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

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

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

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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. No

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 SignatoryChristopher E. Finch

Title of SignatoryCommissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)07/08/2013

Assurances Certified By

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

Comments:

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryChristopher E. Finch

Title of SignatoryCommissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)07/01/2013

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

The Virgin Islands State Rehabilitation Council (VI SRC) provided the following input for the 2014 State Plan. 

The VIDDRS identified one hundred thirty-three (133) former consumers whose cases were closed in fiscal year 2011 at various statuses throughout the vocational rehabilitation process.  The VI State Rehabilitation Council (VI SRC) conducted telephone interviews with 46 former consumers assurances were made to consumers that their comments would remain anonymous.

Identifying reasons in which additional consumers did not participate in the survey varied.  Many consumers’ telephones were disconnected during the survey period.  Others never responded to multiple requests.  Several had relocated and provided not forwarding information.

The results of the survey revealed that more than the majority of the consumers felt that services provided by VIDDRS were satisfactory or better.  A small percentage was neutral throughout the survey.  There was a significant percentage of consumers that felt that the services provided to they by VIDDRS need improvement, especially as it relates to regular communication with consumers.  Some of the generalized comments that were expressed during the survey is as follows:

  1. There is a need for more job search and job placement assistance,
  2. Insufficient communication and follow-up during service delivery,
  3. Insufficient customer assistance from VR staff,
  4. Need for improved collaboration between DOE and VR, and
  5. Lack of self-advocacy support.

In order to address some of the above concerns, the VI SRC will place suggestion boxes in VR offices to obtain ongoing feedback from clients.  The input received will be shared with VIDDRS.  VI SRC will provide appropriate input to address the concerns expressed.

During the past fiscal year, VI SRC also collaborated with VIDDRS and other partner agencies to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) activities which included:

  • Business After Hours - this event was co-sponsored by the St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce and VI DOL
  • First Friday Business Expo - this event allowed job-seekers, employers and the general public to meet in a venue that facilitated collaboration on issues of employment and the labor market
  • NDEAM Recognition Event - VIDDRS Clients and employers were recognized for successful employment outcomes
  • Public Hearings - VI SRC held two public hearings to solicit input on the VR state Plan

 The VI SRC is pleased with the continued growth and strengthening of its partnership with the VIDDRS and remains committed to implementation of the "new" Supported Employment model.  Findings from the comprehensive statewide needs assessment will be utilized to implement more efficient service delivery, as well as, address strategies to improve transitioning services for students.

VI SRC participated in TACE sponsored supported employment training and is encouraged by the enthusiasm of the VR counselors, perspective job coaches and the management team in the implementation of the new supported employemtn model.  VI SRC will continue to provide input and support to VIDDRS to ensure acheievement of this critical goal.

Recruitment of new SRC members remains a priority.  VI SRC continues to work collaboratively with the VIDDRS to expand membership; much focus is being placed on recruitment of business persons.

Over the past year, the VI SRC has worked with the staff of the VIDDRS to support and encourage employment services for individuals with disabilities in the US Virgin Islands.   The VI SRC continues  to collaborate with the Statewide Independent Living Council, the VI Association for Independent Living, the VI Division of Special Education, the University Center for Excellence for Developmental Disabilities and the Disabilities Rights Center of the Virgin Islands.

The VI SRC sponsors annual forums for the evaluation of the VR agency performance based on goals and policies that have been implemented and it also gives interested an opportunity to provide VI SRC with input to guide its efforts throughout the fiscal year. 

The following questions were asked at public hearings sponsored by the VI SRC.

 1. Question - What type of business license is needed for the Supported Employment Vendors?

Response - Sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation

2. Question - If you drop the 3rd party fiduciary, are you going to process payments through the Department of Finance?

Response - Yes, this will benefit the VIDDRS and the clients that we serve.

3. Question - Should SILC be on board with the 3-year plan for the needs assessment?

Response - Absolutely, they were very involved in the 2013 needs assessment and we look forward to their ongoing support.

4. Question:  For the transitioning students in training; is the maximum for tuition $5,000 or $7,000/

Response - $7,000, is the maximum allowable cost of service for tuition, however a waiver process is in place for individuals to request tuition above the maximum.  All students may not require the intense accommodations as others.

5. Question - Are there offices out-of-state to provide resources to assist the out-of-state students?

Response - They can access VR services  in that state; we will communicate with that agency to assist the individual.

6. Question -  In regards to specific resources, is there any training in place  for the individuals prior to placement in a working environment?

Response - We collaborate with DOL to provide on-the-job training; additionally we may provide supported employment services for the most significantly disabled individuals.  

7. Question - What if the individual is incapable of doing what they are interested in?

Response - VR counselors are trained to help these individuals to utilize the strengths and interests to make good job matches or career choices;

Critical input was submitted by the Disability Rights Center of the VI relative to:

  • Transitioning services from school to employment for DD clients
  • Supportive employment for persons with severe disabilities
  • Improved employment outcomes for persons with disabilities

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen has never been updated.

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

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

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

The Designated State Unit will continue to cooperate with entities not in the State Workforce Investment System. The Designated State Unit has selected individual contractors to provide Supported Employment Services to the most significantly disabled clients. These individuals have been trained by our regional Technical Assistance and Continuing Education provider (TACE). This group of trained professionals will be contracted to provide assessment, training and job placement services. The Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living is a partner that continues to provide independent living skills and mobility training to individuals with the most significant disabilities. In addition, the Designated State Unit and the Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living are developing projects and extending services to individuals who are older with visual impairments. 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 devices for individuals with disabilities. They also present mini-workshops on disability related issues. Periodically, they offer sign language training to companies in the community. Self-advocacy training for persons with disabilities is 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 and potential are referred to both facilities for training. 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 Jun 30 2013 10:56PM by Felecia Blyden

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

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

Development and Approval Process for IPE prior to students exiting school VIDDRS will provide technical assistance to counselors on strategies for timely determination of eligibility and development of IPEs for youth with disabilities to ensure that the IPE is developed before the student leaves high school. VIDDRS will hold regular (bi-weekly) case reviews to provide a forum for counselors to discuss and share strategies that have been successful in addressing challenges. VIDDRS will implement a plan for identifying cases at day 45 for which eligibility has not been determined as follows: Transitioning applicants will be identified and flagged upon receipt of referral; cases that have been in applicant status for over 30 days will be reviewed and appropriate action taken Once eligibility has been determined; VIDDRS will monitor IPE development based on 90 days as stated in our policy manual Quarterly case reviews will be conducted within the last two weeks of December, March, June, September to determine compliance with requirements for timely determination of eligibility and development of IPE. The goal is for 100% of IPEs will be developed within 90 days of eligibility determination. Coordinating with Education Officials The Virgin Islands Department of Education as the State Educational Agency (“SEA”), and through its State Office of Special Education (“SOSE”) and through its Local Educational Agencies (“LEAs”), is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that each eligible student with a disability is provided with a free appropriate public education in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), 20 USC § 1400(d); and The purpose of this agreement is to support the transition of eligible students with disabilities from secondary schools to integrated employment and adult roles, continuing and post-secondary education, adult services, independent living and community participation through improved cooperative and collaborative efforts among relevant service providers; and The Virgin Islands Department of Education shall; Ensure that an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination is in effect between each non-educational public agency and the DOE, as required by the IDEA, and its implementing regulation at 34 CFR § 300.2(a)and (b) [20 USC § 1412(a)(12)], in the provision of a free appropriate public education to eligible students with disabilities; and Coordinate with the Department of Human Services - VIDDRS for dissemination of information to local education agencies regarding effective, results-based practices for students with disabilities to be prepared for postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment including supported employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation; Ensure that the collaborating parties to this Agreement meet quarterly or as needed to evaluate the transition process and recommend system changes; Coordinate with DHS to provide professional development and technical assistance activities for DOE staff, the LEAs, other public and private agencies, and parents/guardians/students/ surrogates on topics related to transition planning and adult service activities; Provide training in conjunction with DHS regarding transition services and interagency service linkages; and Coordinate with DHS to distribute the “DHS Information Packet” for LEAs to provide to students referred to DHS by age 16. The Information Packet will include DHS program and contact information and DHS brochures. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES (DHS) The Department of Human of Services, as a State Agency federally mandated to collaborate with the Special Education Division of the Department agrees to Designate at least one member from its respective divisions that may provide services to the eligible client as an IEP team participant for the purpose of attending conference meetings pertaining to the implementation of this Interagency Agreement, and for planning for transition planning and implementing the services required by the student’s IEP. The DHS’s Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services agrees to: Develop guidelines on the implementation of this agreement and train state and local-level staff regarding those guidelines; Provide vocational rehabilitation services to students who meet the eligibility criteria of DHS; Attend IEP meetings for eligible students beginning at age 14 and at a minimum by age 16, to identify and anticipate service needs; Provide consultation and technical assistance to aid LEAs in planning for the transition of eligible students as needed; Conduct educational/informational workshops to interested students, parents/advocates on the Vocational Rehabilitation Process and where referrals may be accepted; Develop an Individual Plan of Employment (IPE) with eligible clients, before the student leaves the school setting. Notify relevant transition team participants of student eligibility determination and appeal process; Provide exploratory opportunities in community-based businesses for students identified by Vocational Rehabilitation and DOE throughout the school year; This agreement recognizes that each agency has its own administrative mechanisms for the timely resolution of internal disputes. All signatory parties and their respective agencies are responsible for resolving their own internal disputes, so long as each agency acts in a timely manner and consistent with provisions set forth in that program’s regulations. Financial responsibility rests with VIDDRS for vocational rehabilitation services needed by transitioning youth with disabilities, ages 16 to 21, who have left school by way of graduation or who have otherwise exited the school system. VIDDRS will provide services that are legally their responsibility for those transitioning youth who are approaching or are of working age and who are determined to be eligible for services by VIDDRS. *VIDDRS and VIDE have completed the first draft of the amended agreement (the original document was signed in 2006). The final approved agreement is pending and will be approved by both parties before the start of the 2013-2014 school-year.

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

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

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

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.

Periodically, we utilize vocational rehabilitation facilities on the mainland to provide specialized assessment and training. This includes Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center.

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 disabling conditions; 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 Jun 30 2013 10:56PM by Felecia Blyden

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

The Virgin Islands has been faced with challenges in the provision of supported employment services for its VR clients. In 2010, the VI lost its two CRPs. Due to the uniqueness of the population, and the geographical isolation of the territory, traditional CRP models have not been most beneficial therefore VIDDRS is implementing a unique model that it believes will be successful. VIDDRS has recruited and trained six individuals who have interest and transferrable skills to be certified job coaches. These individuals will serve as “independent contractors” for the provision of supported employment services for the most significantly disabled clients. Due to departmental challenges with the execution of the provider agreements, the VIDDRS has experienced delays with bringing the project online. VIDDRS continues to collaborate with private non-profit service providers who are able to provide supported employment in limited fields. VIDDRS continues to work with clients to develop natural supports to include employers, family members and other local programs that serve our target population.  The agency will continue to explore available options for funding the provision of extended supports.  The VR Program continues to partner with the VI Department of Labor (VIDOL) to facilitate employment services for VR clients. VIDDRS will be present in One Stop Centers weekly. This will allow VIDDRS to serve VR eligible individuals who are attempting to navigate the Virgin Islands Department of Labor. VIDDRS collaborates with DOL to access on the job training and other job services available to support our clients. VIDDRS continues to concentrate its efforts on educating interested parties regarding the process of becoming a non-traditional provider source for supported employment services. A variety of supported employment provider choices are needed, particularly due to the lack of “factory-type” businesses in the territory. VIDDRS continues to focus on providing technical assistance and coordinating training for vendors of supported employment services to VIDDRS staff members, and staff members of other public and private agencies such as DOL and DOE. VIDDRS continues to work with Region 2 TACE to provide the Supported Employment Certificate Program via electronic media.

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2013 2:42PM by Felecia Blyden

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

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 7 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 0 0
8 Rehabilitation Support Worker 1 0 0
9 Transition Program Supervisor 1 0 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 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

 The Virgin Islands Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services (VIDDRS) of the Department of Human Services in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) conducted a territory wide assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities as well as the wider community. Because limited options are available to contract-out a territorial comprehensive needs assessment, the service of a statistician was retained for the purpose of informed guidance, data entry, data analysis and assistance with recommendations and performance-indictors. Enthusiasm for this project was very high among all persons involved in information gathering which contributed greatly to the number of surveys completed. In order to gather input from a cross section of persons in the territory, collaborators utilized a variety of venues where community activities of high interest were conducted, distributed instruments at island wide locations such as at shopping malls, meetings with colleagues and at supermarkets. Additionally, survey instruments were attached to the pay stubs of all government employees, focus group sessions were conducted for persons who are deaf, vocational rehabilitation counselors, vocational rehabilitation administrative staff and telephone interviews were conducted by available staff. This needs assessment was designed to determine and address gaps in services particularly to individuals who are unserved or underserved in our territory.   

It is the intention of the DRS, with the support of the SRC and the SILC, to utilize the information received to address existing deficiencies through improvement of current performance. The results will assist in decision making and in the development of strategies, goals and priorities to be included in strategic and state plans. Specifically it is expected that these results will assist VIDDRS: 

  • to identify unserved and under-served populations in the territory
  • to address the vocational rehabilitation needs of consumers
  • for collaboration with partners in order to develop or enhance options for transportation, housing, physical access, particularly as it relates to government entities
  • to address the need for supported employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities and the needs of individuals who are minorities
  • to establish community rehabilitation programs in the territory
  • Develop outreach programs within the community in an effort to build visibility and create an awareness of the services provided by DRS.

 The information gleamed will assist us in establishing priorities for focus areas namely; students in transition, the need for supported employment, and to increase outreach efforts. 

Introduction 

This needs assessment was jointly developed under the direction of the Department of Human Services, Division of Disabilities & Rehabilitation Services, the Virgin Islands State Rehabilitation Council, and the Virgin Islands State Independent Living Council. The first two entities are recognized by Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), United States Department of Education, as the territory’s vocational rehabilitation agency and council under the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Rehabilitation Act requires each state’s vocational rehabilitation agency and state rehabilitation council to periodically develop a comprehensive statewide needs assessment. The purpose of the needs assessment is to inform the agency and the council as they develop a new three-year strategic state plan.  

The assessment is designed to answer important questions about the population of eligible for VR services that live in the Virgin Islands and their vocational rehabilitation needs. It serves to inform DVR’s strategic plan and goal development for the next three fiscal years, 2013 – 2015. In its compilation, we rely on a variety of publicly available sources, including survey information from the United States Census Bureau and data from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. We gathered information from the Virgin Islands Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, as well as numerous stakeholder groups, including people with disabilities, employers, and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors.

The VIDDRS’s needs assessment was designed to respond to federal regulatory requirement and to provide information for the development of the territory’s plan for vocational rehabilitation around three broad areas of investigation: 

  1. Assess the impact and the nature and scope of services currently provided by VIDDRS;
  2. Identify rehabilitation needs of persons with disabilities in the Virgin Islands and specifically the rehabilitation needs of the unserved and underserved Virgin Islanders; and
  3. Identify areas for expansion or improvement of services. 

To address these issues the Agency reviewed data from a variety of sources including information available from the United States Census Bureau, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Virgin Islands Department of Education and the Virgin Islands Workforce Investment Board. Additional information was collected through a customer survey, and forums held throughout the territory. Within this report the reader will find:

  • Review of population statistics
  • Review of VIDDRS service data
  • Review of survey data to assess customer satisfaction
  • Review of performance data to assess the provision of transition services and the needs of transition aged customers
  • Review of the information received at forums held at strategic locations throughout the Territory 

 Methodology 

In accordance with federal regulations 34 CFR § 361.29, the focus of the data collection for the CSNA was on:  

  1. What are the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of individuals with most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services? 
  2. What are the vocational rehabilitation services needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities or in unserved or underserved populations? 
  3. What are the vocational rehabilitation service needs of individuals with disabilities who are served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system? 
  4. What is the need to establish, develop, or improve Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) within the territory?    

 Multiple data sources were used to inform the CSNA

  • Consumer Satisfaction Survey
  • Community Survey of the General Population
  • VIDDRS VR Counselors Focus Group 
  • Stakeholders Focus Groups
  • US Census Data
  • USVI DOE Annual Performance Report FFY 2011
  • RSA Statistical Data – Fiscal Years 2007 -2012
  • USVI State Integrated Five Year Workforce Plan 2012-2017 
  • Public Forum 

A survey was conducted among 2984 persons.  Instruments were circulated to all government employees via their pay stubs, to the private sector via outreach activities coordinated by the SRC. Collection boxes were placed strategically in the community as well as telephone contact was made to coordinate pick-up from the more rural areas. VIDDRS was pleased with the enthusiasm and support from staff, stakeholders and the general public. Data contained herein will be utilized as baseline data for future CSNAs Secondary Research Census Data Statistics

The US Virgin Islands has a population of is 105,433 people; 78% black, 10% white and 12% other. While 81% of the population is of West Indian background only 49% were born in the Virgin Islands. The remaining 32% were born elsewhere in the Caribbean. Residents originally from the US Mainland make up 13% of the population and Puerto Ricans make up 4%. The remaining 2% is a mixture of immigrants from across the world including the middle-east, India and Asia (Source: US Census Bureau - 2000). Data from the 2010 USVI Census indicates that there are 615 individuals a disability below the age of 18.  

The Virgin Islands Department of Education Annual Performance Report for FY 2011 indicated that in FY’ 2011, 46 of 152 (30.26%) students in the 4 year cohort group earned a regular diploma; which allowed the Virgin Islands Department of Education, State Office of Special Education (VIDE/SOSE) to meet their targeted goal of 24%. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is used to determine the graduation rate for students with disabilities. The percentage is identified by the number of students with disabilities in the cohort who earned a regular high school diploma through the summer of 2011 and divided by the number of first time 9th graders with disabilities who enter b the beginning of the first marking period each semester plus students who transfer in, minus students who transfer out during four prior school years. The requirements for all students, including students with disabilities, to graduate with a high school diploma are as follows: students must earn a minimum of 26 Carnegie units from grades 9-12. Twenty-one of these Carnegie units must be in specific required courses and the other five in electives. According to VIDE/SOSE FY’ 2011 data, 61 of 1139 (5.35%) students with IEPs did not complete high school. “Dropout” is defined, in the Virgin Islands, as a student with a disability who is enrolled at the beginning of the school year and not enrolled at the conclusion of the school year. This definition applies to all students; however, the data that is presented is from grades 7 through 12. The VIDDRS Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors participated in 2012 Summer Institute. Their participation was a result of an active effort by both VIDDRS and DOE to engage in collaborative activities for the benefit of students with disabilities. This activity enhanced the relation with the staff of both program and it facilitated the development of more effective transition plans for students and ultimately, to positively influence student success in achievement of post-secondary outcomes.

VIDE/SOSE maintain data on Special Education students one year beyond secondary education to track students’ career paths. The VIDE/SOSE had 6 out of 91 respondents (6.59%) report that they were “enrolled in higher education” within one year of leaving high school; 40 out of 91 respondents (43.96%) reported that they were “engaged in competitive employment”; and 19 out of 91 respondents (20.88%) reported that they were in “some other postsecondary education or training”. 26 out of 91 respondents (28.57) report that they were “not engaged”. The response rate for this survey was 73.39%.

Workforce Investment Board (WIB) 

The Virgin Islands is a Single Local Workforce Area and has one State Workforce Investment Board that also assumes the duties of the Local Board. The Virgin Islands Department of Labor is the designated State Workforce Agency. There are two workforce centers in the Virgin Islands – one in the St. Thomas/St. John district and one in the district of St. Croix. The agencies that comprise the public workforce investment system include the Departments of Labor, Education, Human Services and Justice. The Workforce Investment Board and the Economic Development Authority comprise the advisory and policy development segment of the Workforce system.

The VIWIB is currently coordinating a partnership effort that places additional focus on three vulnerable priority groups who though served can be served more effectively to maximize employment potential. Those groups are the disabled population, veterans and out of school youth. As employment opportunities shrink and become more competitive, disabled workers are forced to acquire even more skills and competencies to become employable. Support services become essential and finding the best fit for their skills often provides a challenge for workforce staff as well as employers. The same is true for those youth who are out of school and displaced. Many find themselves unable to articulate the support they may need to achieve their goals. Watching friends and peers succeed while they do not, only adds to the stress of completing education and training goals. By developing the Careers Pathway model, specific to each group, the VIWIB hopes to help each attain the skills needed to enter and advance in the workforce. Instead of waiting for qualified workers, they can assist is creating qualified workers through on-the-job training and registered apprenticeships for new or unskilled workers and by refreshing their existing workforce through incumbent and customized training. Employers now have the option to choose the most qualified individuals from a large pool of unemployed workers. Unskilled and/or inexperienced Adults and Youth are now in direct competition with skilled and qualified dislocated workers for the same jobs; and many of the existing jobs may not be compatible with the skill set of the dislocated workers The success of any workforce investment initiative is contingent on the active participation of employers. This was the sentiment expressed by stakeholders and partners of the WIB.  

Mental Health Services 

The Department of Health is the legal authority set forth in Virgin Islands Code; it functions as both the state regulatory agency and the territorial public health agency for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Department of Health is responsible for the regulation of health care providers and facilities, policy development and planning, as well as vital, conducting programs of health promotion, protection and preventive medicine. The Division of Mental Health, Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Services (DMHADDS) is an entity within the Department of Health charged with establishing and administering programs designed to offer prevention and treatment intervention in the areas of substance abuse prevention, substance abuse treatment, mental health and residential services. 

Issues and Challenges Impacting the Mental Health and Substance Abuse System of Care in the USVI are:

  • No reliable data on the incidence of mental illness in the community;
  • Major problems in delivery, coordination and integration of services;
  • Lack of services for children with mental disorders; 
  • Increase in demand for counseling and case management services, especially among women and children

 DMHADDS is encouraging residents to do their part to help de-stigmatize the issue of mental health illness and to help raise the awareness of mental health wellness. Source: 3rd Annual Health Disparities Institute; St. Thomas, USVI October 21-22, 2010

Primary Research

Program Staff Focus Group

The VI SRC conducted focus groups with VIDDRS staff in an effort to obtain their opinion on the following: 

  • What are the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of individuals with most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services? 
  • What are the vocational rehabilitation services needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities or in unserved or underserved populations? 
  • What are the vocational rehabilitation services needs of individuals with disabilities who are served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system? 
  • What is the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state?

Staff indicated specific disability and demographic groups that are underserved or unserved: transitioning youths, US Virgin Islands minority populations, homeless individuals, individuals with moderate to severe cognitive impairments, physical disabilities and mental illness, and migrants with language barriers. Overwhelmingly, respondents indicated that they felt that the disability group that are most underserved are persons with mental illness. They felt that appropriate service infrastructures are not in place; therefore they are unable to manage or cope with their disabilities. 

In most cases, the consumers are not job ready and unable maintain employment for a significant time period. This may be due to the lack of psychiatric treatment to facilitate mental stability.   Persons with challenges which often lead to homelessness was another group that staff felt that was underserved; this group is largely comprised of individuals who are mentally ill. Responders indicated that these individuals had no contact information and were mostly unreachable. This prohibited or caused a significant delay in services. Most times, these consumers were unstable and have mental illnesses. Many are closed before employment outcome; or, they fluctuate between jobs.

The Virgin Islands minority population was also indicated as a population that is underserved and unserved. Minorities in the Virgin Islands mainly consist of Asians, Caucasians, and Hispanics. Staff felt that the reason why minorities are underserved is due to attitudinal barriers within the community that deter the interest in seeking services. Due to the close proximity of the surrounding Hispanic islands, the territory has a large Hispanic population. Spanish is their primary language and many have difficulty accessing resources in the territory. These individuals have a difficult time finding written information in Spanish, and they often experience challenges in verbal communication; especially during job a search.

Transitioning youths were considered underserved or unserved due to several concerns. The lack of community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) continues to be a significant concern in providing supported employment services to transitioning youths. VIDDRS has implemented a transition unit that provides some assistance to youths, however, there remains a significant gap in services when these individuals require the services of a job coach. These transitioning youth are mostly individuals with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities and mental illnesses. Some counselors also expressed that transitioning youths are unfamiliar with VR services; therefore does not follow through with services. It was discussed that more outreach should be considered on different platforms to ensure that transitioning youths and their families have frequent opportunities to be fully aware of services; this may favorably influence the amount of closures before employment outcomes. 

504 youths were another population that was considered underserved due the amount of referrals. Counselors stated that referrals are only received when teachers or guidance counselors attempt to find resources for particular students. VR Counselors are not regularly invited to 504 meetings and VIDDRS does not provide outreach specifically to this population. Due to the size and geographical uniqueness’s to the territory, individuals with physical disabilities encounter many challenges which prevent full participation in the community. Many buildings in urban areas are historic buildings and are not accessible and modifications are not always possible. Many are not equipped with regulatory accessible bathrooms. Additionally, in certain areas, even with the appropriate allotted parking spaces, parking is limited and sometimes challenging to access. In all, staff felt that continued collaboration with the program’s stakeholders through outreach within the territory will increase services to the unserved and underserved populations, increase minority participation, and identify unmet service needs. They indicated that having an electronic case management system would increase the efficiency of program and services. All agreed that developing new CRPs or a pool of certified job coaches will increase services and employment outcomes.

Consumer Satisfaction Survey

Vocational Rehabilitation Services identified 133 former consumers whose cases were closed in fiscal year 2011 at various statuses throughout the Vocational Rehabilitation process. During August 2012, the State Rehabilitation Council conducted telephone interviews with 46 former consumers. Assurances were made to consumers that their comments would remain anonymous and be precise to the extent possible. The interview questions can be found in the appendix. Varying reasons were identified for non-participation in the survey. Many consumers’ telephones were disconnected during the survey period. Others never responded to multiple requests left on their answering machines. Several relocated to the Continental United States and a few denied receiving Vocational Rehabilitation services. The result of the survey revealed that more than majority of the consumers felt that Vocational Rehabilitation services were satisfactory or better. A small percentage was neutral throughout the survey. However, there were a significant percentage of consumers that felt the VR services need improvement, especially in continuous communication with consumers. Some of the generalized comments that were expressed during the survey were:

  • The need for more job search and job placement assistance,
  • Insufficient communication and follow-up during service delivery,
  • Insufficient customer service assistance from VR staff,
  • Need for more collaboration between Special Education and VR services, and
  • VR needs to help increase consumer self-advocacy.

 Transition Services

RSA’s 2012 monitoring of VIDDRS data analysis of the program’s performance outcomes indicates, VIDDRS is bringing more youth with disabilities into the VR program, but an increasing number of them are leaving before receiving services, and therefore not achieving their vocational goal. In addition to an analysis of the performance outcomes for youth with disabilities, RSA interviewed field level staff to better understand the ch

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

The need for Supported Employment services remains critical. VIDDRS anticipates that it will be able to provide supported employment services to all eligible individuals in fiscal year 2014. The supported employment grant remains approximately $36,403.00. VIDDRS will utilize Title I funds for provision of services that exceed Title VI funds. The VI comprehensive statewide needs assessment, which was completed earlier this year, identified significant gaps in services and available resources to facilitate employment outcomes for the most significantly disabled individuals. • Lack of specialized transportation • Need of more public awareness about services available for persons with disabilities • Need for more outreach to employers in both the public and private sectors • Development of quality assurance and evaluation system to improve the overall operation of VIDDRS. VIDDRS continues to work with the Region II TACE to provide training as needed, as well as, development of a method for tracking the performance of job coaches. VIDDRS will work closely with the job coaches to address areas that require additional technical assistance to ensure sustainability of Supported Employment Independent Providers. VIDDRS has experienced significant challenges as it pertains to implementation of provider agreements for vendors. The provider agreements for the job coaches must be procured through the Government of the Virgin Islands Procurement Office therefore; VIDDRS is working with the V.I. Department of Human Services to facilitate expeditious processing of these agreements. It is our hope that with the assistance and support of the Office of the Commissioner; VIDDRS will be able to facilitate implementation of provider agreements before September 30th, 2013. VIDDRS continues 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 $1,620,000 257 $6,303
Persons with significant disabilities Title I $450,000 134 $3,358
Persons with less significant disabilities Title I $31,025 11 $2,820
Persons with the Most Significant Disabilities Title VI $36,403 15 $2,426
Totals   $2,137,428 417 $5,125

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

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

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

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

The following describes the Virgin Islands Vocational Rehabilitation agency’s goals and priorities in collaboration with and agreed to by the State Rehabilitation Council. For the development of agency goals and priorities; VIDDRS and the VI SRC utilized the most recent comprehensive statewide needs assessment, agency data, data from RSA’s 2013 monitoring reporting and input from a variety of stakeholders VIDDRS Performance on Standards and Indicators 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. VIDDRS closures remained the same. VIDDRS management team will closely monitor counselors’ caseloads and activities to ensure an effective and efficient VR service delivery system for Virgin Islanders with disabilities. 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 47.5% F Required Performance Level: 55.8% Despite efforts to improve performance on this standard, VIDDRS experienced more slippage than in the previous year. VIDDRS will monitor counselor performance as it relates to case closures to ensure that individuals who have been found eligible do not “fall between the cracks”. VIDDRS will continue to stress quality case closures and comprehensive employment outcomes for consumers. 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. 91.2% P Required Performance Level: 72.6% VIDDRS continues to exceed the required performance level. The agency will continue to work with employers and the WIB to sustain this trend. 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. 87.7% P Required Performance Level: 62.4% VIDDRS continues to exceed the required performance level on this standard. With the implementation of improved supported employment services it is our expectation that we will experience further improvement on this indicator. 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.) 71.5 P Required Performance Level: 52 % VIDDRS performance on this standard improved significantly from the previous FY. 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. 48.1% F Required Performance Level: arithmetic difference of 53.0% VIDDRS did not meet the standard for this indicator. There was a decrease from last fiscal year. VIDDRS management team will closely monitor the quality of placements by conducting quality assurance reviews that focus on appropriateness of vocational goal determination and quality of service delivery. 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. 96.83 P Required Performance Level: 80% VIDDRS exceeded the required performance on this standard. VIDDRS will continue its outreach efforts to ensure that the minority population is being reached. 1. VIDDRS consumers with significant disabilities can definitely benefit from the supports provided via a supported employment program. VIDDRS will provide enhanced supported employment services to facilitate employment and job training/internship opportunities for transitioning students and clients through development of relationships with the workforce system. 2. There is a need for increased visibility of the programs and services offered by VIDDRS. VIDDRS will collaborate with its SRC, stakeholders and other organizations to provide information that will make it possible for persons with disabilities to learn about the resources available at the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. 3. Increase outreach to the un-served and underserved individuals with disabilities; individuals who are minorities or individuals with the most significant disabilities. • Results of our CSNA indicate that persons with disabilities are not integrated into the “fiber” of the community to the extent possible. • While we are encouraged that 80.3 percent of respondents are interested in learning more about disabilities, the lack of knowledge and interaction with individuals with significant disabilities presents a definite barrier to vocational rehabilitation services thus to possible un-employment 4. Enhance collaboration with stakeholders to update existing Memorandums of Understanding; 5. 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/un-served youths; to enhance successful employment outcomes for these clients 6. Increase the number of individuals with significant disabilities applying for Vocational Rehabilitation services by: • Holding informational forums jointly with the State Rehabilitation Council describing the vocational rehabilitation process for parent groups, education officials, families and other service providers of persons with disabilities. • Marketing of the VR program through various media to inform and educate the general public about services provided by the VR program.

During fiscal year 2012, VIDDRS rehabilitated 57 individuals.  Fiscal year 2013 presented significant economic challenges for the Virgin Islands.  The closing of Hovensa Oil Refinery on St. Croix, as well as the effects of the economic downturn has impacted the Virgin Islands tourism industry and the labor market significantly. Current statistics for successful closures are below our projections for fiscal year 2013.  VIDDRS projects that it will rehabilitate approximately 40 individuals; this is 17 less closures than the prior fiscal year.  It is believed that this decrease is due largely to the above stated as well as the lack of CRPs in the territory.

Additionally, VIDDRS projects that it will maintain or exceed the previously established standard of fifty-seven (57) individuals rehabilitated for fiscal year 2014; of which, at least ten (10) will be supported employment individuals.  The program has begun to implement the following measures that it expects will enhance job placement for fiscal year 2014:

  1. Collaboration with VI Department of Labor to include counselors in the One Stop Centers on a regular schedule;
  2. Implementation of the Innovative Supported Employment Model with ongoing technical assistance from TACE;
  3. Monitoring of Key Performance Indicators with a focus on transitioning youth.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2013 2:48PM by Felecia Blyden

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

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

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

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

The Designated 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 VIDDRS have been unable to provide adequate Supported Employment Services to meet the needs of the significantly disabled population. The transitioning program will augment our supported employment needs while we continue to work on implementing functional CRPs. This remains a high priority area for the 2014 Fiscal Year. VIDDRS has developed a plan for the implementation of Supported Employment Services. The first phase required job coaching training for independent contractors. Through a collaborative effort with Region 2 TACE, six individuals have received training. This pool of qualified job coaches will provide assessment, training and job placement services to eligible persons with significant disabilities. Implementation of work projects will provide clients with opportunities to gain valuable on the job training that may lead to self-employment and/or competitive work opportunities. In order to successfully implement this model, VIDDRS has collaborated with the VI Department of labor to facilitate more access to employers that have registered with the DOL for tax exemptions. VIDDRS projects that: 1. Independent Contractors (Job Coaches) • complete online certificate series by August 31, 2013; • provider agreements will be implemented by the beginning of FY 2014; 2. Delivery of Supported Employment Services • twenty-five (25) individuals will receive supported employment services in FY 2014; • Ten individuals who received supported employment services during fiscal year 2014 will obtain successful outcomes.

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2013 2:51PM by Felecia Blyden

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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

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

Resources in the Virgin Islands have always been limited; this is due mainly to our geographical location 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 402 clients, 2.3% 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 program.   The State Agency continues to commit a portion of its funds towards the support of the State Rehabilitation and State Independent Living Councils.

 

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. VIDDRS will continue to providetraining 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 will collaborate with the Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VI DOL) to interface with current and perspective employers to preserve and/or create future job opportunities.VIDDRS continues to collaborated wit the VI DOL to facilitate more access to employers that have registerd with the DOL for tax exemptions.

 

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 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 47.5% 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. 91.2% 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. 87.7% 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.) 71.5P 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
  • 2.1 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. 96.8 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 and DOL will implement VR services at One Stop Centers on a weekly schedule.  This will result in seamless services for individuals with disabilities who apply for jobs or training at DOL.

 

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 for 2015. 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 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

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

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

Goals and priorities developed b the Virgin Islands Division of Disabilities  and Rehabilitation Services (VIDDRS) and the VI State Rehabilitation Council (VI SRC) and VI Statewide Independent Living Council (VI SILC) are annual evaluated.  All planning contributes toward performance of the VIDDRS mission to empower individuals with disabilities to work and be self sufficient. 

Progress in Achieving FY 2012 Goal and Priority 1:

The VIDDRS, with the support of the VISRC and VISILC completed its Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment for FY 2013.  Continued coordination and planning is ongoing to ensure that the 2015 CSNA will be conducted in a timely and efficient manner

Goal and  Priority 2- Enhance collaboration with stakeholders through forums facilitated through TACE to update existing Memorandums of Understanding;

VIDDRS has made significant progress on this goal.   VR counselors will be in the one stop centers by  the beginning of FY 2014.  VIDDRS ins working with the Virgin Islands Division of Special Education to facilitate approval of the MOU.

Goal and Priority 3:  Supported employment services to serve students transitioning from high school 

VIDDRS 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.

Goal andPriority 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.

Goal andPriority 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 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. 47.5% 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. 91.2% 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. 87.7% 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.) .7-.5 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

2.1 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. .96.8 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 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

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

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

The 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 2013 2:41PM by Felecia Blyden

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:07/15/2013 2:52 PM

Last updated by:viblydenf

Completed on: 07/15/2013 2:52 PM

Completed by: viblydenf

Approved on: 07/16/2013 7:45 AM

Approved by: rscoisbisterf