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 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

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)
07/01/2012

Assurances Certified By

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

Comments:

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)
07/01/2012

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

an analysis of consumer satisfaction survey indicates that there is definitely a need for more effective communication with clients. The Council is pleased with the continued growth and strengthening of its partnership with VR and pledges its support in completion of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment(CSNA). The CSNA will be utilized to implement more efficient service delivery; the council remains committed to working collaboratively with VIDDRS to implement strategies and address findings once the needs assessment is completed.

Below, are questions that were responded to at VIDDRS public hearing.

1. What is the ratio of students with disabilities to those without disabilities being hired for summer programs?

Isn’t there an allotment of federal funds given to this program for these children or young adults?

Response: There is a need for a stronger collaboration between the Department of Labor and Vocational Rehabilitation if people with disabilities are to become successful independent contributors of this community. The Vocational Rehabilitation program does not collect statistical data on the ratio of students with disabilities to those without disabilities being hired for summer programs. This data may be available by the Department of Labor. It is agreed that more collaboration is needed between the Vocational Rehabilitation program and the Department of Labor. The Vocational Rehabilitation program has initiated a plan that will increase the collaboration between both agencies, as well as, showcase their partnership.

2. What is the status of the transitional program that is meant to help students with disabilities explore their options toward an appropriate career path?

Response: The transition connection unit is functioning and is providing support services to students with disabilities and their vocational rehabilitation counselors; especially in the St. Croix district. The program is being restructured in the St. Thomas/St. John district. It is anticipated that similar services will be provided in both districts during the 2012-2013 school year.

3. What kind of services does Transition Connection provides? Response: Transition connection provides: assessment for job readiness, assists students with job try-outs; training in accessing community services; training for parents, training for VR counselors and other community organizations.

4. What is the procedure to referral to Transition Connection services?

Response: The Transition Connection unit is not a stand-alone program. Clients are referred to the unit after they have be determined eligible for services and an Individualized Plan for Employment has been developed and agreed upon. The Transition Connect unit was designed to increase services for students with disabilities before transitioning from high school. Its purpose is to increase collaboration and coordination of services for students with disabilities and to increase the percentage of students with disabilities successfully transitioning into post-secondary education or directly to placement in the workforce.

5. Are 504 students eligible for VR services and how are they referred for services?

Response: Yes, 504 students are eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation services. The Vocational Rehabilitation program receives referrals for 504 students through the educational system or by parents of students with disabilities.

6. If an individual wants to be a volunteer, how can he/she go about doing so?

Response: The Virgin Islands Rehabilitation Council (VIRC) is frequently looking for volunteers to join the council. VIRC is a group of individuals, mostly of whom have disabilities, appointed by the Governor to work on behalf of people with disabilities by serving as a source of advice, information, and support for the vocational rehabilitation program.

7. If someone has a Mental Health disorder, can he/she receive VR services? What is VR process if that individual has a relapse? Response: Yes, the Vocational Rehabilitation program provides services to mental health individuals seeking employment. Support services are provided to assist clients in learning job skills and to socially adjust to the work environment which will help minimize relapses, as well as, counselors provide advocacy and on-going supports for the clients.

8. What is the age requirement to receive VR services?

Response: The Virgin Islands Vocational Rehabilitation program sets no age limitation for individuals who meet basic eligibility requirements; however, feasibility for employment must be a consideration if it is not within a reasonable time span. Therefore, services cannot be provided to persons under age 14. 9. My son is slow in learning and it is hard for him to learn styles. How would a Job Coach help him and what is a Job Coach function?

Response: People with developmental disabilities often need the assistance and support of a job coach to make them successful in their workplace. The job coach has the responsibility of teaching them the skills they need to be able to perform the job. Job Coaches work directly with individuals with disabilities in a training or placement site to help them become skilled at the specific requirements of the job; as well as, to help them learn work-related activities and requirements such as time and attendance rules and to help them learn appropriate work-related behaviors when working with co-workers and supervisors.

In addition to the public forums for input in the development of the state plan; VIDDRS in collaboration with the SRC will hold at least two additional forums to solicit public input for updates to the policy manual.

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2012 10:46AM 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.

The Designated State Unit will continue to cooperate with entities not in the State Workforce Investment System. The Designated State Unit has selected a pool of persons to provide supported employment services. These individuals received the first phase of training by our regional Technical Assistance and Continuing Education provider. Training is ongoing. This group of trained professionals will be contracted to provide Supported Employment Services. The Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living is a partner that continues to provide independent living skills and mobility training to individuals with 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.

The 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 impairments.  This training is also extended to the community. Self-advocacy training for persons with disabilities has also provided. The St. Croix Career & Technical Educational and the Wheatley Skills Centers 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 who demonstrate interest in these areas 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 15 2012 10:46AM 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.

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 transition their needs become more evident. To ensure participation of students with disabilities in the workforce investment activities, the DSU has developed a transition unit that is responsible for implementation of some services for transitioning youth as determined by the VR counselor; as stated on their IPE.

The Vocational Rehabilitation counselor continues to attend IEP hearings and an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is developed with all eligible students, before the student leaves the school setting.

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, a Transitioning Plan (TP) is developed and implemented which is developed largely with the information received from DOE based on the client’s IPE. The IPE is develop/implemented to reflect post-secondary education services necessary for the student to achieve their goals.

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 support and as. 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 fees and clients must apply for Financial Aid; Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).   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. Currently, Orientation sessions are scheduled bi-annually for students eligible for VR Services.  VIDDRS is developing a process where orientation sessions will occur more frequently as a part of the services provided by the Transition Unit.  The Designated State Unit is also invited to make presentations to various education/parents’ groups.

Additionally, VIDDRS will coordinate with Special Education and other partners to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  This year we will develop a very coordinated month of events designed to promote the employment successes of persons with disabilities as well as recognize employers who have provided job opportunities.   The calendar will also include promotional events for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. 

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2012 10:46AM by Felecia Blyden

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

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 in 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 accessibility to services and community resources.

We utilize Rehabilitation Facilities on the mainland to provide specialized assessment and training. This includes Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Centers.

We have partnered with a local parent education and advocacy group, Virgin Islands Family Information Network on Disabilities (VIFIND). This group conducts workshops for parents of students with disabilities and education officials. They facilitate presentations on various disabilities; they also provide information relative to transitioning. The Vocational Rehabilitation Staff is invited to make presentations at these workshops. 

This screen was last updated on Jul 13 2012 11:38PM 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.

The VR Administrator by law is mandated to serve as a member of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB).  This past year Hovensa, a major employer on St. Croix closed its doors.  This has significantly affected the job market on the island.  In response to this situation; the DOL applied for and was granted a grant to address Hovensa Retraining of employees.  As a mandated partner of the State Integrated Workforce; VR is at the Table with other partners of the Workforce System in collaboration to facilitate meaningful and substantial employment opportunities to help persons with disabilities to transition into viable employment in occupations that have growth and staying potential in the community.

The VR Program 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 vendors.  Recently, the VR Program has expanded the services provided on St. John.  The goal is to collaborate with other partners to ensure that persons with disabilities on St. John are provided the opportunity to access services on that island on a regular basis.  We continue to purchase supported employment services from private vendors; additionally extended support is provided to the most significantly disabled population.  We continue to improve supported employment services.

The State Vocational Rehabilitation Programs is mandated to provide Supported Employment Services, however there are few vendors available locally to provide this service.  TACE Region 2 has provided training for VR Staff and perspective job coaches.  Our goal is to develop a pool of private vendors; additionally the state agency will develop a job developer specialist position which will be responsible for the development of job opportunities for clients through coordination with employers in the territory.  The Job Development Specialist will also monitor the quality of the services provided by job coaches.  The state agency is finalizing plans to revise our payment structure for SE and a fee for service structure will be implemented in FY 2013. 

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2012 10:18AM by Felecia Blyden

Data 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 nineteen (19), full time equivalence (FTE). However, the Designated State Unit needs twenty-four (24) full time equivalence staff and has projected a need for one full time VR Counselor and one VR Counselor Aide within the next five years. This is due mainly to promotional opportunities and/or relocation. The Designated State is in the process of advertising positions for two new counselor positions which became vacant due to relocation of the staff, as well as, the Administrator’s position that became vacant due to retirement. Currently, the Designated State Unit’s active caseload is approximately 465 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 there are no vacancies.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Counselors 8 2 1
2 VR Counselor Aides 3 0 0
3 Clerical Staff 3 1 1
4 Application Analyst 1 0 0
5 District Managers 2 0 0
6 Assistant Administrator 1 0 0
7 Administrator 1 1 0
8 Rehabilitation Support Worker 1 0 0
9 Transition Program Supervisor 1 1 0
10 Transition Program Assistant 2 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. Staff interested in a graduate program has to enroll in an institution in the U.S. mainland.  Presently, one (1) counselor is participating in a graduate program at the State University of New York at Buffalo via distance learning.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 State University of Buffalo 1 1 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 has 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. 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 upon achievement of 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 five (5) counselors are in need of further education to comply with the Designated State Unit requirement for highly qualified personnel. One (1) counselor is participating in 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 program. 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 employed by 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 is 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 list of interpreters for the deaf available on an as needed basis.

 

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. A transitioning unit has been developed to enhance transitioning services to students with disabilities. Staff from related programs is 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 in the territory and 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 inquiries from individuals from other mainland vocational rehabilitation agencies, from “credentialed” 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 15 2012 10:46AM 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.

July 13, 2012

Mr. Fred C. Isbister

Rehabilitation Services Administration

Liaison to the Virgin Islands

Potomac Center Plaza

550 12th Street, SW - Room 5005

Washington, DC 20202

Dear Mr. Isbister:

The Virgin Islands Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services (VIDDRS) assures to RSA that, no later than January 31, 2013, a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment(CSNA) will be conducted as required by Section 101(a)(15)(A) of the act and 34 CFR 361.29. The CSNA will identify the following:

A. The needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of;

(a) Individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment;

(b) Individuals with disabilities who are minorities;

(c) Individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program;

(d) Individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system.

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

VIDDRS further assures that it will report on a bi-monthly basis progress made towards fulfillment of the outstanding assurance from the FY 2013 state plan.

Sincerely,

Christopher E. Finch

Commissioner

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:49PM by Felecia Blyden

The Designated State Unit continues to serve all applicants referred for services and will not operate under an order of selection for fiscal year 2013. In the Territory, applications for Vocational Rehabilitation Services have increased and the cost of services has increased as well. Due to challenges with the availability of functional CRPs we were unable to provide adequate Supported Employment Services to meet the needs of the significantly disabled population in Fiscal Year 2011; however, there has been marginal improvement in 2012. It is estimated that VIDDRS will be able to provide supported employment services to all eligible clients who require this service. 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 fiscal year 2013.

The Title I Vocational Rehabilitation grant has not significantly increased.The cost of services for the number of individuals estimated to be eligible for services is estimated to be $2,101,025.00

The need for Supported Employment services remains the same; the Designated State Unit anticipates that it will be able to provide supported employment services to all eligible individuals in fiscal year 2013. The supported employment grant remains approximately $36,403.00 VIDDRS will utilize Title I fund for provision of services that exceed these funds.

We continue to work with the Third Party Fiduciary Officer to facilitate timely payment to vendors.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Persons with the Most Significant Disabilities Title I $1,620,000 400 $4,050
Persons with significant disabilities Title I $400,000 120 $3,333
Persons with less significant disabilities Title I $81,025 60 $1,350
Totals   $2,101,025 580 $3,622

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2012 10:46AM 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 following describes the Virgin Islands Vocational Rehabilitation agency’s goals and priorities in collaboration with and agreed to by the State Rehabilitation council. The goals are based on an analysis of performance reviews and the involvement of consumers, advocates and other stakeholders.

1. Completion of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council by January 31, 2013;

2. Enhance collaboration with stakeholders through forums facilitated through TACE to update existing Memorandums of Understanding;

3.Provide training on effective and innovative practices to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Specific emphasis will be placed on transitioning students and under/unserved youths for VR Counselors to enhance successful employment outcomes for clients

4. Increase the number of individuals with significant disabilities applying for Vocational Rehabilitation services by: a. holding informational forums jointly with the State Rehabilitation Council describing the vocational rehabilitation process for parent groups, education officials, families and other service providers of persons with disabilities. b. marketing of the VR program through various media to inform and educate the general public about services provided by the VR program.

5. Enhance supported employment services by creation of job development specialist position with responsibilities to: a. coordinate services provided by certified job coaches b. facilitate employment and job training/internship opportunities for transitioning students and clients through development of relationships with the workforce system

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2012 10:46AM 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. 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 2012. The  transitioning program, will  augment our supported employment needs while we continue to work on implementing functional CRPs. This is a high priority area for the 2013 Fiscal Year.

Below is an outline of the plan for the implementation of supported employment in the VI

Provision of job coaching certification training for independent vendors to facilitate the establishment of qualified SE vendors.  Training is being provided through a collaborative effort with Region 2 TACE.  Six individuals have received the first two cources in the series; training is ongoing and will result in a pool of qualified job coaches to provide services to transitioning youth as well as other eligible persons with significant disabilities.

Implementation of work projects on site which will provide clients with opportunities to gain valuable on the job training that may lead to self-employment and/or competitive job opportunities.

 In order to successfully implement this model, VIDRS is creating a job development specialist position.  This individual will be responsible for coordinating with potential employers to identify and or create jobs in the community, interact with VR counselors and Transition coordinators to facilitate good job matches leading to high level of job retention by our clients. 

This screen was last updated on Jul 14 2012 1:40AM 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.

Resources in the Virgin Islands have always been limited; this is largely due to our geographical isolation from the continental United States. The current economic crisis has decreased the availability of jobs overall. This has created a challenge for persons with disabilities and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

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

The VR Transition Units (one each on St. Thomas and St. Croix) provide coordinated activities for transitioning students to assist them in preparing for jobs in integrated work settings. Transition Unit staff will assist with the implementation goals of the IPE as developed by the student’s VR Counselor.   Students leaving for college will be provided with those assistive or technological devices necessary for their successful achievement of their post-secondary educational goals.  Similarly, those clients entering 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. VIDDRS will provide information about the Vocational Rehabilitation process.  

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.  

 

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.

The VDDRS 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 VIUCEDD to introduce consumers to different devices that would assist them to complete tasks independently.

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

- Provide training for Vocational Rehabilitation Staff, and Community Partners focusing on innovative and effective practices to improve the employment outcome of the transitioning youths.

 

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.

VIDDRS continues to utilize creative means to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most severe disabilities.  We will utilize resources of our DSU Public Relations Officer to access local media for promotional opportunities for the program.  Additionally, we will collaborate with our partners that serve our target population.  The Designated State Agency operates numerous programs that serve the unserved and underserved in the community.  VIDDRS will access this population by placing brochures in waiting rooms; as well as making available our "commercial" that was developed to promote the VR program in public waiting rooms.   Counselors will attend pubic forums, parent meetings and IEP meetings to share information and educate perspective clients and staff that interface with them about the program and the referral process.

 

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

The VIDDRS continues in its efforts to develop functional Community Rehabilitation Programs within the territory.  TACE has provided technical assistance and support in the development of a pool of qualified job coaches.  Additionally, the VIDDRS is creating a job development specialist position to coordinate this effort.  This will be a territorial position; the selected individual will interface with current and perspective employers to preserve and/or create future job opportunities.

 

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

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.

- VIDDRS 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. 

- offer tuition assistance for Counselors pursuing a Master’s 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%

 

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

VIDDRS will maximize the use of its resources by collaborating with our partners to carry out our mandates. To this end, the VIDDRS will collaborate with the Department of Labor and the Workforce Investment Board on projects to enhance/create employment and training opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Projects will include:

- Business-after-Hours event at which public agencies such as VR, DOL and DOE can network with employers in the private sector

- National Disability Employment Awareness Month recognition event during which successful clients and their employers are recognized and encouraged to support the efforts of individuals with disabilities to obtain and maintain substantial gainful employment

- College/career fair designed to educate transition students of the trends in the labor market and provide them with opportunities to obtain information about post-secondary training/educational opportunities.

VIDDRS has reached out to the VI DOL and efforts are being made to facilitate effective collaboration that facilitates seamless services for individuals with disabilities who apply for jobs or training at DOL. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors will be a-part of this service delivery system.

 

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.

VIDDRS will achieve established goals and priorities by ensuring that Memorandums of Understanding with collaborative partners are updated to reflect current needs of VR. This will facilitate enforcement by middle managers and follow-through by staff. VIDDRS will continue support the SRC in efforts to complete the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. Additionally VIDDRS will provide resources to both the SRC and SILC to facilitate implementation of their resource plans. The CSNA is necessary to gather information to enhance and improve VR services in the territory.

VIDDRS will utilize our recently established transition unit to provide necessary services to support the achievement of transitioning student goal as identified in their IPE.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2012 10:59AM by Felecia Blyden

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

1. VIDDRS continues efforts to streamline the Vocational Rehabilitation process through computerization. The current system is outdated and it has been a long process of bringing a new system on line. The agency has consulted with the company that provided initial system however it has been recommended that an RFP be advertised. This project remains a priority for FY 2013.

2. Collaborate with the State Rehabilitation Council and Statewide Independent Living Council in planning, supporting and conducting a territory-wide assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities to be completed by January 31, 2012.

Preliminary work has been done relative to conducting a current needs assessment. Present plans are to ensure that the proper planning, preparation and input is included in the 2013 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 the benefits of Supported Employment services for transitioning students; particularly students for whom post-secondary training in an academic environment is not an option.

VIDDRS continues to enhance its 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

VIDDRS has been promoting its program through available media 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 and SILC for implementation of their resource plans. Both SRC and SILC were provided funds for their operations.

VIDDRS has made progress in the development of productive relationships with collaborative partners in the community. VIDDRS is now at the table involved in discussions with the Workforce Investment Board in the development of their Strategic Plan and Division of Special Education State Office discussing collaboration on mutually beneficial projects. Collaboration on this level will has had a positive impact on achievement of established goals and this will become more visible in FY 2013. These relationships will facilitate consistency in the implementation of services territory-wide.

 

VIDDRS has developed a plan for the expansion of supported employment services to serve individuals with the most significant disabilities, specifically those students transition from high school. Training for perspective job coaches has been initiated and it is projected that this will be completed by the end of the calendar year. Due to an insufficient number of CRPs, VIDDRS has not been successful in meeting the need for supported employment services for all eligible individuals. VR counselors continue to 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 collaborative endeavors with the Division of Special Education to facilitate more access to transitioning students and professionals who work with them

 

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 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 at the table developing their five-year strategic plan. We are in collaboration with Worker’s Compensation to evaluate injured workers. Hovensa, a major oil refinery on the island of St. Croix has recently closed. This will definitely affect the labor market and economic situation. VIDDRS will continue to work with DOL to develop strategies to provide services to eligible displaced workers.

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2012 5:04AM 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

The VIDRS continues to experience challenges in the provision of adequate supported employment services; however a plan has been developed and is in the early stages of implementation.  Through our transitioning program; clients engage in career exploration and trial work situations. Consumers participate in internships 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, natural supports which have been developed in the workplace or in the community provides continued 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. The employer provides extended support to the workers after the case has been successfully closed if needed.  Additionally, the DSU maintains a relationship with the employer; therefore if necessary, the agency is available to provide post-employment services to ensure that the necessary support services are available to preserve jobs.  The designated State Unit is involved with the State Office of Special Education in developing new policies for those students who require 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 15 2012 10:59AM by Felecia Blyden

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 07/18/2012 at 4:39 PM

Last updated by viblydenf

Completed on 07/18/2012 at 4:39 PM

Completed by viblydenf

Approved on 07/19/2012 at 7:12 AM

Approved by rscoisbisterf

Published on 09/20/2012 at 7:22 AM

Published by kschelle

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
    DOC (386KB) | PDF (503KB)

  • "A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities" — A blueprint for Governors has been issued by the National Governors Association (NGA).
    PDF (4.13M)

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

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

OMB Control Number: 1820-0500, approved for use through 03/31/2016

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain a benefit (Section 13 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4537 or email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1820-0500. Note: Please do not return the completed form to this address.