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

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Washington Department of Services for the Blind State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

1.1 The WA State Department of Services for the Blind 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 WA State Department of Services for the Blind [3] agrees to operate and administer the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this State Plan [4], the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations [5], policies and procedures established by the secretary. Funds made available under Section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and the administration of the State Plan for the vocational rehabilitation services program.

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

Executive Director

... 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

Executive Director

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Lou Oma Durand

Title of Signatory
Executive Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/21/2012

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2013
No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

X This agency is requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. Yes

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

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

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

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

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) has met four times since the last State Plan update. Meetings were all held in Seattle and were open to the public, including a phone conferencing system with call-in information advertised ahead of time allowing interested consumers to take part regardless of where they live throughout our state. The agenda included a public comment period and allowed for opportunity for input on any subject related to the business of the agency including the vocational rehabilitation, independent living and employment of blind Washington citizens.

Topic areas included the following:

o State Budget o Implementation of state budget cuts o Change in funding to the Deaf Blind Service Center o Pay cut/temporary layoff days for state employees o Hiring exemptions o SSA reimbursements o ARRA funding o ILB grant funding o ILOB program and funding o Recruitment and Orientation of new SRC Members o Customer Services performance in relation to: GMAP and RSA standards and indicators o VR Employment Outcomes o New Housing for OTC Residential Students o ARRA funding and projects o Customer Services Case Reviews and Results o Youth Employment Solutions (YES) and Bridge programs o SRC Customer Survey o Review of SRC Bylaws o Preparation/Review of State Plan o SRC Annual Report

Communication and Collaboration

The Council continues to have a strong, collaborative relationship with the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB). Several new members have been appointed to the Council as a result of the Council and Department’s collaboration in recruiting. The Council Chair also presents at the Department’s New Employee Orientation to educate new DSB employees about the purpose and role of the Council. In addition, there is open communication amongst Council members and DSB staff (executive, management, direct service) to discuss areas of interest and/or areas of concern.

DSB’s Response:

DSB and the SRC collaborated in targeting and recruiting for a full SRC board membership in 2011. The agency is impressed by the talent, representation and experience that have come to the SRC board as a result of this targeted effort. The SRC has shown eagerness to learn about how the agency operates, and has extended invitations and allotted extensive council meeting time for each program in DSB to present an overview of our current work initiatives. Having new SRC members integrated in DSB’s new employee orientation with other new staff has been a great opportunity for new staff to understand on a personal basis what and who the SRC is, and for the new members to gain a deeper understanding for the agency’s current organizational systems and processes. Communication and collaboration remain strong.

Legislative Committee Activity

The Council Chair and another member of the Council met with the Governor’s office and representatives from the House and Senate in support of the Department and services to blind individuals. The meeting also included blind constituency groups. Discussion topics included the ILOB program, shifting funding for the Deaf Blind Service Center (DBSC) to Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH), the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB), and resolutions made by Washington Council of the Blind (WCB) and National Federation of the Blind of Washington (NFBW). The meeting provided valuable information to the Governor’s office and representatives and better familiarized them with the needs of blind individuals which can only benefit the Department in the future.

DSB Response

The agency is very appreciative for the legislative advocacy put forward by the SRC and our other community stakeholders. The SRC’s continued monitoring of issues that may affect the agency and the relationship building and education efforts they put forward have provided the agency with stronger local legislative support. Their advocacy has been critical in times of state budget crisis.

Implementation of State Budget Cuts

DSB submitted an additional 10% budget reduction proposal to the Governor’s Office during this reporting period. DSB’s proposal included cutting support to the Deaf-Blind Service Center and moving funding to Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS), Office of Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ODHH). Ultimately this better positioned the DBSC for the future. The Council was involved early on in the discussion (discussions began in 2010) of cutting support to the DBSC and supported the budget proposal. The Council felt it was critical to maintain state funding match for the federal grants and to retain IL-Part B services. In addition, the Council suggested DSB look at partnering with grass roots organizations, consider similar benefits, and potential grant writing to help fill the funding gap and consider an economic needs assessment and/or a merit system as applied to participation in programs, etc.

DSB Response

The agency appreciates the guidance of the SRC through the difficult state economic issues through 2011. The SRC provided the agency inputs in helping us prioritize and make decisions for required and difficult state funding cuts.

SRC Survey

The Council in collaboration with the DSB completed a customer satisfaction survey. The Council updated the survey instrument and contracted with DSHS-Research Data Analysis to conduct the survey. The survey was completed in October 2011 and a summary of the results was included in the Council Annual Report.

DSB Response

The customer satisfaction survey had an exceptionally high return rate (over 86%). The agency disseminated the results throughout the agency, and we appreciate this survey for the baseline data in which to maintain high ratings and improve low ratings towards creating a consistently high quality customer experience. The agency and Council members discussed preliminary results of the survey, and DSB has planned with the SRC to develop and present a more extensive agency response at the June 2012 SRC Board meeting.

New Member Orientation

The Council formalized new member orientation. In the past, new member orientation would be addressed at one meeting during the year. Now, when new members are appointed they are contacted by the Council Chair and provided with a welcome and introduction. They are also provided with a New Member Orientation Packet, which was compiled this year, to further familiarize them with the purpose and role of the Council, agency programs and services, and RSA Council Course material. In addition, new Council members were invited and encouraged to attend DSB’s New Employee Orientation (NEO) to gain more information about DSB and connect with DSB employees.

DSB Response

The agency appreciates the care the SRC is taking towards bringing its new members into the fold, providing extensive orientation regarding the Council, the Rehab Act, and the agency, and clarifying expectations and responsibilities as an SRC board member. The SRC board members are more quickly engaged and active in the issues facing the agency and Council as a result.

State Plan Input

The Council reviewed the updates to the 2012 State Plan and completed its attachment that included input and recommendation of the Council. After consideration of the state needs assessment information from the previous year, as well as input from the current year including: public comment; customer satisfaction survey data; and interaction with DSB staff and programs; it was agreed that there was no need for significant changes to the State Plan goals and strategies for this iteration of the state plan. The Council continues to support the goals and strategies identified in the State Plan and recognized the efforts of DSB in preparation of the Plan.

DSB Response

The on-going input of the SRC board was invaluable in reviewing, assessing and reinvigorating last year’s goals and strategies for the agency.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2012 6:16PM by Marla Oughton

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

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

The waiver request should also include:

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

This screen has never been updated.

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

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

The Washington State Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) believes that collaboration with stakeholders is essential to assisting people with disabilities to successfully become employed. Such an ongoing effort maximizes resources and addresses the quality of life issues that can impact the ability of a person with a disability to obtain and maintain employment. We have active collaboration and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the following organizations and agencies:

American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs Statewide Agreement - DSB has an existing statewide agreement with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs (AIVRP) to work cooperatively to facilitate access to vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians with disabilities who want to work. The agreement represents the cooperation, coordination, and collaboration necessary to create an effective service delivery partnership designed to increase employment opportunities for those served by our programs. Parties to the statewide agreement include (9) specific Tribal programs, three of which represent several affiliated tribes who are served under a confederated alliance with neighboring nations.

In October 2011, representatives from DSB, DVR, and the Tribal VR Programs met together to discuss the commonalities of our programs and the unique differences that distinguish traditional public VR programs from the American Indian VR program.

DSB has continued meeting with several tribes from the northwest and southwest portions of Washington and staff from DVR quarterly to improve the way tribal members are served through the public VR agencies.

Veterans Administration - DSB has begun a series of meetings to improve the coordination of services between DSB and the different components of the Veterans Administration (VA). This includes connecting our regional teams and the local VA VISTA coordinators as well as working with some of the different components of the VA’s American Lake facility.

Division of Developmental Disabilities - Some of DSB’s customers have developmental disabilities in addition to blindness. DSB actively coordinates services with the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). This coordination takes the form of sharing of costs, providing natural supports, and working collaboratively to ensure seamless service delivery.

Public Institutions of Higher Education - DSB and DVR have entered into an agreement with Public Institutions of Higher Education in Washington. This agreement works to help collaboration occur for our customers who are going to Higher Education schools. One of the primary components in the agreement concerns cost sharing for certain high cost accommodations.

Easter Seals, Lilac, & Edith Bishel - DSB works closely with these three Eastern Washington agencies. These agencies often refer clients to DSB and occasionally provide services and offer support programs to our customers.

Lions Low Vision Clinics - DSB works with Lions Low Vision Clinics around the state. DSB staff has also been presenters at several Lions Low Vision Fairs as well as sitting on some Lions Boards. Sometimes they refer people to our agency as well as providing services to some of our customers.

The Deaf Access Center - DSB’s Yakima office works closely with The Deaf Access Center. Customers are referred jointly and service provision is shared to customers who have both visual and hearing impairments.

The Hearing Speech and Deafness Center - The Hearing Speech and Deafness Center is housed in Seattle and is a resource for our Deaf-Blind customers in 13 Washington Counties through a contract with the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Helen Keller National Center - The Helen Keller National Center is a resource for DSB on Deaf-Blind resources and sometimes provides contracted services to DSB customers as well as trainings for DSB staff for working with DSB customers.

Goodwill Industries of Tacoma - DSB has formed a long-term partnership with Goodwill in Tacoma. Goodwill provides a training center, CRP services, and has a computer lab that is accessible to our customers.

Yakima Special Needs Coalition - This group is a gathering of many community programs working on issues of transportation for individuals with disabilities. The lead agency for the coalition is People for People our primary regional transportation provider for individuals that cannot access the public transit. Our focus this past year has been on emergency response and providing transportation to those individuals with disabilities that would need transportation services to evacuate safely from the Yakima County area. This action was in response to the Naches/ Nile Valley hillside collapse that stranded many residents in that area from being able to get to the surrounding communities. Another accomplishment that this group had a large part in was assisting the Yakama Nation in securing a grant to bring a transportation service to the Yakama Indian Reservation serving all residence on the reservation native and non-native folks. This system called the Phato Transportation Service allows people to get from remote parts of the lower valley into the businesses and employers Monday through Friday and is free of charge. Having this service has actually benefited two of our very own DSB customers to be able to accept jobs within the city of Toppenish while they live out in the rural area of Wapato and Harrah. Karla has joined me as a participant of this planning group to connect with the other agency providers, county officials, and others that serve people with disabilities as a form of outreach to increase the areas knowledge of DSB and our services available to their customers.

The Washington State DSB does not currently carryout activities in programs by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2012 6:19PM by Marla Oughton

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

Coordination with Early Intervention Services

The Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) is signatory to a Memorandum of Understanding in coordination of early intervention services along with the following agencies:

Department of Early Learning, Department of Social and Health Services, Department of Health, Health Care Authority, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

DSB staff identify families whose children ages 0-3 have visual impairments through outreach efforts among community partners such as local children’s hospitals and eye care physicians, and provide the families with advocacy, referral and information, and training services. DSB partners with service providers to provide an annual Baby Jamboree training and family support event.

Coordination with K-12

DSB’s Vocational Rehabilitation policy, WAC 67-25-399 – Vocational Rehabilitation Services - Transition Services for Students, allows application to the VR program at age 14, and requires the development of an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for all eligible high school students before their high school graduation.

DSB is signatory to an October 2011 letter of interagency agreement among the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). The memorandum of understanding clarifies responsibility and coordination of roles in providing services and programs for those students who are both eligible for special education services under IDEA, and who are also eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. The agreement remains in effect until August 31, 2014.

The agreement outlines each agency’s overall role and responsibilities relating to the provision of transition services to high school students with disabilities. This agreement provides for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment (IPE) before each student determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services leaves the school setting.

Under this agreement, DSB routinely consults with and provides technical assistance to high schools and educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post school activities, including vocational rehabilitation services.

DSB’s agreement with OSPI also states that we will coordinate services with students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEP). The Interagency Agreement lays the groundwork for each agency’s roles and responsibilities.

DSB’s primary services while a student is in high school are outreach, information and referral, counseling and guidance to plan for post-school services and activities.

DSB authorizes and pays for any services needed to establish a transition student’s eligibility for DSB services, and only funds services outside the scope of the school district’s FAPE (free appropriate public education) responsibility.

The DSB/DVR/OSPI agreement lists several procedures that are to be used to increase the number of students identified as needing transition services as well as ensuring that the services are provided as soon as possible. Some specific procedures include:

• An OSPI representative is a member of the State’s Rehabilitation Council.

• Developing a system to exchange and disseminate data and information.

• Working with county/community councils to provide training and technical assistance relating to transition services.

• Providing outreach to increase education about Vocational Rehab services to underserved populations and students with disabilities.

• OSPI will list DSB transition contact information on the OSPI website.

• DSB transition specialists will conduct outreach and ongoing consultation statewide to teachers of the visually impaired, students, families and others in the education community.

DSB staff coordinate with local school districts and the Washington State School for the Blind to identify blind and visually impaired children who, previous to their fourteenth birthday, have been unknown to DSB. The DSB staff develop relationships with blind children and parents, and provide adaptive daily living skills training, advocacy services, and take an active role in IEP Implementation Teams. DSB staff develop and implement a week long independent living skills training for students ages 9 – 13 each year, are active in Braille promotion activities such as the Braille Challenge, and coordinate with statewide consumer organizations to facilitate youth conference activities.

At age fourteen, blind and visually impaired students become eligible to apply for vocational rehabilitation services. Case management activities are coordinated among the Birth-through-13 Specialists and the VR Counselors to facilitate the move into VR services.

A six-week summer work experience is coordinated and managed by DSB staff each year, connecting youth in their sophomore and junior years with community employers in integrated settings. The residential program assists youth with developing their independent living skills. A seven-week college transition program is coordinated and managed by DSB staff each summer, connecting recently graduated students with DSS offices and services, campus life, and college credit coursework. Independent living and adaptive technology skills are deepened through this experience.

DSB staff coordinate with the Washington State School for the Blind in developing the annual Career Fair, and the annual two-week work experience for freshman and sophomore students. DSB has a formal agreement with the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) clarifying referral procedures, expectations and costs for the year-long post-graduate life skills residential program that WSSB conducts.

WSSB and DSB collaborate to: develop statewide transition needs assessment and strategic planning process; provide data sharing among WSSB, DSB, the Washington Instructional Resource Center and local school districts; conduct joint outreach and case-finding activities; coordinate referral of potential VR eligible Transition students at age 14; provide assessment and training services for transition students statewide in the areas of daily living skills, orientation and mobility, communication skills, access to technology, vocational aptitudes, interpersonal and social skills, and academic preparation; connect local school districts and employers to provide community-based work experiences; develop career fairs, transition workshops and special intensive adaptive skills-training workshops around the state.

DSB currently maintains an office on the campus of the Washington State School for the Blind which fosters frequent interactions between Transition students who are working with the VR Counselors in preparation of graduation. This arrangement also provides easy access for school personnel who are collaborating with the VR staff in the planning and provision of career exploration and work experience opportunities for these students. A DSB staff member is also on the WSSB’s Board of Education.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2012 6:25PM by Marla Oughton

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

Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs)

DSB, in collaboration with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), employs a milestone service-based fee structure with private, non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers for employment services. The most commonly purchased CRP services include: vocational evaluation, trial work experience, job placement, intensive training, job retention, and transitional employment.

Community Rehabilitation Program providers are qualified through a Request for Proposal (RFQ) process administered by the general agency which defines CRP services and fees, and the qualifications that a CRP must meet. DSB contracts with these qualified CRPs using a Service Delivery Outcome Plan (SDOP) process, which clearly describes: goals, objectives, outcomes expected, timelines for achieving the goals, and fees to be paid. These service delivery outcome plans are agreed to by the VR customer and/or their representative and require the signatures and approval of all parties who are involved in the service delivery process.

For those CRPs who do not contract with the general agency, DSB has developed an in-house vendor qualification process, which qualifies individual CRP staff rather than the agency as a whole. All staff must pass a federal background check.

VR Service Providers

DSB has also established a qualification process for vendors who provide pre-employment services such as Rehabilitation Teaching, Orientation & Mobility and Assistive Technology training. Prior to permitting direct-unsupervised access with VR customers, all vendors/providers of services are required to complete and pass background checks through an FBI fingerprinting process. In requiring both the technical qualification process and the criminal background check of providers, DSB has taken the necessary steps to ensure that when VR customers choose to utilize community providers, they are afforded the utmost safety and the highest quality services that are available.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 6:32PM by Marla Oughton

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.

Washington DSB primarily provides Supported Employment services to individuals with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to individuals with disabilities due to mental health. Of these customer groups, individuals with developmental disabilities represent the vast majority of Supported Employment outcomes.

The comparable benefit resources available in Washington State to provide extended services are limited. Diligent efforts by DSB staff have facilitated extended services through state benefits, natural supports, employers and self-pay. DSB continues to promote the use of Ticket to Work as a potential income source for developmental disability (DD), mental health (MH), and traumatic brain injury (TBI) service providers to provide extended support services to our customers.

Through local associations with the Division of Development Disabilities (DDD), an umbrella agency of the Department of Social and Health Services, DSB has developed on-going working relationships for the provision of extended services via Supported Employment.

Local area DDD staff and regional administrators are aware of the availability of VR services through the Department of Services for the Blind, and our agency also continues to work with employers and other natural supports to identify long term funding and support for extended services. In addition, DSB works closely with the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER) who sponsors and promotes SE training activities throughout the state and region. Participation and attendance to these events by DSB staff offers continuous opportunities for VR personnel to network with other entities who are actively involved in SE placement efforts.

DSB staff also network with a variety of entities through their attendance at various statewide Supported Employment conferences that are sponsored by local organizations. These events draw registrants from public and private agencies who promote and provide services to people with the most significant disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2012 6:31PM by Marla Oughton

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Washington State Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) employs 57 personnel to serve approximately 1,200 individuals per year: o 14 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors; o 7 Rehabilitation Technicians; o 7 Assistive Technology Specialists; o 3 Regional Team Leaders; o 1 Employment Specialist; o 9 Orientation & Mobility/Rehabilitation Teachers; o 7 Rehabilitation Teacher 3s; o 3 Independent Living Part B Specialists; o 1 Orientation and Training Center Manager; o 1 Special Programs Manager; o 1 Office Assistant 3; o 1 Procurement and Supply Specialist; o 1 Executive Assistant; o 1 Assistant Director. o We hire readers/drivers as accommodation for Blind staff, with 8 part-time on-call staff currently on hand to provide these services as needed.

•The DSB VR Program and integrated IL Part B services have been organized as the Customer Services Unit since 2009. This cross-functional team approach allows service delivery team members to provide the full range of DSB services to customers of all ages. The integration of IL Part B and VR services breaks down conventional program barriers and silos based on funding source, and allows service teams to provide seamless customer service. This assists in leveraging effort, resources and specialized expertise to achieve the highest level of personal and financial independence for all customers. The regional teams have access to refer customers who require intensive adaptive skills training to the residential Orientation and Training Center.

• The Customer Services/Vocational Rehabilitation Program is divided into 3 Regional Teams statewide—North, South and East. The three Regional Team leaders each supervise 13, 16, and 10 professional and paraprofessional staff respectively. In addition to monitoring and supporting the daily activities of staff, the three Team Leaders take a proactive role to provide consistent, timely coaching, mentoring, and training. Team Leaders also conduct monthly case reviews which help to assure compliance and adherence to agency procedures, timelines and high quality customer service standards. Twice yearly the team leaders organize groups of peer staff to review the quality of case documentation and services.

• Services to IL Older Blind continue to be contracted out to community providers.

• DSB is currently at full and adequate staffing levels with fifty-four (54) personnel providing direct VR services. Fifty-four (54) are needed for comprehensive service delivery.

• In FFY11, DSB experienced several vacancies in VR counselor and Rehabilitation Teacher/Orientation and Mobility positions. Most positions were filled within 90 days of vacancy; all vacancies are currently filled.

• The Employment Specialist position took over career class training duties in the Orientation and Training Center.

• A Rehab Technician position was reclassified to a Rehab Teacher position in order to meet substitute training needs at the Training Center, and to prepare for future staff retirements.

• Rehab Technicians were reclassified from RT1 to RT2 to acknowledge the increased role in direct customer pre-employment services they are providing within the teams.

• A statewide hiring freeze mandated by state legislation was lifted in July 2011.

• The Department’s Administrative Policies state that individual managers and the Field Services Leader team determine the most appropriate staffing levels by evaluating changing workload needs and recommending staffing changes, specific job classifications and location of program positions. Also considered is the need for internal developmental assignments to fill hard to recruit positions.

• To ensure an adequate supply of qualified state rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals, the following are estimated vacancy rates: Given the average 5-year employee turnover rate of 20% multiplied by the 57 total number of the VR workforce, it is likely that 11 to 13 vacancies might be anticipated over the next 5 years. The number of VR personnel expected to retire in the next five years is six (6).

• It is projected that approximately 1,300 individuals per year will be served. Based on these projections, it is anticipated that a staffing level of 59 will be needed to meet our service provision needs. We plan to request an increase in our FTE cap from the state legislature in the next legislative session in order to meet service needs.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Counselor 3 / 4 14 0 4
2 Rehab Tech 2 7 0 1
3 Rehab Teacher 3 / O&M Specialist 16 0 5
4 AT Specialist 7 0 0
5 Regional Team Leader 3 0 1
6 OTC Program Manager / Special Programs Manager 2 0 1
7 Employment Specialist 1 0 0
8 Office Assistant 3 1 0 0
9 Procurement & Supply Specialist 2 1 0 0
10 ILB Specialist 3 0 1

 

Western Washington University (WWU) is the only graduate program in the state of Washington that directly prepares vocational rehabilitation professionals.

• Western Washington University currently enrolls 40 students per year in the Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling program. Of the 40 enrolled, 28 students are sponsored by RSA grants.

• In FFY 2011, Western Washington University’s Rehabilitation Counseling program graduated 15 students. Ten of those graduates were sponsored by RSA grants.

• All of our current counseling staff meets CSPD standards as they have all either earned a Master’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling or possess a valid Certified Rehabilitation Counselor credential.

• DSB plans to continue to hire only qualified VR counselors in these positions, as the agency has adopted this level of education as a minimum requirement.

• In FY12, specific training needs of our counseling staff and other VR professionals were primarily met through the utilization of training resources within the region and by working closely with the Technical Assistance Continuing Education (TACE). In support of the professional development of our staff, the RSA In-service Training Grant funding was fully utilized during the past year to strengthen their ability to provide quality services to customers with significantly disabilities.

• Throughout FY2013, our business and training involvement with TACE/CCER, other state agencies, and institutions of higher education will continue to enhance our opportunities to effectively recruit qualified staff and counselors into positions where they are needed.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Western Washington University 40 0 10 15
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

The Department actively coordinates with Washington colleges/universities offering studies towards degrees in vocational rehabilitation specifically, Western Washington University, Portland State University, and the University of Idaho, Western Oregon University, San Diego State University, Fresno State University, Arizona State University, and Utah State University. The purpose is to secure information on enrollment quantity, and on graduates with certification or licensure, or with credentials to qualify for certification or licensure during the past year, as well as on minority and disability status.

The Department maintains a broad recruitment mailing and website posting list, which we will continue to use to advertise vacant vocational rehabilitation positions. Recruitment information is also posted on the agency web site and on several other web sites that support rehabilitation professionals. The Washington State Small Agency Human Resources (SAHR) agency is our state mandated centralized HR resource, and they provide DSB with strong supports in recruitment and screening of applications since July 2011.

All 14 of the Department’s VR counselors meet the Washington State standards for CSPD which requires a CRC and/or a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.

In FY09, the agency implemented a VRC4 level position through internal promotion only. Previously, all DSB VRCs were VRC3’s. The VRC4 position does not increase the number of counselor positions statewide, nor does it reduce the number of customers served statewide. The VRC4 position builds in a career ladder by promoting VRC3’s to VRC4’s based on a comprehensive review to determine if they meet the distinguishing characteristics that demonstrate superior counseling skills and the ability to handle the most complex cases. The review includes information from team participation, case records, and performance appraisals. Since implementation in 2009, we have reclassified nine of the 14 VRCs statewide to this higher job class. This move acknowledges and compensates for outstanding work and enhances our retention of qualified counselors.

The agency has had a history of promoting professional development efforts among our Rehab Technicians. We have supported Rehab Techs in their educational and professional development to become vocational rehabilitation counselors, an AT Specialist, a Low Vision Specialist, and a Rehabilitation Teacher/O&M Specialist. We have supported a Rehab Tech in obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in 2011. We recently reclassified senior Rehab Technicians to a higher level Rehab Tech 2 job class in order to acknowledge the increased direct client activities they are responsible for.

The agency promotes a healthy positive atmosphere, and makes effort to provide staff with clear and consistent communications regarding performance expectations, agency decisions and agency initiatives. We are consistently rated among the highest of state agencies for staff satisfaction.

 

Qualified Counselors

As previously noted, DSB has fully adopted a standard for recruitment and development of qualified counselors in accordance with Rehabilitation Act regulations. That standard requires a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or the person to hold a valid Certified Rehabilitation Counselor credential.

• Currently, all 14 VR counselor positions meet that standard and there are no future plans to modify these criteria for the VR counselor positions.

• Specific training needs of our counseling staff and other VR professionals are primarily being met through the utilization of training resources within the region with occasional support being secured through national workshops and conferences.

• As a small Department, we do not conduct regular credit earning workshops in rehabilitation. To remedy that, we continue our coordination with our regional TACE at University of Washington to identify educational opportunities as well as develop new resources for earning credit through in-service training and other alternative approaches. Our business and training involvement with TACE, other state agencies, and institutions of higher education will continue to enhance our opportunities to effectively recruit qualified staff and counselors into positions where they are needed.

• DSB has designated a staff person to facilitate securing staff CEUs for various internal and/or external trainings.

• The Department and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) work jointly on the development of the State Plan and the SRC maintains an active role in the recruitment and retention of qualified personnel to support purposes of the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1998.

Rehab Teachers/ Orientation & Mobility Specialists

DSB supports our RT/O&M staff in securing the required continuing education CEUs to maintain their certification. We have supported staff in developing and securing formalized training in areas of Low Vision assessment, updated Orientation & Mobility concepts, and ethics.

 

The Department’s five-year In-service Training Plan for Rehabilitation, Training Needs Assessment, describes how the Department assesses and prioritizes ongoing training needs through input from the following sources:

• Results of audits, evaluations, state and federal compliance reviews, and agency case reviews identify critical areas that need to be addressed through staff training and provide the basis for our annual VR Program Training Plan.

• Annually, a formal comprehensive Performance and Development Plan (PDP) is completed and discussed with each employee. The PDP is a standard tool used with all State of Washington employees to evaluate job performance, performance expectations for the coming year, and with an emphasis on individualized staff development needs. Specific development and/or training needs are identified for each employee, by the employee and supervisor that should be addressed during the following or year to come.

• The Department’s Affirmative Action Plan.

• Strategic Plan priorities and objectives requiring training as part of implementation.

Once all needs are identified and compiled, the Field Services Team Leaders meet and plan the training agenda and prioritize the training needs of Department employees.

Comprehensive training plans are developed and implemented for all direct service delivery positions during the first 6 – 12 months of hire. Training is conducted by the Team Leader, a VRC4 mentor/coach, and/or various members of the cross functional teams.

As previously noted, full utilization of the FY12 In-Service Training Grant by the Department’s staff was managed and conducted in accordance to the priorities that were identified through multiple sources. These included:

• The Training Needs Assessment

• Results of annual performance evaluations

• State and federal compliance reviews

• Agency case reviews

All of these sources helped to identify critical areas that needed to be addressed through staff training and they provide the basis for our annual VR program training plan and priorities.

DSB will continue to utilize regional training resources including: TACE at the University of Washington, City University in Spokane, the Washington State Department of Personnel’s Human Resources Development Division, and private organizations and agencies for various rehabilitation related topics.

While the Department continues to encourage entry level VR staff to pursue higher level positions including that of VR counselor, the agency also encourages lateral movement when alternate job skills appear to be better matched and suited to an employee’s skills and aptitudes. Para-professional staff who express an interest in furthering their professional knowledge and skills within the field of vocational rehabilitation, with supervisory approval and as budget allows, are provided with financial support from DSB through tuition reimbursement upon successful completion of coursework.

VR staff have participated in a broad array of professional development training activities that were identified in the training priority categories outlined under “Evidence of Need” in the 2010-2015 Department of Education In-Service Training grant application.

Some of those training activities focused on: Vocational Assessment, Assistive Technology, updates to VR laws, rules, and regulations, Mental Health issues of VR clients, strategies for providing effective Vocational Rehabilitation to underserved populations, and Motivational Interviewing techniques to increase our customers self-awareness of obstacle’s that interfere with their goal in achieving competitive employment.

Our agency has partnered with the Region 10 Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER) / Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center (TACE) to participate in monthly regional teleconferences with six other State VR agencies where we discussed: training needs, training activities, and opportunities that are pertinent to our respective agencies.

In using this monthly forum to identify common VR training themes within each State agency, CCER has developed on-line training courses and made them available for VR agency staff to increase their knowledge and skills and better serve VR Customers. These on-line training courses provide access to all staff without the typical constraints associated with traditional training, and this style of training has made a positive & direct impact on our staff as they are able to immediately utilize this knowledge to support our customers in their VR program activities.

These monthly teleconferences have also fostered the opportunity for our staff to participate in some of the training activities that were being offered and conducted by the Alaska VR Agency, the Idaho General VR agency, the Oregon Commission for the Blind (VR) agency, and the Washington VR General agency, The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

The cooperative inter-agency arrangements made by the VR Agencies in Region 10 to share their training resources for the purpose of improving the professional skills of staff is a good example of how DSB has taken the opportunity to maximize the limited resources of time and money, to our advantage. Our staff has the ability to participate in a larger pool of sanctioned VR training events- offered by a variety of VR agencies- who share identical goals to better serve VR Customers in achieving competitive employment outcomes.

In addition, DSB partnered with Western Washington University to secure “Motivational Interviewing” training techniques for our Counseling staff and Rehabilitation Technicians.

As earlier noted, our agency has been partnering with the Washington General VR agency which has invited our staff to participate in many of their agency sponsored training events that occur throughout the state. With DVR having a much greater number of employees compared to DSB, they have been required to develop and provide a broader array of training options- with greater frequency- to keep pace with staff turn-over, various levels of staff experience & education, & CSPD requirements.

Being a smaller agency with fourteen VR Counselors has been advantageous to our staff as we have been able to capitalize on additional training options offered by DVR which ultimately support the rehabilitation efforts of our customers.

Department of Services for the Blind has also partnered with Tribal VR agencies of Washington State by attending and participating in events such as the 2012 Washington State American Indians with Disabilities Conference. While this specific conference was hosted by the Yakima Indian Nation, there were members from eight different confederated tribes in attendance who engage in federally sponsored VR programs. The conference was nothing less than a learning opportunity for our staff as Tribal members presented information about cultural sensitivity and the cultural differences which are present when serving Native Americans within the VR program. Our on-going partnership with each of these Tribal VR Programs - via staff attendance at their local meetings- continues to enhance our working relationships with Native American customers who are blind and receiving VR services from our agency.

Out-of-state travel restrictions were lifted in July 2011, and staff have been able to attend out-of-state trainings and conferences, such as the annual California State University at Northridge Adaptive Technology Conference.

AT staff are committed to reading technology and industry journals and reporting new information on adaptive technology devices to their peers. The team presents formal peer trainings quarterly, and regularly invites AT vendors to demonstrate and loan updated technologies. This method of acquiring up-to-date information and disseminating it to co-workers is a good practice and has proven to be an effective way to maintain the technology skills that are needed to support the gamut of customer jobs that require complex technology platforms.

 

Several of our staff members speak diverse languages such as Spanish, German, French, Japanese, American Sign Language, and Korean. Where it makes sense to do so, our staff are willing and able to communicate directly with customers and community members in their native or preferred language. We currently provide 6 staff with 5% extra assignment pay for language skills: 3 for ASL and 3 for Spanish.

Where it does not make sense to rely on staff language skills, or where we do not have access to those skills, we access community resources to communicate with diverse populations. Individuals who are Deaf-Blind or Hard-of-Hearing/Blind may communicate with staff via voice relay service. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are utilized when needed for any in-person meeting, training or event.

Department policies, procedures and community resources ensure that applicants and recipients of program services who have limited English speaking ability are provided with the appropriate mode of communication to fully benefit from public VR services.

The Department continues to employ personnel who are familiar and confident in the use of an array of communication modes to fully benefit the recipients of the program based on the preferred method of communication of the customer.

 

DSB coordinates with special education programs through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), and through collaborative projects with the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB).

Our Transition staff coordinate transition activities and conduct in-service training activities throughout the state to teachers of the visually impaired and other Special Education personnel. In addition to providing in-service training, they work with school district staff and DSB counselors to ensure customers receive services and information necessary to facilitate a smooth transition from school to adult services.

Based on assessments and training provided by the Department, Transition staff provide recommendations and information to school districts, WSSB, parents and students about vocational rehabilitation services including availability, referral, and eligibility requirements that support a coordinated transition plan from school to post-school services.

Consultation is also provided as early as necessary to special education staff regarding IEP planning and development. DVR, DSB and OSPI staff shares data and reports relevant to program development and planning.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 8:33PM by Marla Oughton

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 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) was conducted during FY 2011 and its intent was to consider the vocational rehabilitation needs of blind and visually impaired citizens of Washington State and the capacity of the agency to meet those needs with the existing internal and external resources available. This assessment was completed with direct involvement, guidance and input from the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), and it was conducted by internal staff using a variety of data gathering methods.

The assessment was completed to not only satisfy the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act, but to determine whether our program goals, objectives, & strategies are sufficient to meet the needs of all our existing customers, whether our efforts are producing the outcomes by which our performance is measured, and determine if there is a need to develop new business priorities as we face on-going State budget cuts that adversely affect our ability to meet the expanding needs of Washington State residents who are blind and visually impaired.

The information obtained from the CSNA was used in three primary ways:

1. Agency management staff used the information for improving program operations. This included evaluating where staff should be located, prioritizing outreach, and providing data to our legislature.

2. Providing data and making presentations to community partners so that opportunities for people who are blind in Washington could be enhanced. This included our Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Partners, our local National Industry for the Blind affiliate, WorkForce affiliates, and community organizations.

3. Presentations were made to the SRC to help them have useful data to help guide our agency.

Methodology a. Assessing the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities:

Participant Satisfaction Surveys

The agency has a long history of conducting participant satisfaction surveys with individuals who have open VR cases as well as those with recently closed cases. This has been an activity that occurs in conjunction with annual individual counselor case reviews in which cases are drawn from each counselor’s caseload and reviewed for quality assurance by: Team Leaders, a VR Program manager, and peers (who work outside the region where the review is occurring). All cases that are selected for review are automatically designated for a live customer satisfaction survey via telephone contact. This “live” survey process requests feedback from the participant on the services provided by the counselor and other internal team members i.e., Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Assistive Technology Specialists, Rehabilitation Teachers, Low Vision Specialists, etc. and, also seeks feedback from the participant regarding their satisfaction with external service providers and vendors.

The entire case review and the customer surveys typically takes several days to complete, and once concluded, the Quality Assurance Team meets with the counselor and other team members to provide feedback related to the management of the caseload. If specific issues are noted from the case review and/or participant survey, they are immediately addressed with the DSB staff who are involved with the customer, and Team Leaders use the information from the participant survey and case review to set performance and development expectations for the counselor in the coming year.

If there are issues related to external service providers/vendors, or the needs of VR customers that can’t be remedied through existing business processes or procedures, these concerns are taken to the Assistant Director of Customer services for further discussion and action. Unmet customer needs are typically a situational occurrence that can be resolved at the local level. In those instances where customers have pointed out the need for process improvement – the agency has been receptive to making changes that will improve service delivery and increase the likelihood of our customers achieving successful competitive employment outcomes.

Closed Case Participant Satisfaction Survey

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) developed a closed case Satisfaction Survey that requests information from previous VR customers who were actively involved in the VR Program (development of the Individual Plan for Employment ) and subsequently had their cases closed– both successful and unsuccessful outcomes.

Historically, this survey was sent to each participant in the appropriate alternative format with the request that it be completed and returned. The response rate had been disappointing low and the SRC elected to contract the survey work to be conducted via personal “live” contact via a phone discussion with each customer. At the time of this writing, the contract to conduct the next round of “live“ satisfaction surveys is complete, customer/contact information has been provided to the vendor, and this process will be initiated in early Fall 2011 with the survey results being reported to the SRC by late Fall.

We are aware that there will be former VR customers who may have been contacted on two separate occasions during the course of the counselor case review process and the SRC “closed” case satisfaction survey, however the questions are different and the results of the surveys focus on improving individual counselor performance as well as overall program performance.

Community Meetings

The Director and members of the SRC conduct community meetings each quarter to provide information on the services offered by the agency and to seek feedback and comments regarding services provided and services needed by customers and potential customers. Both paper and electronic mailings are sent to all stakeholders including current VR customers, consumer groups, service providers, vendors, and other interested parties. A general announcement is also published, and the agency makes available the option for conference calling so that anyone who wishes to participate in the meeting can do so. Feedback and public comments made by the attendees are recorded and action items are developed for follow-up. This process provides agency personnel with important feedback from customers who may express ideas of what changes may be needed to improve and enhance service delivery throughout the state.

Agency staff have attended and participated in meetings with members from the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE), an agency whose mission is to foster public/private collaboration in the development of employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. The purpose of these meetings were twofold: to provide information about DSB services to community leaders and WISE staff who specialize in working with individuals who have development disabilities & are blind and visually impaired, and to solicit feedback on potential resources and methods which are required for those individuals who need on-going job supports in order to maintain their jobs.

DSB agency staff have also attend meetings with community rehab providers (CRP’s) who offer a variety of services to individuals with disabilities on a fee for service basis. Through discussions and vendor feedback on the challenges in working with blind and visually impaired individuals, our agency has offered “vendor training” sessions titled: “Understanding Blindness and Successful Employment Outcomes”. These training sessions offered CRP’s the opportunity to openly discuss their fears and concerns in being able to work with blind customers, and provided them with information on the wide range of abilities of people with blindness and low vision as well as low and high tech accommodations. By identifying the concerns that community rehabilitation program personnel are experiencing when working with our customers, and offering them proven methods that have led to successful outcomes, we are better able to help these entities- to help our customers achieve meaningful employment.

Agency personnel also participated in VR Tribal meetings to discuss strategies and partnerships in serving disabled Native Americans who are blind & visually impaired to become gainfully employed. These meetings offered a greater awareness of the cultural beliefs, philosophical differences, and approaches that exist between Native VR services and traditional VR. They also promoted access to vocational rehabilitation services and increase employment opportunities for those who are served by DSB and the American Indian Vocational Rehab Program. These meetings included representatives from several Tribal Nations, the General VR agency, and RSA.

Meetings with Higher Education

The Department of Service for the Blind and the general VR agency have participated in meetings with the Council of Presidents representing Washington’s four-year institutions and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. These meetings have supported the existing interagency agreement between the state’s public institutions of higher education and the vocational rehabilitation programs. This process has brought together Administrators and direct service staff of all of the parties concerned to discuss, assess, and improve how we are conducting business on behalf of our mutual customers.

The Results

(A) Individuals with significant disabilities, including Supported Employment

As reflected in our FY11 RSA-113 report for the third quarter, 96.1% of the individuals who are currently receiving services from DSB are identified as being “significantly disabled”. Historically, the percentage of new cases that have been determined eligible with significant disabilities ranges in the 92-97 percentile. While the agency has been quite effective in meeting the rehabilitation needs of most VR customers, and we assist between 130-147 individuals to achieve competitive employment on a yearly basis, we readily acknowledge that our Rehab Rate is below standard, and the number of new applicants has not been increasing at the level that we anticipated –given our current outreach efforts.

Because DSB is not in an Order of Selection and does not expect to invoke an Order of Selection in the foreseeable future, the agency is able to provide immediate services to all eligible customers regardless of the significance of their disability. In regards to Supported Employment needs of VR customers, Washington State provides counties with public funding for work opportunities to those who may be best suited for work in community rehabilitation programs i.e., sheltered workshops or work centers, however long-term funding is not always available to those who are working in an integrated setting. While we have been successful in working with Job Developers to secure suitable “competitive” employment sites for SE customers, the long term support that is needed following the placement and stabilization has been more challenging than in years past. DSB currently has (25) VR customers who have been identified as needing long-term support and have Individual Plans for Employment. With many of these cases, our agency staff was required to seek out extended services where ever they could, and this frequently led to the identification of “natural supports” offered by co-workers where the disabled individual is employed. This arrangement of complete reliance on co-worker support has been of increasing concern as this option relies heavily on the goodwill offered by the employer and co-workers – which is a fragile alliance given the volatile economic climate. Although we have not experienced any recent occurrences of a former SE customer needing to reapply for services because their “natural support” system ended, we continue to struggle with finding “paid” options to aid this group with their long-term employment needs. There does not appear to be an obvious solution to this complex economic issue as State revenue sources dwindle, unemployment rises, and the economy falters – leaving customers with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and traumatic brain injuries fewer options for their long-term employment needs.

(B) Individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been un-served or underserved.

The agency is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds have equal access to Vocational Rehabilitation services. The agency is also committed to staffing the Vocational Rehabilitation program with rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals from diverse cultures and minority groups in order to recruit and better serve potential customers with disabilities from minority backgrounds. The agency utilizes an Affirmative Action Plan to ensure that a balanced and diverse workforce exists.

The agency continues to maintain its strong relationship with all of the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs across Washington State, and this year our staff has been invited to participate in and attended several Tribal VR meetings that involved all of the Confederated Tribes of Washington. Our staff was invited to present information to Tribal members and leaders about the agency, and learn about the cultural differences & the unique elements that are found in traditional Native VR programs. In Spring 2011, the general VR agency, Washington Department of Services for the Blind, and the Confederated Tribes of Washington came together and developed a “Memo of Understanding” that will be used as guidance in providing VR services to mutual customers. Because of the many Tribal representatives who are involved in this service agreement, we expect the finalization to occur in late 2011.

In an effort to gauge whether DSB is adequately serving individuals from minority backgrounds in relation to the population of Washington State, we have obtained demographic percentages from the most recent publication available from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey for 2009. The table below shows our involvement in terms of service to individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds and it reflects the current percentage of customers who have self-identified themselves as belonging to a specific race. Our performance with respect to service to minority groups out performs the incidence in the state population with two exceptions: Hispanic/Latino & Asian. Overall, service to minority groups by the agency is 28.2% measured against the 22.2% estimated to exist in Washington State.

ETHNICITY ESTIMATE / % WA POPULATION /% VR CASELOAD

American Indian/ Alaska Native 1.4 4.9

Asian 6.6 5.4

Native Hawaiian /Pacific Island Pacific. 0.4 2.1

African American 3.4 9.2

Hispanic/Latino 9.6 8.7

Our concern has been and will continue to be a focus on increasing services to the Hispanic/Latino communities statewide. One of the geographic areas within the state where there are significant numbers of individuals of Hispanic/Latino descent is Central Washington. This area is located just east of the Cascade Mountains and stretches along the I-82 corridor from Wenatchee to Walla Walla. This is a large agricultural territory covering a two hundred miles of highway between the two cities and all the communities in between are served by agency staff located in our Yakima office. In an effort to increase service to this group and better serve those already on the case load, we hired a bi-lingual/bi-cultural Hispanic Rehabilitation Technician (paraprofessional) to support the Central Washington caseload. This staff person provides a valuable resource for better communication in Central Washington, with the Hispanic/Latino communities, and this individual has proven to be a valuable asset for improved access to our services. The agency has also hired a bi-lingual (Spanish & English) speaking receptionist in our Seattle office where all statewide incoming (1-800) calls are taken. This individual has proven to be invaluable as she fields inquiries and provides agency information to individuals who speak Spanish and are in need of initiating VR services. All of our counselors and staff within their respective service areas have been encouraged to make contact with local Hispanic organizations to increase the awareness of the agency’s existence, explain the scope of our services, and to recruit eligible customers into the VR program.

The estimated percentage of Asians living in Washington State is reported to be 6.6% of the population, and our current open statewide caseload reflects 5.4% of cases/individuals who have identified themselves as being Asian. This difference is not statistically significant; however, we recognize the need to increase our outreach to underserved groups and we have made the effort and commitment to focus attention in this direction. Our staff has contacted the IndoChinese Cultural Central, the Korean Woman’s Association, and the Asian Counseling and Referral Center in an effort to increase VR applications from these sources. In having several individuals on staff who have Asian ancestry (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, & Filipino- and fluently speak the language), we are planning to continue a focused outreach effort into these communities in hopes of increasing service delivery to these underrepresented groups. If our outreach efforts are successful, these actions should earn the agency a passing grade for FY-12 with regards to RSA Standard 2.1- minority service rate- which we failed by (3) cases (fewer than 100 minorities existing the VR program during the past year).

Individuals with disabilities who have been un-served or underserved

The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) population estimates show a steady trend of increasing ethnic diversity in the state during the past years. As the ethnic diversity of the state increases, it will become more difficult with limited resources to provide quality services to these groups. Our assessment of the current caseload and applicant pool suggest that individuals from minority backgrounds with limited or no English speaking ability are significantly underserved.

There are limited English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in the state that use non-visual teaching techniques which are necessary for the instruction of monolingual blind and visually impaired participants. There are significant numbers of individuals who have immigrated to Washington that have limited or no English speaking skills and who are often illiterate in their native language. We have partnered with one program in Western Washington; St. James Cathedral, that provides ESL instruction to participants in their native language, on a “one-on-one” basis using non-visual techniques. We have made considerable effort to research and identify an existing curriculum for teaching “groups” using non-visual techniques in order to develop the resources within the adult education system. English speaking ability has not precluded participation - to eligible individuals - in any VR program activity- however it is a significant barrier to most when customers initiate a job search. We will continue to outreach this underserved group and seek out and develop resources necessary for them to fully access services.

Individuals with disabilities who have been served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system

The agency continues to collaborate with statewide WorkSource Centers to improve accessibility for our blind and visually impaired participants, and during this past year, DSB staff attended three WorkForce Board meetings where recommendations were made on how to direct un-served individuals - who may qualify for VR services - to DSB. We have provided technical assistance and training to WorkSource staff on assistive technology (equipment and software) that would allow equal access to services at the centers. Additionally, we have provided sensitivity training to WorkSource staff on working with the unique needs of our participants.

At the time of this update/submittal, there have been no reported cases of blind or visually impaired individuals being unable to access the WorkForce Investment system even though we are aware that there are WorkSource Centers that are not fully equipped with assistive technology to make their systems and programs completely accessible to our customers. Some of this is due to funding constraints and some due to a lack of a coordinated effort within the system. We continue to challenge the workforce investment system in our state to recognize the needs of our blind customers who are job ready so that they may make use of services that are the available to all citizens.

Need to establish, develop, and/or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state

Department of Services for the Blind and the general VR agency have partnered together to establish criteria for using qualified vendors/ Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) and to set-up a performance based “milestone” payment process. No longer are CRP’s being paid for their efforts – which frequently resulted in no meaningful outcome for the VR customers. Much to the displeasure of many providers, they are now being compensated for the results they achieve rather than extensive excuses for being ineffective. For services such as: vocational evaluations, community based assessments, trial work experiences, job placement, job retention, transitional employment, and intensive training services there are three levels of service activities that can be purchased by the VR agency, and each level has a higher fee structure associated with it. Deciding on which service level the customer will need, may be based on the significance of disability, prior work history, and/or involvement required by the CRP to achieve the outcome. During the period when the new fee structures were being considered, CRP’s expressed reluctance in wanting to work with blind customers because the vendors lacked knowledge and familiarity about this group. They considered customers of the “blind” agency to be more challenging because they appeared to have insurmountable barriers to employment e.g. (transportation issues, inability to store and retrieve information, the need for costly accommodations, inability to select appropriate work attire, etc.). In receiving this open and honest feedback, DSB took these concerns to heart and offered a series of statewide vendor trainings to address the expressed issues made by CRP staff. In having frank discussions with our VR agency blind staff about the “abilities” of visually impaired individuals, providing them with demonstrations in the use of adaptive equipment, and dispelling the myths of blindness, we were able to achieve two objectives. Eliminate the fear that CRP’s had in working with our customers, and offer them a market advantage over other CRPs’ by classifying them as being “preferred providers”.

For CRP’s who participated in the blindness awareness training, the status of being a “preferred provider” gave them two assurances: First, their agency/organization would be highly recommended for consideration to customers who were deciding on which vendor to select for the service(s) they needed. Second, these preferred providers would have met the local VR agency staff during the training sessions and be acquainted with our agency personnel who were responsible for providing support services to the customers.

The advantage in having CRP staff meet the Vocational Rehab Counselor, Assistive Technology staff, Low Vision staff, Orientation & Mobility instructors, & Rehab Technicians, are the links which are established between those individuals who are supporting the customer to achieve a successful outcome. With CRPs’ knowing the specific roles that various VR agency staff were responsible for, they could – if needed - seek timely advice and/or assistance to resolve potential issues.

In knowing that there is a high turn-over in personnel who work for low wages at these CRP’s, our local Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors maintain frequent contact with the Managers of these organizations to assure that updated training is provided to new personnel. For those CRP’s who have yet to agree and commit their staff to receiving blindness awareness training, DSB staff have targeted these agencies for outreach. We know that in having a greater pool of viable vendors/providers who are educated and informed about the abilities of our blind customers, these CRP’s can profit from our business, and our customers can achieve the results that will ultimately lead them into competitive employment. In addition, these CRP’s are made aware that the Information related to their performance is collected and used to assist participants to make informed choices regarding which vendors are providing the quality of services that they require. Being on-board as a “preferred provider” with DSB can be a profitable business decision for CRP’s and during this current economic climate that decision could be the difference to being open for business or not.

Assistive Technology

DSB continues to use a “qualifying process” for contractors who provide assistive technology training to our participants and while the initial result reduced the number of service providers, we are assured that those who passed the process are rendering the highest level of quality services. Locating qualified assistive technology vendors has been a difficult task due to the extensive training and in-depth knowledge that is required of these professionals. The agency currently has six (6) Assistive Technology staff who are dedicated to this specialty, and we have used our AT staff to network and search for viable candidates within their respective communities who are qualified and interested in becoming vendors for the agency.

This screen was last updated on Aug 12 2011 4:38PM by Marla Oughton

The American Community Survey (ACS) provides reliable estimated data for the number of individuals in the state who experience visual function limitations. The ACS has consistently estimated numbers ranging in the mid-60,000’s for people in Washington State between the ages of 18 and 64 who reported they had difficulties with their vision. The 2010 census data shows 62,697 individuals reporting a visual difficulty, with 27,205 of those with visual difficulties reporting as employed, 4,785 unemployed, and 30,708 not in the labor force.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
General Grant Title I $8,412,468 1,300 $6,471
Supported Employment Title VI $64,122 30 $2,137
Totals   $8,476,590 1,330 $6,373

This screen was last updated on Jun 20 2012 7:40PM by Marla Oughton

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.

To identify goals and priorities, DSB utilized data from the comprehensive needs assessment conducted in 2011, and built upon that assessment data through meetings and public forums with DSB customers, employees, partners, providers, Rehabilitation Council members, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), tribal program representatives, school representatives and others. DSB staff met with the State Rehabilitation Council to solicit feedback and the Council co-sponsored four public forums. A statewide call-in phone line for these public forums allowed for input from customers throughout the state.

Analysis of customer satisfaction surveys and standards and indicators show that DSB provides high quality services and outcomes, which we hope to maintain and build on. The standards and indicators also demonstrate a need for our agency to actively increase participation in our vocational rehabilitation services. Therefore, the main emphasis of our agency goals and strategies remains a focus on improving and expanding customer services.

For Fiscal Year 2012 the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) will have the following goals and priorities:

1. To Improve and Expand Customer Services.

Strategy: Refine the way our organization is structured to provide integrated services in a manner that makes program silos seamless to our customers.

Strategy: Create and refine job preparation training programs that are compatible with our customers to help our customers become more focused on their job search.

Strategy: Refine format for how our Orientation and Training Center (OTC) structures terms.

Strategy: Refine the Physician’s Referral Network source that creates a regular pipeline of customers.

Strategy: Develop internship possibilities for our customers during difficult economic times.

Strategy: Increase our ability internally to provide Low Vision evaluations and follow-up to our customers.

Measurement of success: Achieve over 150 successful outcomes in FFY 2011.

Measurement of success: Increase by 5% the number of customers served compared to FFY 2009.

Measurement of success: Increase by 5% the number of referrals for vocational rehabilitation services compared to FFY 2009.

Measurement of success: Reach a rehabilitation rate of 63% in FFY 2012.

Measurement of success: Reach an average wage of more than $18 an hour for our customers in FFY 2012.

2. To be an Expert Resource for Blind, Low Vision, & Deaf-Blind Citizens and our Community Partners.

Strategy: Continue partnering with other agencies and organizations in the community around blindness and low vision issues (some examples include: National Federation of the Blind of Washington, Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington Council of the Blind, and Washington School for the Blind).

Strategy: Continue to provide staff resources to various state and local projects and committees.

Strategy: Continue to provide trainings around blindness for employers and agencies.

Measurement of success: Increase by 5% the number of customers served compared to FFY 2009.

Measurement of success: Increase of 5% the number of referrals for vocational rehabilitation services compared to FFY 2009.

3. Create Organizational Excellence.

Strategy: Revise our service category codes in our case management system so that we can have better more consistent data.

Strategy: Improve existing components and purchase new components for our case management system.

Measurement of success: See a statistically significant improvement regarding DSB staff’s sense of whether they have the tools necessary to do their job on the next employee satisfaction survey compared to the previous employee satisfaction survey.

Measurement of success: Be ranked among top five agencies in the RSA sum of ranks on the FFY 2011 Report Card for results in mean weekly wage (all employment outcomes); percent of outcomes at or above federal minimum wage; state minimum wage; and percent of all outcomes that are competitive employment outcomes.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2012 6:34PM by Marla Oughton

  • 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 Jun 29 2009 12:25PM by Marla Oughton

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.

All of our VR counselors, Rehab Technicians and Team Leaders are well versed in the provision of SE services and understand the issues related to eligibility, vocational assessment, vocational training, placement and the need for and ongoing support services.

DSB (in cooperation with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)) has identified and qualified Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) providers in local areas across the state to provide SE services (assessment, skill building, job development, job coaching and arrangements for extended services). Title VI Part B funding is utilized to support SE services provided by CRPs on a performance based, fee-for-service basis.

DSB provides training and technical assistance relating to blindness to all CRPs who express an interest in working with individuals who have the potential to achieve an employment outcome through Supported Employment.

For FFY 2013:

•DSB will serve 30 SE customers

•10 SE customers will achieve competitive employment outcomes

•DSB will spend over $45,000 on SE services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 20 2012 7:42PM by Marla Oughton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the time period of this State Plan update, the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) will use two primary tools to expand and improve services to our customers. First, we will be reorganizing our internal structure. This will include delivering Independent Living Part B services internally rather than through contracting and creating a broader cross discipline team. By doing this we hope to end some of the redundancies that had been developed where customers would have to be too aware of whether they were receiving VR or IL services. Ideally this should allow us to serve more customers and the customers we serve we should do so more effectively. We will continue to fund projects that were initiated through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, such as maintaining the Physician’s Referral network that will send potential customers to us after they have been working with an eye doctor, internships, self-employment projects and job readiness workshops.

DSB has had a long history of emphasizing assistive technology as a way for our customers to achieve the fullest outcome possible from their VR experience. One of the ways we do this is by supporting the team of Assistive Technology Specialists that serve within the customer service teams. These staff members also meet quarterly to make sure they are current on new trends in their service delivery model. Customers receive an assistive technology assessment when they begin receiving services as well as at the time of employment. DSB also ensures that our customers have the assistive technology needed to be successful during the VR process. These services are provided statewide by our 7 Assistive Technology Specialists.

Another strategy DSB has recently begun to improve outreach is coordinating and working with the various Tribal 121 programs to ensure all parties have a full awareness of what each partner does as well as creating new opportunities for referrals and joint case delivery.

Last year DSB spent a lot of effort enhancing our Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) providers understanding of working with us and our customers. We provided 7 trainings throughout the state for organizations and individuals who were interested in working with DSB. These trainings were well attended and provided a great opportunity for us to show the CRPs what our customers are capable of. Going forward we will need to help smooth out the process for CRPs to become vendors with DSB. Additionally, we will need to broaden the number of CRPs who are willing to work with our customers during the economic downturn. Additionally DSB dramatically increased the number of qualified CRP providers available many to our customers and staff.

DSB will work with other components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System by participating on various workgroups and committees.

DSB will work to overcome barriers relating to equitable access of services. Some methods for achieving this are:

*DSB will participate in tribal workgroups with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

*DSB will have staff participate on various disability-related workgroups including but not limited to groups focused on customers who are deaf/blind, customers who have developmental disabilities, and customers who have mental health issues.

*DSB will implement its Memorandum of Understanding with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to ensure no service delivery gaps arise.

*DSB will maintain policies that continue to allow us to serve all customers in need of service regardless of the customer’s religion, ethnicity, national origin, race, gender, or disability.

The strategies identified below are related to the goals of Attachment 4.11(c)(1) and to address concerns that have been identified relating to the standards and indicators. One of the standards and indicators that DSB has identified as needing improvement is improving the number of successful rehabilitations and the success rate of cases that go into plan. These strategies should improve those areas.

1. To Improve and Expand Customer Services.

Strategy: Change the way our organization is structured to provide integrated services in a manner that makes program silos seamless to our customers. This will help to minimize redundancies in service provision and procedures, provide a broader resource base for our customers to access, and break down barriers to services.

Strategy: Create and refine job readiness training programs that are compatible with our visually impaired customers to help our customers become more focused on their job search. The targeted skills in these workshops help customers overcome and address barriers to employment due to disability.

Strategy: Change format for how our Orientation and Training Center (OTC) structures terms. This will allow more people to attend the OTC because we will be able to identify more natural transition points for customers to enter and exit the program.

Strategy: Develop a doctor referral source that creates a regular pipeline of customers. This will broaden the referral sources we have as well as provide us with more customers to reach higher outcomes. As eye doctors can be seen as one common point-of-contact for our visually-impaired customer base, providing targeted education about the services we can provide and bring them familiarity with a simplified referral process, we can overcome a major barrier in reaching our customer base more effectively.

Strategy: Develop internship and self-employment opportunities for our customers during difficult economic times. Many employers are reluctant to hire customers during the economic downturn but a paid internship may be the gateway to getting more of our customers employed. Assisting with planning for and establishing a self-employment business allows our entrepreneurial-minded customers to create their own economic opportunities.

Strategy: Increase our ability internally to provide Low Vision evaluations and follow-up to our customers. This will allow us to more cost effectively provide services to our customers and will allow us to be more responsive and systematic in making sure our customers are prepared to be successful as they leave our program.

2. To be an Expert Resource for Blind, Low Vision, & Deaf-Blind Citizens and our Community Partners.

Strategy: Continue partnering with other agencies and organizations in the community around blindness and low vision issues (some examples include: National Federation for the Blind of Washington, Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington Council for the Blind, and Washington School for the Blind). DSB staff has regularly and will regularly continue to work with other partners in the community to provide awareness around blindness and the resources available to help those who are blind. This allows us to offer collegial assistance, increase awareness throughout the greater community, and more readily locate and access services and resources available to our customer base.

Strategy: Continue to provide staff resources to various state and local projects and committees. DSB has staff members that will serve on key boards and committees to make sure the needs of people who are blind are considered. Some examples include: Washington State School for the Blind Board of Education, Washington State Talking Book & Braille Library Patron Advisory Council, and Tech Act Board. This allows us to offer collegial assistance, increase awareness throughout the greater community, and more readily locate and access services and resources available to our customer base.

Strategy: Continue to provide trainings around blindness for employers and agencies. These trainings will help to increase awareness of blindness related issues and become a resource for enhanced services in the future.

3. Create Organizational Excellence.

Strategy: Revise our service category codes in our case management system so that we can have more consistent data to track and better manage resources. More stream-lined services allow for more effective service provision to our customers.

Strategy: Improve existing components and purchase new components for our case management system. This will help our OTC and Youth Programs provide better service and provide better data for DSB to make more informed decisions around our effectiveness. A shared customer management system among all components of the agency’s service provision will offer the customer a more effortless, consistent customer experience, improving satisfaction and active participation in services.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2012 6:40PM by Marla Oughton

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

For Fiscal Year 2011 the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) had the following goals and priorities:

1. To Improve and Expand Customer Services.

Strategy: Change the way our organization is structured to provide integrated services in a manner that makes program silos seamless to our customers.

Strategy: Create a WorkStrides program that is compatible with our customers to help our customers become more focused on their job search.

Strategy: Change format for how our Orientation and Training Center (OTC) structures terms.

Strategy: Develop a doctor referral source that creates a regular pipeline of customers.

Strategy: Develop internship possibilities for our customers during difficult economic times.

Strategy: Provide Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES) and benefits planning to our counselors.

Strategy: Increase our ability internally to provide Low Vision evaluations and follow-up to our customers.

Overview of strategies for this goal in FY2011:

* DSB did accomplish a restructure of agency service provision. Previously Independent Living services for those under age 55 had been contracted out to external vendors. We brought Independent Living service provision for those customers into each regional team. By having a more seamless relationship with customers of working age, we have been able to identify many of those customers under 55 who are more appropriately served under vocational rehabilitation, but who may have simply lacked the confidence or belief in self to imagine work as a possibility. Services to youth, ILB services, and vocational rehabilitation services are more integrated and seamless within each regional team as a result.

*The agency adapted or developed a number of pre-employment trainings for a Blind and visually impaired audience, including WorkStrides, Dependable Strengths, and Job Search Boot Camps. The intensive workshop style of developing critical pre-employment and job search skills have been popular and effective.

*The Orientation and Training Center restructured its term system, implementing shorter, more intensive 6 week terms and a series of week-long very intensive training workshops twice a year. The shorter terms often appeal to customers who are reluctant to leave home and family for more extended periods of time, and allow motivated learners to complete training in less time.

*A Doctor Referral Network was implemented to connect eye doctors to the agency and provide a quick and easy way for them to refer potential customers at risk of losing their job due to vision loss. There are over 380 eye doctors established as members of the referral network.

*DSB supported customers in funding six month internships as a way to allow employers to become familiar with the skills and talents of our Blind customers without a financial risk to the employer. While there was no obligation for employers to hire a customer at the end of the internship, seven of the 18 internships in SFY2011 developed into full-time competitive employment opportunities for our customers. We also assisted 13 customers in successfully implementing their own small business plan.

*DSB supported all VRCs in attending Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES) training, and supported a number of VRCs to become certified Benefits Planners. The time- and labor-intensity and complexity of technical implementation limits counselors from providing these services extensively. DSB continues to frequently contract for these services in order to best support our customers. The knowledge base gained from these trainings have been beneficial for counselors to support customers in understanding the data received from contracted vendors.

* In 2010 all Rehab Teachers/Orientation & Mobility Specialists were trained in Low Vision assessment and service provision. In 2011, the staff implemented provision of low vision assessments, aid recommendations and training services statewide. All customers who might benefit from low vision assessment services have access to these services.

Measurement of success: Achieve over 150 successful outcomes in FFY 2011.

Measurement Outcome:

* DSB did not achieve this measurement. In FFY2011, DSB achieved 144 competitive & integrated employment outcomes. While this number was just short of our goal, it represents a rebound to stronger outcomes compared to our FFY2010 low of 129 outcomes, and represents among the agency’s highest number of outcomes since FFY2007.

Measurement of success: Increase by 5% the number of customers served compared to FFY 2009.

Measurement Outcome:

* DSB achieved this measurement. The total number of vocational rehabilitation customers served in FFY2011 increased by more than 8% of the total in FFY2009. Our numbers served increased from FFY2010 by 51 individuals served. Some reasons for the rise in applications may include:

* A concerted outreach effort was conducted by staff statewide

* The Eye Doctor Referral Network was initiated with 380 eye doctors registered and educated about DSB services and a simplified patient referral process.

* More potential VR customers have been identified by bringing IL Part B services in-house.

Measurement of success: Reach a rehabilitation rate of 63% in FFY 2011.

Measurement Outcome:

* DSB did not achieve this measurement. In FFY2011 DSB achieved a Rehab Rate of 62.1%. This is a strong measure for the agency comparing our results over the decade, and is a remarkable achievement for the quality of employment outcomes. DSB rates exceptionally high in delivering competitive outcomes, serving those with a significant disability, and securing outcomes with high hourly wages and hours worked per week.

Measurement of success: Reach an average wage of more than $18 an hour for our customers in FFY 2011.

Measurement Outcome:

* DSB achieved this measurement. The average hourly wage for all employment outcomes in FFY2011 was $19.29. The (non-weighted) median wage for all occupations for Washington State workers was $19.30 per the May 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics report; the wages our customers receive are very equivalent to the general population.

2. To be an Expert Resource for Blind, Low Vision, & Deaf-Blind Citizens and our Community Partners.

Strategy: Continue partnering with other agencies and organizations in the community around blindness and low vision issues (some examples include: National Federation for the Blind of Washington, Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington Council for the Blind, and Washington School for the Blind).

Strategy: Continue to provide staff resources to various state and local projects and committees.

Strategy: Continue to provide trainings around blindness for employers and agencies.

Strategy: Host a Blindness Summit to address the environment for agencies and organizations that serve people who are blind.

Overview of strategies for this goal in FFY2011:

* In FFY2011 DSB continued to be a leader in the area of Blindness and Visual Impairment. We collaborated with our general and tribal VR partners to provide guidance, training and information around issues of visual impairment. We provided technical assistance to a range of agencies and community partners, such as Starbucks, Amazon, Department of Elections, Department of Personnel, Employment Services Division, WorkSource, School for the Blind and Blindness consumer groups.

* DSB staff have provided technical guidance as representatives of the agency on local boards and commissions. One VRC is a member of the Governor’s Committee on Disability and Employment, and an AT Specialist is a board member at the Washington State School for the Blind. A Rehab Teacher / Orientation & Mobility Specialist acts as a board member for a local community low vision clinic.

* DSB hosted a Blindness Summit in FFY2011. Community partners, SRC members, consumer stakeholders and partner organizations met to strategize over issues of Blindness in Washington State and to discuss reactions and approaches to legislative initiatives. On-going quarterly conference call meetings among stakeholders have continued as a result of the Blindness Summit.

Measurement of success: Increase by 5% the number of customers served compared to FFY 2009.

Measurement Outcome:

* DSB achieved this measurement. The total number of vocational rehabilitation customers served in FFY2011 was more than 8% of the total in FFY2009. Our numbers served increased dramatically from FFY2010, increasing by 51 individuals served. Some reasons for the dramatic rise in applications may include:

* A concerted outreach effort was conducted by staff statewide

* The Eye Doctor Referral Network was initiated with 380 eye doctors registered and educated about DSB services and a simplified patient referral process.

* More potential VR customers have been identified by bringing IL Part B services in-house.

3. Create Organizational Excellence.

Strategy: Revise our service category codes in our case management system so that we can have better more consistent data.

Strategy: Improve existing components and purchase new components for our case management system.

Overview of strategies for this goal in FFY2011:

* Service categories for services were streamlined and reorganized. Systems for accessing service category definitions were implemented within the customer management system in order to consistently present accurate information, definitions and criteria for service categories.

* System 7, the agency’s case management system by Libera, Inc, was upgraded in late 2010. The changes to the interface in the customer management system were significant, and a major in-house training effort and documentation of system processes was implemented in 2011. Hardware solutions were implemented in 2011 to increase data speeds and system stability. Staff usage of the customer management system stabilized in 2011, and work stoppages due to issues stemming from the system upgrade have been minimized.

Measurement of success: See a statistically significant improvement regarding DSB staff’s sense of whether they have the tools necessary to do their job on the next employee satisfaction survey compared to the previous employee satisfaction survey.

Measurement Outcome:

* DSB did not meet this measurement. The results of the 2011 all-state agency staff satisfaction survey were again exceptional for DSB – our staff ranked the agency among the highest of all state agencies in Washington State. However the improvements, while stable and consistent and exceptional, were not statistically significant.

Measurement of success: Be in the top 5 in the RSA sum of ranks on the FFY 2010 Report Cards.

Measurement Outcome:

* DSB ranks consistently high in the quality of outcomes measures in the sum of ranks measurements conducted by RSA. DSB is top among all VR agencies (general, combined and/or Blind) for percent of outcomes that are competitive, for outcomes that exceed minimum wage standards, and percent of all outcomes with earnings.

These goals were established based on feedback from members of the SRC and comments received at some of the SRC forums.

 

Goals for Supported Employment:

For FFY 2011, DSB will:

*Serve 50 SE customers

*Have 9 SE customers achieve competitive employment outcomes

*Spend $65,000 on SE services

Measurement Outcome:

*In FY2011, DSB served 23 Supported Employment Customers, below our target.

*Of our total 147 employment outcomes four were supported employment customers, with an average hourly wage of $17.72.

*DSB spent $55,026 of our allotted $63,617 SE monies, below our targets

 

DSB passed 4 out of 6 of the indicators in Standard 1, and passed all three of the primary indicators for Standard 1.

The agency just missed Indicator 1.1 by 6 employment outcomes. It is noted that the exceptionally low outcomes from FFY2010 impacted the results in this Indicator, and expectations are that the results for FFY 2012 will be significantly stronger.

The agency did not meet the expected Rehab Rate standard for Indicator 1.2. In acknowledging the high quality of DSB’s employment outcomes, with high wages and number of hours worked per week, and exceptionally high percentage of competitive outcomes, we are happy with our Rehab Rate just slightly below the standard for Blindness agencies. Although almost all our outcomes are competitive and integrated outcomes, we are held to a higher standard for Rehab Rate than the Washington general VR agency.

The agency achieved competitive employment outcomes at a rate exceptionally higher than the 35.4% minimum set in Indicator 1.3. Almost every employment outcome was competitive and integrated, at 99.63% of all DSB outcomes for FFY2011.

The agency also achieved rates of employment outcomes for individuals with significant disability at much higher rates than the minimum for Indicator 1.4. 96.32% of our employment outcomes were achieved by individuals with significant disabilities, well above the minimum standard of 89%.

The ratio of DSB customer wages compared to the general population is strong, as noted in Indicator 1.5. Finally, the number of people who are self-supporting at case closure compared to those who are self-supporting at application is nearly double, and the Indicator 1.6 is met easily.

DSB did not get rated for Standard 2 as the agency had fewer than 100 persons who identified as an ethnic or racial minority that exited from the program in FFY2011. Our ratio of .785 was slightly below the minimum standard of .80, but was not statistically significant because of the small number (less than 100) who exited the program. In FFY2011, 90 people who identified as a minority exited from services at DSB.

The results of the Standards and Indicators for FFY2011 are below:

Indicator 1.1: Difference in the Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes: Fiscal Years 2011* and 2010**

Agency: WASHINGTON-B

Number with Employment Outcomes: FY 2011*: 273

Number with Employment Outcomes: FY 2010**: 279

Change in Employment Outcomes: Indicator 1.1 (>=0): -6

Indicator 1.2: Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services Who Had Employment Outcomes: Fiscal Year 2011*

Agency: WASHINGTON-B

Number with Employment Outcomes: 273

Number Who Received Services: 440

Percent with Employment Outcomes After Services: Indicator 1.2 (>=68.9%): 62.05

Indicator 1.3: Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes Who Were Competitively Employed: Fiscal Year 2011*

Agency: WASHINGTON-B

Number with Employment Outcomes: 273

FY 2011 Minimum Wage: 8.55

FY 2010 Minimum Wage: 8.55

Number with Competitive Employment Outcomes: 272

Percent of Employment Outcomes that were Competitive Employment: Indicator 1.3 (>=35.4%): 99.63

Indicator 1.4: Percentage of Individuals with Competitive Employment Outcomes Who Had Significant Disabilities: Fiscal Year 2011*

Agency: WASHINGTON-B

Number with Competitive Employment Outcomes: 272

Number of Competitive Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Significant Disabilities: 262

Percent of Individuals with Competitive Employment Outcomes who had a Significant Disability: Indicator 1.4 (>=89.0%): 96.32

Indicator 1.5: Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage To Average State Hourly Wage: Fiscal Year 2011*

Agency: WASHINGTON-B

Average Hourly Wage for Individuals with Competitive Employment Outcomes: 18.49

Average Annual State Wage 2011 (Fiscal Year Wage) (Weighted Average): 49,253

Average Hourly State Wage for 2011 (Fiscal Year Wage) (Weighted Average): 23.68

Ratio of Average Hourly VR Wage to Average State Wage: Indicator 1.5 (>=.59): 0.781

Indicator 1.6: Difference in Percentage of Individuals Achieving Competitive Employment Who Report Own Income as Primary Source of Support at Closure and Application: Fiscal Year 2011*

Agency: WASHINGTON-B

Number with Competitive Employment Outcomes: 272

Primary Support is Own Income at Application: 116

Percent Primarily Self-Supporting at Application: 42.6

Primary Support is Own Income at Closure: 219

Percent Primarily Self-Supporting at Closure: 80.5

Difference Between Percent Self-Supporting at Closure and Application: Indicator 1.6 (>=30.4): 37.87

Indicator 2.1: Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate: Fiscal Year 2011

Agency: WASHINGTON-B

Non-Minorities Exiting the VR Program: 278

Non-Minorities Who Received Services: 185

Non-Minority Service Rate: 66.5

Minorities Exiting the VR Program: 90

Minorities Who Received Services: 47

Minority Service Rate: 52.2

Ratio of Minority Service Rate to Non Minority Service Rate: Indicator 2.1 (>=.80): 0.785

 

For the upcoming year, DSB will support innovation and expansion activities through the following opportunities:

Goal: Providing internship opportunities for our customers

Outcome for goal:

* An intensified effort to place customers in paid internships (from 3 to 6 months in duration) took place in SFY2011. Out of the 18 internships arranged in 2011, seven customers secured permanent employment, and eleven others gained valuable work experience.

* DSB assisted 13 customers to successfully set up a small business. These are also included on our employment outcomes list on the DSB web site.

Goal: Developing WorkStrides as a program that will work with our blind customers.

Outcome for goal:

* There were many ways in 2011 that DSB staff developed, refined and adapted job preparation workshops that are effective for a Blind and visually impaired audience.

* DSB staff adapted the WorkStrides job search preparation workshop materials for a Blind and Low Vision audience, and conducted two workshops with the WorkStrides adapted curriculum.

* DSB staff continued to refine the accessibility and presentation of the Dependable Strengths pre-employment training for a Blind and Low Vision audience, and conducted over five workshops statewide.

* DSB staff developed, individualized content per group, and conducted several multiple-day intensive Job Search Boot Camps across the state to assist customers in seeking and securing employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 6:22PM by Marla Oughton

  • 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

In Washington State, Supported Employment services are funded by two primary sources, Federal grant funding via RSA and through Washington State Division of Developmental Disabilities. To a much lesser extent, Social Security PASS plans have also been used by VR participants to maintain long-term supported employment. All of these resources enhance the quality, scope, and extent of services proposed under the Act. The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) of the customer who selects Supported Employment as an employment outcome must identify the source of extended supports or, if the source of extended services cannot be identified at the time of implementation of the plan, the IPE must identify the services, activities, and/or progress measures designed to identify the nature, type, scope, requirements and source of extended services in a manner consistent with the Act and the implementing regulations. The Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) does not provide extended services as defined in 361.5(b)(20). Supported Employment services are provided only to those individuals with the most significant disabilities and who have an identified likely source of long term support.

The quality of the Supported Employment program under Title VI includes the following components:

1. The use of State staff that have an extensive history and knowledge of Supported Employment (SE) to provide coordination, guidance, and consultation to all statewide counselors. This includes the development and implementation of Individualized Plans for Employment under Title VI C or Title I. All regional offices have received training and updates on current Supported Employment policy and procedures. The training is provided on an ongoing basis to individual staff, to field offices where several rehabilitation staff participates in joint service delivery to Supported Employment participants, as well as at regular statewide counselor meetings where Team Leaders conduct in-service training on various rehabilitation topics.

2. The provision of SE training to VR staff occurs throughout the year in team meetings, unit meetings, and statewide conferences where "best practices" are outlined and discussed. The Department of Services for the Blind utilizes the resources of the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment, a non-profit agency that promotes employment for people with disabilities. During their annual conference, our VR staff are provided with information on such topics as: Innovative Project Design and Demonstration, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Financial Systems Analysis and Design, Information Technology Assessment, and Organizational Development and Management Coaching.

3. Program evaluation measures are applied for all SE cases. This includes a review of vendor success rates who provide SE services to DSB participants, Supervisory reviews of SE cases to assure that employment placements comply with wage standards and they occur in integrated settings, and finally customer satisfaction surveys are conducted on every case that is closed.

4. Establishment and maintenance of a viable vendor network. The Department of Services for the Blind works in partnership with the general VR agency in Washington State to identify and certify Supported Employment vendors who are used by both agencies. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and DSB share an extensive statewide vendor network and both VR agencies provide ongoing information and assistance to these vendors to maintain qualified employment and training resources for our customers. Supported Employment vendors are paid for achieving measurable outcomes and are not remunerated for merely spending time “searching for employment.” This performance based method of service provision assures the customer, SE vendor, and the designated state unit that an employment expectation is the measure by which all stakeholders achieve success.

Extended Services

Extended services for customers that need them are ideally identified at the beginning of the VR process. Occasionally this will require more time to find extended services when they are not initially apparent. The transition to extended service providers occurs during the time of employment stabilization and prior to case closure.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2009 5:01PM by Marla Oughton

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 08/15/2012 at 6:40 PM

Last updated by sawaoughtonm

Completed on 08/15/2012 at 6:40 PM

Completed by sawaoughtonm

Approved on 08/24/2012 at 10:58 AM

Approved by rscostilesc

Published on 09/11/2012 at 12:55 PM

Published by kschelle

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

  • Monitoring Report for Washington - Blind — as of October 21, 2013
    DOC (454KB) | PDF (385KB)

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

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

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

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