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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.
(b) Notice requirements.
(c) Special consultation requirements.
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:
- comprehensive system of personnel development;
- assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress;
- innovation and expansion activities; and
- 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.
- 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.
- The designated state agency is a state agency that is not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and includes a vocational rehabilitation unit as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. (Option A was not selected/Option B was selected)
- In American Samoa, the designated state agency is the governor.
(b) Designated state unit.
- 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:
- 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;
- has a full-time director;
- has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full-time on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit; and
- 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.
- 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)
(a) The designated state agency is an independent state commission. (Option A was not selected/Option B was selected)
(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 and the designated state unit.
- jointly with the State Rehabilitation Council develops, agrees to and reviews annually state goals and priorities and jointly submits to the commissioner annual reports of progress in accordance with the provisions of Section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361.29 and subsection 4.11 of this State Plan;
- regularly consults with the State Rehabilitation Council regarding the development, implementation and revision of state policies and procedures of general applicability pertaining to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services;
- includes in the State Plan and in any revision to the State Plan a summary of input provided by the State Rehabilitation Council, including recommendations from the annual report of the council described in Section 105(c)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(5), the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction described in Section 105(c)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(4), and other reports prepared by the council and the response of the designated state unit to the input and recommendations, including explanations for rejecting any input or recommendation; and
- transmits to the council:
- all plans, reports and other information required under 34 CFR 361 to be submitted to the commissioner;
- all policies and information on all practices and procedures of general applicability provided to or used by rehabilitation personnel in carrying out this State Plan and its supplement; and
- copies of due process hearing decisions issued under 34 CFR 361.57, which are transmitted in such a manner as to ensure that the identity of the participants in the hearings is kept confidential.
(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.
4.3 Consultations regarding the administration of the State Plan. (Section 101(a)(16)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.21)
(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)
4.5 Local administration. (Sections 7(24) and 101(a)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(47) and .15)
(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)
(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))
(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:
- 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;
- 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
- 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:
- identification of the types of services to be provided;
- written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the state unit the nonfederal share of funds;
- written assurance that state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect; and
- 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.
(b) Cooperation and coordination with other agencies and entities.
- 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;
- 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;
- 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,
- 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.
- 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.
- The State Plan description must:
- 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
- include information on a formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency that, at a minimum, provides for:
- 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;
- 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;
- roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and
- 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.
(e) Cooperative agreement with recipients of grants for services to American Indians.
- 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
- 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:
- strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that will assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;
- 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
- 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.
(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.
4.10 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.18)
(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.
- Qualified personnel needs.
- 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;
- The number of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services, broken down by personnel category; and
- 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.
- Personnel development.
- A list of the institutions of higher education in the state that are preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals, by type of program;
- The number of students enrolled at each of those institutions, broken down by type of program; and
- 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.
(c) Personnel standards.
- 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.
- 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.
- The written plan required by subparagraph (c)(2) describes the following:
- specific strategies for retraining, recruiting and hiring personnel;
- the specific time period by which all state unit personnel will meet the standards required by subparagraph (c)(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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(f) Coordination of personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
4.11. Statewide assessment; annual estimates; annual state goals and priorities; strategies; and progress reports.
(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.
- 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:
- the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:
- individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
- 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
- individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide work force investment system.
- The need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
- 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.
- number of individuals in the state who are eligible for services under the plan;
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order; and
- 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.
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(d) describes the strategies, including:
- 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;
- 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;
- as applicable, the plan of the state for establishing, developing or improving community rehabilitation programs;
- 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
- strategies for assisting other components of the statewide work force investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
- Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the designated state agency uses these strategies to:
- 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);
- support the innovation and expansion activities identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) of the plan; and
- 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.
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(e)(2):
- 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;
- identifies the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals and priorities;
- describes the factors that impeded their achievement, to the extent they were not achieved;
- assesses the performance of the state on the standards and indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
- 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:
- 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
- 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)
5.2 Residency. (Section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.42(c)(1))
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:
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(c)(3):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order of selection; and
- 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.
- 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:
- assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;
- 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;
- 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;
- job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;
- rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory and other technological aids and devices; and
- 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:
- progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;
- an immediate job placement; or
- 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)
5.7 Services to American Indians. (Section 101(a)(13) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.30)
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:
- 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
- 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))
(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.
(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.
Section 6: Program Administration
6.1 Designated state agency. (Section 625(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(a))
6.2 Statewide assessment of supported employment services needs. (Section 625(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(b))
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))
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)
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))
6.6 Minority outreach. (34 CFR 363.11(f))
6.7 Reports. (Sections 625(b)(8) and 626 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(h) and .52)
7.1 Five percent limitation on administrative costs. (Section 625(b)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(8))
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))
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:
- specifies the supported employment services to be provided;
- describes the expected extended services needed; and
- 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.
2012 State Plan Update Attachment 4.2(c) Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of Designated State Unit; and Explanation of Input or Recommendations
In preparation of the FFY 2012 State Plan Update, the Washington State Rehabilitation Council co-sponsored and facilitated 3 public forums with DSHS/DVR to receive public comment on the proposed changes to the state plan. In addition, on March 24, 2011, DSHS/DVR received a recommendation from the WSRC Planning, Policy and Advocacy Committee that DSHS/DVR update the state plan without making any major substantive changes in goals and priorities until the next full State Plan is developed. It was recommended that DSHS/DVR focus on fully implementing the current plan with existing prioriies rather than change or add any major new goals or iniiatives. DSHS/DVR accepted and agreed with this recommendation.
The remainder of this attachment identifies input and or recommendations provided by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council to the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the Designated State Unit) and to the Department of Social and Health Services (the Designated State Agency) from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010, along with DSHS/DVR’s response to each.
Recommendations by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council to the Designated State Unit
A. Recommendations Garnered from Customer Forum Feedback
On April 30, 2010, the Customer Satisfaction & Program Evaluation Committee sent a memo entitled “Follow Up Report on April 15 Customer Forum in SeaTac” to DVR’s Senior Leadership Team, Area Managers and Area 1 Supervisors recommending changes to practices. The following excerpted text includes the Committee’s recommendations.
“In response to this feedback from the customer forum the WSRC offers the following recommendations to DVR:
- We encourage Supervisors at the local level to place an ongoing emphasis on returning customer phone calls and e-mails by reinforcing the DSHS policy requiring that customer calls be returned within 24 hours (which Andres Aguirre, the Interim Director of DVR] highlighted twice last quarter).
- We urge Supervisors to frame timely response to customer calls and e-mails, not as an additional expectation, but as an integral aspect of caseload management. With Counselors in many offices around the state… facing the demands of staffing high caseloads we recognize that prioritizing communication is challenging. At a time when some may feel that they are working at capacity, we recommend drawing positive attention to Counselors who communicate reliably and consistently with those they serve.
- We continue to recognize that many customers and their families who attend our forums express a significant gap in understanding the VR process and available services. We urge DVR to:
- Examine the approaches taken to customer orientation.
- Evaluate whether current approaches are effective.
- Strengthen orientation practices based on what is learned.
- Develop and implement a ‘re-orientation to the VR process’ for customers who either possess disability characteristics which requires that they review information repeatedly before it can be understood or retained or long-term customers who are not making progress in the VR process.”
All of the SRC’s above recommendations were received positively by DSHS/DVR and have been or will be implemented. The division continuously reminds all staff that telephone calls from customers and other individuals must be returned within timeframes set forth by DSHS policy. During the past year, DSHS negotiated with the Washington Federation of State Employees to extend the timeframe for employees to return telephone calls from 24 hours to 48 hours through June 30, 2011.
DSHS/DVR is following up on the SRC’s recommendation that current intake/orientation practices be re-visited to determine if information about available services and the VR process can be provided in a better way and on a recurring basis as individuals progress through the process. One step already implemented is that a videotape explaining the VR program is being played continuously in the reception areas of all DSHS/DVR offices, so that individuals waiting for appointments are reminded of the services provided. This same videotape is posted on the DSHS/DVR webpage for individuals to view at any time. Efforts are also underway to redesign intake/orientation practices to integrate motivational interviewing techniques that elicit more engagement from individuals as they learn about DSHS/DVR services.
B. Input on the FFY 2011 State Plan
On May 3, 2010, the WSRC Planning, Policy, and Advocacy Committee sent a memo entitled “Comment on the State Plan Update from the Washington State Rehabilitation Council” to the staff of DVR responsible for coordinating the submission of the State Plan. The memo provided specific input on attachments:
- 4.11 (c) (1)—Goals and Priorities
- 4.11 (d)—State Strategies and Use of Title 1, Innovation & Expansion Funds and Associated Activities;
- 4.11 (e) (2) Evaluation & Report on progress in achieving goals – Use of Title 1 Innovation & Expansion;
- 4.2 (c) Recommendations from the State Rehabilitation Council;
- 4.8 (b) (1) Co-operation with other Non Workforce Investment Partners; and
- 4.8 (b) (2) Coordination with Education Officials.
WSRC input on these attachments was detailed and lengthy. Most input suggested changes to proposed language; urged greater clarity and specificity; or advocated the inclusion of quantifiable measures. In two cases the Council had substantive disagreements with DVR’s response or framing of issues. The following excerpted text highlights key differences:
"ATTACHMENT 4.2 (c) Recommendations from the State Rehabilitation Council
- We request that DVR strike the sentence that reads: “Once developed and tested, this model [Project HIRE] will be integrated into DVR.” A decision of this kind should not be made until both phase one and phase two of Project HIRE are fully evaluated.
- Within attachment 4.2(c) DVR addresses the WSRC feedback on attachment 4.11(d). We request that DVR revisit its response to this portion of the attachment. Language in this section is titled “Innovation & Expansion” yet DVR’s response is focused on maintaining regular service delivery. DVR may need to clarify for the reader that this is an allowable use of the allocated funds.
- Input for DVR from Customer Forums – Theme 1: We request that DVR revisit this response because our comments address customer requests for more information upfront and throughout the process about available services, resources, and supports. DVR’s response addresses responsiveness related to reducing caseloads. We do not see the alignment between the concern we addressed and the response DVR provided.”
“ATTACHMENT4.11 (d) — State Strategies and Use of Title 1, Innovation & Expansion Funds and Associated Activities
- We object to DVR’s presentation of Attachment 4.11(d). There is always room for innovation, even when addressing existing activities. DVR needs to describe its agency innovations.
- If DVR’s intent is to highlight the expansion of existing activities rather than innovating, then we encourage you to quantify expansion, or illuminate how the strategies being implemented are being adapted based on lessons learned, data, or progress.
- Two resources that may be useful in strengthening the attachment are: requesting technical assistance from RSA, and revisiting the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment DVR completed in 2009. We also suggest revisiting the Comprehensive Needs Assessment because its purpose is to inform the State Plan. It provides a basis for evaluating strategic innovations.”
DSHS/DVR had several constructive discussions with the SRC concerning the above recommendations and incorporated virtually all of the suggestions in to the FFY 2011 State Plan Update.
C. Recommendations Regarding Expenditure of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds
On August 13, 2010 the WSRC Executive Director submitted a memo to the Interim DVR Director entitled “Input Regarding Expenditure of Remaining ARRA funds” on behalf of the Council. The recommendations:
- Advise against the implementation of further phases of Project HIRE;
- Advocate hiring staff temporarily to offset cuts to DVR necessitated by revenue shortfalls;
- Encourage strategic investment to increase the capacity of CRPs to serve targeted populations; and
- Urge DVR to buy assistive technology or services to mitigate barriers for Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers.
DSHS/DVR considered each of the SRC’s recommendations for the expenditure of remaining ARRA funds and chose to implement the following three:
- Advise against the implementation of further phases of Project HIRE – DSHS/DVR chose to discontinue Project HIRE because it was not achieving its intended outcome to rehabilitate 600 additional customers in mid-to-high paying jobs.
- Encourage strategic investment to increase the capacity of CRPs to serve targeted populations. – DSHS/DVR is targeting funds to increase the capacity of CRPs that serve individuals with mental illness. Attempts also were made to increase the capacity of CRPs in select geographic areas to better serve Hispanic individuals; however, the organizations that were approached decided not to pursue the opportunity.
- Urge DVR to buy assistive technology or services to mitigate barriers for Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers. – DSHS/DVR is in the process of equipping all offices with assistive listening devices and other technologies to accommodate individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
The following recommendation was not implemented:
- Advocate hiring staff temporarily to offset cuts to DVR necessitated by revenue shortfalls. – DSHS/DVR did not implement this recommendation because a general state government hiring freeze was adopted by the Legislature through June 30, 2011. The hiring freeze made it impossible to appoint permanent or temporary positions, except those approved by the Department of Personnel and Governor’s Office of Financial Management as being critical to fill.
* * *
Input provided by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council to the Designated State Agency
Title 1, Section 105, (c) (3) of the Rehabilitation Act mandates that State Rehabilitation Councils to provide advice to both the Designated State Unit and the Designated State Agency. In addition to the input provided by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council to the Designated State Unit, we provided extensive advice and guidance to the Designated State Agency during the reporting period.
A. The Implementation of Changes to the Provision of General Assistance Benefits
Until recently, Washington was one of two states that provided a cash benefit to eligible recipients of the General Assistance Program, which was funded solely by general state dollars. Governor Gregoire requested the elimination of that benefit in her proposed budget to the Legislature in January 2010. Rather than accept that request, the Legislature crafted an alternative approach for recipients of General Assistance. They developed a new program called the “Disability Lifeline.” The Disability Lifeline provides incentives to become employed. On March 29, 2010, Governor Gregoire signed E2SHB 2782, establishing the Disability Lifeline benefit into law. It was expected to be in effect from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013 when it would end.
The new state law made housing vouchers, substance abuse treatment, food subsidies and other essential resources available to eligible Washington State residents for a period not to exceed 24 months in a 60-month period. To receive these essential benefits, recipients must comply with program requirements which include seeking employment. According to the Final Bill Report for E2SHB 2782, “The Economic Services Administration (ESA) must work jointly with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to develop an assessment tool to determine whether the programs offered by the DVR could assist persons receiving Disability Lifeline benefits in returning to the work force. The assessment tool must be completed no later than December 1, 2010. The ESA must begin using the tool no later than January 1, 2011. By December 10, 2011, the Department must report on the use of the tool and the success of DVR programs in returning persons to the work force.”
After the Governor signed the bill into law the WSRC wanted to assure that the Designated State Agency (DSA), whose staff would be responsible for implementing the changes, were well-positioned to mitigate potential unintended consequences. On July 21, 2010, the Council Chair sent a memo to the Chief of Staff of the DSA on behalf of the Executive Committee. The memo entitled, “The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Participation in the Implementation of E2SHB 2782,” requested a meeting with her. The following excerpt highlights the basis of Council concerns:
“The Council supported the legislative intent of increasing participation in the workforce by workers with disabilities. We encouraged DSHS to take a narrow approach to implementing the new state law to assure alignment with the Rehabilitation Act by:
- Maintaining the information of applicants or recipients of vocational rehabilitation services confidentially (34 CFR 361.38 [e]);
- Preserving DVR’s authority to decide how to expend vocational rehabilitation funds (34 CFR 361.13 (c) (1) [iv]);
- Enabling DVR to handle referrals for vocational rehabilitation services promptly (34 CFR 361.41[a]);
- Receiving applications for vocational rehabilitation services from those utilizing the Disability Lifeline benefit who intend to achieve an employment outcome, and (34 CFR 361.42 (4) [ii]), and;
- Assuring that those referred by ESA to DVR for services are exercising informed choice when applying for or receiving vocational rehabilitation services (34 CFR 361. 352 [a]).
The Washington State Rehabilitation Council’s advice to DSHS regarding the implementation of E2SHB 2782 emphasized that if the assessment tool developed by ESA and DVR does not yield appropriate referrals, then costs and caseload sizes may exceed the staffing and budgetary resources available to DVR. Should this occur, DVR would be required to re-enter order of selection. Operating under order of selection would limit DVR’s ability to achieve the legislative intent of E2SHB 2782.
We also suggested that DSHS may avoid the costs associated with inappropriate referrals by:
- Supporting staff of DVR and ESA to continue meeting regularly following the development of the assessment tool to discuss whether the tool is yielding appropriate referrals, and;
- Working with DVR to develop measureable indicators to quantify the impact of the use of the assessment tool between the time when the law is implemented and when DSHS reports to the Legislature.”
The Council did not receive a response. On August 27, 2010 the Executive Committee sent a second memo entitled, “Follow up on the Implementation of the Disability Lifeline.” We received no response from the DSA.
After the bill was signed into law, the revenue forecast continued to decline and the Legislature acted to scale back the Disability Lifeline Benefit.
B. Input Given by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council to the Designated State Agency on the Implementation of Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2921
In March 2010, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2921 became law. The purpose of the law was to make supplemental operating appropriations to the General State Fund resulting in $54.8 million in cost savings. The law prohibits out-of-state travel by state employees unless the purpose of the travel meets narrow criteria. It also establishes a hiring freeze for all non-essential positions with the State of Washington. Further, the law prohibits state agencies from establishing new personal services contracts or purchasing equipment which costs five thousand or more.
During the July quarterly meeting of the WSRC we learned that there had been an instance when DSHS requested to review and approve or decline the authorization to purchase equipment for a DVR customer. We were concerned by the decision to apply the new state law to the purchase of equipment for customers.
On August 27, 2010 the Council Chair wrote to DSHS, expressing the Council’s concern and highlighting 34 CFR 361.13 which defines the role of DSHS and DVR. We invited DSHS to consider 34 CFR 13 (i) and (v) which provides DVR with the sole authority regarding:
“All decisions affecting eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, the nature and scope of available services, and the provision of these services… [and over] the allocation and expenditure of vocational rehabilitation funds.”
We urged DSHS to seek guidance and technical assistance from the Rehabilitation Services Administration if questions remained regarding authorizing purchases of customer equipment.
On September 17, 2010 the WSRC together with the Washington State Client Assistance Program, sent a letter to Carol L. Dobak, Chief of the Vocational Rehabilitation Unit
Rehabilitation Services Administration to request technical assistance on the issues we brought forward to the Designated State Agency.
Between July and December 2010 the DSHS/DVR Interim Director had a series of discussions with the DSHS Chief of Staff, WSRC Chairperson, WSRC Executive Director and RSA regarding the WSRC’s concerns about potential adverse impacts implementation of the Disability Lifeline Program and state funding restrictions could have on the DSHS/DVR program. These discussions culminated in an email response from Carol Dobak, RSA, Chief, Vocational Rehabilitation Program Unit, to the WSRC that vailidated the WSRC’s concerns and responded to each in detail. Ms. Dorbak’s response cited applicable federal VR regulations and sumarized discussions she had with the DSHS/DVR Interim Director that indicated the concerns had been effectively addressed between DSHS/DVR and DSHS without adverse impact on DSHS/DVR.
This concludes the summary of input and recommendations of the Washington State Rehabilitation Council.
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Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WSDVA)
DSHS/DVR and WSDVA have procedures for referring DVR customers with military service to WSDVA to determine whether the individual is eligible for any state or Federal Veterans’ benefits. If so, WSDVA assists the individual to obtain available benefits. This collaboration has increased the use of Veterans’ benefits as comparable services in cases where DVR customers experience military-connected disabilities.
United States Veterans Administration (USVA)
DSHS/DVR is collaborating with the regional USVA to establish a cooperative agreement to facilitate improved service delivery for customers receiving USVA benefits by formalizing referral procedures, designating local referral liaisons, and coordinating services that contribute to the Individualized Plan for Employment.
Washington State Department of Social & Health Services
Washington DSHS/DVR is housed within the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) which is an umbrella agency for Medicaid services, alcohol and substance abuse recovery, long term care and disability services, children’s services, and economic assistance services. DSHS/DVR continues to work closely with the following DSHS programs.
- Community Services Division (CSD) The CSD administers the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program and the Disability Lifeline Program [formerly known as the General Assistance – Unemployable (GAU) Program], both of which provide time-limited income assistance and other support services to low-income families and individuals. Washington DSHS/DVR continues to have an interagency agreement with the CSD that defines mutual roles and practices for serving joint customers.
- Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) DBHR combines the former Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, referred to as DBHR – Chemical Dependency (DBHR-CD) with the Mental Health Division, referred to as DBHR – MH (DBHR-MH). DBHR-CD contracts with counties for the delivery of outpatient chemical dependency treatment and directly contracts for residential treatment services. DBHR-MH contracts with regional entities for the delivery of community mental health services and directly operates two state psychiatric hospitals. The following are examples of our strong partnership:
o DSHS/DVR maintains active referral relationships with treatment providers at the local level that are funded through DBHR-CD contracts with each County in the state.
o DBHR-MH contracts with regional entities for the delivery of community mental health services and directly operates two state psychiatric hospitals.
- DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH have jointly conducted cross-training between VR Counselors and mental health practitioners at locations across the state to highlight the key elements of both service delivery systems and support better coordination on the employment needs of MH consumers.
- Using Medicaid Infrastructure Grant funding the DBHR-MH created and led a “Willing Partners” employment project in which DSHS/DVR plays a key ongoing role. The project has been expanded to provide intensive technical assistance to 6 Regional Support Networks [North Sound, King, Pierce, Peninsula, Clark and North Central (Grant County)] that are committed to improving employment services to MH consumers.
- DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH continue a mutual collaboration to explore ways that mental health agencies can effectively become Employment Networks and build a revenue stream from the Ticket to Work Program that will fund extended services for those mental health consumers who require a supported employment model.
- DSHS/DVR has assigned liaison VR Counselors that work itinerantly from several Mental Health agencies across the state. A VR Counselor works from the mental health center at least one day per week, facilitating access to VR services for mental health consumers.
- Division of Developmental Disabilities The DSHS Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is the primary agency that funds extended services for individuals with developmental disabilities who require supported employment. DDD contracts for these services with Washington counties, and counties sub-contract with community rehabilitation programs to provide the direct services. DSHS/DVR has continued working to strengthen and improve its coordination with DDD this year. DSHS/DVR and DDD leadership meet on a regular basis, and are co-sponsoring several initiatives aimed at improving employment outcomes for transition youth with developmental disabilities and advancing the skills of community rehabilitation programs that serve joint DVR and DDD customers. DSHS/DVR is represented as a member of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council.
- Aging & Disability Services Programs (ADSP) Washington DSHS/DVR coordinates very closely with attendant care services provided through the ADSP for customers who require personal assistance. This includes coordination of attendant care services required by individuals in both school and employment settings.
- Medical Purchasing Administration (MPA) All individuals served by Washington DSHS/DVR who receive Medicaid obtain their services through MPA. DSHS/DVR coordinates closely with MPA to assure that individuals receive medical services necessary to achieve their employment goal.
- Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) DVR’s Statewide Deaf Services Coordinator participates on the ODHH Advisory Committee as DVR’s representative. This position strengthens DVR’s partnership with ODHH. DSHS/DVR is working to implement the nationally recognized model state plan for serving individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hearing impaired. ODHH manages the Sign Language Interpreter Contract and values feedback from all sources to improve the quality of interpreter services. ODHH is also going to be the managing agency for DSHS/DVR’s contract for Video Relay System (VRS) and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) technologies. DSHS/DVR and ODHH continue to collaborate to increase communication access for the staff who serve this population and to provide greater accommodations for rural customers.
- Health Care for Workers with Disabilities (HWD) The HWD is a Medicaid Buy-in Program administered by DSHS. Washington DSHS/DVR coordinates closely with HWD to assist qualified individuals in continuing to receive medical benefits after they become employed.
DSHS/DVR and the Department of Services for the Blind have a joint memorandum of understanding with Washington’s eight Tribal 121 programs that outlines how these parties and their employees work together to ensure effective communication, collaboration, coordination and cooperation in serving individuals with disabilities who are tribal members in Washington State. The agreement, updated in 2009 and 2010, outlines procedures for referrals, joint cases, financial responsibility, shared training opportunities, information sharing and communication. Tribal 121 Directors meet annually with DSHS/DVR and DSB Directors in a government-to-government collaboration to promote partnership, to maximize resources, and to ensure high quality services for individuals with disabilities who are tribal members. DSHS/DVR continues to provide data to its Tribal partners to assist in provision of services and collaboration.
At the DSHS level, DVR continues its cooperative working relationships and service delivery commitments with all Federally Recognized Washington tribes, including those that do not operate Federally funded Tribal VR programs. DVR participates as a member on the DSHS Indian Policy Advisory Committee.
Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment
The DVR Director participates as a member of the Governor’s Committee and partners with the Committee on various efforts.
DSHS/DVR also partners with the Governor’s Committee on a one-week youth with disabilities leadership camp conducted each year at The Evergreen State College.
Centers for Independent Living
DSHS/DVR currently contracts Title VII, Part B funds to four independent living centers throughout Washington State. Centers use Part B funds to enhance and expand core independent living services with a focus on youth with significant disabilities. In addition to core services, IL Centers have been focusing on outreach to increase services in unserved or underserved geographic areas including disability groups, minority groups and urban or rural populations with the focus on youth with significant disabilities and 504 plans. The goal is to create a safe environment for youth with disabilities to be able to feel comfortable and confident when talking to allies who support disabilities by enhancing youth in understanding IL philosophy, how to successfully self advocate, and how to talk with legislators about disability issues.
Say Hey is a networking opportunity to welcome professionals with disabilities in the community as well as employers and other community partners. Each Say Hey is hosted by a group of partners working together to ensure their workplaces and community are able to attract, hire and retain a diverse workforce. The events bring together professionals who are new to the area with a more established "welcoming brigade". Attendees include community leaders, corporate and government representatives, community organizations and individuals willing to help make the honorees feel more connected with their community as well as local employers and potential workers with disabilities. Everyone who supports diversity is welcome to be a part of the welcoming brigade to support a community that embraces diversity and welcomes individuals with disabilities in the workplace and community. Say Hey originated in Olympia in 2008 and was expanded to Everett, Tacoma, Seattle, Spokane and Kitsap County in 2009.
In 2010, Say Hey events were significantly reduced because of sharply declining participation by employers caused by severely depressed local job markets. However, DSHS/DVR maintains close working relationships with all of the local organizations that co-sponsor Say Hey and will resume activities as the job market improves and more participants become interested in attending.
Washington State Business Leadership Network (WSBLN)
The WSBLN is a network of employers who educate and support businesses to hire, retain, and improve customer service for people with disabilities.
Community Employment Alliance
The Community Employment Alliance is a membership organization comprised of community rehabilitation programs. DVR participates in meetings to share information, hear concerns and collaborate on issues affecting employment services for individuals referred to providers by the Division.
Traumatic Brain Injury Strategic Partnership Advisory Council
In the late 1990s, DSHS/DVR was the primary sponsor of a demonstration grant to identify gaps in providing services to individuals who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). DSHS/DVR continues to be a represented member of the TBI Strategic Partnership Advisory Council. This group discusses TBI-related policy issues, system development, and/or the need for services to meet the needs of TBI survivors, family members, prospective employers and community members. The TBI Strategic Partnership Advisory Council has identified gaps in housing, a lack of resources and a need for support group facilitator training. This Council has successfully encouraged the Washington State Legislature to pass legislation that adds fees to traffic violations, like negligent driving and speeding because these offenses tend to lead to injury accidents and TBIs. These collected fees are used to help fund TBI-related programs and resources. DSHS/DVR continues to be an active partner in addressing the needs of individuals in Washington State who have been, or will be impacted by traumatic brain injuries in the future.
University of Washington Rehabilitation Program
Since 2006, DSHS/DVR and the University of Washington Rehabilitation Counseling Unit have collaborated to maintain an on-site Rehabilitation Medicine-DVR liaison role. This mutually beneficial relationship improves inpatient and outpatient care at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) by providing UWMC patients with direct access to DVR services during their hospital treatment. Early introduction in the medical setting provides DVR with comprehensive insight into patient needs and makes the referral process more efficient and seamless. This relationship provides UWMC patients with additional resources for education, support, and funding. The DSHS/DVR liaison works to coordinate DVR orientation and intake procedures for individuals referred from UW Rehab Medicine; determines eligibility for DVR services; provides information and referral; participates in UWMC team staffing to coordinate DVR services with the interdisciplinary team treatment; upon release from the hospital, assists with transitioning the individual to a VR Counselor near their home; learns about extensive medical and other resources available through the UW Medical School; and shares resources with other DVR counselors.
DSHS/DVR has not entered into agreements with programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. DSHS/DVR has not entered into agreements related to state use contracts.
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 1:46PM by Don Kay
DSHS/DVR updated its agreement with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in 2008 to reflect the changes passed in amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 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 or, if DSHS/DVR is operating under an order of selection, before each eligible student able to be served under the order leaves the school setting. Under this agreement, DSHS/DVR 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. DSHS/DVR’s agreement with OSPI also states that DSHS/DVR will coordinate services with students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEP). The Interagency Agreement lays the groundwork for DSHS/DVR’s roles and responsibilities.
DSHS/DVR’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.” DSHS/DVR “ . . authorizes and pays for any services needed to establish a transition student’s eligibility for DSHS/DVR services . . .” and only funds services outside the scope of the school district’s FAPE (free appropriate public education) responsibility.”
The DSHS/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.
- Assigning a VR Counselor liaison to each high school.
- 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 DSHS/DVR outreach to increase education about DSHS/DVR services to underserved populations and students with disabilities.
Implementation of these elements of the agreement continue to be a “work in progress.” Personnel turnover at OSPI has eroded DSHS/DVR’s relationship with the state education agency. New linkages must be established to effectively carry out our working agreements. This continues to be a focus for 2012.
In addition, the agreement sets the expectation that DSHS/DVR will assign a VR Counselor as a liaison to every public and tribal high school in the state where there is staff capacity. A list of liaison assignments is available on several education-related web sites, as well as the DSHS/DVR and the OSPI web sites. DSHS/DVR transition liaison counselors conduct periodic outreach and ongoing consultation to teachers, students, families and others in the education community.
The DSHS/DVR Customer Services Manual provides guidance to the VR Counselor that the IPE is to be coordinated with the IEP and development of the IPE should begin, if feasible, prior to the student leaving the school setting.
The DVR Area Managers have responsibility for working with counseling staff to ensure quality transition services are provided.
DSHS/DVR intends to carry out the following new strategies to further improve coordination of education referrals and to better serve transition youth:
- Develop Inter-Local agreements with specific local school districts to better define the services and responsibilities that high schools and DSHS/DVR will respectively provide to jointly serve youth with disabilities as they transition into the world of work. These agreements will include steps that will provide better referral linkages for high school students with disabilities in both special education and regular education to apply for DSHS/DVR services before they graduate.
- Engage other partners, including the State Rehabilitation Council, the State Independent Living Council, Centers for Independent Living (CIL), DSHS partners and Workforce Development partners in designing an improved service delivery model. This model will develop stronger partnerships with Workforce Development Youth Councils, high schools, community colleges and other training and education programs.
- Participate in a student drop-out prevention work group with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Social and Health Services.
- Collaborate more closely with Tribal VR Programs to better serve Tribal youth.
- A statewide Transition Conference will be co-sponsored by DSHS/DVR, the DSHS Division of Developmental Disabilities, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington Initiative for Supported Employment, and the Center for Change in Transition Services to promote cross-system training and disseminate best practices among vocational rehabilitation and education partners.
Below are some examples of specific transition projects that DSHS/DVR continues to be involved with in local communities across the state. These examples reflect the general relationship DSHS/DVR has developed with schools in most communities.
- In Snohomish County DSHS/DVR participates on a countywide “Transition Council.” The Transition Council meets once a month. The council is comprised of Snohomish County DD, the various schools (transition teachers and school psychologist), DSHS/DVR (transition counselor and work source liaison), many Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) and interested parents. DSHS/DVR has made presentations on various topics as well as planned events (transition fairs for example). Sometimes many of the special education directors will attend to help DSHS/DVR address specific service needs.
- One of the DSHS/DVR Supervisors in Spokane is the Chair for the Workforce Development Council’s Youth Council. The Youth Council has been involved in hosting “Youth Career Fairs” for high school students from the Spokane area. Additionally the Youth Council opened a new “Next Generation Zone” and has worked to develop a website for youth, www.nextgenzone.org.
- “Passport to Success” is a program utilized through DSHS/DVR’s staff at WorkSource Yakima to assist disabled youth to utilize job seeking services. The program connects DSHS/DVR WorkSource Yakima, Davis High School, and Disability Navigators from Provident Horizon Services. The classroom instructor uses the Magellan program to assess students who then go to the WorkSource to attend a Modified Job Hunter series tailored to youth. DSHS/DVR is involved in the classroom presentations as well as helping with orientation to WorkSource.
- DSHS/DVR is involved with the Yakima County Transition Council. This committee is comprised of DSHS/DVR, the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Yakima County Developmental Disabilities, Special Education Directors, the Educational Service District 105 Transition Coordinator, a parent representative, a CRP provider, Workforce Development Council (WDC) Youth Contractors, and WDC Transition staff. The group works together to improve transition services and post-school outcomes for county disabled youth. The group has come up with five core outcomes of concentration for transition youth: employment, post secondary education, post secondary training, agency links, and engagement. The group feels it is imperative for youth to have activities geared toward one of these five outcomes.
- King County School-to-Work is a cooperative program between King County School-to-Work and DSHS/DVR. The purpose of the program is to provide developmentally disabled students with vocational services and experiences that culminate in employment prior to their exit from the school district transition program. The intent of the program is to achieve paid employment by June 30th of th
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 1:46PM by Don Kay
Attachment 4.8 (b) (3) – Cooperative Agreements with Private Nonprofit Organizations
Washington DSHS/DVR currently contracts with Private Nonprofit VR Service Providers to provide services in accordance with DSHS/DVR’s Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) contract. Contracts are procured through an open Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. The RFQ defines the services, expected outcomes of service delivery, payment systems, uniform fees, and the qualifications that a prospective contractor is required to meet in order to be granted a DSHS/DVR CRP Contract. DSHS/DVR does not currently limit the number of Nonprofits responding to the RFQ and Nonprofits choose which of the contract services to provide.
The services identified and defined in the contract are:
- Vocational Evaluation:one or more types of standardized vocational tests used to obtain objective information from the DSHS/DVR customer in response to specific questions presented by a DSHS/DVR Counselor about a customer’s work-related strengths and limitations;
- Trial Work Experience: contractors are responsible for arranging a real work setting(s) and assessing whether a customer is able to benefit from VR services. The results of the TWE are used to determine eligibility based on clear and convincing evidence whether the individual’s disability is too significant to benefit from VR services;
- Community-based Assessment: contractors are responsible for finding and securing positions in realistic work settings to help assess work interests and abilities and identify any employment barriers a customer may face. This process will assist in collecting information needed to determine eligibility or for identifying the nature and extent of support(s) and accommodation(s) needed for the customer to obtain and maintain competitive employment;
- Job Placement: location of and placement of a customer into a paid and integrated employment position, as mutually defined and agreed to by the DSHS/DVR Counselor, customer and CRP;
- Intensive Training (available for individuals having a Supported Employment plan): one-on-one job skills training and support provided at the supported employment job site to enable a DSHS/DVR customer to: 1) attain job stabilization in on-the-job performance, with job supports; 2) meet their employers’ expected levels of work productivity; and 3) transition to long-term Extended Services as provided by an entity other than DSHS/DVR;
- Job Retention (for individuals not having a Supported Employment plan): individualized training and support services that enable a DSHS/DVR customer to learn the essential functions of a job, meet the employer’s expected level of job performance, and retain their employment for ninety (90) calendar days past the point of Job Placement.
Some of the services in the contract are provided at various levels of intensity. Trial Work Experience, Community Based Assessment, Job Placement, Intensive Training, and Job Retention are available in three levels of intensity. The level of intensity is determined by universal and unique barriers presented by the customer that are impeding the customer from obtaining and/or maintaining employment.
All services in the contract are outcome based. This means payments are made for actual delivery of the expected result or outcome of service rather than paying for “service” as a free-standing process through a unit-of-service basis. The expected outcome is specific to the service as indicated in the definition with a report detailing the activities associated with the provision of service and outcomes attained. Incentives to pay bonus for customer employment outcomes under certain circumstances are included in the contract.
DSHS/DVR intends to evaluate and refine the business model that is used as the basis for CRP contracts in the future. This will include following the recommendations of the 2007 RSA Monitoring Report* that DSHS/DVR:
- Analyze and evaluate CRP contract results and their relationship to rehabilitation outcomes;
- Establish performance targets
- Publish and disseminate reports that reflect CRP contract results; and
- Assess CRP capacity issues related to current caseload and referral levels.
*(Fiscal Year 2007 Monitoring Report on the Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living Programs of Washington produced by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration on September 7, 2007)
DSHS/DVR will establish a workgroup with CRP and DSHS/DVR staff to build a CRP evaluation model that includes both quantitive information and quality of outcomes and process.
- The evaluation model will be tested, improved and adopted.
- A DSHS/DVR “scorecard” will be developed to capture CRP evaluation results to share with staff, customers and CRPs.
As relevant policy changes are updated in the DVR Policy Manual, they will be shared not only with DSHS/DVR staff but also with CRPs. In addition, DSHS/DVR plans to conduct regular meetings and information sharing with CRPs at the local level to improve communication, support service delivery coordination and enhance services to customers. These meetings will assure that DSHS/DVR follows consistent practices at the local level and keeps CRPs regularly informed of relevant policy or program changes. DSHS/DVR will continuously evaluate the CRP contract model to ensure it supports high performance at a reasonable cost for both DSHS/DVR and providers.
This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2011 8:05PM by Don Kay
Washington DSHS/DVR primarily provides Supported Employment services to individuals with developmental disabilities and individuals with mental illness. Of these two customer groups, individuals with developmental disabilities represent the vast majority of Supported Employment outcomes. While we continue to work with the DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery – Mental Health to identify resources for supported employment, the state has limited capacity at this time to provide extended services except in a small number of communities. This limited capacity continues to make it difficult to provide Supported Employment services to individuals with mental illness.
Diligent efforts continue to facilitate extended services for individuals with mental illness through natural supports, employers and self-pay. However, very often individuals with significant mental health disabilities require more intensive support than is available through these resources.
Efforts continue to promote and expand resources for extended services to individuals with mental illness. Washington DSHS/DVR is working in collaboration with the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery – Mental Health, the Mental Health Consortium, and the Washington Community Mental Health Council to expand the availability of extended services through alternative resources and innovative approaches. The intended result of this effort will be to establish cooperative agreements with all 13 Regional Support Networks responsible for the delivery of community mental health services at the County level by the end of FFY 2012.
In light of the changes to the Social Security Administration Ticket to Work/Employment Network regulations, DSHS/DVR 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 build their capacity for providing extended support services.
DSHS/DVR also will renew written agreements with County Developmental Disabilities Programs and Mental Health Regional Support Networks by the end of FFY 2012 to clarify roles and responsibilities for their provision of extended services to joint customers.
This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2011 8:05PM by Don Kay
Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development
DVR response: DVR employs 306 personnel to serve approximately 13,000 individuals per year. Personnel providing VR services to individuals are employed in the classifications listed below. In addition to the current vacancies, all DVR employees were required to take twelve unpaid furlough days for the time period of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, as part of action by the state Legislature. This action affected the majority of all Washington State employees. As of July 1, 2011, it is expected that some additional unpaid leave will continue for all state employees through June 30, 2013 but details will not be known until the 2011-2013 state budget is passed. DVR projects a personnel attrition rate of approximately 10% per year over the next five years. It is projected over this period that approximately 12,000-13,000 individuals per year will be served. Based on these projections, it is anticipated the number of positions listed below will need to be filled during this period:
|Row||Job Title||Total positions||Current vacancies||Projected vacancies over the next 5 years|
|1||VR Counselor 1||11||0||4|
|2||VR Counselor 2||47||7||30|
|3||VR Counselor 3||68||8||40|
|4||VR Regional Program Counselor||3||0||0|
|5||VR Counselor 4||1||0||0|
|6||Rehabilitation Technician 1||78||4||40|
|7||Rehabilitation Technician 2||10||2||6|
|9||Assistive Technology & Assessment Practitioner||2||1||2|
Western Washington University is the only graduate program in the State of Washington that directly prepares vocational rehabilitation professionals. Western Washington University presently enrolls 48 students per year in the Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling program. In FFY 2010 Western Washington University’s Rehab Counseling program graduated 19 students. All of these graduates hold the credentials for certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor.
|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||48||0||9||19|
Due to state budget shortfalls, the Washington State Legislature has imposed a statewide hiring freeze on most general government positions, including all DVR positions, from the time period of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. DVR must obtain approval from the DSHS Secretary and then the Governor’s Office of Financial Management to recruit and fill any vacant positions during this period. DVR’s FTE allotment remains capped at 320.5 FTEs until June 30, 2011. It is expected this same FTE level will be allotted for the upcoming biennium, July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2013.
These factors continue to significantly limit the extent of recruitment DVR conducts. Approval is being sought to fill critical direct service positions as they become vacant to maintain adequate caseload capacity and timely service delivery. However, recruitment continues occurring only on a position-specific basis after a hiring exception has been obtained.
While recruitment will be more limited than intended when the current State Plan was originally developed, DVR continues using the following linkages and strategies to fill vacant positions with qualified personnel.
DVR has well established recruitment linkages with the following institutions of higher education that offer Rehabilitation Counseling Programs:
- Western Washington University
- University of Idaho
- Portland State University
- Western Oregon University
- San Diego State University
- Fresno State University
- Utah State University
DVR will concentrate its recruitment efforts on institutions in adjacent states. Recruitment announcements will continue to be sent nationally to institutions of higher education.
Recruitment of qualified candidates in sufficient numbers to fill Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions is a continuing challenge. The national shortage of qualified VRC applicants has significantly impacted DVR’s ability to fill vacancies in a timely manner, especially in rural locations. To address this challenge, DVR has taken two steps:
- If an adequate pool of qualified VRC applicants is not available, DVR will continue recruiting applicants on an “in-training” basis. In these positions, applicants are hired as Rehabilitation Technicians and then provided the academic training and/or work experience needed to qualify for a VRC appointment. Once the VRC qualifications are attained, the individual is moved into a VRC position.
- The list of master’s degrees that qualify for a VRC position has been modified to increase the number of qualified, master’s level candidates available to compete for vocational rehabilitation counselor positions. The modified qualifications are:
A master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, psychology, counseling, or a field related to vocational rehabilitation (such as one that promotes the physical, psychosocial, or vocational well-being of individuals with disabilities).
While DVR has broadened the qualifying master’s degrees for a VRC position, the competencies that a VRC applicant is required to demonstrate have not been modified.
A particular focus of recruitment will be to attract candidates with Latino and American Indian backgrounds, since these are individuals who are presently under-represented among DVR personnel. Targeted recruitment will continue to be conducted in collaboration with a wide range of Latino community-based organizations, American Indian VR Programs and other Tribal organizations, as well as African-American community based organizations.
DVR will continue applying state-based registration requirements as the basis for satisfying CSPD personnel standards. These requirements are maintained by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries as registration standards for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors.
All current DVR counseling personnel (Field Services Administrator, Area Managers, VR Supervisors, and VR Counselors) hold credentials that are consistent with either the state-based VRC registration requirements or the national certification standards of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).
DVR will continue to apply minimum qualifications for new hires into VR Counselor and VR Supervisor positions that require the following credentials:
A master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, Psychology, Counseling, or a field related to vocational rehabilitation (such as one that promotes the physical, psychosocial, or vocational well-being of individuals with disabilities),or
CRCC Certification, or
A master’s degree in a closely related field, plus 18-quarter (12-semester) credit hours in specified rehabilitation counseling courses at the graduate level.
DVR normally completes an annual Performance and Development Plan (PDP) with each employee that covers the period October 1 – September 30. However, in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement between the Department of Social and Health Services and Washington Federation of State Employees, all DSHS employee PDPs have been suspended until July 1, 2011. This agreement was negotiated because most DSHS employees are being required to take one unpaid furlough day per month until June 30, 2011, including all DVR employees. Because of this, DVR did not complete any employee PDPs in FFY 2010 and will not resume until October 1, 2011.
The PDP is a standard tool used with all State of Washington employees to evaluate job performance and emphasize individualized staff development needs. Specific development and/or training needs are identified for each employee that should be addressed during the following year. In addition to determining individual employee training activities, these needs are compiled and used as a basis for planning overall training and developmental priorities to be conducted division-wide. While specific priorities vary year-to-year, a consistent theme continuously addresses the areas of assessment, VR counseling and vocational planning, job placement, as well as assistive and rehabilitation technology.
In addition, DVR requires all VR Counselors to participate in required in-service training on an ongoing basis that also covers these same topics. A “Rehabilitation Academy” is conducted for this purpose that features standard training modules. All VR Counselors participate in the Rehabilitation Academy as follows:
Basic Curriculum – required for all VR Counselors within twelve months of being hired:
1. Vocational Rehabilitation Process
2. Special Programs
3. Employment Outcomes
4. Benefits Planning
5. Rehabilitation Law Review
6. Motivational Interviewing
Advanced Best Practices – Offered to field staff on an annual basis to address specific issues identified through audits, Fair Hearings and customer complaints. The curriculum is revised each year to address new topics.
DVR is implementing a focused initiative to train all staff in Motivational Interviewing (MI). All field staff have been trained and are receiving ongoing coaching to practice MI skillfully in their interactions with customers as well as one another. The use of MI skills is proving to be an important addition to the overall counseling methods used by vocational rehabilitation counselors and other staff to assist customers in making informed choices and deciding how to best achieve the employment goal.
DVR continues to regularly incorporate significant rehabilitation research findings and similar information related to advances in state-of-the-art VR practices in all facets of in-service training. In addition, DVR actively collaborates with the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER) which is the umbrella organization for Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) and serves on the TACE Board. This, combined with similar involvement with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) as well as University Affiliated Research and Training Centers, assures awareness and use of the most current research.
DVR continues to assure full communication access for all individuals with limited English proficiency by contracting with appropriate spoken and written language interpreter and translation service providers. All forms and publications are available on a regular basis in the following languages: Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Translations in other languages are provided as needed.
Individuals who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing may communicate with DVR staff at all locations via TTY and/or voice relay service, and in some cases video relay. American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters, real-time captioning, and/or augmentative listening devices are provided when needed for any in-person meeting or event. DVR also continues to employ personnel in certain locations who are fluent in ASL and various other spoken languages.
DVR continues to work closely with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to coordinate personnel development activities and has an interagency agreement with OSPI to address mutual issues. The DVR-OSPI agreement is at the state level and sets general parameters for collaborative service delivery to students with disabilities. These activities are aimed at cross-training DVR and education personnel on service delivery methods and best practices that better assist students with disabilities in achieving employment outcomes after completing high school.
This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2011 8:05PM by Don Kay
Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
Attachment 4.11(a) – Results of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities and Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs
Over the past year DVR and the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) have worked collaboratively with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Research and Data Analysis Division (RDA) to formulate methods to conduct a comprehensive DVR agency and customer rehabilitation needs assessment. RDA has conducted several surveys and is currently in the process of finalizing a full report from the process. In collaboration with DVR and the WSRC, RDA developed surveys directed to employers, DVR staff, and DVR customers.
More than 2,000 employers completed either a hard-copy survey mailed to their business or an online survey.
Three different employer groups were targeted:
1. Employers that had hired DVR customers in the past 14 months
2. Employers from a Department of Labor and Industries data base in sectors that DVR is targeting for potential development (technology/business/science, education, health and social services and government)
3. Employers that are members of the Association of Washington Businesses
DVR Employee Survey
All DVR employees received a web link survey asking about DVR needs and priorities with a response rate of approximately 55%.
RDA contacted 111 DVR customers by telephone to conduct a survey regarding their satisfaction with services and perceived needs.
The findings from this comprehensive assessment are being reviewed by agency leadership and will be considered in the development of DVR’s stated goals and priorities. Predominant themes from the findings of the overall assessment appear to be consistent and point to the following needs:
• Customers need to be served more quickly and efficiently
• Improved relationships between DVR and employers
• More resources for effective job development and placement activities, both internal and external
• Greater access to higher paying jobs with benefits for customers.
INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
As part of DVR’s 2006-2009 comprehensive needs assessment, focus groups were conducted in partnership with the State Rehabilitation Council. That activity provided DVR with feedback from individuals with mental illness, both individuals receiving services from DVR and individuals who were not. Feedback generally conveyed that individuals with mental illness need ongoing supports to maintain employment.
DVR is aware, through ongoing communication with the State’s Mental Health Division, that there continues to be a growing need for ongoing supports for employment maintenance of customers with mental health disabilities. This has been evident particularly over the past year as resources for mental health services have decreased. The Mental Health Transformation Grant, with the DVR Director as a member, has created a platform to address this service gap. Today, many steps are being taken to establish employment as an expectation and to create a funding structure that will make supported employment available on a more consistent basis.
INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
As a continuance of DVR’s 2006-2009 comprehensive needs assessment, the State Rehabilitation Council conducted focus groups with individuals with developmental disabilities. Results of these groups provided DVR with feedback about what individuals with developmental disabilities want from DVR and what they need to achieve employment. Based on that information, DVR has taken steps to share what we learned with DDD, county DD agencies, and DVR field leadership and agree upon steps for improving collaboration.
HIGH SCHOOL TRANSITION
Ongoing communication with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) throughout the past FFY has emphasized the need for better coordination between DVR and local high schools to jointly serve customers with Individualized Education Plans and 504 students. These students are not all receiving consistent access to information and services from DVR to assist in their progress toward graduation and transition to adulthood and employment. In FFY 2009 DVR has started a project in collaboration with OSPI to collect information to identify and understand the needs of 504 students statewide and to develop a more consistent and effective way of working collaboratively with schools to serve these customers.
COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROGRAMS
DVR is currently reviewing community rehabilitation program outcome data to assess the quality and effectiveness of services. Throughout 2010, DVR will be engaging community rehabilitation programs to identify needs and to develop strategies for improvement. DVR will also use this input to renegotiate its contract with community rehabilitation programs in FFY 2010 to ensure the contract supports high quality services and outcomes.
This screen was last updated on May 29 2009 2:26PM by sawavertreesp
Since DSHS/DVR eliminated the Order of Selection waiting list at the beginning of FFY 2008, applications increased by 39% in FFY 2008, 26% in FFY 2009 and 7% in FFY 2010. We expect the number of applications to be received in FFY 2011 and FFY 2012 to remain relatively consistent with the number received in FFY 2010 which is more in line with the number of applications we received prior to Order of Selection.
It is estimated there are approximately 200,000 individuals with disabilities in Washington state who would meet VR eligibility criteria. In FFY 2011, approximately 900 individuals per month are applying for VR services; it is project 10.200 applications will be receved by the end of FFY 2011. Duriing this year, DSHS/DVR will determine approximately 8,800 individuals to be eligible for VR services. The number of eligibility determinations increased by 33% in FFY 2009 and by 5% in FFY 2010, but has slighly declined in FFY 2011 due to fewer applications. The drop in applications is attributed to improved coordination with the state General Assistance program that has resulted in fewer but much better \referrals being made for VR services. It is expected the number of eligibility determinations made in FFY 2011 and FFY 2012 to remain relatively constant at the current level. Of all individuals determined eligible between 10/1/10 and 3/31/11, 37% were determined to be the most significantly disabled which is consistent with the 37% we experienced in FFY 2010.
The Division has adequate funds to serve all individuals currently eligible (3,650) and in plan status (7,600) and to cover the cost of eligibility determinations and post-employment services. For the current FFY the average cost to support a successful rehabilitation is $5,120 (this is down from $5,727 in FFY 2010). This average considers the total costs over the life of a case (application to closure) for all cases closed with an employment outcome during this Federal Fiscal Year. This decrease is the result of strengthening partnerships, implementing referral tools so that customers are referred to DSHS/DVR when they are ready for VR services, providing more services internally, increasing the use of comparable services and benefits, expanding best practices in case management and fiscal training, and making better decisions about the use of services purchased from community rehabilitation partners. DSHS/DVR plans to continue to use these and other strategies to maximize DSHS/DVR resources and serve the greatest number of eligible individuals possible.
DSHS/DVR carried over approximately 7,870 IPEs into FFY 2011 and has set a target of 4,650 new plans in FFY 2011 based on anticipated staff resources. With an average expenditure per IPE per year of approximately $1500, IPE costs will total approximately $18,635,000. This leaves ample funds to pay for costs incurred in pre-plan and post-plan services at the current rate of 23.2% of the total expenditures. To achieve 4,650 new plans, DSHS/DVR will target a rate of new applications of 900 per month, or about 10,200 per year. DSHS/DVR will continue to build the caseload of open IPEs throughout FFY 2011 to align the number of open plans that can be supported with available financial and staff resources. It is projected these same service delivery estimates will continue through FFY 2012, including approximately 275 eligible individuals who will receive supported employment service funded unter Part B, Title VI funds. DSHS/DVR will continually monitor expenditures and caseload movement to ensure the Division continues to have the resources to effectively serve all eligible individuals.
In addition, DSHS/DVR received 8.9 million in Federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). ARRA funds were used to target adults and youth with disabilities who are ready for full-time employment in occupations that pay mid-to-high wages.
Since the implementation of this project in October 2009 through March 2011, DSHS/DVR served 301 individuals through contracts with six WorkForce Development Councils, four colleges, and two Community Based Organizations. DSHS/DVR placed 200 customers into employment with an average hourly wage of $17 dollars per hour and the average hours worked is 38 hours per week. Additionally, health benefits were included in 148 of the jobs obtained.
DSHS/DVR originally intended implementing this project through December 31, 2011 and rehabilitating 1,000 individuals. However, DSHS/DVR ended the project on March 31, 2011 due to the following challenges:
- Inability to reach the intended “target population” of the project which was individuals with disability barriers to employment who were qualified and ready for immediate job placement into a mid-to-high paying occupation. Only about one-third of all customers served through this project fit this profile. The majority of customers served did not have the education, skills, experience or credentials to qualify for mid-to-high paying occupations – most had similar disabilities and other characteristics as customers served in the regular DSHS/DVR program.
- All contractors reported it was very difficult to attract individuals with disabilities into the project who qualify for mid-to-high paying occupations. Many individuals with disabilities who fit this profile had declined the opportunity to enroll into the project because they did not want to be labeled as having a “disability"; they feared it would jeopardize their job prospects, or believed they could get a job without assistance from the project.
- The recession and tight job market made job placement more challenging for everyone; yet, project customers with strong employment histories and demonstrated skills were placed into mid-to-high paying occupations. Many of the customers who were not placed were individuals with weak employment histories who possessed entry-level skills (or less), and were not employed even when the job market was stronger – these individuals required more intensive VR services than available through the project.
To utilize the remainder of Federal stimulus funds DSHS/DVR has initiated additional projects with Mental Health agencies, Department of Social and Health Services programs of Family Policy Council, Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, and Children Administration, Washington Initiative for Supported Employment, Washington Cash, and Washington State Microenterprise Business Associates to reach unserved or underserved populations for those individuals who are ready to work.
|Category||Title I or Title VI||Estimated Funds||Estimated Number to be Served||Average Cost of Services|
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 12:46PM by Don Kay
To collect feedback and identify goals and priorities, DSHS/DVR conducted meetings and public forums throughout the state with DSHS/DVR customers, employees, partners, providers, Rehabilitation Council members, the Client Assistacne Program (CAP), tribal program representatives, school representatives and others. DSHS/DVR also completed a comprehensive needs assessment that included surveys to employers, customers, and DSHS/DVR staff. DSHS/DVR met with the State Rehabilitation Council to solicit feedback and the Council co-sponsored three public forums.
Over 65 people attended the public forums. The goals and priorities established for the 2010-2013 State Plan reflect a priority on customer services and outcomes, staff development and organizational systems, partnerships and enhancing employer relations.
To ensure DSHS/DVR remains a vital, healthy organization building strong partnerships throughout the state and in local communities continues to be a major goal and priority.
GOAL 1: Provide timely, individualized services to DSHS/DVR customers that result in employment outcomes that meet the customer’s needs.
Goal 1 reflects DSHS/DVR’s focus on improving its service delivery to customers by providing quality services that are timely and meet the individual needs of the customer. The priorities that follow respond to needs assessment findings and stakeholder input related to the need to improve timeliness and consistency in the provision of services throughout the state. To achieve this goal, DSHS/DVR establishes the following priorities:
- Increase DSHS/DVR’s ability to assist customers achieve higher wage jobs with health benefits.
- Enhance and improve the statewide consistency of timely, individualized services to customers who have a broad range of needs and capabilities.
Performance goals for the next two fiscal years
FFY 2011 Basic Grant
- IPEs per VRC: 40
- IPEs Statewide Goal: 4,650
- Rehabs per VRC: 23 (17 for new VRC)
- Rehabs Statewide goal: 2,550
- Rehab Rate: 60%
FFY 2012 Basic Grant
- IPEs per VRC: 40
- IPEs Statewide Goal: 4,650
- Rehabs per VRC: 23 (17 for new VRC)
- Rehabs Statewide goal: 2,550
- Rehab Rate: 60%
- Expand the availability of the DSHS/DVR WorkStrides career preparation workshop to all customers by engaging an array of partners to help deliver the workshop on a regular basis.
- Conduct annual statewide case record reviews of case service practices to determine consistency and adherence with Federal /state requirements.
- Use case review results to identify and implement improvements in quality and consistency of services.
- Develop a systematic approach to implementing program improvements in a timely, consistent and planful way, including a process for clearly communicating changes to employees and partners.
- In light of the limited and highly competitive job market, make more use of available labor market and post-secondary training information to improve vocational assessments and assist customers in better selecting employment goals that match the availability of real jobs.
- Increase collaboration within the “WorkSource One-Stop system” to improve services to unemployed workers with disabilities who are eligible for DSHS/DVR services by better leveraging DSHS/DVR services with Workforce Investment Act and other workforce development programs.
- Play stronger roles on state and local Workforce Investment Boards to assure that DSHS/DVR customers and other individuals with disabilities are even better served by the “WorkSource One-Stop system.”
GOAL 2: Strengthen DSHS/DVR’s workforce and improve its overall organizational systems.
Goal 2 reflects DSHS/DVR’s commitment to making organizational effectiveness a high priority by establishing systems and methods to better develop, support and promote DSHS/DVR staff and improve overall retention as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizational systems used by staff. Priorities include:
- Make service delivery improvements that are transparent, involve the right employees and partners and are based on evaluation methods that provide DSHS/DVR with timely, useful information and data.
- Enhance and utilize Information Technology resources and tools to improve or streamline service delivery.
- Deliver high quality training and support to provide staff with the knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively.
- Recognize and appreciate staff throughout the Division for their contributions to DSHS/DVR’s success.
- Use information technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of DSHS/DVR’s organizational systems.
Performance goals for the next two fiscal years
- Continue to update and deliver Advanced Best Practices training to field staff statewide to provide ongoing skill development in key service delivery operations and practices.
- In accordance with the 2009-2011 DSHS/DVR Affirmative Action Plan, appoint a total of four individuals to VRC positions from minority groups: one each who is African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic. Appoint one individual to a VRC position who is a Disabled Veteran and one who is an individual with a disability.
GOAL 3: Distinguish DSHS/DVR’s role in the disability and employer communities and leverage partnerships to maximize resources and support for individuals with disabilities.
Goal 3 is intended to help DSHS/DVR increase its visibility in the community and strengthen its connection to other programs that serve individuals with disabilities as well as employers. DSHS/DVR must clearly communicate to others what it can do well, who we can serve and how we can work collaboratively with others to achieve greater outcomes for people with disabilities. This goal responds to needs assessment findings and stakeholder input that point to a need for improved collaboration between DSHS/DVR and existing partner agencies as well as outreach to potential partner agencies. Priorities include:
- Enhance and build partnerships that advance opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rapidly obtain employment, including supported employment .
- Develop relationships with employers to create opportunities for customers to gain work experience through internships and obtain regular jobs that pay well with benefits.
- Market DSHS/DVR to employers by categorizing the similar employment goals of customers and strategically targeting employers in corresponding occupations.
- Increase understanding and awareness of DSHS/DVR services in local communities.
- Maximize DSHS/DVR local-level knowledge of community programs and services that could benefit DSHS/DVR customers.
Performance goals for the next two fiscal years
- Collaborate with disability and employment partners to sponsor events that focus on disability recruitment, hiring and retention issues such as mentoring, disability awareness, reasonable accommodation, customized employment, transportation, independent living, benefits issues, etc.
- Bring together employers, DSHS/DVR staff and other workforce partners on a regular basis at the local level to update trends in the job market and maintain a good understanding of employer needs, so that customers are given useful guidance and current information.
- Support the DSHS/DVR Employer Services Team in developing ongoing employer relationships and providing job placement assistance to customers, including participation in the nationwide employer network sponsored by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation.
- Serve on local WorkSource Business Service Teams to market DSHS/DVR job seekers to employers.
- Conduct regular meetings and information sharing with community rehabilitation programs at the local level to improve communication and better support service delivery coordination.
GOAL 4: Increase outreach to improve and strengthen DSHS/DVR’s connection and relationship with employers.
Goal 4 addresses agency needs assessment and stakeholder input that consistently pointed out a need for more frequent, consistent, and effective outreach, education to and relationship maintenance with employers statewide in order to better position customers to obtain access to employment. Priorities include:
- Increase DSHS/DVR’s visibility with and connection to Washington employers
- Continue to expand the network capabilities of DSHS/DVR’s Employment Services Team.
- Actively participate in the national employer relations model sponsored by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, and integrate these activities into state-level initiatives. Performance goals for the next two fiscal years
- Increase the number of customers who participate in internships in community based employment that lead to competitive employment.
- Actively use the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation NET system for developing employer relationships and increasing employment opportunities.
- Market DSHS/DVR to employers by attending local employment expos, job fairs, employer association meetings, and employment events or conferences.
- Increase the number of DSHS/DVR customers placed into state or Federal government jobs.
This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2011 8:05PM by Don Kay
- 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 screen was last updated on Sep 9 2009 12:21PM by sawavertreesp
DSHS/DVR received approximately $460,000 in Title VI, Part B funds in FY 2010. These funds were distributed in case service allotments to fund supported employment services under individualized plans for employment (IPEs). It’s unclear at this time what level of funds DSHS/DVR will have for the FFY 2011 and FFY 2012 grant years. If the level of grant funds continue to remain consistent from year to year, DSHS/DVR will continue to serve approximately 275 individuals per year during FFY 2011 and FFY 2012 with Title VI supported employment services and will achieve approximately 200 supported employment outcomes each year from this funding source.
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 12:57PM by Don Kay
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.
Attachment 4.11(d) – State’s Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities
Strategies to Achieve Goals and Priorities in Attachment 4.11(c) (1)
A. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 1 is to provide timely, individualized services to DVR customers that result in employment outcomes that meet the customer’s needs.
The following strategies support improving DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.
- DVR is expanding the availability of the DVR WorkStrides career preparation workshop to all customers by engaging an array of partners to help deliver the workshop on a regular basis. DVR will enlist Department of Social and Health Services partners, workforce development partners, community and technical colleges, mental health providers and other community based organizations that share customers with DVR to present the WorkStrides workshop within their organizations. DVR will train partners to deliver the WorkStrides workshop and develop agreements for the number of DVR customers they will present the workshop to. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6)
- DVR is broadening the population of individuals with disabilities being served by DVR through outreach to increase the representation of underserved or unserved populations. Outreach, education, and marketing efforts will be targeted to individuals with disabilities who are already working to retain or progress in employment, previous DVR customers who may have lost employment to become reemployed, college students nearing completion of their academic programs and other groups who are identified as underserved. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6)
- DVR will continuously play a DVD that has been produced for customers in each of its office reception areas so that individuals waiting for appointments are reminded of the vocational rehabilitation services available to them, including information about the basics of the vocational rehabilitation process. Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1,1.2, 1.3)
- A full-time Assistive Technology Assessment Practitioner (ATAP) continues to be available in each of DVR’s three geographic Areas to provide AT assessment, consultation and support to Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors statewide in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services. This expertise and support is provided, based on the identification of assistive technology needs resulting from a standardized assessment at the time of eligibility or based on information obtained throughout the rehabilitation process. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
- DVR uses foreign and sign language translation and interpreter services available on contract to communicate with individuals who are limited English speaking. DVR has a Statewide Coordinator for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors for the deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing population. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 2.1)
B. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 2 is to strengthen DVR’s workforce and improve its overall organizational systems.
The following strategies support improving DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.
- DVR continues to enhance staff counseling skills by providing training to staff at all levels in the agency in Motivational Interviewing (MI). (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
- DVR continues to implement Advanced Best Practices training designed to provide instruction related to effective approaches to case management and service delivery for VRCs. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.4)
- DVR continues targeted recruitment efforts to increase the ethnic and cultural diversity of qualified DVR applicants as stated in the DVR Diversity Plan outlined in Attachment 4.11(c)(1). Key positions throughout DVR are designated as requiring specific language competencies (including foreign and sign languages) to meet the needs of the local population. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 2.1)
- DVR continues to implement staff recognition and appreciation practices throughout the agency. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2.
- DVR continues to offer opportunities for staff interested in advancement that address succession planning, such as mentoring, coaching, support and networking activities. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
- DVR continues to support supervisors to promote accountability by providing intensive coaching and direction to staff who need to develop or improve counseling skills to achieve qualitative case measures or productivity standards. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators1.1, 1.2)
- DVR continues to provide supervisors with the tools needed to deliver effective, ongoing coaching for their staff. A structured coaching process has been implemented to require supervisors to review monthly performance and provide VRCs with specific feedback and support and to submit progress reports to Area Managers. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
- DVR successfully transitioned the current case management system information technology from an outdated programming language to a .NET platform.
- DVR continues to use the Learning Management System for all personnel to better track the training needs and training records of DVR staff.
- DVR continues to increase its capacity and use of technology for communicating; i.e., video phones and long-distance learning programs, etc.
C. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 3 is to distinguish DVR’s role in the disability and employer communities and leverage partnerships to maximize resources and support for individuals with disabilities.
The following strategies support improving DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.
- DVR participates in local community organizations and events, including organizations representing diverse ethnic and disability populations, for the purpose of outreach, education and partnership building. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 2.1)
- DVR provides educational and marketing information in accessible formats and/or conducts outreach to organizations throughout communities that serve populations who might benefit from DVR services. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
- DVR continues to partner with WorkSource operators (aka “One-Stop” system) to improve and expand the services available to individuals with disabilities.(Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6)
- DVR partners with the State Rehabilitation Council and local disability service organizations to educate and inform legislators about services and outcomes of VR and other programs. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1)
- DVR continues to expand its knowledge and use of labor market information as well as its education and training capacity to ensure the number of customers trained in an industry matches the number of expected job openings. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
- DVR continues to negotiate contractual relationships with tribal programs to assist the agency in providing culturally competent, reservation-based VR services to common customers. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 2.1) .
D. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 4 is to increase outreach to improve and strengthen DVR’s connection and relationship with employers.
- Conduct outreach to potential employers to increase awareness and educate them about the potential benefits of employing individuals with disabilities and partnering with DVR. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1)
- Outreach and marketing within DSHS and other state agencies related to supported employment, internships and competitive employment in state government. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
- Create and maintain a DVR employer network with strategies and incentives to grow. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
- Develop and focus the efforts of a statewide DVR employment services team on increasing employer awareness, building on our partnerships with Work Source Centers and internal job development staff. (Supports DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1)
- Collaborate with the Washington Business Leadership Network to expand business relations and partnerships for internships and placements. (Supports DVR’s performance on standard and indicators 1.1, 1.2,1.3, 1.4,1.5, 1.6, 2.1)
Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities
DSHS/DVR continues to develop innovative activities in the following areas to expand and improve the provision of VR services:
• Work with the mental health system to support their efforts to develop peer support positions that provide ongoing long term employment support for individuals with mental illness.
• Collaborate with the Washington Institute on Mental Health Research and Training to train all DVR employees on Motivational Interviewing (MI) with the goal that all counseling staff will become competent in MI to more successfully serve customers who are ambivalent or uncertain of what their employment goal will be or how to achieve it. Non-counseling staff will also receive MI so they become competent in its use within their job roles.
• Expand local partners trelationships to keep other agencies informed of vocational rehabilitation program activities and requirements.
• Expand improved referral process to enable referring agencies to better prepare individuals for successful participation in the vocational rehabilitation process.
• Review service delivery to deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf-blind individuals to determine what improvements are needed to better serve these populations. This includes review of national models for best practices. DVR will use findings from this review to implement targeted service delivery improvements.
This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2011 8:05PM by Don Kay
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment (SE) Goals
4.11(e)(2) Evaluation and Reports of Progress
(A) Provides an evaluation of the extent to which the goals and priorities were achieved.
Through Goal 1, DSHS/DVR assisted 2,676 individuals with disabilities to achieve gainful employment in Federal Fiscal Year 2010. This was an increase in rehabilitation outcomes of 272 (or 11%) over the previous year. Of these successful closures, 203 were in supported employment. In 2010, DSHS/DVR developed 5,645 new individual plans for employment which was relatively the same amount developed in the prior year FFY 2009. As a result, DSHS/DVR increased the number of open cases being served in plan status from 5,416 at the start of FFY 2009 to over 8,000 open plans per month in FFY 2010.
For FFY 2010, DSHS/DVR accepted 12,502 applications representing a 9% increase from FFY 2009. For FFY 2010, DSHS/DVR determined 10,965 individuals eligible for VR services, representing a 5% increase from FFY 2009.
Between FFY 2006 and FFY 2009, DSHS/DVR implemented a number of steps to reduce average costs and serve more individuals. In FFY 2006, the average case cost of a rehabilitation closure was $8,898.00; by FFY 2010 this cost was reduced to $5,727.00. This was achieved by maximizing employee strengths, implementing referral tools so that customers are referred to DSHS/DVR when they are ready for VR services and want to work, increasing comparable services and benefits and implementing more cost effective contracts with community rehabilitation programs. DSHS/DVR continues to closely monitor its fiscal resources to assure maximum case service capacity is maintained.
DSHS/DVR established the following two priorities to achieve Goal 1:
- Priority 1: Increase DVR’s ability to assist customers achieve higher wage jobs with benefits.
Result: In 2009, the average wage earned by rehabilitated customers was $11.69 per hour. In 2010, the average wage earned by rehabilitated customers was $12.16 per hour.
- Priority 2: Enhance and improve the statewide consistency of timely, individualized services to customers who have a broad range of needs and capabilities.
Result: Days from application to plan in 2009 was 172; in 2010 this number was decreased to 132 days. Days from plan to rehabilitation in 2009 was 421; in 2010 this number decreased to 416 days. In FFY 2010, the number of plans exceeding DVR’s 120 day guideline for plan development was stabilized at approximately 1,200. In addition, a new case management tracking tool was implemented in 2009 to assure consistent and timely service delivery. In FFY 2010, DVR continued to implement strategies and tools to streamline and create a more efficient process for other organizations to refer individuals for VR services. This included the development of an online referral form posted on DVR’s webpage, as well as an online referral process used exclusively for DSHS Disability Lifeline clients to be referred to DVR. These efforts have included educating partners to better understand what services DVR provides, supplying them with information about VR eligibility and criteria, and more clearly emphasizing that individuals who are referred to DVR will be expected to want to work. It also has included better educating new applicants about DVR services by continuously playing a DVD in the reception area of every field office that explains all facets of the VR program.
Under Goal 2, DSHS/DVR continues to implement a number of strategies designed to enhance the organizational infrastructure and skills of its staff in providing high quality VR services.
In FFY 2010, DSHS/DVR continued an initiative to train all employees on the use Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills. While MI is not intended to replace other counseling skills or methods, it has proven to be a promising practice for assisting individuals to make well informed choices when they are ambivalent or uncertain about whether they want to pursue an employment goal or how to most effectively participate in the VR process. Other staff training continues to provide a series of modules that includes Basic and Advanced Best Practices, Rehabilitation Law Review, a Rehabilitation Technician Training Academy, as well as other VR topics.
A DSHS/DVR team of internal job developers continues working to enhance individualized job development and placement for customers.
DSHS/DVR has provided events for Area employees and individual field service recognition to motivate and recognize the provision of high quality VR services.
Employee survey results continue to be utilized to identify areas of strengths and areas that need improvement to enhance staff support and the provision of quality services.
A Senior Rehabilitation Team, with representatives from all levels of the division’s staff, continues to provide input and feedback on policy development, organizational efficiencies and changes within the Division.
DSHS/DVR began negotiations in 2011 with the Washington Federation of State Employees to expand external capacity to deliver the WorkStrides workshop to customers statewide as a contracted service. These negotiations continue to be underway. DSHS/DVR continues to have the internal capacity to deliver the workshop at select locations based on staff resources. These workshops provide individuals with more in-depth information about their strengths, interests, and capacities, enabling them to make better decisions about a suitable vocational goal and contributing to a higher rehabilitation rate.
DSHS/DVR continues to utilize an electronic case review tool for VR Supervisors and includes the requirement for Supervisors to review two cases per counselor per month. The results of these reviews are rolled up to the Area and Statewide level to monitor trends and identify training needs. DSHS/DVR also continues to perform a statewide case review process coordinated by State Office and conducted by a team of field and state office staff. This process further enhances the ability of the agency to review and monitor compliance with Federal regulations, trends in case services, and areas in which training or other action is needed. The reviews are indicating substantial improvement in quality and consistency of case service practices throughout the Division.
To improve performance reporting and accountability, DSHS/DVR continues to use the GMAP (Government Management Accountability Program) and Dashboard reports. The Dashboard reports provide a real-time snapshot of performance on four key performance indicators reported statewide, by area, unit and office that is easily accessible and available to all staff on our intranet web site. Additionally, staff use the technology available through iDVR SharePoint (an intranet application) to share information, communicate and collaborate about best practices, training and other related job activities.
To accomplish Goal 3, Washington DSHS/DVR has taken numerous steps to build and strengthen partnerships that maximize resources and enable DSHS/DVR to serve more people.
In FFY 2009, DSHS/DVR expanded “Say Hey” employer networking events from the original location in Olympia to several other communities, including Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bremerton and Everett. “Say Hey” events have been co-sponsored with other organizations, such as Chambers of Commerce and Business Leadership Networks. However, there was a sharp decline in participation by employers at “Say Hey” events in FFY 2010, largely due to the declining job market, which lead to the events being put in hiatus. DSHS/DVR and local partners will resume co-sponsorship of “Say Hey” events as the job market improves and more employers again become interested in attending in greater numbers.
DSHS/DVR continues to assist counseling staff to better communicate the role of the agency to customers, partners, employers, and others. A “DVR Guide to Services” and informational DVDs have been posted on DVR’s webpage as well as YouTube. In addition, DVR is playing the informational DVD about VR services continuously in the reception area of every field office.
DSHS/DVR continues to reach out to several agencies with populations who have not been served or have been underserved for the past several years. DSHS/DVR has strengthened its collaboration with various DSHS programs. Efforts continue at the regional level to establish streamlined referral procedures and to conduct cross-training.
DSHS/DVR continues efforts to build partnerships with the DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery – Mental Health (DBHR-MH), a state agency that contracts with regional entities for the delivery of community mental health services and directly operates two state psychiatric hospitals.
• DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH staff continue to work together to jointly conduct cross-system training when requested to emphasize key elements of both service delivery systems and to support better coordination of the employment needs of mental health consumers.
• DSHS/DVR continues to play a key role in the “Willing Partners” employment project created by DBHR-MH using a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. Participation in the project has expanded from 3 to 5 Regional Support Networks committed to improving employment services to mental health consumers.
• DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH continue a mutual collaboration to explore ways that mental health agencies can effectively become Employment Networks and build a revenue stream from the Ticket to Work Program that will fund extended services for mental health consumers who require a supported employment model.
• Across the state, liaison DVR counselors continue to work itinerantly from several Mental Health agencies at least one day per week to facilitate access to VR services for mental health consumers.
DSHS/DVR continues to implement collaborative efforts with the Gates Foundation and Building Changes organization with a primary focus on better serving individuals with disabilities who face homelessness and poverty. These two non-profit organizations are working in partnership to implement several pilot projects in Washington State to assist homeless families in obtaining permanent housing and employment. DSHS/DVR has been invited to join this partnership to assist in serving eligible individuals with disabilities who are members of these families.
(B) Identify the strategies that contributed.
- Encouraging staff to achieve counselor expectations for Individual Plans for Employment (IPE) and rehabilitations
- Expanding WorkStrides
- Strengthening partnerships and use of comparable services and benefits
- Increasing staff skills and recognizing accomplishments
- Developing and using enhanced performance tracking tools and reports
- Continued to redesign the basic training modules to increase quality and efficiency of rehabilitation practices.
- Quarterly meetings with the Senior Rehabilitation Team for communication and input from employees representing all positions and geographic areas around program priorities and changes.
- Continued implementation of an equipment replacement plan to assure staff have safe, reliable tools and equipment to perform their work.
- The Chief of Field Services continued touring field offices regularly to listen to concerns and answer questions.
- Continued to utilize a statewide case review process.
- Continued using the Government Management, Accountability and Performance (GMAP) reports and templates at the state and area level to identify and understand concerns and design strategies to address them
- Continued posting real-time performance dashboards on DVR’s intranet for easy access by all DSHS/DVR staff.
- Conducted public meetings to listen to partners and elicit feedback for DSHS/DVR planning and priorities.
- Continued to refocus partnerships with the DSHS Division of Developmental Disabilities and DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery- MH (DBHR-MH) to create employment opportunities that result in higher wage jobs for individuals with disabilities.
- Updated agreements with key partners and maintained strong relationships with existing partners.
(C) Factors that impeded achievement of the goals.
Throughout nearly all of FFY 2010, DSHS/DVR was unable to fill vacancies for extended periods or establish any additional positions because the Washington State Legislature adopted a general government state hiring freeze that began July 1, 2010 and continued through June 30, 2011 due to worsening statewide economic conditions. During this period, DSHS/DVR has been able to fill only the most critical vacancies through an exception process that requires approval by the Governor’s Office of Financial Management.
Because of the recession and the state’s high unemployment rate which hovers between 9-10%, it has continued to be very difficult to assist customers in obtaining jobs that pay mid-to-high wages. However this remains a priority and will continue to be a strong focus as the job market slowly improves.
Throughout FFY 2010 DSHS/DVR continued facing challenges in maintaining its workforce and keeping morale high. During this period, a state hiring freeze made it impossible to fill any vacant positions except only the most critical. This means that workloads remained high and a number of offices have been left short staffed for extended periods when employees leave their jobs. At the same time, all state employee pay raises have been frozen and most general government employees have been required to take one unpaid furlough day per month which includes all DSHS/DVR staff. At the same time, DSHS/DVR continued providing timely services to customers in FFY2010, which means that employees did the same or more work in less time and for less pay. Overall, DSHS/DVR employees achieved higher performance in FFY 2010 than any other recent fiscal year. It is a tribute to DVR staff dedication, skills and resiliency that customers’ services have not been diminished during this period and productivity significantly increased.
DSHS/DVR was able to accomplish all of the priorities identified in Goal 3 without any major difficulty.
If funding remains consistent with prior levels, DSHS/DVR will continue to serve approximately 275 individuals in IPEs with a supported employment goal and to achieve approximately 200 supported employment outcomes per year.
Standard and Indicator 1.1: The number of individuals achieving employment outcomes during the current performance period compared to the previous performance period. For FFY 2010, DSHS/DVR achieved 2,676 employment outcomes, 273 outcomes over the number needed to pass this standard.
Standard and Indicator 1.2: The percentage of individuals receiving services under an individualized plan for employment who achieve employment outcomes. DSHS/DVR achieved a rehabilitation rate of 51.41% in FFY 2010. That was below the standard of 55.8% required to meet this standard. This decline in the rehabilitation rate is attributed to the DSHS Disability Lifeline Program significantly increasing its referrals to DVR in response to a legislative mandate, with the vast majority of these individuals being unable to successfully complete DVR services. The rehabilitation rate of Disability Lifeline clients was only 9.0%.Steps have been taken to better coordinate referrals from the Disability Lifeline Program so that individuals are better prepared to complete DVR services.
Standard and Indicator 1.3: Competitive employment outcomes as a percentage of all employment outcomes. DSHS/DVR achieved this standard with 98.43% of employment outcomes as competitive employment outcomes.
Standard and Indicator 1.4: Competitive employment outcomes for individuals with Significant Disabilities as a percentage of all employment outcomes. 97.11% of DSHS/DVR’s competitive employment outcomes were individuals with Significant Disabilities.
Standard and Indicator 1.5: The ratio of the average VR Hourly Wage to the Average State Hourly Wage. DSHS/DVR achieved a wage ratio of 0.54 in FFY 2010 that was slightly above the standard of 0.52.
Standard and Indicator 1.6: The percent of individuals achieving Competitive Employment Outcomes who report their own income as Primary Source of Support at Closure as compared to application. DSHS/DVR passed the Federal standard by achieving 61.9%.
Standard and Indicator 2.1: Access to services for Minorities as measured by the ratio of the Minority Service Rate to the Non-Minority Service Rate. DSHS/DVR achieved a service ratio of 0.90 which was well above the Federal standard of 0.80.
During FFY 2010 DSHS/DVR reserved funds for the following innovation and expansion activities, including funding of the SRC and SILC.
- An initiative was completed in FFY2010 that focused on developing a plan for the state of Washington government to be a model employer of individuals with disabilities. The Department of Social and Health Services was selected to be a pilot agency for implementation of this plan. However, because of the state hiring freeze, implementation will not begin until at least July 1, 2011.
- DSHS/DVR forged a partnership with the Washington Community Mental Health Council to continue developing a model for Mental Health Agencies to become Employment Networks and use Ticket to Work revenues as a funding source for supported employment extended services. This model was to be pilot tested in FFY 2010 at several Mental Health Agencies but was postponed due to state mental health budget reductions. It is expected the pilot project will be rescheduled to be completed by the end of FFY 2012.
- DSHS/DVR funded and co-sponsored the 2010 Disability Inclusion Conference with the Washington State Chapter of the Society of Human Resource Managers. The event was hosted by the Microsoft Corporation at their corporate headquarters and drew over 350 employer representatives from across the state. A wide array of national and local speakers, including RSA Commissioner Lynnae Ruttledge and DOL Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez, presented on a number of topics aimed at promoting the employment of individuals with disabilities.
- Collaboration continued with the Washington Institute on Mental Health Research and Training to provide DSHS/DVR staff with ongoing training on Motivational Interviewing to further develop their skills in better serving customers who are ambivalent or uncertain about their employment goal and how to achieve it.
- Cross-system training between DSHS/DVR and a number of local partners continued to be conducted to further develop ongoing relationships and keep other agencies informed of VR program requirements.
- An online referral process was launched on the DSHS/DVR website to make it easier for individuals to refer themselves or others who are interested in DVR services. In addition, an online assessment tool was launched for use by the DSHS Disability Lifeline Program that enables their case managers to better understand DVR eligibility requirements and conduct a more knowledgeable screening of individuals before they are referred to DSHS/DVR.
- A review of service delivery to deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind individuals was completed and an action plan developed to better serve these populations based on national models for best practices.
- The work of the Washington State Business Leadership Network (WSBLN) and its partnership with DSHS/DVR was enhanced with continued funding for the WSBLN Executive Director position. DSHS/DVR has designated local staff that participates monthly in Business Leadership Network activities.
This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2011 8:05PM by Don Kay
Washington DSHS/DVR continues to provide supported employment services primarily to individuals with developmental disabilities and individuals with chronic mental illness. While supported employment service delivery to individuals with developmental disabilities is well established, there continue to be significant systemic challenges that must be overcome in order to improve the delivery of supported employment services to individuals with mental illness. In addition, further 2011-2013 Washington State budget reductions in both the Developmental Disability and Mental Health service delivery systems continue to erode extended service availability. Other sources of long term support continue to be explored, such as “natural supports,” Social Security work incentives, peer support groups, and Wellness Recovery Action Plans.
Washington DSHS/DVR continues to recognize there are other individuals with most significant disabilities who require supported employment services besides those with developmental disabilities or mental illness, such as individuals with traumatic brain injury or other severe cognitive impairments. Longstanding systemic challenges within Washington State’s delivery of human services have prevented supported employment services from being provided extensively to these other populations because of inadequate resources for extended services or natural supports. These systemic challenges are being exacerbated by further reductions to the 2011-2013 state budget in program areas that might otherwise offer supported employment extended services to these other populations. DSHS/DVR’s Community Relations Administrator serves on the Statewide Traumatic Brain Injury Council as a general council and executive committee member and continues to explore opportunities for increased extended and natural supports for employment of people with a traumatic brain injury within the Council’s annual funding prioritization, public/private partnerships, and related brain injury support organizations.
Washington DSHS/DVR will continue seeking ways to expand the availability of extended services for all individuals who require supported employment by maintaining close collaboration with sister programs within the Department of Social and Health Services as well as local adult service providers. DSHS/DVR continues to work with various agencies to explore the option of becoming an Employment Network so they may utilize resources from Ticket-To-Work to provide extended services. This will be aimed at individuals who require supported employment but who traditionally have not had any source of extended services or natural supports.
In all cases where Washington DSHS/DVR provides supported employment services, the transition to extended services occurs within 18-months of the individual’s job placement (unless a longer period is necessary) at the point stable performance has been achieved on the job.
This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2011 8:05PM by Don Kay
OMB Control Number: 1820-0500, approved for use through 03/31/2016
According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain a benefit (Section 13 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4537 or email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1820-0500. Note: Please do not return the completed form to this address.