive employment.

Question: After a recent discussion with a parent of a student with a disability, it was apparent that the parent was not familiar with the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Is it possible for the program to outreach to the community to promote awareness?

Answer: Definitely. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program is in its final stage in the development a marketing campaign to ensure that the public are aware of the program and its services. This campaign will be promoted territorially and it is expected to increase consumers’ participation in the program. Additionally, the Vocational Rehabilitation is an active stakeholders with the Department of Education to include student transitioning services.

Question: As veterans return with disabilities; what kind of services are available to them and their families to assist them in dealing with their current situations?

Answer: The Vocational Rehabilitation Program continues to collaborate with Veterans Affairs to provide services to veterans. Veterans face many issues that the territory as a whole is trying to find solutions for. Some of these issues include; transportation, housing, vocational training, and insufficient funding to maintain their living expenses. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program assists these consumers in overcoming their vocational challenges and provides guidance in identifying agencies that will assist them.

Question: It is understood that the territory has only one Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) that is presently on furlough; what are the plans in ensuring that supported employment services are available to consumers?

Answer: The CRP staff is determined to find solutions and is volunteering their time to ensure that the agency recovers. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program management working on identifying methods for serving the supported employment consumers while continuing to collaborate with the CRP. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program is exploring a new fee schedule for CRPs and our goal is for implementation in FY 2012.

Question: Does the Vocational Rehabilitation Program see a need for additional CRPs?

Answer: Yes, in the past, the program partnered with more than one CRP. There is a need for adequate supported employment services, be it more CRPs or one CRP that can expand services as is necessary to meet the demands for Supported Employment as the arise.

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 3:01PM by Felecia Blyden

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

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

The waiver request should also include:

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

This screen has never been updated.

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

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

COOPERATION WITH AGENCIES NOT CARRYING OUT ACTIVITIES UNDER THE STATEWIDE WORKFORCE INVESTMNET SYSTEM

The Designated State Unit will continue to cooperate with entities not in the State Workforce Investment System. We are in the process of reviewing our fee for service agreement with Work-Able Inc. An administative decision will be made regarding the manner in which services are are procured. The Designated State Unit is also seeking to attract new service providers. The Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living continues to provide independent living skills and mobility training to individuals with the most significant disabilities. In addition, the Designated State Unit and the Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living are developing projects and extending services to individuals who are older with visual impairments. Region 2-Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) provides technical assistance and continued educational training to the Vocational Rehabilitation Staff and other collaborative partners serving persons with disabilities. The Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD), in conjunction with Banco Popular provides low interest loans to purchase assistive technology for individuals with disabilities. They also present mini-workshops on disability related issues. Periodically, they offer sign language training to agencies serving persons with hearing impairment.s This training is also extended to the community. The St. Croix Career & Technical Educational Center and the Wheatley Skills Center are operated by the Department of Education. They provide vocational and technical training in areas such as typing, computer repair, auto and diesel mechanic, cosmetology, food and beverage management, upholstery, carpentry, and many other vocational courses. Vocational Rehabilitation clients are referred to both facilities for training. The designated State Unit continues to work with TANF to transition eligible recipients into employment. We recognize the need for continued education between the agencies. TANF recipients have multiple barriers to employment which makes self sufficiency challenging. The Child Care Block Grant Program is a division within the Department of Human Services through which eligible mothers receive assistance with child care while actively seeking employment. This service extends after they have been placed in employment. Small Business Development Center (SBDC), is an entity with whom we have developed a working relationship. As part of our Entrepreneurship Services to qualified VR Clients, it is required that a business proposal be developed with the assistance of the SBDC. Clients who are interested in the Business Enterprise Program are required to attend seminars sponsored by SBDC. In conclusion, the designated State Unit strives to maintain a professional relationship with the Client Assistance Program locally known as the Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands. They are invited to participate in workshops and VR sponsored events.

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 3:01PM by Felecia Blyden

  • 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.

COORDINATION WITH EDUCATION OFFICIALS

The enactment of the Workforce Investment Act and IDEA provides an opportunity to strengthen the existing agreement between the designated State Unit and Special Education. Each year as students are ready to transition into the Vocational Rehabilitation Program the needs become more evident. To ensure participation of students with disabilities in the workforce investment activities, the Community Rehabilitation Facilities have been restructured to prepare transitioning youths from school to work.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds has aided in the development of the Transition Connection Project. The expansion includes the following:

  1.  Provide training for current and prospective Vocational Rehabilitation Staff, and Community Partners. They will learn innovative and effective practices to improve the employment outcome of the transitioning youths.
  2. Implementation of the Transition Service Project has within the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. We are working with the youths to achieve their post secondary goals.

In May 2006, an interagency agreement was developed between the Department of Education and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. This agreement outlines the specific responsibilities of each department in the transition process. The Designated state unit is invited to participate in the Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) Process. Once the transitioning youth is referred for Vocational Rehabilitation Services and is determined eligible, an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is developed. When the students graduate the IPE is amended to reflect post school services.

The Department of Education is responsible for providing/purchasing services for students while they are in school. Once the student exits high school, the Designated State Unit purchases job placement and other related services for those students who are interested in on the job training. Students seeking technical and academic training receive tuition assistance. The agency has instituted a tuition cap in order to serve all eligible applicants seeking post secondary training. The cap is equivalent to the University of the Virgin Islands out of state fee. apply Federal Financial Aid. If a student’s financial need exceeds the financial cap, a waiver can be requested. The Designated State Unit is invited to participate in career and college fairs sponsored by the Department of Education. The opportunities are used to promote the program and educate students and their parents about the services that the Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides. Orientation sessions are scheduled bi-annually for students eligible for VR Services. The Designated State Unit is also invited to make presentations to various education/parents’ groups.

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 3:01PM by Felecia Blyden

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

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH PRIVATE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

In keeping with the Workforce Investment Act, the designated State Unit will continue to strengthen agreements with Private Non-Profit Rehabilitation Agencies. This will allow individuals with significant disabilities to develop skills which results in an employment outcome. The Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living plays a vital role by teaching independent living skills to Vocational Rehabilitation Clients who are interested in the coordination of attendant care services, mobility training and integration in community affairs. The Disability Rights Center/CAP of the Virgin Islands provides advocacy and referral services.This ensures the delivery of adequate services . The Community Rehabilitation Facilities have been restructured to ensure meaningful participation of  transitioning youth. The expanded services will focus on preparing the youths for employment. We will continue to utilize the services of Work-Able Inc. however, we plan to solicit new service providers to aid with the placement of the significantly disabled. We utilize Rehabilitation Facilities on the mainland to provide specialized assessment and training. Some of the facilities include Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center, Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf/Blind and Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh. Graduates of these programs are successful in achieving their employment goals. A local parent education and advocacy group, Virgin Islands Family Information Network on Disabilities (VIFIND), conducts workshops for parents of students with disabilities and education officials. They facilitate presentations on topics related to parenting, they also provide information relative to ITP and transitioning. The Vocational Rehabilitation Staff is invited to make presentations at these workshops.

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 3:01PM by Felecia Blyden

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.

ARRANGEMENTS AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS FOR THE PROVISION OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

The VR Administrator by law is mandated to serve as a member of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The WIB in conjunction with the State Career Technical Education has entered into a collaborative agreement with HOVENSA a Virgin Islands oil refinery. HOVENSA will provide technical training leading to employment. The Designated State Unit continues to utilize the employment services of the Department of Labor. Their offices are used to provide One-Stop-Services; this is due mainly to the lack of a One-Stop-Center in the Virgin Islands. Clients of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program are referred to the various training and placement programs offered by the Department of Labor. They are guided through the various programs by the agency’s staff. We collaborate with Work-Able to provide supported employment services and extended support to the most significantly disabled population.

The State Vocational Rehabilitation Programs is mandated to provide Supported Employment Services, however it was realized that there few vendors available locally to provide this service. As a result, steps were taken to develop Supported Employment Programs. This led to the development of Work-Able Inc. Their function is to provide assessment, job training and placement. This service is provided on a fee for service basis. The Designated State Unit is currently working to develop a contractual agreement with Work-Able, the goal being to increase employment outcomes.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 3:01PM by Felecia Blyden

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Comprehensive System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Through analysis by the program administrator and the annual updating of personnel records by the Office of Human Resources and Labor Relations; the Designated State Unit maintains a data system on personnel needs and development. This data system identifies the following

  •  the number of staff who have met the standards
  • those who are working on their requirements
  • when they have completed their requirements
  • the number of staff leaving the program
  • the number to be recruited.

Presently, the total number of the Designated State Unit staff is seventeen (17), full time equivalence (FTE). However, the Designated State Unit needs twenty (20) full time equivalence staff and has projected a need for a two full time counselors within the next five years. This is due mainly to promotional opportunities and/or relocation. The Designated State Unit recently hired three new counselors and is in the process of advertising the vacant positions. Interviews were conducted and a selection was made, however, the Designated State Unit is awaiting the Notification of Personnel Action (NOPA) before the candidate can begin her duties.

Currently, the Designated State Unit’s active caseload is approximately 457 consumers whose needs are very diverse and complex. In addition, they are markedly difficult and challenging. It is projected that within the next five (5) years the active caseload will increase to approximately 580 consumers with 480 being individuals with significant disabilities. Projections for the increase of consumers are based on all of the Designated State Unit vacant positions being filled, population increase in the territory, increase in gunshot victims, increase in Workers Compensation population, and the expected number of transitioning students within the next  five years. It is also projected that the Designated State Unit will be able to serve the projected number of consumers with its current staff as long as each position is filled.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Counselors 9 1 2
2 VR Counselor Aides 2 0 0
3 Clerical Staff 3 1 1
4 Application Analyst 1 0 0
5 District Managers 2 0 0
6 Dir. of Special Projects 1 0 0
7 Assistant Administrator 1 0 0
8 Administrator 1 1 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

There is currently one institution of higher education (University of the Virgin Islands) within the territory that offers certified undergraduate and graduate degree programs. These programs are in Psychology, Education, Nursing and Business Administration. Unfortunately, the university does not provide a degree program or courses in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 0 0 0 0 0
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Staff interested in entering the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) approved Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Programs must  enroll in universities on the United States mainland or study via distance learning. The Designated State Unit has established a developmental plan for staff entering the unit who have not met the CSPD standards. The plan is designed for individualized educational pursuit with an expectation that the standards will be met within 3 to 4 years. The Designated State Unit is communicating with the Office of Personnel and Labor Relations to approve the plan, however, the plan has to be negotiated and agreed with the counselors’collective  bargaining unit. Even though, the plan is currently not binding, the Designated State Unit is encouraging non-certified staff to meet the standards and adhere to the plan. In addition, the unit is discussing incentives to encourage staff to be highly qualified. The proposed incentive is to provide a $2,000 increase for counselors that obtain their masters degree and an additional $2,000 increase when they have receive their CRC certification.

The Designated State Unit has not been successful in its continuing efforts to interest the University of the Virgin Islands in applying for a Long Term Training Grant from RSA to establish a CORE approved Rehabilitation Counseling program. Recruitment of staff is conducted through the government personnel system of persons trained in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation counseling or persons with similar backgrounds in social work, education or psychology. Clients of the Vocational Rehabilitation program that are enrolling in college degree programs are also encouraged to consider the field of vocational rehabilitation counseling. The Designated State Unit utilizes opportunities at career fairs to provide general information in the field of vocational rehabilitation counseling to high school seniors in the territory, inclusive of students with disabilities. In addition, when the opportunity arises we offer presentations to the Mental Health Association or the Social Work or Counseling Association; the Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling profession is marketed. The State Agency plans to aggressively pursue minority staff through collaboration with the Virgin Islands Department of Personnel and the Virgin Islands Department of Labor.

 

Traditionally, the Designated State Unit has adhered to standards set by the State Civil Service System which are consistent with the highest entry-level academic degree of a B.A. in Vocational Rehabilitation counseling or a related field, needed for professions in this category. As there are no State approved or recognized certification, licensing or registration requirements for rehabilitation counselors; the Designated State Unit has based its personnel standards for counselors on those needed to meet the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) requirement which is a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field or other master’s degree that meets the CRC specifications. Deadlines and a written plan for personnel to meet the CRC requirements have been established. The Designated State Unit is communicating with the Office of Personnel and Labor Relations to approve a plan that will address this issue, however, the plan has to be negotiated and agreed with the counselors’ collective bargaining unit. The Head of the designated State Agency is very supportive of the State Unit’s recruitment efforts. Job specifications for Rehabilitation Counselors were revised to reflect a graduate degree as the minimum entry-level requirement. This revision has increased the entry-level salary and hopefully increases the pool of interested candidates.

 

The Designated State Unit annually identifies personnel need for educational upgrading. This year analysis of personnel educational need reveals that six (6) counselors are in need of further education to comply with the Designated State Unit requirement for highly qualified personnel. One (1) counselor has been accepted to the graduate program at the State University of New York at Buffalo via distance learning. The employees that remain in need of training are encouraged to participate in an accredited VR graduate degree programs. The Designated State Unit continues to work with the Office of Personnel and Labor Relations to implement an approved individualized training plan for the counselors’ professional development which has the support/approval of the counselors collective bargaining unit. The fundamental guidelines for this plan include individualized educational pursuit with anticipation that they will meet the CSPD standard for a qualified VR counselor in 3 to 4 years. Progress of these individuals with respect to meeting the applicable standard will be reviewed annually. Therefore, the Designated State Unit is committed in assisting present counseling staff with bachelor degrees to meet the new entry-level requirement of a graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Those interested persons can enroll in the local university with the understanding that they will also have to complete their studies at a CORE approved Rehabilitation Counseling program at a mainland university or via distance learning. Staff on all levels with the Designated State Unit, as well as, staff from supporting agencies, such as Independent Living, Special Education, Mental Health and the local Community Rehabilitation Programs are invited to participate in all in-service training workshops. Training is provided for staff on all levels through local programs, the State University of New York at Buffalo, Technical Assistance Continuing Education (TACE) center and by other related programs sponsored by various agencies. Training may be in areas such as Assistive Technology, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments, Computer Literacy, Workforce Development, Individual Disabilities, Method of Supervision or Ticket-To-Work. Through this mode, staff is able to keep abreast of all emerging trends and changes in the program as well as the development of self-growth. All staff is given an annual evaluation of their job performance in accordance with the territory’s personnel policies and procedures. Training needs assessments are conducted among the staff, which assists us in planning for such requests to Region 2 Technical Assistance Continuing Education (TACE) Center and other training providers. This evaluation is in no way an impediment to the purpose of the CSPD.

 

In addressing issues associated with diversity and cultural needs, the Designated State Unit employs several employees that are bilingual because of the large Hispanic population living in the territory and of the close proximity to Puerto Rico and the surrounding Hispanic islands. Furthermore, the Designated State Unit is committed to securing the cost for interpreter services for any other languages. The Designated State Unit also makes available, devices to help improve communication to visual impaired consumers. Lastly, the Designated State Agency has a Sign Language Interpreter on hand and has a list of interpreters on retainer.

 

Attempting to maximize available resources and to increase networking opportunities, the Designated State Unit plans are to continue cross-training activities that would benefit all professionals involved. The Designated State Unit is actively participating in the State Office of Special Education CSPD committee. Counselors are involved with the schools and attend training events sponsored by the schools. Counselors participate in students IEP development and provide services for students to enhance transitioning from school to work. Staff from related programs are encouraged to enroll in our training programs. Training efforts are geared to ensure the development of qualified staff for succession planning and leadership skills. The Designated State Unit takes all opportunities to involve all managers in the Unit’s overall functions. They are encouraged to attend management training programs offered by the Department, as well as, those offered off island specifically for the Vocational Rehabilitation programs. In the event of the resignation or retirement of any staff member, remaining on-board staff will be knowledgeable enough to keep the program running until replacements are found in accordance with our hiring process. The Designated State Unit continues to search for new and effective practices to attract qualified personnel to work in the territory. We have had job inquires from individuals from other mainland vocational rehabilitation agencies, from degreed Virgin Islanders returning home, and from Puerto Rico; however, qualified personnel continue to be our biggest challenge and liability.

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 3:01PM by Felecia Blyden

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.

- 1 -

NEEDS ASSESSMENT OF DISABILITY SERVICES

IN THE UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS 2007

Submitted to:

State Rehabilitation and Independent Living Councils

Prepared by:

Eastern Caribbean Center

University of the Virgin Islands

February 2008

- 1 -

NEEDS ASSESSMENT OF DISABILITY SERVICES

IN THE UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS 2007

Submitted to:

State Rehabilitation and Independent Living Councils

Prepared by:

Eastern Caribbean Center

University of the Virgin Islands

February 2008

Acknowledgments

Persons who contributed significantly to the development and the success of this

Needs Assessment Survey among persons who have been identified with disabilities include Ms Gwendolyn T. Powell, Chair, Virgin Islands Rehabilitation

Council; and Ms Felicia Brownlow, Director for the Center for Independent

Living. Both of these NGO staff persons provided first-hand assistance to the staff of ECC during the training of the survey interviewers.

Ms Myrtle Peters is acknowledged for her timely response to the pressing need for the recruitment of capable interviewers. It is worthwhile to know that some of these recruits were very experienced in the conduct of telephone interviews. Her diligent supervision during the interview periods assured an appropriate level of quality assurance in the performance of the interviewers during the call sessions.

The Research Institute staff of the Eastern Caribbean Center responded with promptness to the urgent demands for the construction of a survey instrument, to the preparation of training material and the conduct of the training session, and to the production of the tables for the final report. Ms Corene Jn-Charles and

Ms Sadio Thomas, Research Analysts, abily performed in many primary aspects of the project. They received substantive support from Research Analyst Ms Ayishih

Bellew in all the harmonized aspects of instrument development, training, application design and data management, especially in the final stages of the formatting of the document.

This work also marks the initial involvement of ECC Research Associate,

Dr Kimarie Engerman, Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Humanities/Social

Sciences Division of UVI. Dr Engerman’s prior research experience in the states prepared her to lend her skills primarily in the development of the text of the overall report.

Frank L. Mills

Principal Investigator

February 15, 2008

Eastern Caribbean Center

University of the Virgin Islands

Frank L. Mills, PhD

Director

Ayishih Bellew Corene Jn-Charles

Research Analyst III Research Analyst I

Sadio Thomas

Research Analyst I

Table of Contents

List of Tables ............................................................................................... ix

List of Figures ............................................................................................. xi

Explanation of Symbols .............................................................................. xii

Summary ...................................................................................................... xiii

INTRODUCTION...................................................................................... 1

Survey Method............................................................................................. 1

Characteristics of the Respondents .............................................................. 3

WORK HISTORY ..................................................................................... 7

Employment Status ...................................................................................... 8

Occupation ................................................................................................... 10

REASONS UNDERLYING EMPLOYMENT STATUS ........................ 11

Reasons for Unemployment......................................................................... 11

Reasons for Employment............................................................................. 12

FAMILIARITY AND UTILIZATION OF SERVICES ......................... 12

Familiarity with Services ............................................................................. 13

Services Utilized .......................................................................................... 13 vii

Agencies ....................................................................................................... 14

Benefits......................................................................................................... 15

SERVICES NEEDED ................................................................................ 16

Daily Services .............................................................................................. 16

Housing ........................................................................................................ 17

Education or Training................................................................................... 17

Mobility........................................................................................................ 18

Recreational Services ................................................................................... 18

Counseling Services ..................................................................................... 19

Advocacy and Protection Services............................................................... 20

REFERENCE............................................................................................. 23

Appendices

A. Frequency and Percentage Tables ................................................A-1

B. Survey Instrument .......................................................................B-1 viii

List of Tables

Table 1: Relationship to Disabled Person..................................................................... 4

Table 2: Age of Person with Disability......................................................................... 5

Table 3: Race of Person with Disability ....................................................................... 6

Table 4: Place of Birth .................................................................................................. 6

Table 5: Highest Level of Education ............................................................................ 7

Table 6: Primary Disability........................................................................................... 8

Table 7: Multiple Disabilities ........................................................................................ 8

Table 8: Work Status .................................................................................................... 9

Table 9: Current Work Status ....................................................................................... 9

Table 10: 2000 Census Military Statuses for Persons with Disabilities ........................ 10

Table 11: Current Occupation........................................................................................ 11

Table 12: Reasons for Unemployment .......................................................................... 12

Table 13: Assist in Job Search ....................................................................................... 13 ix

Table 14: Accommodations ........................................................................................... 14

Table 15: Communication Usage................................................................................... 14

Table 16: Services Currently Received.......................................................................... 15

Table 17: Agencies From Which Services are Currently Received .............................. 16

Table 18: Benefits Received .......................................................................................... 17

Table 19: Housing Needs............................................................................................... 18

Table 20: Educational and Training Needs.................................................................... 18

Table 21: Mobility Aid Needed ..................................................................................... 19 x

List of Figures

Figure 1: Age of Person with Disability ....................................................................... 5

Figure 2: Place of Birth ................................................................................................ 6

Figure 3: Degree of Disability ...................................................................................... 7

Figure 4: Daily Services................................................................................................ 17

Figure 5: Recreational Services .................................................................................... 19

Figure 6: Counseling Services Needed ......................................................................... 20

Figure 7: Advocacy and Protection Service Needs........................................................ 21 xi

- 9 -

Explanation of Symbols

The following symbols and abbreviations are used in tables throughout this report:

“ - ” Zero or a percent that rounds to less than 0.1.

“…” Not applicable/Not available

D Withheld to avoid disclosing figures for individual establishments. Data are included in higher-level totals. xii

SUMMARY

The Disability Assessment Study was implemented to assess how the needs of persons with disabilities in the United States Virgins Islands were being met. Specifically, the assessment focused on two main areas: (1) the disabled person’s ability to work and ability to join the workforce; and (2) services needed to allow the disabled person to live independently. This project was a collaborative effort between the State Independent Living Council (SILC), the

State Rehabilitation Council (VIRC) and the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services

Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services. These three agencies provide services to disabled persons living in the United States Virgin Islands.

A survey was conducted among 306 persons. Interviews were administered over the telephone.

In those cases when the disabled person was deaf, a face-to-face interview was conducted with the assistance of an interpreter. A little over 70 percent of the interviews were completed by disabled persons. For those circumstances when the disabled person was unable to participate in the interview, a person knowledgeable of the disabled person’s condition completed the interview.

A slightly higher percentage of females than males participated in the study. The age range of participants was 16 to 64 years. The majority of respondents were in the 21-to-24-years category. Most of the respondents were black and were born in the United States Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico. As for educational attainment, 30 percent of the respondents received a high school diploma/GED. Forty percent of the respondents viewed their disability as being moderate. The leading primary disability was mental retardation (slow learner).

This report is descriptive in nature in that it only describes findings reported. Any observed differences cannot be considered statistically significant as they were not subjected to statistical testing. Respondents were self-identified, and therefore, generalizations and inferences associated with a scientific sample cannot be made to the entire population of working-age disabled United States Virgin Islands residents. However, this report is instrumental in providing information about issues surrounding disabled persons’ ability to work and services they feel are needed. Moreover, this report organizes the results of the study into four xiii categories: (1) work history; (2) reasons underlying employment status; (3) familiarity and utilization of services; and (4) services needed by disabled persons.

Of the working-age respondents, only 34.2 percent were currently working for pay.

However, close to an additional 20 percent worked for pay within the last year. Of those who were currently employed, 17.8 percent were working full-time, 14.2 percent were working part-time, and 1.7 percent were students who were working full- or part-time.

Most of the disabled persons were working in service occupations.

About 63 percent of disabled persons were unemployed. The main reason given for their unemployment status was that their disability or illness prevented them from working.

Seventy-five percent felt they would be employed if they received more vocational training or education. Also, 73 percent stated they would have accepted employment if their employer was offering health care benefits.

In assessing the familiarity and utilization of services provided to persons with disability in the community, 70 percent of respondents indicated that they were familiar with the

Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Yet, only 11.5 percent stated they received assistance from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. A majority of the respondents revealed that they receive assistance from others sources as opposed to the specific agencies listed on the survey instrument.

Disabled persons’ use of accommodation and communication devices was rather low.

However, the service currently received by most disabled persons was counseling (14.5 percent). The agencies from which most disabled persons were receiving services were: the Social Security Administration (40 percent), the Department of Human Services (34.5 percent), Food Stamp (21.6 percent), the Medical Assistance Program (19 percent), and the

Vocational Rehabilitation Program (19 percent). About one quarter of all the disabled persons received Medicaid.

Respondents were asked a series of questions about the services they felt were needed.

Transportation was the leading daily service need for persons with disabilities. Although the housing needs were not drastically high, home ownership emerged as the highest need. xiv

Likewise, there was no expression of a high mobility need. However, of the ones listed, support cane or white cane was the highest need reported. When it came to education or training, respondents felt it was equally important to be able to attend college and receive onthe- job training. Additionally, exercise programs ranked high on the list of recreational services respondents were interested in receiving. One quarter of the respondents needed general counseling services and a little over a third of the respondents needed advocacy and protection services. xv

- 1 -

INTRODUCTION

According to the US Virgin Islands 2000 Census of Population and Housing, 18.2 percent of the population aged 16 to 64 in the United States Virgin Islands was disabled. Disability was classified in four categories. The persons in these categories had conditions that lasted six months or more which made it difficult for the person to perform certain activities. The four categories were: (a) mental disability, focusing on learning, remembering, or concentrating;

(b) self-care disability, focusing on bathing, dressing, or getting around inside the home;

(c) going-outside-the-home disability, focusing on going outside the home alone to shop; and

(d) employment disability, focusing on working at a job or business.

The findings from the 2000 Census revealed that 13.4 percent of disabled persons were blind or deaf. Also, 28.6 percent had a physical limit to activity disability. Nearly 7 percent had a home care problem, and close to 15 percent had a learning problem. About 29 percent had a mobility problem and a little over 64 percent had some sort of working limitation. As for the working age (16 to 64 years), 11.4 percent were fully termed employment disabled.

For this reason, three agencies in the United States Virgin Islands community joined forces to assess how the needs of persons with disabilities in the Virgin Islands were being met. The agencies were the State Independent Living Council (SILC), the State Rehabilitation Council

(VIRC) and the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services Division of Disabilities and

Rehabilitation Services. Their disability assessment focused on two overarching areas: (1) the disabled person’s ability to work and ability to join the workforce; and (2) services needed to allow the disabled person to live independently.

Survey Method

There does not exist in the Virgin Islands a single master list of all persons with disabilities, or of all households with persons having disabilities. (The addresses of households collected in

- 2 - the 2000 Census remain confidential with the Census Bureau.) In the absence of such a list, it was decided that a comprehensive media effort be made to reach the largest number of persons with disabilities. The sponsoring agencies collectively targeted messages via public service announcements in both English and Spanish on network TV at four locations throughout the

Virgin Islands.

This was followed by primetime spot announcements on three different TV stations.

Newspaper advertisements in English and Spanish on different days were made in the two major newspapers in the Virgin Islands. There was also a widely distributed flyer that carried the bold headline “You can be Free!” followed by the encouraging words: “We want to know what your needs are so we can help. Tell us what barriers are preventing you or someone you know from finding a career and living independently”. Persons with disabilities were urged to call an advertised telephone number, at which time their specific information—telephone number, address, disability type, etc—was collected for a follow-up telephone call from an interviewer.

Despite the best efforts of the sponsors, there is no guarantee that every person with a disability was registered during the advertising period. The total number of persons available for interview constituted a combined list of previously registered persons with the service agencies, in addition to those whose information was being recorded for the first time.

Interviewers were trained on October 30, 2007. The objectives of the survey were explained, then the individual questions of the instrument were thoroughly discussed, and needed modifications were noted for improvement before the survey instrument was finalized.

English- and Spanish-speaking interviewers were recruited to administer the Disability

Assessment Survey over the telephone. Face-to-face interviews, with the assistance of an

- 3 - interpreter, were administered to persons with a deafness disability. All interviewers received training on the interview protocol to ensure the reliability in administration. Interviews were conducted during the weekdays (9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.); weeknights (6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.); and weekends (1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.).

Of the 459 names that were recorded as potential respondents, 306 survey instruments were completed. Interviewers were required to make six attempts to contact each person with a disability. Yet in some circumstances, more than six attempts were made. Also, since the telephone contact list was obtained from multiple sources, there were duplicate names. This resulted in a few persons with disabilities being contacted more than once. The questionnaire was completed each time by the respondent or someone else in the household, and researchers subsequently examined the duplicated questionnaires for discrepancies. The final questionnaire submitted was the one that most accurately reflected the respondent’s situation.

The majority of the interviews were completed by persons who had disabilities (70.5 percent). In those circumstances in which the person with a disability was not available, the interviews were conducted with an adult who was knowledgeable of the disabilities and condition of the person with the disabilities. This person was typically a parent (19.7 percent) or family member (6.6 percent) (Table 1).

Characteristics of the Respondents

A slightly higher percentage of females (52.5 percent) completed the survey in comparison to males (47.5 percent). The ages ranged from 16 to 64 years. Figure 1 illustrates that in 2000, only 4.8 percent of disabled persons were in the 21 to 24 age group. However, in 2007, 21.0 percent of disabled persons were in this age category. This shows that the survey identified a much larger proportion of young persons than did the Census in 2000, and implicitly suggests

- 4 - that the number increased over the 7-year period. Additionally, in the Census, 24.9 percent of disabled persons were in the category age 55 to 64 compared to 14.5 percent in 2007. This illustrates that disability may be on the decline in the 55 to 64 age category (Table 2).

However, caution is advised in drawing any firm conclusion about the suggestion of increase and decline since the two sets of numbers were derived from two very different sources.

In both 2000 and 2007, most disabled persons in the United States Virgin Islands were black (78.6 percent and 88.4 percent, respectively). Table 3 displays the racial demographics for disabled persons.

Also in 2007, the highest percentage (67.5 percent) of disabled persons was born in the

United States Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico. This figure has changed from 2000 when the highest percentage of disabled persons at that time—40.6 percent—was born in the Eastern

Caribbean (Table 4).

A High School Diploma/GED was the highest level of education attained by most disabled persons in 2000 (26.2 percent) and 2007(29.6 percent). The second highest in both years was

12th Grade but No Diploma/Certificate of Completion (see Table 5).

Table 1. Relationship to Person with the Disabilty: 2007

Relationship Number Percent

Total 305 100.0

Person with the disability 215 70.5

Parent 60 19.7

Spouse 2 0.7

Relative or other family member 20 6.6

Friend - -

Caretaker 1 0.3

Legal guardian 4 1.3

Other 3 1.0

- 5 -

Considering the level to which persons viewed their disability, 35 percent said it was

“Severe,” 40 percent said it was “Moderate,” and 25 percent said it was “Slight.” Figure 3 provides an illustration.

Overall in 2007, the largest number of disabled persons was classified in the “mental retardation (slow learner)” category (23.1 percent). However, in 2000, 14.8 percent of the disabled population indicated that they had some sort of learning problem.

Table 2. Age of Person with the Disability: 2000 and 2007

Age group (years) Number Percent Number Percent

Total 310 100.0 12,650 100.0

16 to 20 53 17.1 620 4.9

21 to 24 65 21.0 610 4.8

25 to 34 55 17.7 2,330 18.4

35 to 44 44 14.2 2,830 22.4

45 to 54 48 15.5 3,110 24.6

55 to 64 45 14.5 3,150 24.9

Median Age 27.8 35.2

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

Figure 1. Age Distribution of Persons with Disabilities

0.0

5.0

10.0

15.0

20.0

25.0

16 to 20 21 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55 to 64

Age Group

Percent

2007 Survey

Census 2000

- 6 -

This was followed by visual impairment (15.7 percent) where they had problems seeing and other orthopedic problems (14.3 percent). Table 6 provides a listing of the primary

Table 3. Race of Person with Disability: 2000 and 2007

Race Number Percent Number Percent

Total 302 100.0 12,360 100.0

Black 267 88.4 9,710 78.6

White 13 4.3 1,530 12.4

American Indian of Alaska Native 2 0.7 60 0.5

Asian 2 0.7 160 1.3

Pacific Islander 1 0.3 - -

Other 17 5.6 900 7.3

Note: For 2000 Census numbers, those who classified themselves with more than one race have been excluded.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

Table 4. Place of Birth: 2000 and 2007

Birthplace Number Percent Number Percent

Total 302 100.0 12,650 100.0

USVI/ Puerto Rico 204 67.5 4,850 38.3

United States 27 8.9 1,680 13.3

Eastern Caribbean 53 17.5 5,130 40.6

Dominican Republic 5 1.7 430 3.4

Haiti - - 70 0.6

Other 13 4.3 490 3.9

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

Figure 2. Place of Birth of Persons with Disabilities

0.0

10.0

20.0

30.0

40.0

50.0

60.0

70.0

USVI/ Puerto

Rico

United

States

Eastern

Caribbean

Dominican

Republic

Haiti Other

Birthplace

Percent

2007 Survey

Census 2000

- 7 - disabilities specified by respondents. Also, Table 7 lists the multiple disabilities respondents reported having.

WORK HISTORY

This section focuses on responses to questions about respondents’ employment status.

In particular, information is provided on respondents’ current employment, occupation, and recent employment.

Table 5. Highest Level of Education: 2000 and 2007

Education levels Number Percent Number Percent

Total 301 100.0 12,650 100.0

None/ Elementary School 10 3.3 1,120 8.9

Junior High School 19 6.3 1,340 10.6

9th to 11th grade 60 19.9 2,320 18.3

12th Grade but No Diploma/ Certificate of Completion 44 14.6 1,120 8.9

High School Diploma/ GED 89 29.6 3,310 26.2

Some college but no degree 48 15.9 1,490 11.8

Trade or Vocational Certificate 10 3.3 … …

Associate degree 8 2.7 390 3.1

Bachelor's degree 9 3.0 1,050 8.3

Graduate degree 2 0.7 510 4.0

Other 2 0.7 … …

Note: Special Education Diploma included in the 12th grade but no diploma category.

2007 Survey Census 2000

Figure 3. Degree of Disability

S light

24%

S evere

35%

Moderate

41%

S light

Moderate

S evere

- 8 -

Employment Status

Of the respondents who were of working age, about one-third of them—34.2 percent— were currently working for pay in 2007. This figure represents a decrease of 21 percent

Table 6. Primary Disability: 2007

Disability Number Percent

Total 286 100.0

Visual impairment (problems seeing) 45 15.7

Hearing impairment (problems hearing) 30 10.5

Amputation (loss of one or both arms or legs) 6 2.1

Other orthopedic (bone or joint problem) 41 14.3

Mental illness (emotional problem, mental health) 26 9.1

Mental retardation (slow learner) 66 23.1

Epilepsy 7 2.4

Cancer 1 0.3

Kidney problems 7 2.4

Paraplegic 4 1.4

Quadriplegic 3 1.0

Cerebral palsy 1 0.3

Neurological (parkinson, multiple sclerosis) 16 5.6

Other 33 11.5

Table 7. Multiple Disabilities: 2007

Disability Number Percent

Visual impairment (problems seeing) 45 14.5

Hearing impairment (problems hearing) 30 9.7

Amputation (loss of one or both arms or legs) 6 1.9

Other orthopedic (bone or joint problem) 41 13.2

Mental illness (emotional problem, mental health) 26 8.4

Mental retardation (slow learner) 66 21.3

Epilepsy 7 2.3

Cancer 1 0.3

Stroke 13 4.2

Paraplegic 6 1.9

Quadriplegic 4 1.3

Cerebral palsy 4 1.3

Neurological (parkinson, multiple sclerosis) 19 6.1

Other 52 16.8

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could have provided more than one answer.

- 9 - from 55.4 percent in 2000 who were working for pay. Within the last year, a majority of the respondents—46.3 percent—were not working for pay. This is an increase from the 34.9 percent who were not working for pay in the year before 2000.

However, the disabled persons working for pay in the year before 2007 doubled (19.5 percent) from those in 2000 where only 9.7 percent were working for pay (see Table 8). To further assess the employment status of disabled persons, questions were asked about their current work situation. Table 9 shows that the highest percentage of disabled persons was unemployed and looking for work (28.7 percent). On the contrary, the second highest percentage of disabled persons was unemployed and not looking for work (24.4).

Furthermore, 17.8 percent were working full-time and 14.2 percent were part-time. Only

Table 8. Work Status: 2000 and 2007

Work Status Number Percent Number Percent

Total 298 100.0 12,650 100.0

Unemployed but worked for pay in the last year 58 19.5 1,230 9.7

Unemployed and did not work for pay in the last year 138 46.3 4,410 34.9

Currently working for pay 102 34.2 7,010 55.4

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample, U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

Table 9. Current Work Situation: 2007

Work situation Number Percent

Total 303 100.0

Working full-time 54 17.8

Working part-time 43 14.2

Unemployed and looking for work 87 28.7

Unemployed and not looking for work 74 24.4

An unemployed student 29 9.6

A student working full or part-time 5 1.7

In the armed forces - -

Retired 11 3.6

- 10 -

3.6 percent were retired. According to Table 9, none of the respondents were in the armed forces.

This gives the impression that persons with disabilities have no military affiliation.

However, the 2000 Census showed that a few disabled persons had military affiliation. Six percent was on active duty in the past (see Table 10.).

Occupation

Respondents were asked about their current occupation in order to gain insight on the types of jobs persons with disabilities currently hold. Table 11 highlights the results of the survey and compares them to the results of the 2000 Census. In 2007, most disabled persons were service workers (39.6 percent).

This is consistent with the findings in 2000. The highest percentage of disabled workers in 2000 was service workers (21.5 percent). There was a drastic decline in self-employed disabled workers in 2007—2.0 percent versus 15.7 percent. Also, similar findings exist in the decrease in disabled persons working in skilled craftsman/foreman positions (1.0 percent versus 15.3 percent). On the contrary, the number of unskilled laborers doubled in

2007.

Table 10. Military Status for Persons with Disabilities: 2000

Military status Number Percent

Total 12,520 100.0

Yes, now on active duty 20 0.2

Yes, past active duty, but not now 770 6.2

Training for the Reserves or National Guard only 150 1.2

Never served in the military 11,580 92.5

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

Census 2000

- 11 -

REASONS UNDERLYING EMPLOYMENT STATUS

Close to 63 percent of disabled persons were not working, whether full-time, part-time or in conjunction with attending school. Therefore, this section examines the reasons for unemployment and employment.

Reasons for Unemployment

Respondents were asked a series of questions to ascertain why they were unemployed.

The interviewers read out a list or reasons and the respondents were asked to select the ones that most closely suited their situation. Table 12 highlights the reasons for unemployment.

The prevailing reason for unemployment was that the disability or illness prevented the person from working. This indicates that respondents’ employment situation is most likely caused by their disability. Ten percent felt that they were not qualified for the jobs that

Table 11. Current Occupation: 2000 and 2007

Occupation Number Percent Number Percent

Total 101 100.0 7,010 100.0

Professional 14 13.9 1,060 15.1

Managerial 2 2.0 310 4.4

Self-employed 2 2.0 1,100 15.7

Clerical worker 10 9.9 850 12.1

Sales worker 14 13.9 680 9.7

Skilled craftsman/foreman 1 1.0 1,070 15.3

Unskilled laborer 15 14.9 420 6.0

Service worker 40 39.6 1,510 21.5

Farm worker 1 1.0 10 0.1

Military service - - - -

Homemaker 2 2.0 … …

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

- 12 - were available. Not having a resume was the least reason given for not being employed. It is worth mentioning that the concept of pay was not a significant reason for their employment status.

Reasons for Employment

To determine what would be needed for respondents to be employed, questions were asked about vocational training or education and health care benefits. Seventy-five percent of the respondents felt they would be employed if they received more vocational training or education. On the other hand, 25 percent felt that was not the case. Receiving more vocational training or education would not make them become employed. Furthermore, 73 percent felt they would have accepted employment if their employer was offering health care benefits. Whereas 19 percent disagreed and would not have accepted employment if their employer was offering health care benefits.

FAMILIARITY AND UTILIZATION OF SERVICES

This section examines respondents’ familiarity with services available to persons with disability and their use of such services. Specifically, this section provides information on

Table 12. Reasons for Unemployment: 2007

Reason for Unemployment Number Percent

Disability or illness that prevents you from working 129 61.4

Not qualified for the jobs that are available 21 10.0

Employers discriminate against you because of disability 13 6.2

No jobs available in my geographic area 10 4.8

Employer not willing to provide special equipment/accommodations needed for work 7 3.3

Available jobs do not pay well 3 1.4

No interest in working for pay 6 2.9

Does not have a resume 1 0.5

Other 26 12.4

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could have provided more than one answer.

- 13 - knowledge of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, utilization of accommodations and communication devices, benefits and services received, and agencies providing benefits.

Familiarity with Services

Respondents were asked if they were familiar with the Vocational Rehabilitation

Program. Close to 70 percent of the respondents indicated that they were indeed familiar with the program.

Although the majority of respondents were familiar with the Vocational Rehabilitation

Program, it does not imply that all these respondents do utilize the services. For instance, when asked what agencies provided assistance in finding employment, only 11.5 percent stated that they received assistance from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Table 13).

A majority of respondents indicated that they received assistance from “Other” sources

(38.9 percent) as opposed to the other agencies listed.

Services Utilized

In 2000, 13.4 percent of disabled persons were blind or deaf. Disabled persons’ use of accommodations and communication devices was drastically low in 2007. Table 14 and

Table 15 present the findings for both of these items. The highest percentage of

Table 13. Agencies Assisting in Finding Employment: 2007

Agency Number Percent

School 6 5.3

Vocational Rehabilitation 13 11.5

Department of Labor 7 6.2

Work-Able 8 7.1

VI Resource Center 7 6.2

The Harvest 4 3.5

Other 44 38.9

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could

Note: have provided more than one answer.

- 14 - accommodations used was “Hearing aid”—7.7 percent. Eight percent of disabled persons used “Large print” in regards to communication devices. “Interpreter services” and

“Braille” were the least accommodations and communication devices used.

Similarly, in regards to other services utilized, the values were not significantly high.

However, of the services listed, counseling was the leading services (14.5 percent) currently received by respondents. Close to 10 percent of respondents were receiving physical therapy and vocational training. Table 16 lists the services respondents were currently receiving.

Agencies

A further assessment was made of the agencies in the community providing services to disabled persons. It was found that most of the respondents received services from Social

Table 14. Accommodations Usage: 2007

Accommodation Number Percent

TDD(telephone device for the deaf) / TTY 8 2.6

Hearing aid 24 7.7

Low vision aid 18 5.8

Interpreter service 6 1.9

Other 11 3.5

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could have

Note: provided more than one answer.

Table 15. Communication Usage: 2007

Communication aid Number Percent

Sign language 18 5.8

Reader 17 5.5

Speech therapy 10 3.2

Large print 25 8.1

Braille 10 3.2

Other 18 5.8

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could

Note: have provided more than one answer.

- 15 -

Security Administration (40.0 percent) (Table 17). A little over one-third of the respondents were receiving services from the Department of Human Services. Additionally, 21.6 percent of the respondents received services from Food Stamp. About the same proportion of respondents (19 percent) received services from the Medical Assistance Program and the

Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Table 17 lists the agencies that provided services to the respondents.

Benefits

A quarter of disabled persons reported Medicare as the leading benefit received.

Medical Assistance (Medicaid) was the second highest benefit (18.4 percent). As shown in

Table 18, all the other benefits received were relatively low.

Table 16. Services Currently Received: 2007

Service Number Percent

Counseling 45 14.5

Independent living skills (cooking, sewing, cleaning) 30 9.7

Physical therapy 29 9.4

Vocational training 20 6.5

Special education 18 5.8

Inform/ referral service 16 5.2

Family services 14 4.5

Personal assistant 12 3.9

Interpreter service 11 3.5

Recreational activities 11 3.5

Mobility services 10 3.2

Reader 10 3.2

Training in self care (grooming, bathing, etc.) 10 3.2

Other 2 0.6

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could have provided

Note: more than one answer.

- 16 -

SERVICES NEEDED

This section describes the services needed by persons with disabilities. It includes information about needs for daily living, housing, education or training, mobility, recreational services, counseling service, and advocacy and protection service. These specific questions were asked during the interview. Therefore, this section is not exhaustive in that it includes all the needs that persons with disabilities have.

Daily Services

Figure 4 shows the daily services needs of persons with disabilities. One third of all persons with disabilities expressed a need for transportation. The need for a personal attendant was second at 15.5 percent.

Table 17. Agencies From Which Services are Currently Received: 2007

Agency Number Percent

Social Security Adminstration 124 40.0

Department of Human Services 107 34.5

Food Stamp 67 21.6

Medical Assistance Program 59 19.0

Vocational Rehabilitation 59 19.0

Housing Authority 45 14.5

Center for Independent Living 43 13.9

Department of Labor 35 11.3

Special Education 31 10.0

VI Resource Center for the Disabled 29 9.4

Work-Able Inc. 28 9.0

Disability Rights of the VI 20 6.5

Division of Mental Health 19 6.1

Regional Library for the Blind 12 3.9

Women Infants and Children (WIC) 12 3.9

Dial-A-Ride 11 3.5

The Harvest 9 2.9

Home Health 7 2.3

Maternal/Child Health (MCH) 3 1.0

Vitran Plus 3 1.0

Senior Citizens Recreation Centers 2 0.6

Other 1 0.3

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could have provided more than one answer.

- 17 -

Housing

In regards to housing needs, home ownership was the leading need at 16.5 percent. This was followed by the need for a room or apartment at 15.2 percent (Table 19).

Education or Training

When it came to the need for obtaining education or training, college and on-the-job training emerged as equally important needs (see Table 20). Close to 25 percent of the

Table 18. Benefits Received: 2007

Benefits Number Percent

Unemployment insurance 5 1.6

Child care benefits 4 1.3

Short-term disability insurance 4 1.3

Workman's compensation 5 1.6

Section eight (Housing) 18 5.8

Other housing benefits 8 2.6

Private long-term disability insurance 24 7.7

Veteran's benefits 5 1.6

Medical assistance 57 18.4

Medicare 80 25.8

Other 17 5.5

Figure 4. Daily Services

0.0

10.0

20.0

30.0

40.0

Personal

Attendant

Daily Living

Skills

Assistive

Technology

Money

Management

Transportation Other

- 18 - respondents indicated a need for both. Twenty-one percent of respondents also reported a need for vocational training.

Mobility

According to the 2000 Census, 28.9 percent of disabled persons had some form of mobility difficulty. Table 21 shows the 2007 mobility needs for the respondents. “Support cane or white cane”—13.9 percent—was the highest expressed mobility need. A little over

10 percent had a need for a “Wheelchair”.

Recreational Services

In 2000, 28.6 percent of disabled persons had a physical limitation that prohibited their participation in activities. Nevertheless, in 2007, respondents were asked what recreational

Table 19. Housing Needs: 2007

Housing need Number Percent

Supplementary housing assistance 43 13.9

Room/ apartment 47 15.2

Accessible public/ private Housing 27 8.7

Home ownership 51 16.5

Other 10 3.2

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could

Note: have provided more than one answer.

Table 20. Educational and Training Needs: 2007

Educational/ training need Number Percent

Remedial 26 8.4

Vocational 65 21.0

College 77 24.8

Retraining 23 7.4

On-the-job training 76 24.5

Job coaching 26 8.4

Other 13 4.2

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could

Note: have provided more than one answer.

- 19 - services they were interested in receiving. “Exercise programs” ranked highest on the response list as can be seen in Figure 5. Close to half of the respondents indicated that they were interested in receiving “Exercise programs”. A third of the respondents stated that they were interested in swimming programs. About 25 percent of the respondents were interested in receiving “Leisure time activities”.

Figure 4 shows the daily services needs of persons with disabilities. One-third of all persons with disabilities expressed a need for transportation. The need for a personal attendant was second at 15.5 percent.

Table 21. Mobility Aid Needed: 2007

Mobility aid Number Percent

Mobility training 4 1.3

Walker 17 5.5

Wheelchair 33 10.6

Prosthesis 5 1.6

Support cane or white cane 43 13.9

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could

Note: have provided more than one answer.

46.1%

13.2%

24.8%

32.3%

0.0

10.0

20.0

30.0

40.0

50.0

E xercise

P rogram

Leisure

Resources

S wimming

P rogram

Leisure Time

Ac tivity

Figure 5. Recreational Services

- 20 -

Counseling Services

Respondents were asked what counseling services they needed out of “General counseling”,

“Psychological counseling”, and “Peer counseling”. Figure 6 shows that the largest expressed need was for “General counseling” (25.8 percent). This was followed by

“Psychological counseling” (13.2 percent) and “Peer counseling” (8.7 percent).

Advocacy and Protection Service

Respondents were asked to indicate their need for advocacy and protection service. The proportions of expressed needs are evident from Figure 7. “Rights and Benefits/Advocacy

Services” (36.1 percent) emerged as the leading advocacy and protection service needs of disabled persons. This was followed by “Legal services” (17.1 percent).

13.2%

8.7%

25.8%

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

General C ouns eling P s ychological

Counseling

P eer C ouns eling

F igure 6. C ouns eling S ervice Needs

- 21 -

36.1%

17.1%

0.6%

0

10

20

30

40

Legal (lawyer s ervices )

Rights and

Benefits /A dvocac y

S ervices

Other

Figure 7. Advocacy and Protection

- 22 -

- 23 -

REFERENCE

US Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

US Virgin Islands: 2004.

- 24 -

Appendix A

Frequency and Percentage Tables

___________________________________________________________________________________

Table Page

___________________________________________________________________________________

Table A1. Final Disposition of Contact: 2007 ................................................................................... A-3

Table A2. Relationship to Person with the Disability: 2007............................................................ A-4

Table A3. Age of Person with the Disability: 2000 and 2007......................................................... A-5

Table A4. Sex of Person with the Disability: 2000 and 2007 .......................................................... A-6

Table A5. Familiarity with Vocational Rehabilitation: 2007 ............................................................. A-7

Table A6. Current Work Situation: 2007 ............................................................................................ A-8

Table A7. Work Status: 2000 and 2007 ............................................................................................. A-9

Table A8. Current Occupation: 2000 and 2007 .............................................................................. A-10

Table A9. Agencies Assisting in Finding Employment: 2007........................................................ A-11

Table A10. Would be Employed with More Education: 2007.......................................................... A-12

Table A11. Would Accept Work if Employer Offered Health Care Benefits: 2007....................... A-13

Table A12. Unemployed but Worked for Pay Within the Last Year: 2007 .................................... A-14

Table A13. Disability or Illness Prevents Work: 2000 and 2007..................................................... A-15

Table A14. Reasons for Unemployment: 2007 ................................................................................. A-16

Table A15. Race of Person with Disability: 2000 and 2007 ............................................................ A-17

Table A16. Place of Birth: 2000 and 2007 ......................................................................................... A-18

Table A17. Degree of Disability: 2007 ................................................................................................ A-19

Table A18. Highest Level of Education: 2000 and 2007.................................................................. A-20

Table A19. Benefits Received: 2007 .................................................................................................. A-21

Table A20. Daily Service Needs: 2007............................................................................................... A-22

Table A21. Accommodations Usage: 2007 ....................................................................................... A-23

Table A22. Communication Usage: 2007 .......................................................................................... A-24

Table A23. Housing Needs: 2007 ....................................................................................................... A-25

Table A24. Educational/ Training Needs: 2007................................................................................. A-26

Table A25. Mobility Aid Needs: 2007.................................................................................................. A-27

Table A26. Recreational Interests: 2007............................................................................................ A-28

Table A27. Counseling Service Needs: 2007.................................................................................... A-29

Table A28. Advocacy and Protection Service Needs: 2007............................................................ A-30

Table A29. Multiple Disabilities: 2007................................................................................................. A-31

Table A30. Primary Disability: 2007.................................................................................................... A-32

A-2

___________________________________________________________________________________

Table Page

___________________________________________________________________________________

Table A31. Agencies From Which Services are Currently Received: 2007.................................. A-33

Table A32. Services Currently Received: 2007 ................................................................................... A-34

NOTE: Tables are ordered according to their appearance in the survey instrument.

(See Appendix B)

A-3

Table A1. Final Disposition of Contact: 2007

Disposition 2007 Survey

Total names given 459

No numbers 11

Complete 306

Incomplete 4

Refusal 6

Not at home -

Excessive call backs 7

Wrong number 24

Line disconnected 41

Did not attend scheduled meetings (Deaf) 23

Other 40

A-4

Table A2. Relationship to Person with the Disability: 2007

Relationship Number Percent

Total 305 100.0

Person with the disability 215 70.5

Parent 60 19.7

Spouse 2 0.7

Relative or other family member 20 6.6

Friend - -

Caretaker 1 0.3

Legal guardian 4 1.3

Other 3 1.0

A-5

Table A3. Age of Person with the Disability: 2000 and 2007

Age group (years) Number Percent Number Percent

Total 310 100.0 12,650 100.0

16 to 20 53 17.1 620 4.9

21 to 24 65 21.0 610 4.8

25 to 34 55 17.7 2,330 18.4

35 to 44 44 14.2 2,830 22.4

45 to 54 48 15.5 3,110 24.6

55 to 64 45 14.5 3,150 24.9

Median Age 27.8 35.2

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

A-6

Table A4. Sex of Person with the Disability: 2000 and 2007

Sex Number Percent Number Percent

Total 305 100.0 12,650 100.0

Male 145 47.5 6,490 51.3

Female 160 52.5 6,160 48.7

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

A-7

Table A5. Familiarity with Vocational Rehabilitation: 2007

Response Number Percent

Total 303 100.0

Yes 211 69.6

No 92 30.4

2007 Survey

A-8

Table A6. Current Work Situation: 2007

Work situation Number Percent

Total 303 100.0

Working full-time 54 17.8

Working part-time 43 14.2

Unemployed and looking for work 87 28.7

Unemployed and not looking for work 74 24.4

An unemployed student 29 9.6

A student working full or part-time 5 1.7

In the armed forces - -

Retired 11 3.6

A-9

Table A7. Work Status: 2000 and 2007

Work Status Number Percent Number Percent

Total 298 100.0 12,650 100.0

Unemployed but worked for pay in the last year 58 19.5 1,230 9.7

Unemployed and did not work for pay in the last year 138 46.3 4,410 34.9

Currently working for pay 102 34.2 7,010 55.4

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample, U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

A-10

Table A8. Current Occupation: 2000 and 2007

Occupation Number Percent Number Percent

Total 101 100.0 7,010 100.0

Professional 14 13.9 1,060 15.1

Managerial 2 2.0 310 4.4

Self-employed 2 2.0 1,100 15.7

Clerical worker 10 9.9 850 12.1

Sales worker 14 13.9 680 9.7

Skilled craftsman/foreman 1 1.0 1,070 15.3

Unskilled laborer 15 14.9 420 6.0

Service worker 40 39.6 1,510 21.5

Farm worker 1 1.0 10 0.1

Military service - - - -

Homemaker 2 2.0 … …

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Public Use Microdata Sample,

Source: U.S. Virgin Islands: 2004.

2007 Survey Census 2000

A-11

Table A9. Agencies Assisting in Finding Employment: 2007

Agency Number Percent

School 6 5.3

Vocational Rehabilitation 13 11.5

Department of Labor 7 6.2

Work-Able 8 7.1

VI Resource Center 7 6.2

The Harvest 4 3.5

Other 44 38.9

Note: Percentages do not total to 100.0 percent because respondents could

Note: have provided more than one answer.

A-12

Table A10. Would be Employed with More Education: 2007

Response Number Percent

Total 197 100.0

Yes 148 75.1

No 49 24.9

A-13

Table A11. Would Accept Work if Employer Offered Health Care Benefits: 2007

Response Number Percent

Total 194 100.0

Yes 154 79.4

No 40 20.6

A-14

Table A12. Unemployed but Worked for Pay Within the Last Year: 2007

Response Number Percent

Total 196 100.0

Yes 58 29.6

No 138 70.4

A-15

Table A13. Disability or

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2010 8:46AM by safinchv

The Designated State Unit continues to serve all applicants referred for service. We will not operate under an Order of Selection for fiscal year 2012. Applications for Vocational Rehabilitation Services have increased, as well as the cost of providing these services. This is largely due to our geographical location which requires clients to access services on the US mainland.

The amount of Title I Vocational Rehabilitation Grant has not increased. It is estimated that we will be able to serve all individuals in the territory who are eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. There is an increased need for specialized training that’s not available in the Territory. In many cases individuals have to leave the Territory to realize their vocational goals.

The number of individuals who will receive services provided with funds under Part B of Title VI for Fiscal Year 2012 is estimated to be ten. Due to challenges with the availability of functional CRPs we have been unable to provide adequate Supported Employment Services to meet the needs of the significantly disabled population in Fiscal Year 2011. Through the transitioning program, staff will be able to augment our supported employment needs while we continue to work on implementing functional CRPs. This is a high priority area for the 2012 Fiscal Year. The cost of services for the number of individuals estimated to be eligible for services is estimated to be $2,101,025.00

 

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
0
Totals   $0 0

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 2:09AM by Felecia Blyden

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 State Agency was awarded additional funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The approved ARRA plan was granted by RSA in April 2010. The funds were used to improve the State Agency’s Case Management System, and create two Transition Connection units in the Territory. The Transition Connection units were designed to works with VR counselors on post secondary youths in achieving their post secondary goals. The following are goals set for the next fiscal year.

 

1.   Increase the number of individuals with significant disabilities applying for the services by 10% in Fiscal Year 2012. The fiscal year 2009 number of referrals will be the baseline number to track the increase. The number of referrals received in FY 2009 was 252 and the number of referral for FY 2011 has not been calculated at this time. This goal will remain for 2012.   It will be accomplished by  holding informational forums jointly with the State Rehabilitation Council describing the Vocational Rehabilitation Process for parent groups, education officials, families, and other service providers. These on-going activities and will continue to form additional collaborative working relationships.

 

The ARRA funds will be used to enhance the Vocational Rehabilitation Case Management System which will enhance the administration of the

program. Several meeting were held, however this goals remains an on-going activity. Finalizing this contract is a time consuming issue.  This is

largely due to the fact  that Software AG is a mainland vendor; the procurement process for off-Island vendors has changed requiring several external

departments’ approval as well as approval from the Third Party Fiduciary Officer.

 

ARRA funds will also be used to provide training for current and new Vocational Rehabilitation Staff. They will learn effective and innovative practices to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Specific emphasis will be placed on the transitioning students and under/un-served youths. Included in the Transition Unit are assessment, employment plan, job placement and internships.

•       Encourage peer mentoring of persons with disabilities which focuses on employment and empower individuals to leave the benefits system. VR has conducted open houses for consumers, featuring former consumers, who have achieved successful employment.

•       Marketing the Vocational Rehabilitation Program through television programs, radio and newspaper ads. The Administrator and several staff members have been marketing the VR program on television and radio. This will continue with a major marketing plan utilizing a portion of the basic grant. In addition, a marketing firm has been selected and a plan has been developed for the packaging and marketing of the VR program.

•       Encourage Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to engage in outreach activities by developing contacts with prospective employers in the private and public sector. The Counselors are working on improving their presence in the community and have attended activities in the schools and other public and private agencies. Additional training for Counselors to become proficient in job search and placement is planned for the upcoming fiscal year. Training will be provided by Region-2 Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center (TACE).

 

2.         Show improvement on Federal Performance Standards and Indicators 1.1 and 1.5 by:

 

•     Increasing the number of employment outcomes (26s) in the basic grant for fiscal year 2012. The baseline data from FY 2006 for 26 will be the starting point. In FY 2009 the agreement with RSA was that the Division would strive to achieve 52 successful closures (26). The successful employment outcome for 2009 was 44. In FY 2010 we will not achieve our current goal of 54 successful closures. This is due mainly to the down turn in the economy; and the resignation of Counselors as predicted. Successful closures for FY 2010 were 34. The goal for 2011 will be adjusted to reflect a more realistic amount of 40 and in 2012 the amount of successful closures will be a 3% over the previous year.

•       Increasing the average hourly wage per employment outcome by 1% for fiscal years 2012. According to the 911 report for 2008 the average hourly wage was $10.24. In FYI 2009, the 911 report, showed a decrease because the average hourly wage was $9.92. In 2010 the average hourly wages drop to $8.64. These results were predicted by the economic crisis and loss of counselors.

•       Increase the average percentage of employment closures that are at or above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) by 3% for fiscal year 2012. The baseline year is FY 2006’s and the average for that year was 77%. The FY 2009 SGA was $980.00. The 911 report of FY 2009 indicate a 73% above this average and 27% below of the 44 successful closures. In FY 2010, the SGA was set at $1000.00 a month. According to the 911 Successful Closures Report, 52.94% of the successful closures were above the SGA and 47.06% were below of the 34 successful closures in 2010.

•       Fill all vacant Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors’ positions and continue to work on the development of staff in order to meet the graduate entry-level requirements.

•       Continue to provide Counselors with training in case management and job placement. Provide in-service training through teleconferences and formal training sessions with the TACE Center.

 

3.         The State Agency will educate collaborative partners, consumers, private and public sector employers on becoming knowledgeable regarding the VR process and the benefits of employment with regards to effective use of employment resources by:

 

•     Providing education/training to ten prospective employers about the Vocational Rehabilitation process annually. This goal will remain because it was not accomplished. The program has joined with the Cooperate Source of Puerto Rico, who has secured a federal contract with the District Court to employ persons with disabilities. We have provided consumers to fill all the positions in both districts. The Cooperate Source is in the process of securing other contracts.

•       Work with the Department of Labor to implement One-Stop-Services which will allow consumers to access a variety of employment opportunities. Currently, the One-Stop-Services are electronic. This new service will assist persons with disabilities to effectively navigate the system. Senior staff of the State Agency sits on the WIA Board and as such assist with the creation of initiatives impacting the VI workforce.

•       Developing a new contractual fee for placement agreement has been problematic and will need due diligence. The goal is to establish a new working agreement with the Community Rehabilitation Programs which will focus on the quality and quantity of employment outcomes. This will include all job placements and supported employment outcomes. Even though we have vigorously sought to meet with our vendors, an agreement has not been reached. A fee for placement is our goal and one which will enhance the services of the CRP. The target populations are the transitioning students and moderate to severe persons with disabilities.

•       Provide information to individuals with disabilities in reference to resources that will enhance self-sufficiency and quality of life in areas of independent living.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 2:56AM by Felecia Blyden

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

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2009 4:17PM by safinchv

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

The State agency receives an annual award of $36,403 for the provision of supported employment services under Title VI –C part B for fiscal year 2011. Due to challenges with the availability of functional CRPs we have been unable to provide adequate Supported Employment Services to meet the needs of the significantly disabled population in Fiscal Year 2011. Through the transitioning program, staff will be able to augment our supported employment needs while we continue to work on implementing functional CRPs. This is a high priority area for the 2012 Fiscal Year.

The Virgin Islands Office of Management & Budgets has recently contracted a new financial management company; Thomson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates (TCBA). The Third Party Fiduciary Officer has been working diligently with the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in respect to the timely processing of payments for vendors. Historically, the cost of providing Supported Employment Services throughout the territory is beyond the allotted Part B Title VI grant award, however due to the challenges that we are currently experiencing relative to functional CRPs we have not exhausted these resources. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the total costs of supported employment service is purchased from Work-Able Inc. and the Center for Independent Living Services. No administrative cost is deducted from the grant. The entire award is used for direct services to clients. The Designated State unit plans to utilize the entire $350,000.000 of the ARRA funds for transitioning students and the implementation of the Case Management System. This will require additional monies from the basic grant.

In FY year 2011 the State Agency provided Supported Employment Services to 3 consumers. This number did significantly decreased due to the lack of functional CRPs however it is expected that with the implementation of the transition unit and the revitalization of the CRPs that we will surpass supported employment services provided in FY 2011.The projected goals for 2012 is to increase supported employment outcomes by ten.

Over the years, Work-Able inc. has conducted jobs clubs for individuals with significant disabilities. Presently, they are involved in efforts to provide Supported Employment Services to students transitioning from the Special Education Program. They also organize “MENTORING DAY” activities throughout the territory. Students are given the opportunity to engage in job shadowing. Work-Able Inc. and the State Agency worked with the Department of Labor in an effort to enhance the expansion of Supported Employment Opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities. We continuously seek information on available resources in the territory to assist Supported Employment Clients.

Goals for Supported Employment:

The goal is to increase the number of individuals with the most significant impairments applying for Vocational Rehabilitation services by:

1. Continue to hold informal forums jointly with the State Rehabilitation Council and other collaborative partners.

2. Scheduling of joint public media information with the State Rehabilitation Council to gain the community input into the State Plan.

3. Development of  a Memorandum of Understanding with selected CRPs designed to promote more job placements for persons with the most sigificant impairments.

4.Development of  Memorandums of Understanding with collaborative partners and other government agencies to facilitate the development of job readiness skills, training opportunities and job placements for persons with significant disabilities.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 2:56AM by Felecia Blyden

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.

 Resources in the Virgin Islands have always been limited, however, the recent economic crisis has decreased the availability of jobs overall. This has created a challenge for persons with disabilities and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. We must use all of our resources and collaborate with our partners to carry out our mandate. 

The Virgin Islands Vocational Rehabilitation Program proposes to use a portion of its funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities in the following manner:

 

·         Continue to coordinate services with the Virgin Islands Resource Center for the Disabled, The Center for Independent Living and the University Affiliated Program to introduce individuals to assistive technology services. Assist those agencies with sponsoring technology workshops to introduce consumers to different devices that would assist them to complete tasks independently.

 

·         Of the territory’s case load of 520 clients, 2.5% are clients who receive supported employment services.

 

·         Develop the State operated Community Rehabilitation Facility Programs (one each on St. Thomas and St. Croix) to carry out a coordinated set of transitional activities for students with the most severe disabilities. This will assist them in preparing for jobs in integrated work settings. In this setting, students will be assessed with the use of assistive devices to determine how their performance in learning and work activities can be improved.

 

·         Individual students leaving for college will be provided with those assistive or technological devices that would be beneficial in improving their performance.

 

·         Similarly, those individuals entering directly into the workforce will be assisted with the provision of assistive technology services to improve their performance in the workplace.

 

·         The State Agency will also partner with the Department of Education to hold joint training sessions for parents of students in the Special Education Program and plan educational and informational meetings with teachers, counselors and coordinators of the education Department. Our goal is to educate them about the Vocational Rehabilitation process.

 

·         The Department of Labor is in the process of implementing the One-Stop Center. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors will be a-part of this service delivery system. A Counselor will be present twice per week. The State Agency is committed to assisting the Department of Labor by contributing needed equipment and other relevant resources towards the functioning of a One-Stop Center. In the interim, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors will continue to access their services from our offices.

 

·         The State Agency continues to commit a portion of its funds towards the support of the State Rehabilitation and State Independent Living Councils. The council is a Partner in the State Plan Development.

 

In respect to improving performance on the evaluation standards and performance indicators, the State Agency proposes to:

 

·         increase the number of individuals placed in competitive employment through the replacement of two Counselors from the St. Croix District and one from the St. Thomas District. We will conduct workshops for all Counselors on job placement techniques and other rehabilitative topics. We will provide incentives to Counselors who place more than the designated amount of clients in employment. We plan to offer monetary reward for those counselors. We offer tuition assistance for Counselors who decide to pursue a Masters Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.

 

The Virgin Islands passed all but one (1) standard on its performance standards.

 

SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF STANDARDS 1 AND 2

 

Standard 1

 

1.1   The number of individuals exiting the Vocational Rehabilitation Program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period. 12 P

 

Required Performance Level: Performance in current period must equal or exceed performance in previous period.

 

1.2   Of all the individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage that are determined to have achieved an employment outcome is 53.2% F

 

Required Performance Level: 55.8%

 

1.3   Of all the individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exits the VR program in competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. 94% P

 

Required Performance Level: 72.6%

 

1.4   Of all the individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities. 89.4% P Required

 

Performance Level: 62.4%

 

1.5   The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report “State Average Annual Pay” for the most recent available year.) 64 P

 

Required Performance Level: 52 %

 

1.6   Of all the individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services. 59.6% P

 

Required Performance Level: arithmetic difference of 53.0%

 

Standard 2

 

2.1 The service rate for individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds. 99 P

 

Required Performance Level: 80%

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 2:59AM by Felecia Blyden

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

1. We plan to continue our efforts to streamline the Vocational Rehabilitation process through computerization. It has been a long process of bringing this system on line. Presently, contracts have been submitted and agreed upon between the Department of Human Services and Software AG for the implementation of the system.

2. Collaborate with the State Rehabilitation and Statewide Independent Living councils in planning, supporting and conducting a territory-wide assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities

 

The state Agency in conjunction with the SRC and SILC has jointly produced the Territory’s Needs Assessment with the assistance of The University of The Virgin Islands. The needs assessment did not specifically address issues and concerns relative to the operation of the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Preliminary work has been done relative to conducting a current needs assessment and we expect to have it completed in FY 2012. Present plans are to ensure that the proper planning, preparation and input is included in the 2012 Needs Assessment Survey.

 

3. Supported employment services to serve students transitioning from high school

  •  A. VR continues to attend IEP Meetings and provides information on what Supported Employment is and how it can benefit students who may not be able to succeed in an academic environment.
  •  We continue to enhance our existing transitioning program with the Division of Special Education and the State operated Community Rehabilitation Programs for students transitioning from high school.
  • With the approval of the ARRA plan the DSU continues to strengthen its collaboration with the Department of Education (Special Education) to improve transitional services for eligible students for the VR program.

 4. Public Awareness and Outreach

  •  VR has been promoting its program through several radio and community organizations.
  • A PSA has been developed to facilitate awareness to the general public about the VR Program.                                                                                            

The targeted populations are persons with disabilities and private businesses to include trade and industry, transportation and government.

 5. Provide allotments to the SRC andSILC for their operations

Both SRC and SILC were provided funds for their operations.

 

 

11.EXPANSION OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES TO SERVE INDIVIDUALS WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES,SPECIFICALLY THOSE STUDENTS TRANSITIONING FROM HIGH SCHOOL. a. Attend IEP Meetings and provide information on what Supported Employment is and how it can benefit students who may not be able to succeed in an academic environment. b. Continue to plan and utilize our existing transitioning program with the Division of Special Education. 3. Provide an Assessment of the performance of the VR program on the standards and indicators for FY 2010. STANDARDS & INDICATORS: 1 The VR Policy Manual is completed 2.increase the average hourly wage for employment outcomes The virgin Island passed all but one (1) standard on its performance standards. SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF STANDARDS 1 AND 2 Standard 1 1.1 The number of individuals exiting the Vocational Rehabilitation Program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period. 12 P Required Performance Level: Performance in current period must equal or exceed performance in previous period. 1.2 Of all the individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome. 53.2% F Required Performance Level: 55.8% 1.3 Of all the individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. 94% P Required Performance Level: 72.6% 1.4 Of all the individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities. 89.4% P Required Performance Level: 62.4% 1.5 The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report “State Average Annual Pay” for the most recent available year.) .64 P Required Performance Level: .52 1.6 Of all the individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services. 59.6% P Required Performance Level: arithmetic difference of 53.0 Standard 2 2.1 The service rate for individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds. .99 P Required Performance Level: 80

 

STANDARDS & INDICATORS: 1 The VR Policy Manual is completed 2.increase the average hourly wage for employment outcomes The virgin Island passed all but one (1) standard on its performance standards. SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF STANDARDS 1 AND 2 Standard 1 1.1 The number of individuals exiting the Vocational Rehabilitation Program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period. 12 P Required Performance Level: Performance in current period must equal or exceed performance in previous period. 1.2 Of all the individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome. 53.2% F Required Performance Level: 55.8% 1.3 Of all the individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. 94% P Required Performance Level: 72.6% 1.4 Of all the individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities. 89.4% P Required Performance Level: 62.4% 1.5 The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report “State Average Annual Pay” for the most recent available year.) .64 P Required Performance Level: .52 1.6 Of all the individuals who exit the VR program in Competitive, Self or Business Enterprise Program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services. 59.6% P Required Performance Level: arithmetic difference of 53.0 Standard 2 2.1 The service rate for individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds. .99 P Required Performance Level: 80

 

The state operated Community Rehabilitation Program has recently completed its plan of territorial operation. We have hired an individual with extensive backgrond in  vocational rehabilitation counseling conduct the student’s evaluation territory wide. The state agency continues to partner with The Department of Education and Special Education in IEP Meetings. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors have direct contact with parents to inform them of the VR Process. The Assistant Administrator of the DSU is a member of the Special Education Policy Board. The Administrator is a statuary member of the Work-force Investment Board. This board meets on a regular basis and is nearing the completion and implementation of a One-Stop Center. VR Counselors will avail themselves to operating out of these centers as scheduled. We are in collaboration with Worker’s Compensation to evaluate injured workers. The majority of referrals received are from workers of injured at HOVENSA. A local oil refinery on the Island of St. Croix.

This screen was last updated on Jul 12 2011 3:25AM by Felecia Blyden

  • 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

We continue to purchase Supported Employment Services from Work-Able, Inc. In addition, we utilize the newly developed Transition Connection Program to assess the client’s employability. This is done through career exploration and trial work situation. Supported employment consumers participates in internsips and mentoring programs. They are oriented to community based resources and learn how to access the services they provide. There are a number of companies in the Virgin Islands that have employed supported employment consumers. Once the clients are placed in integrated work settings, the Designated State Unit provides support during the eighteen month period as needed. At the end of this period, we rely on employers continue the extended support. One example is the Corporate Source, this is a Puerto Rico based company. They have secured the contract to maintain the federal buildings in the Virgin Islands. Several of our supported employment clients have secured employment with the company. They provide extended support to the workers when the agency is no longer involved. The designated State Unit is involved with the State Office of Special Education in developing new policies for those students who requires supported employment Services. In addition, both Vocational Rehabilitation District Managers are involved in the scheduling VR Counselors to attend Individualized Transition Planning Meetings on a regular basis. This activity has resulted in an increase in the number supported employment clients being served.

This screen was last updated on Jul 1 2011 2:49PM by Felecia Blyden

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 07/12/2011 at 3:01 PM

Last updated by viblydenf

Completed on 07/12/2011 at 3:01 PM

Completed by viblydenf

Approved on 07/12/2011 at 3:14 PM

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

Published by jack

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

  • Monitoring Report for Virgin Islands — as of April 8, 2013
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