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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.
The State Rehabilitation Council meets once a quarter at locations around the state of Wyoming in order to make it possible for so many concerned citizens can participate as would like. The SRC’s main focus has been to provide feedback to WY DVR and to provide the necessary community and consumer input that is needed to insure that WY DVR is providing the services needed to individuals with disabilities.
In the past year, the SRC has been working to increase their membership and to be sure that the critical areas of the community are represented on the council. The council has been fortunate to have a stable membership base, but as terms expire, they want to be sure that they have candidates to fill the vacancies.
The SRC continues to meet at least once a year in a joint session with the State Independent Living Council. Both groups find these meetings to have value. It is an opportunity for them to discuss mutual disability related topics and to see how each council can work to advance the goals and needs of people with disabilities in the state of Wyoming.
The SRC has been working to better educate the public about DVR and the purpose the agency serves. The goal of this is to increase appropriate referrals, increase employment opportunities, and to educate the legislature on the need to continue funding DVR. The council has worked in conjunction with DVR to write talking points for the members to use when doing their outreach in their respective communities. Members of the council have also partnered with agency staff to conduct educational meetings in various locations around the state related to transition topics.
In reviewing drafts of the 2013 State Plan, the SRC provided the input that follows. The input was received at their quarterly meetings and/or in conference calls. The SRC was asked specifically if the members felt that there was a need to establish more Community Rehabilitation Partners (CRP) throughout the state. The SRC did not feel that there is a need for more CRPs. They did however express concerns that job coaches and job developers do not have a mandated background check or a certain level of experience/background in order to do this type of work. While centers undergo rigorous testing for Medicaid and to be CARF accredited, no such standards are in place for those individuals that have direct client contact. The SRC would like to see at the minimum a core standard of competencies that a job developer and a job coach need to have before he or she is allowed to provide services. These competencies would be required regardless of whether the person worked for a CRP or as an independent. This is an activity that will need to be coordinated with the statewide Rehabilitation Service Providers group, CRPs, the State Licensing board, WY Dept of Health and possibly the state legislature.
The SRC would also like for DVR to work more with Veterans that have a service connected disability. The SRC also indicated that it would like to see DVR focus less on increasing the number of clients in certain populations like Transition, Traumatic Brain Injury and Severely Persistent Mentally Ill, and instead focus more on improving the quality of service and successful outcomes for these populations.
This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 12:33PM by Brian Hickman
A. Shoshone Tribal Business Council
DVR and the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Business Council have a written memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning rehabilitation services for Native Americans. Special Federal grant funds for services to Native Americans living on or near the Wind River Indian Reservation were first awarded eight years ago. After the first grant was successfully completed, the program received an additional five year grant that was funded through the RSA, providing seamless service to this Native American population.
RFEVR staff participates on the SRC and in DVR staff training events.
B. Northern Arapaho Business Council
DVR and the Northern Arapaho Tribal Council have a written MOU in place concerning rehabilitation services for Native Americans. DVR staff will provide educational/training support to staff of the Northern Arapaho Vocational Rehabilitation (NAVR) program. NAVR staff will participate on the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and in DVR staff training events.
C. Business Enterprise Program (BEP)
BEP is responsible for the administration of vending machine placement and services in State buildings and other small businesses that may operate in State buildings. This necessitates close working relationships with vending service providers, building administrators, job coaches, Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP), and other government agencies.
The main objective of BEP is to assist individuals with disabilities in planning and setting up small businesses. Other entities are often involved in this process, including the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Centers, the Wyoming Women’s Business Center, the Wyoming Business Council, Social Security, private sector businesses, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and Rocky Mountain Inventors and Entrepreneurs’ Congress.
D. Wyoming Relay/Deaf Services Program
The Wyoming Relay/Deaf Services program coordinates and cooperates with numerous Federal, State and local agencies and programs for the provision of services to individuals with communication impairments.
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Wyoming Legislature gave DVR administrative authority over Wyoming Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS) (also known as Wyoming Relay). The legislation established a special fee as the method of funding. DVR, through a competitive bid process, awarded a contract to a telecommunication service provider and oversees that contract. DVR also works cooperatively with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC), Local Exchange Carriers, and Radio Common Carriers to ensure that Wyoming Relay provides a quality telecommunications relay service to relay conversations between people who use text telephones (TTYs) or other specialized telecommunications equipment and people who use the standard telephone network. Wyoming Relay meets or exceeds all operational, technical, and functional federal and state standards.
The legislation establishing Wyoming Relay also created a committee on telecommunications services for the communications impaired. The seven members of the committee are appointed by the Governor. DVR collaborates with this consumer-based committee to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of current services, to determine the need for new services, to develop marketing and outreach plans, to establish the rate of the special fee, and to determine equipment needs for the telecommunications equipment distribution program.
Wyoming Relay works cooperatively with DVR staff, phone companies, independent living centers, educational outreach consultants, special education teachers, consumer groups, assistive technology service providers, public health agencies and senior citizen centers to provide information and training on obtaining and using specialized telecommunications equipment including TTYs (text telephone), amplified telephones, and telephone signaling devices for consumers with communication impairments.
The Wyoming Relay/Deaf Services program also provides training and information on how to use TTYs, relay service, assistive devices for persons with communication impairments, and the requirements of the ADA in providing services for persons with communication impairments including how to find and use interpreters. This training is provided to individuals; students; businesses; organizations; and city, county, state, and federal agencies. Wyoming Relay/Deaf Services has developed a specialized training program and works cooperatively with local and state law enforcement agencies, providing training to public safety dispatchers to ensure that 911 is accessible to callers using TTYs and captioned telephones. Additionally, all peace officers going through the law enforcement academy receive training to ensure that they are providing accessible services to individuals with communication impairments.
DVR works collaboratively with Wyoming Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (WYRID) to ensure that all known interpreters in the state of Wyoming receive a form jointly developed by DVR and WYRID which serves as a tool for assessing the skill level of interpreters. DVR collects the completed forms from interpreters, verifies the interpreter’s credentials, and then compiles the information that the interpreters choose to make public on to a list of interpreters. This list is distributed to the general public, individuals, businesses, organizations, and agencies.
Consultation by the Wyoming Relay/Deaf Services Consultant to facilitate the transition of students with hearing impairments is provided at the request of the student, parents, school personnel, WDE outreach consultants, or DVR counselors.
E. Division of Workers’ Compensation (WC)
DVR continues to have an agreement with WC which is part of Wyoming’s Department of Workforce Services, but is not a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) “partner.” The purpose of the agreement is to clarify procedures and responsibilities when an injured worker applies for the vocational rehabilitation option. (Refer to Wyoming Statutes, 27-14-408.) A handbook for clients explaining the WC and DVR processes is distributed to both agencies’ staff. A communication system to resolve client issues has been established and will continue.
F. Cooperation in Training Activities
DVR routinely collaborates with other organizations to provide training opportunities for DVR staff, as well as for staff of other agencies. The following is a partial list of collaborating organizations:
• University of Wyoming
• Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND)
• Wyoming Department of Education
• Wyoming Department of Health
• Governor’s Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities
• Small Business Development Centers
• Wyoming Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery (WYSTAR)
• Community Rehabilitation Programs, statewide
• Region VIII Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center
• Centers for Independent Living
• Protection and Advocacy, the Client Assistance Program
• Eastern Wyoming College
• Casper College
• Western Wyoming Community College
• Wyoming Work Incentives, Planning and Assistance
• National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
• State of Wyoming, Department of Administration and Information
• Department of Workforce Services partners
• Laramie County Community College
• Assumption College
• Utah State University
• Sheridan (WY) College
• National Rehabilitation Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Materials
• University of Wisconsin- Stout
This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 12:39PM by Brian Hickman
DVR has continued support of Local Education Agency’s (LEA’s) by involvement with community transition teams and transition related programs so that the needs of the school district as well as the individual student are met. Transition training was conducted on the local, statewide, and regional levels. DVR plans to continue support of training programs so that LEA’s will see the benefit of actively participating in transition and to assist with compliance with new state and federal regulations. DVR’s current MOU with the WDE with the following stated purpose:
The purpose of this MOU is to outline a collaborative framework, including the responsibilities of each agency in coordinating state and local services and resources, as outlined in state and federal regulation and rule as they apply to students with disabilities in transition from receipt of educational services in school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services.
This MOU has provisions which include:
Both the WY Department of Education (WDE) and WY DVR will work on:
1. Each agency will invite the other to participate in trainings related to secondary transition, as appropriate.
2. WDE and DVR shall each designate a contact person to coordinate communication.
3.WDE and DVR will be responsible for the salary and travel costs for their staff associated with the execution of this MOU. Other costs associated with trainings and technical assistance will be pre-determined and agreed to in writing prior to the actual training event.
4. D. The parties mutually agree to resolve disputes in a non-adversarial fashion by meeting to confer and discuss any issues that may arise. Issues that may arise will be immediately brought to the attention of the agency personnel involved to resolve as expeditiously and informally as possible and at the lowest appropriate level. If these agency personnel cannot resolve the dispute, it will be referred to the Director of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Superintendent of Public Instruction for resolution.
5. E. Both agencies will encourage LEAs and regional VR offices to participate in local activities, which create opportunities for students with disabilities to receive information on VR services, eligibility, and application procedures. These outreach activities may include, are not limited to, parent/teacher conferences, career fairs or special projects targeted toward groups of students with disabilities who have been traditionally underserved through vocational/transition services, such as students at risk of dropping out, students receiving services through 504 plans or groups of students identified as underserved through the annual analysis of statewide data.
Responsibilities of WDE include:
1. Maintain membership/educational interest representation on the State Rehabilitation Council.
2. WDE will monitor Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and ensure compliance with the secondary transition requirements of IDEA.
3. WDE shall invite DVR to participate in an annual analysis of transition related data and other periodic analysis of relevant data as may be appropriate. This data will be exclusive of specific student identifiable information.
4. WDE shall disseminate information to LEAs regarding Wyo. Stat. §21-3-111 (a) (ii) and (xv) which would allow them to transfer appropriate devices.
5. When determined appropriate, the WDE will provide presentation opportunities at regional and statewide conferences, which target special educators.
6. WDE is responsible, through dissemination and oversight of federal and state funds to the districts, for all expenses incurred in the provision of the special education and related services required to provide students with a Free Appropriate Public Education.
Responsibilities of DVR include:
1. DVR’s Transition Consultant shall coordinate with the WDE Special Programs Division, the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), and DVR counselors to develop and provide evidence- based system of seamless transition services from school to work/training for students with disabilities. DVR’s Transition Consultant shall meet with these and other local and regional community service providers, to provide training in the vocational rehabilitation program/process, including any changes in VR Service Program Rules, and changes in DVR policy.
2. DVR’s counselors shall assist LEAs in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post school career and life. The DVR counselors shall act in a consultant role for the student, parents, and the LEA during IEP/transition meetings scheduled prior to eligibility determination by DVR. When requested by the LEA, DVR shall ensure that DVR counselors/representatives participate in the evaluation process of students who have applied for or otherwise requested DVR services in the development of the IEP or 504 plan of eligible students.
3. DVR shall provide WDE with the data it collects regarding students eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, and tracking information regarding employment outcomes for youth with disabilities. This data will be exclusive of specific student identifiable information.
4. DVR will assign vocational rehabilitation counseling personnel to serve as liaisons to local educational agencies to formalize a collaborative approach to student planning, referral development, and tracking. The purpose of this collaboration is to facilitate the development of appropriate IPEs for DVR eligible students prior to the students leaving high school.
5. When required as part of a student’s IPE, DVR shall negotiate with LEAs to purchase items of assistive technology from LEAs pursuant to their authority under Wyo. Stat. §21-3-111 (a) (ii) and (xv).
6. DVR shall counsel former students who are eligible for DVR services, and who are still eligible for free appropriate public education, to re-enroll in school for further study and training to enhance their opportunities for employment. DVR eligible former students as described, shall be eligible for services customary provided by DVR to adults over age twenty-one (21).
7. Whenever possible, DVR shall coordinate with the LEA for provision of vocational services (i.e., Vocational assessments, career exploration, job shadowing, vocational guidance and rehabilitation counseling, and work experience) for students determined eligible for DVR services. The DVR may negotiate with the LEAs the costs of vocationally related services prior to expenditure.
8. Identification of specific student groups with disabilities and in need of transition services will be based on the analysis of an annual statewide data drill down, which examines and targets areas of critical need including groups of youth with disabilities who have been identified as underserved by both agencies. Outreach activities will be designed and refined annually based in part on this analysis.
9. Redesign DVR brochure: “Transition Your Abilities” to increase clear communication and understanding of the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures for services, and scope of services provided to eligible individuals, and disseminate the brochure to stakeholders. DVR will also Develop Technical Assistance presentations that address VR services and requirements targeted to core stakeholders; students, parents, schools, and communities and present at venues, which may include, but are not limited to career exploration days in schools, Wyoming’s Mega Conference on Disabilities, and WDE conferences targeting special educators.
10. DVR may be responsible for some vocational services that occur outside the school environment and are designed to prepare the student for post-secondary training or work. DVR is not responsible for any service that has not been directly agreed upon by during the development of the student’s IEP and is not included as a service on the student’s IPE.
In addition to the state level MOU, cooperation between LEA’s and DVR offices ensures that a transition team is established to facilitate the development and accomplishment of the objectives and long-term goals. These teams meet for Individual Education Program (IEP) development and scheduled planning sessions. The planning sessions, which include parents and consumers, determine the schedule of transition from the school system to vocational rehabilitation in order for an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) to be written before the IEP expires. This process also includes students with disabilities who are not receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Community team members participating in the planning sessions may include Youth Case Managers from WIA, representatives from an IL Agency, representatives from Higher Education or vocational programs, Community Rehabilitation Service Providers, advocates and other local supports. With a comprehensive transition team, the referral process is enhanced, outreach is improved, roles are more clearly defined and transition services are coordinated. Assessments, consultation and technical assistance are also planned and provided to the LEA and the student. Individual meetings and community planning sessions allow DVR to provide for the development and completion of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for each student with a disability determined to be eligible for VR services before the student leaves the school setting.
DVR works with the local education agencies (LEA) to improve the referral process of students that are on an IEP and in identifing the 504 students. LEA’s are encouraged to invite DVR to IEP meetings as soon as transition planning is to occur, but no later than the last IEP before the student graduates or reaches the age of twenty-one (21). As the Transition Consultant is able, efforts will continue to be made to improve the referral process in all of the 48 LEA’s in Wyoming.
In anticipation of upcoming mandates from the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act and IDEA, DVR established a new Transition Consultant position. The primary responsibilities of this position are to coordinate with local, state and federal education officials on improving the process for students in transition. The Transition Consultant is a resource on issues surrounding transition, provides training to staff and provides a consistent statewide message from DVR to the LEA’s.
Services for the Visually Impaired
Collaboration with WDE’s Services for the Visually Impaired (SVI) and special education assists students and adults with disabilities in several ways. For example, the Montgomery Trust (a private trust specifically earmarked for the visually impaired) can provide assistive technology equipment to both visually impaired youth and adults. Also DVR collaborates with SVI, WILR, WSIL, Centrum for Disability Services, and CreateAbility Concepts in providing services to clients.
Objective: Improve and expand transition services to include additional school districts.
• Continue training and team building to include personnel from Education, DVR, Mental Health, and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) professionals as appropriate.
• Continue coordination and cooperation at State and local levels to create new transition teams and maintain existing ones.
• Continue to work with the Mentor Ability program in Laramie, Sweetwater, Unita, and Fremont Counties.
• Work cooperatively with the WDE on expanding the transition program.
• Update cooperative agreements with the WDE and LEA’s as needed.
• Increase contacts and education of school personnel to enhance the transition program.
• Increase percentage of transition students 14-24 years of age being served by DVR.
• Continue to develop DVR transition policies to increase the continuity and consistency of services statewide.
DVR also has an MOU with Wyoming Institutions of Higher Education (IHE). The purpose of this MOU is to guide the planning and delivery of support services to individuals with disabilities who are mutual clients of DVR and students enrolled at a Wyoming IHE, so that there is a seamless delivery system for those services which overlap. These IHEs include the University of Wyoming and Wyoming’s seven community colleges.
This MOU has provisions which include:
1. DVR and IHEs are not required to alter their policies, which are different from each other, for providing services or support.
2. IHEs are required to provide services and accommodations to DVR clients only to the same extent as they are provided to other students with disabilities.
3. DVR is not prohibited from contracting with individual IHEs to provide services or support for DVR clients beyond those required to assure equal access to educational opportunities.
4. Information exchange and joint training.
5. Referral procedures.
6. IHEs will not require students who have a disability to apply for DVR funding before providing services or support. Nor will they deny or delay the provision of services or support while DVR is determining the student’s eligibility for DVR services.
7. In situations where referral has been made to an IHE for services, the appropriate IHE staff may be involved in developing the Individualized Plan for Employment.
8. The DVR Counselor and IHE staff will respect the individual’s right and responsibility to fully participate in all decisions regarding his or her vocational future.
9. Definition of reasonable accommodations and auxiliary aids.
10. Guidelines for the provision of auxiliary aids including that the funding source for auxiliary aids will be determined on an individual, case by case basis depending on the setting and the individual’s status as a student or DVR client, and in the case of equipment, a determination of who will retain ownership.
11. Additional guidelines for the provision of interpreter services.
12. Guidelines for the provision of different types of real-time captioning services.
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2012 10:17AM by Brian Hickman
Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP)
Section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, sets forth requirements for the conduct of a statewide needs assessment, which must include an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve (CRPs) within the State.
As defined in the Rehabilitation Act (Section 7 (25), a “community rehabilitation program” means a program that provides vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities … to enable the individual to maximize opportunities for employment, including career advancement. The term “community rehabilitation program” refers to any such community-based agency, regardless of the type(s) of disabilities customarily served, or the agency’s primary funding source.
DVR has conducted a number of statewide needs assessments which have served to guide and direct the focus of DVR’s use of CRPs. Contracts with private consultants to conduct the Wyoming Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs (WYARN) studies were completed in 1997, 2003 and 2006. This process was repeated and completed in 2010. The contractor, Western Management Services, LLC, produced a final report which included resource inventory outlining existing programs and services promoting the independence of people with disabilities. The survey did not identify any new private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers.
The 2010 WYARN notes that “DVR utilizes a wide range of private rehabilitation providers and support service providers. The complete list includes several hundred names and is too lengthy to include in this report. (page 37)”
Other CRP’s have considered dropping the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation due to the cost associated with the accreditation. The Wyoming DVR’s use of community rehabilitation programs continues to reflect a commitment to integrated, community based employment.
DVR has a policy that CRP’s must be accredited by the CARF, unless the organization has been in existence for less than 12 months, or the organization has been in existence for more than 12 months but has been providing services to clients for less than 12 months.
Another DVR policy stated that “staff shall actively network with consumers, service providers, and organizations, and shall comply with the provisions of agreements and contracts between DVR and other agencies, facilities and organizations.”
DVR has worked closely with CRP’s for many years and enjoys good working relationships with them statewide. Written cooperative agreements have not been necessary since DVR has adopted a competitive market philosophy and supported employment services are purchased from the most effective CARF accredited providers.
There are seven major CRP’s in Wyoming. Local VR and CRP staff work together to plan and implement individualized plans of employment including supported employment services.
A member of the Rehabilitation Service Providers Organization, which consists of the Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO’s) of the community rehabilitation programs in Wyoming, has become a State Rehabilitation Council member and participates in SRC meetings. This has enhanced communication with CRP’s statewide.
Description of the Manner in which the designated state agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers
In Wyoming, DVR is required to write a contract with any vendors involving $5,000 or more. The process is dictated by the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information.
A draft request for proposal is developed by the Division including a list of potential proposers. The RFP must be in a format outlined by the Wyoming Attorney General who must review and approve it. The RFP is then submitted to the Purchasing Division of the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information which attaches all the required legal information, makes arrangements for announcing the request for proposals in newspapers statewide and then receives the sealed bids. The bids are scored by DVR staff and the Purchasing Division notifies the successful and unsuccessful bidders.
Contracts are negotiated by DVR staff and the proposer based on requirements. The Wyoming Attorney General then reviews and approves the contract before it is signed by the parties to the contract.
Information has been gathered from Rehabilitation staff, representatives of community rehabilitation programs, the State Rehabilitation Council and other key informants.
Utilization, Findings and Capacity of Community Rehabilitation Programs
The Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation makes extensive use of community rehabilitation programs, primarily to provide supported employment and related services. All Regions of the state continue to be served to some degree by community rehabilitation programs operating under the state’s developmental disabilities and behavioral health programs, or by independent organizations. Coverage is comprehensive for individuals with developmental disabilities, although a few agencies affiliated with the Developmental Disability (DD) system still do not provide extensive supported employment opportunities. These gaps have been, to a degree, filled through the use of independent non-profit or for-profit agencies, and through the employment of free-lance job coaches.
There are still geographic, programmatic and disability-related gaps in the capacity of community rehabilitation programs to provide the array of services the State Rehabilitation agency needs for other clients with the most significant disabilities:
• Although there is progress, there are substantial gaps in services to persons with acquired brain injuries;
• State of the art supported employment services for persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses are more widely available than at the time of the previous Needs Assessments, but are still not available to all communities; and
• The potential for community rehabilitation programs to play a more substantial role in preparing students with disabilities for the transition from school to employment in the community has not been fully explored.
Historically, the Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has made very effective use of community rehabilitation programs in serving the clients with the most significant disabilities. Over the past several years, significant progress has been made in encouraging mental health centers, among other providers, to become more involved in providing supported employment services.
Progress rarely happens in a straight line, however. In some instances, promising efforts at collaboration with service providers have lost ground for reasons that may or may not be under the control of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. In some cases, local staffs have succeeded in finding or developing alternative resources for supported employment services.
The demonstrated effectiveness of supported employment services in providing employment opportunities for individuals with the most significant disabilities argues for persistence in the face of adversity. With some mental health centers in particular, it is in the long-term interest of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness that collaborative supported employment programs are developed.
Policies for the use of Community Rehabilitation Programs
The Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s use of community rehabilitation programs continues to reflect a commitment to integrated, community-based employment.
The Division has issued a policy to the effect that CRP’s must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), unless the organization has been in existence for less than 12 months, or has been providing services to clients for less than that time.
The Division also maintains a policy that Mental Health Centers (MHC) from which DVR purchases services must be certified by the Division of Behavioral Health.
2009 Needs Assessment
The most recent WYARN was conducted in 2009 and the report was received in February of 2010. The WYARN emphasized four areas: ABI, Veterans, Minorities, and Students in transition from school to work. Consequently, the report has few recommendations directed specifically to cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers.
However, Primary Finding 1 of the WYARN report identified opportunities for improvement. The finding speaks to the “Continuum of Services necessary for an individual to obtain a job and keep it. Individuals with disabilities typically require the services of diverse programs, many of which are not vocationally oriented. Therefore, it is imperative numerous program administrators coordinate their services. Even though DVR does not have control of, or responsibility for, many of these programs, a successful outcome for many DVR clients demands more DVR involvement with these programs. DVR needs to be more involved with information exchange. DVR needs to develop more interagency agreements.”
This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 12:39PM by Brian Hickman
It is the mission of Wyoming DVR to advance opportunities for Wyoming citizens with disabilities to be employed and independent in the least restrictive and most integrated environments possible. To this end, DVR has established and continues to maintain strong working relationships with State agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services throughout Wyoming.
In Wyoming, supported employment means persons with the most significant disabilities obtaining community integrated, part-time or full-time employment at competitive wages with benefits equal to those commonly accepted throughout the work force.
The goal of Wyoming’s supported employment program is to increase community integration, individual independence and productivity for persons with the most significant disabilities. In support of this goal, the Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will:
• Increase training for staff on better identifying client’s with a most significant disability and their need for supported employment services.
• Continue cooperative efforts with school districts and other rehabilitation entities to enhance supported employment programs statewide;
• Continue to support the Wyoming Business Leadership Network (WBLN) with expansion to additional Wyoming communities that will enhance supported employment services; and
• Encourage dedicated funding for long-term support needed by supported employment clients. This will include networking with the Division of Behavioral Health, Regional Service Providers (RSP) of Wyoming, MHC’s, the Governor’s Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, State and local education programs, Social Security employment incentives including TTW programs, training programs under WIA, and the employer community represented by the WBLN.
DVR completed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services Division in September 2007. The purpose of the MOU is to enhance the working relationship between the Divisions in order to provide more effective services to individuals with disabilities in compliance with Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This includes increased collaboration in the evaluation, planning and implementation of supported employment services for persons with SPMI and transition age youth. Joint training on a bi-annual basis will focus on these issues, among others. In the upcoming year, DVR will review this MOU and update it as needed.
Objectives: Improve and maintain supported employment services and programs statewide.
• Continue statewide supported employment services over the plan period to the extent that Federal Section 622 funds are available. When 622 funds are exhausted, DVR then uses General Rehabilitation funds.
• Maintain services to include all disability groups, with an emphasis on individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, with acquired brain injury, and with transition age students, as outlines in the recommendations section of the 2009 Wyoming Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs.
• Improve utilization of existing long-term support mechanisms via focused counselor and assistant training.
• Continue to educate and train service providers to being Assistive Technology (AT) services to more supported employment clients statewide.
• Continue serving people with severe and persistent mental illness through supported employment services provided by CRP’s.
• Ensure consistent statewide policy interpretation for field staff.
• Educate school district special education staff regarding the use of supported employment.
• Develop cooperative agreements with Mental Health (MH) service providers to encourage increased use of supported employment.
• DVR will actively support programs that provide training to expand and improve job coaching services statewide.
• The DVR transition coordinator and Field Staff will enhance school district referrals to DVR via teacher education about the availability of DWS employment services.
DVR will continue to pursue cooperative and collaborative efforts with the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) and the Wyoming Association for Persons in Community Employment (WYAPCE). Both programs are administered by and located at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. Statewide assistive technology services are available to supported employment clients. Direct AT services are available at the Centrum A.T. CRP located in Casper, Wyoming. This service was developed with the financial assistance of the Wyoming DVR.
This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 12:43PM by Brian Hickman
Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development
Wyoming DVR’s Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) includes procedures and activities undertaken to insure an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals. This system has four goals:
• Identify the current professional training needs of staff and plan for skills and knowledge development of staff one to five years from now;
• Coordinate personnel development activities with the Wyoming Department of Education as specified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
• Coordinate a means to address training needs of current staff using institutions of higher education; and
• Coordinate activities to ensure staff are adequately trained and prepared to expand and improve services to clients.
The SRC has had an opportunity to review and comment on the development of plans, policies, and procedures regarding: 1) the plan for recruitment, preparation, and retention of qualified personnel, 2) personnel standards, 3) staff development, and 4) personnel to address individual communication needs.
Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development
Wyoming DVR maintains a system for collecting and analyzing data on an annual basis, which includes information on personnel needs, a plan for recruitment, preparation and retention of qualified personnel, personnel standards, staff development, and personnel to address individual communication needs. Information on the number, location and disability types served; number of agency personnel and level of education; and training needed to improve skills and maintain certification levels is included in this section.
Qualified Personnel Needs
Total counselor number is 29. The following chart shows the number of counselors employed since 2006, the number of clients for each year, and the average number of clients per counselor.
The staff to client ratios is as follows:
1 Counselor for every 188 clients, 1 Area Manager for every 1,366 clients, 1 assistant for every 260 clients, 1 Administrator for every 1,366 clients, 1 Consultant/Specialist for every 911 clients, and 1 Fiscal staff member for every 1,366 clients.
|Row||Job Title||Total positions||Current vacancies||Projected vacancies over the next 5 years|
Wyoming currently does not have an institution of higher education which prepares rehabilitation professionals. The three nearest rehabilitation training programs are the University of Northern Colorado, Utah State University and Montana State University which concentrate on private and public rehabilitation respectively. Wyoming DVR also utilizes University of Wisconsin – Stout, Assumption College and Texas Tech University as optional locations for distance education. All six programs are Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) certified.
We currently have one counselor working on her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at Utah State University, one attending Texas Tech University and two attending Assumption College. Currently there are three counselors attending Utah State University to qualify for the Category R of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Commissions qualifications for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential. The training process is monitored by having the attending staff members send a copy of each semester’s registration and a copy of his or her grades to verify course completion. Twenty staff members have the CRC credentials and three individuals are preparing to sit for the exam.
|Row||Institutions||Students enrolled||Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates from the previous year|
|1||Utah State University||70||5||4||30|
Wyoming DVR recruits VR counselors from the University of Northern Colorado, Utah State University and Montana State University whenever possible. Wyoming DVR actively participates on the advisory boards of the University of Northern Colorado and Utah State University, and has worked to improve communication with both schools to announce open positions and to recruit potential counselors. DVR has been actively posting current vacancy notices with the three universities. This is in addition to placing ads in local and regional newspapers, with DWS, and the Wyoming Job Network (Wyoming at Work). Wyoming DVR, in accordance with the ADA, seeks to employ and advance qualified individuals with disabilities as well as minorities.
Wyoming DVR lists counseling staff vacancies with the Rehabilitation Recruitment Center of the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials, and thus has national visibility for counselor openings as they occur. Periodic announcement of staff position openings are sent via e-mail from a listserv of CORE Graduate Programs. DVR also maintains a listserv for smaller colleges in the area that have Master level programs in related fields.
Wyoming DVR CSPD requirements are for a counselor to have a Masters degree and be eligible to sit for the CRC exam. DVR attempts to hire individuals that meet this CSPD requirement, but if for some reason this is not possible, an attempt is made to hire someone with a related Bachelors degree and two years of experience. This new hire is made aware that at the end of his or her one year probationary period, he or she will be expected to apply to and attend a CORE accredited school to receive a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. It is expected of him or her to have this master’s degree finished in four years.
Wyoming DVR currently has fifteen counselors who meet or exceed the CSPD requirements. Of the remaining staff who do not meet the CSPD requirements, twelve are currently working in a master’s degree program, or classes for CRCC category R and the balance are currently in a probationary period and will begin working to meet the CSPD at the appropriate time.
Wyoming DVR actively updates and implements a system which addresses current and projected personnel training needs. Coordination between Wyoming’s personnel training needs and institutions of higher education occurs when the CSPD consultant and division administrator participate in the university program advisory meetings. DVR also participates with TACE, Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center.
Wyoming DVR began developing training plans in 2004, stemming from the use of the Professional Development Guide and Matrix, the performance appraisal system, an annual training needs survey, and via focus groups. In 2006, use of Retention plans was instituted as well. The CSPD consultant tracks training needs of all employees and addresses those needs through annual in-services for both counselors and assistants. DVR also sends individuals to training sessions provided by the State of Wyoming Personnel Division and private or public vendors. Staff is also supplied information on providers’ websites to assist with expressed training needs. Training in specific areas, such as assessment, vocational guidance and counseling, job placement strategies, rehabilitation technology, and topics addressed in the Training Needs Assessment, are addressed at the annual statewide in-service, regional in-services, on-the-job training with the Area Consultant and Training Officer, and/or by means of a contracted vendor. DVR is continuing to look into the possibility of delivering training to staff by means of web cam technology, and creating in-house on demand training.
Wyoming DVR has made a conscious effort to address retention and recruitment of staff by raising the pay scale for all field professional and paraprofessional staff. The state legislature has approved a pay raise for state employees effective July 1, 2011, moving staff to 90% of Market value.
Wyoming DVR Futures Group
The DVR Futures Group is designed for those staff who are interested in moving into new/different roles within the Division and in developing the future direction of DVR. The current membership includes Counselors, Assistants and Program Consultants. Membership is open to any permanent employee, with approval of the supervisor and DVR Administrator.
This group meets periodically to provide input on business issues affecting the Division. They work directly with DVR’s Program Managers, and may attend selected Management Team meetings to provide input. They also identify projects which may benefit DVR. The Futures Group is or will be involved in several projects, including staff retention issues, policy development, case management computer system changes, basic VR training systems, and other issues that develop.
Wyoming DVR is committed to hiring qualified rehabilitation staff beyond the current minimum standards established by the State of Wyoming Personnel Division. An individual must have a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, or another Master’s Degree which would allow the person to meet national CRC requirements. DVR looks for candidates that have a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, Counseling, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, or other related degrees.
The State of Wyoming does not have a licensing standard regarding Rehabilitation Counseling or to be a Qualified Rehabilitation Counselor. WY DVR has set the standard to be a Qualified Rehabilitation Counselor as the person needs to have a Master’s degree and to be eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam. The State of Wyoming, Administration and Information, Human Resource Division has set the minimum qualification to be a vocational rehabilitation counselor is to have a Master’s Degree (typically in Social Services) plus 0-3 years of progressive work experience (typically in Vocational Rehabilitation) or a related Bachelors degree and 4-6 years of progressive work experience (typically in Vocational Rehabilitation) and preference for someone with their Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.
Because of our difficulty in recruiting and hiring qualified rehabilitation professionals, when faced with no other alternative, DVR does hire individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a related field with a minimum of two years relevant work experience. (Note: This is the State of Wyoming’s personnel standard). In so doing, the individual is advised formally of DVR’s expectations, as they pertain to personnel standards, and is offered the position only with their acknowledgement and agreement to pursue a master’s degree. If a counselor has received education funding through the Agency, the individual contractually agrees to continue employment with DVR for three years subsequent to obtaining their master’s degree. If employment is terminated prior to this time, repayment may be required on a pro-rated basis.
Based on standards developed through the personnel system, each staff member participates in the annual Performance Appraisal System which analyzes job performance and identifies training needs. DVR continues to do annual training needs assessment of all staff and the CSPD Specialist tracks these training needs and links individuals to appropriate training. Training needs addressed at the statewide in-service are determined by polling of all DVR staff. Other avenues of obtaining training needs, such as focus groups, are also utilized. Counselors have immediate access to reference materials. This includes internet resources, reference books, and consultants. Staff may request periodicals and other resources be purchased for them on a case-by-case basis.
Wyoming DVR will assess counselor training needs on an individual basis in order to assure that we are in compliance with personnel standards. DVR’s Human Resources Development (HRD) staff member maintains individual counselor records that identify training needs, training received to date, and anticipated target dates for attainment of Master’s/CRC. Priority of training includes time parameters for completion as follows:
1) Individuals with bachelor’s degree ? Master’s Rehabilitation
3 to 5 years
2) Related master’s degree ? CRC
1 to 3 years
Progress towards identified training needs is monitored and tracked annually on an individual counselor basis.
Wyoming DVR’s CSPD attempts to create our own qualified rehabilitation counselors through the distance learning grant at Utah State University and other universities. All staff without master’s degrees are required to take advantage of the Utah State University or other distance learning programs with financial assistance from the Agency. The following table details the qualifications of current field staff:
Of 29 Counselors, 12 have their CRC, 10 have their Master’s degree without a CRC, 7 have a Bachelor’s Degree.
Of 4 Area Managers, all have their CRC.
Of 12 Administration Staff, 5 have their CRC.
The Comprehensive Personnel Development System focuses not only on creating qualified rehabilitation counselors in Wyoming but on retention as well. The training grant is used to coordinate training activities to help counselors maintain their CRC credentials and encourage other counselors who may qualify to obtain their CRC.
Of those counselors/consultants having master’s degrees, in areas other than VR Counseling, all have been advised and encouraged to acquire the designation of a CRC Counselor in accordance with the methods offered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). A record on each counselor/consultant towards accomplishment of the Agency standard is kept and monitored as to progress.
In 2010, WY DVR switched their training budgets to a central budget administrated by the Training Officer. This was done to keep a better control on funds and focus training funds on targeted areas.
All staff participates in an annual Staff In Service training. There are two In Service trainings, one for the counselors, managers, and consultants, and one for the support staff. Topics for these In Service trainings come from staff need and issues that are identified in quality assurance reviews, or at the discretion of the Administration staff. Information on other training topics and the training needs of the staff come from the individual retention plans that are developed yearly for staff. The agency has also been developing a more comprehensive approach to training staff to include a VR 101, new counselor training, etc.
A wide variety of training has been made available to counselors and consultants. This training has been provided by Wyoming DVR, State of Wyoming Department of Administration and Information, as well as numerous private vendors. Training offered at the DVR in-service has included Job Development, Prescription Drug Abuse, Mental Illness, Autism, Culture of poverty, Transition and Counseling Theories. Training offered through the State of Wyoming has included computer applications and supervisory skills. Training offered by private vendors has covered a wide range of topics, including diagnoses/disorders, career building skills, leadership skills, and job coaching/job development. While this list is not all inclusive of trainings offered or attended, it does illustrate the variety available to counselors and consultants in Wyoming.
DVR assistants are provided training through various methods. New assistants are trained by the lead assistant in the area, the counselor(s) that the assistant works with, as well as the area manager. This approach to training the new assistant helps the assistant become acquainted with the procedures for that particular office and allows him/her to better meet the needs of the clients the Agency serves. On a yearly basis, the assistant and the area manager produce a list of training topics that the assistant and the area manager feel would be most useful for the assistant. This list is used as the basis for that individual’s training in the upcoming year. Additional training topics that are of interest to the assistant can be chosen even if they are not identified on the list. Training topics that assistants have availed themselves to in the last year have included various computer skills, stress management, dealing with difficult people, and teamwork. Again, this list is not inclusive but does represent a variety of training available to these employees.
Ongoing training is held throughout Wyoming on TTW and other Social Security issues. The training was presented by a partnership of the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WyWIPA), Plans for Achieving Self Sufficiency (PASS-CADRE), Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) and DVR. A number of DVR staff have taken advantage of these trainings. DVR is considering changing to the milestone reimbursement method, which will necessitate additional staff training including TTW program review. Staff have traveled to Baltimore, MD to receive training on social security issues at the Social Security Administration offices.
Procedures to Disseminate Research
The DVR Central Office does maintain a lending library that contains some reference materials relevant to VR counseling. Reference materials are often requested by field staff or area managers and may be purchased for their use. In-service speakers/trainers often provide research information, as do many conference presenters. Program consultants in DVR’s Central Office stay current on trends in their specialty areas and share this with field staff. Specialty areas include: Governor’s Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities (GPCDD); the ADA; SE (Supported Employment); Staff Training, Quality Assurance (QA); Transition from School to Work; TRS; Deaf Services; BEP; and small business planning. As mentioned previously, all DVR staff have access to the internet for research purposes.
DVR has established and maintains minimum standards to ensure the availability of personnel within DVR who are trained to communicate in the native language or mode of communication of the client, either by hiring applicants with these skills or by developing current staff skills in these areas. The DVR handbook is available in Spanish. Interpreters are hired, as the occasion warrants, in order to effectively communicate with clients who utilize other languages. Several staff members have sign language skills and the Agency helps them maintain and improve those skills. One staff member is capable of speaking the Spanish language fluently with our clients. Another staff member is fluent in German. A program consultant, who specializes in services for the deaf and hard of hearing, is available to help ensure that quality services are provided to this population. Essentials such as orientation to DVR, eligibility, etc., are on tape or in Braille for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Other needs of individuals who are blind or visually impaired are met through purchase of services or from the WDE, Services for the Visually Impaired.
An MOU with WDE establishes reciprocal referral services, utilization of each Agency’s services and facilities to the extent practicable and feasible, and joint planning activities to improve services to individuals with disabilities.
This MOU strengthens the transition process and the availability of AT to VR clients who are in school. This agreement specifies joint training on AT, IDEA and other pertinent legislation. Refer to Attachment 4.8(b)(2) for additional information on this MOU and DVR’s coordination with education officials.
When and where possible DVR, WDE, and the local education agencies attempt to coordinate trainings related to transition. Some topics that have been looked at include career counseling, job placement, success in higher education, utilizing Disability Resource Centers, etc. If a fee is required to attend any training the staff member’s agency pays the associated costs out of their training budgets.
This screen was last updated on Jun 20 2012 4:29PM by Brian Hickman
Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
Attachment 4.11 Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities; Strategies; and Progress Reports
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
2009 WYOMING ASSESSMENT OF REHABILITATION NEEDS (WYARN)
The Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, requires each state to conduct a Needs Assessment every three years. The purpose of the Needs Assessment is to identify and understand the needs of individuals with disabilities in the State and to use that information to make appropriate operational and programmatic adjustments to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of services to those individuals.
The 2009 Needs Assessment was a statewide assessment, jointly conducted by DVR and the State Rehabilitation Council, examining the need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State, and describing the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the State, particularly the vocational rehabilitation needs of:
1. Individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their needs for supported employment services;
2. Individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have not been served or are underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this Title; and
3. Individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system (other than the vocational rehabilitation program), as identified by such individuals and personnel assisting such individuals through the components.
The State’s goals and priorities are based on an analysis of:
1. The performance of the State on the standards and indicators established under Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act;
2. Other available information on the operation and the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program carried out in the State; and
3. Any reports received from the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), under Section 105(c) and the findings and recommendations from monitoring activities conducted under Section 107.
Results of the 2009 Needs Assessment will assist WY DVR in evaluating its priorities and in establishing an action plan to guide future rehabilitation program development. The goal is to provide the foundation for an action plan that identifies opportunities for improving program performance in the following four critical areas:
1. Rehabilitation services for veterans with disabilities;
2. Acquired brain injury;
3. Rehabilitation services for minorities with disabilities; and
4. Students in transition.
These four areas were identified by the agency as critical areas for various reasons. In regards to Acquired Brain Injury and Students in Transition, DVR had identified these as areas of concern in previous Needs Assessments, and DVR wanted to ascertain whether or not any progress had been made by the agency to better serve those two populations. With regard towards examining services for veterans with disabilities, DVR wanted to gain an understanding of what services were available to this population and what could be expected in the future as a results of recent military activities and the recent deployment of nearly 1000 WY National Guardsmen. Services for minorities with disabilities were identified as a concern due to the struggles DVR has had with meeting this standard and performance indicator.
The contractor was also asked to complete an overall assessment of the need for services in the State of Wyoming as well as make suggestions for improvement.
The needs assessment took place between May 1, 2009 and February 4, 2010. The work plan, which was developed in conjunction with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), required the completion of the following tasks: collect demographic data; convene four focus groups; conduct three mail surveys; complete numerous interviews; develop summaries of relevant state and federal programs; determine efficacy of DVR services; analyze collected information; and generate recommendations. During the assessment period, the consultant met four times with the SRC. This consultant was hired by DVR in order to conduct the WYARN in order to conduct an independent, comprehensive and unbiased report on what DVR needs to do in order to improve their services to people with disabilities.
As indicated above, the assessment sought information from a number of sources. DVR client focus groups were conducted in Cheyenne, Casper, Rock Springs and Lander. In total, 19 people attended the focus groups. A mail survey was sent to 600 clients. The survey yielded a 30.6 percent response rate. The assessment also collected information about numerous state and federal programs. Some of these programs offer services that are often not considered to be vocational oriented. Nevertheless, they offer important support services that help an individual maintain long-term employment. In total, 29 individuals were interviewed during the assessment.
The 2009 Wyoming Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs (WYARN) was designed to identify areas of need throughout the state. Inherent to the assessment process is an attempt to identify areas needing improvement and to make recommendations accordingly. Because a needs assessment focuses on needs, areas of strength are often overlooked. Therefore, the following findings should not be construed as a criticism of DVR’s overall operations. The findings simply identify areas which could be improved.
Finding 1: Concurrent with the downturn in the economy, the caseload for most DVR counselors has increased from approximately 60 to 90 clients a year ago to approximately 100 to 130 clients currently. At the same time, there has been no increase in the number of counselor positions and very little increase in the budget. The resulting stress on the system will likely continue at least into the immediate future. The data collected by the contractor for the 2009 WYARN and SRC Client Satisfaction Survey data can demonstrate consumers concerns regarding this. DVR’s internal monitoring reports have demonstrated an increase in the amount of time it is taking a client to move through the VR process.
Finding 2: Numerous mail survey respondents and focus group attendees indicated that they could not get the vocational and support services they wanted. Comments received during the assessment suggested an inconsistency in services between offices and even within the same office. Because numerous comments were received about inconsistent services, DVR policy on this issue was examined at considerable length. It was learned that the DVR Policy Manual leaves much discretion to each counselor regarding the content of the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). While this high degree of counselor discretion may be wise given the subjective nature of tailoring an IPE, it leaves DVR exposed to the appearance that some counselors are discriminatory or don’t understand the nature of some types of disabilities. This appearance of inappropriate inconsistency is exacerbated when the full range of services that could be available is not made clear to the client. To deal with this issue, there appears to be a need to build additional system controls to ensure that all clients have an opportunity to access services “appropriate to their level of need." At the present time, system controls consist primarily of counselor supervision by a state-level Field Services Director and five Area Managers. In addition, a state-level Quality Assurance Officer examines case files from each field office on a periodic basis. While on the surface it would appear that these controls should be adequate, the number of people indicating they could not get services suggests that more field office direction should be provided.
Finding 3: Of the four focus areas of this assessment (veterans, brain injury, students, and minorities), people with brain injury provided some of the more negative comments about DVR. Many of these comments suggested that DVR counselors do not understand brain injury and that they need more training in this area. Several indicated that DVR tries to move people with brain injury too quickly through the system, again suggesting that some counselors do not understand that someone with a brain injury often cannot proceed through job training at the same rate as someone with a physical disability but normal brain function. This appears to be an area where the DVR Policy Manual, which encourages consistency (see Finding 2), may be limiting services to people with brain injury because counselors may be trying to treat everyone “too equal." More detailed state-level policy to guide counselors on services for people with brain injury would be beneficial.
Finding 4: The assessment also reviewed the accomplishments of Project B.R.A.I.N. which is being conducted by the Brain Injury Association of Wyoming (BIAW) through contract with DVR. The review found the Project to be making good progress in three areas: developing and maintaining project infrastructure; developing a statewide, all-access communications system; and collaborating with community partners to establish Project B.R.A.I.N. protocols. Partial progress has been made in two areas: developing and maintaining community resource teams, and creating a B.R.A.I.N. Foundation, which is of particular concern because the establishment of a funding mechanism is needed in order to sustain the project after the expiration of the five-year DVR contract in September 2011.
Finding 5: The assessment revealed a need to further expand DVR activities related to students in transition. DVR has made considerable progress since the 2006 WYARN, including: hiring a full-time Transition Coordinator located in DVR’s Central Office; appointing three area Transition Counselors; and greatly expanding interactions with the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) and local school districts. Nevertheless, only 29 percent of special education juniors and 57 percent of special education seniors are enrolled with DVR, thereby indicating a need for further improvement. While improvement is needed, DVR is struggling to expand the transition program because state matching funds cannot be obtained for available federal funding and the legislature has set a limit on the overall number of counselor positions. The assessment discovered that opportunities may exist for DVR to utilize local school district funding as the required match. Carefully developed agreements with the districts could also provide the counselor positions that have not been available at the state level. Personnel within WDE’s Special Education Unit have endorsed the concept of initiating a pilot project between DVR and a few select districts. The pilot project would focus on developing a workable format for using school district positions and matching funds to access available federal funding through DVR.
Finding 6: The assessment found that there may be additional opportunity to coordinate veteran’s services with the United States Veterans Administration’s Veterans Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. The VR&E program, which appears to be well funded, serves veterans with a service connected disability. DVR serves veterans with a service connected disability and veterans with a non-service connected disability. Because there is an overlap in eligible populations, an opportunity exists to better coordinate services and perhaps reduce the cost burden and caseload burden to DVR. Generally, there is a need to further coordinate services for veterans. At the present time, veterans outreach officers are located within the Employment Services division of the Department of Workforce Services. They are not located in DVR. DVR has no single point of expertise for veteran’s services. Such a single point of expertise and contact could improve coordination. It is not believed that DVR is under serving this population, but there is a possibility that it is being under reported. With the number of non-service connected disabilities, the clients and staff may not be reporting a client’s veteran’s status.
Finding 7: The assessment found an opportunity to expand the coordination of vocational rehabilitation services with the two tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County. There are four vocational rehabilitation offices in Fremont County: two DVR offices (Riverton and Lander); and two tribal offices (Ft. Washakie and Arapahoe). Interviews conducted with tribal vocational officials revealed an eagerness to improve coordination. There was consensus that, at minimum, regular meetings should be held between the four offices.
Finding 8: The assessment found (as did the 2006 assessment) that in the past few decades, there has been a national trend toward expanding programs offering in-home and community-based services such as an independent living skills training, transportation, medication management, and mental health counseling. These services are a very important part of the “Continuum of Services” necessary for an individual to obtain a job and keep it. Traditional vocational rehabilitation, limited to job training and job search, is often not enough. Individuals with disabilities typically require the services of diverse programs, many of which are not vocationally oriented. Therefore, it is imperative that numerous program administrators coordinate their services. Even though DVR does not have control of, or responsibility for, many of these programs, a successful outcome for many DVR clients demands more DVR involvement with these programs. DVR needs to do more to facilitate coordination. DVR needs to be more involved with information exchange. DVR needs to develop more interagency agreements. Because DVR is only one part of the “Continuum of Services”, it is possible that DVR will have difficulty obtaining successful closures due to other factors on the “Continuum of Services” that DVR has no ability to control or improve.
The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) met on January 11, 2010, to discuss the findings of the 2009 Wyoming Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs. After reviewing the findings, the following recommendations were developed:
Recommendation 1: The DVR Policy Manual, which already includes a section on students in transition, should be expanded to include sections on brain injury as well as severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). These are areas in which special expertise and knowledge are required to effectively meet client needs. The new sections should be developed with the input of people outside DVR that have experience with these specialty areas. The purpose of the new sections should be to provide more specific guidance to field counselors regarding the scope of services needed by these special groups. This guidance should not be so specific that it takes discretion away from the counselors. Instead, it should outline the areas where policies for these groups may differ from the policies for people with a physical disability. For example, individuals in these two groups may not be able to carry a full class load when going to college. In addition, the new sections should outline the training requirements for counselors to improve knowledge of brain injury and mental health issues.
Recommendation 2: To enhance student transition services, DVR should explore the possibility of initiating a pilot project with one or more school districts. The purpose of the project should be to develop a workable format for using school district positions and matching funds to access available federal funding through DVR. The new specialized positions will provide an additional focus on transition and allow DVR to re-focus existing counselors to meet the needs of an expanding caseload.
Recommendation 3: DVR should designate a statewide “veterans services person." This does not need to be a full-time dedicated position. Instead, an existing position, filled by someone with a background in veterans services, should be assigned this additional responsibility. The assigned individual should strive to coordinate services with the VR&E program. For example, perhaps the VR&E program should be the payor of first choice for veterans with a service connected disability. In addition, the point person should attend all appropriate meetings relating to veterans. Generally, the individual should become familiar with veterans issues and be in a position to recommend DVR policy changes to better serve veterans.
Recommendation 4: DVR should continue to fund Project B.R.A.I.N. The Brain Injury Association of Wyoming should be encouraged to accelerate efforts to develop sustainable funding after the DVR contract expires.
Recommendation 5: DVR should expand counselor training relating to brain injury.
Recommendation 6: DVR should take the lead to establish regular periodic meetings with tribal vocational rehabilitation personnel. Tribal personnel have indicated a desire to attend such meetings. The meetings should be viewed as a starting point for improving the coordination of services in Fremont County.
Recommendation 7: DVR should continue to promote interagency cooperation and the development of interagency agreements. Subsequent to the 2003 and 2006 WYARNs, DVR expanded interagency activities in several areas. Now additional efforts need to be directed at students in transition, people with SPMI, and veterans. Interagency agreements, such as those in Recommendation 2, are critical to the success of DVR’s mission, and have the potential to reduce the DVR counselors’ caseloads, which are near capacity. In addition, DVR needs to continue to work with other entities to meet the needs of the consumers in the state. Continued partnership with the Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Division is one such agency that improve cooperation should benefit the consumers. The SRC needs to continue to have a member from a Community Rehabilitation Program on the council. DVR administration or local staff members need to be encouraged to attend Regional Service Provider meetings to educate about DVR’s services and learn of the needs of consumers in the state.
Wyoming currently has nine major CRPs that provide services throughout the state. The agency, and through the recent Needs Assessment, feel that new CRPs do not need to be developed. The CRPs receive the majority of their funding through the Medicaid waiver program; they are less dependent on DVR to financially support them. With this in mind, DVR would like to see an increase in referrals from them in hopes of placing these individuals in employment situations and to maximize available funding for these consumers. As mentioned above, DVR has a representative from a CRP on its SRC. This has been helpful to DVR as it allows for dialogue on what challenges that both the CRPs are facing as well as DVR. This collaboration also aids in discussing ways that the two entities can work together.
This screen was last updated on Mar 26 2012 3:20PM by Brian Hickman
Based on the 2000 data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Wyoming has over 10,500 residents between the ages of 16 and 64 who report a disability, and consequently could be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation services. In Federal Fiscal Year 2013, an estimated total of 5,467 individuals will receive vocational rehabilitation services in Wyoming. The estimated total cost to serve these 5,467 individuals is $11,381,609.
Note: The total estimated number of clients to be served by WY DVR is 5,467, not 5,829 as calculated below. The 5,467 number already includes the 362 Title VI-B Supported Employment clients who will also receive services under the Title I Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Because Wyoming DVR is not under an order of selection, we have not established priority categories.
|Category||Title I or Title VI||Estimated Funds||Estimated Number to be Served||Average Cost of Services|
|Vocational Rehabilitation||Title I||$11,081,609||5,467||$2,027|
|Supported Employment||Title VI||$300,000||362||$828|
This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 12:46PM by Brian Hickman
The 2009 Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs identified four disability populations of concern in Wyoming: Persons with acquired brain injury (ABI), veterans with a disability, students with disabilities who are in transition from school to work, and minorities with disabilities. Based on this assessment the goals and priorities in carrying out the VR Program jointly developed and agreed to by DVR and the SRC are:
1. Increase the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Wyoming.
a. Rehabilitate at least 676 individuals with disabilities
b. Increase services to individuals with disabilities that are of a minority race
c. Improve services to aid an individual’s transition from school to work
d. Improve services to veterans with disabilities
2. Increase by 5% the number of clients using the Small Business Development Fund (SBDF) and other resources for starting a small business.
3. Successfully rehabilitate 205 or more SE individuals with the most significant disabilities.
4. Meet or exceed all RSA Performance Standards and Indicators for FFY 2013.
5. Continue to improve the recruitment, training, and retention of staff.
i. Increase the number percentage of counselors with Master Degree’s level counselors to 75%
ii. Increase the number percentage of counselors with the CRC designation to 50%
i. Increase training on disability topics of relevance to staff needs and goals of agency
ii. Train staff on federal, state, and agency policies and procedures
i. Maintain a rate of 10% or less of staff loss
6. Improve services to Transition age clients by seeing an increase in successful outcomes by 5%.
7. Increase the percentage of ABI clients successfully employed by 5%.
8. Increase the percentage of SPMI clients successfully employed by 5%.
9. Increase collaboration with Federal and State agencies, non-profits and other organizations to build stronger partnerships.
i. Continue WY DVR’s involvement in the Supported Employment Leadership Network (SELN) to increase the employment opportunities for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.
ii. Work with the members of the SELN to develop standards of competencies for job developers and job coaches in the state.
This screen was last updated on Jul 11 2012 10:48AM by Brian Hickman
- 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 has never been updated.
Title VI, Part B funds will be used and distributed through four DVR regional budgets. Rehabilitation Counselors at the local level will authorize Supported Employment services as needed from a variety of CRPs and independent vendors statewide. DVR estimates that approximately $423,654 will be expended on Supported Employment services in FFY 2013. Funding sources include: $300,000 in Section 622 funds, supplemented with $123,654 from Title I (Section 110) funds.
Approximately 462 individuals will be served in Supported Employment, but only 362 will receive services from the $300,000 Title VI, Part B grant, if available. The rest of the SE individuals will receive services from the Title I, Part B grant.
This estimate is for the cost of services provided directly to the individuals. These services, which are purchased from vendors, include supported employment job development and job coaching. This estimate does not include DVR administrative costs such as staff salaries, staff travel, telephone, postage, rent for office space, indirect costs, etc. DVR administrative costs are paid for with Title I, Part B (section 110) funds.
This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 11:01AM by Brian Hickman
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.
DVR has provided innovation and expansion (I&E) funding for activities designed to continue addressing some of the needs identified in the previous and current Needs Assessments (WYARNs). Most activities are designed specifically to expand and improve the VR services available to individuals with the most significant disabilities. WY DVR will continue to solicit ideas and programs that can be used to improve or enhance services to clients with disabilities throughout the state of Wyoming, to possibly include the need for additional CRP’s in the state.
The following activities are being considered for I&E funding in FY 2013:
A. DVR will provide funding support for the SRC. Expenditures may include travel, stipends, advertising, supplies, meeting room rental, interpreters, facilitation services, and costs related to consumer satisfaction/outreach.
Estimated Cost: $30,000
B. DVR may provide funding support for the State Independent Living Council (SILC). Due to federal grant award reductions in the Title VII, Part B – Independent Living Services program and estimated decreases in Social Security Reimbursement funds, (program income transfers to the IL programs), DVR may need to use I&E funds to help support the SILC. Expenditures may include travel, stipends, advertising, supplies, meeting room rental, interpreters, and facilitation services.
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.
Assistive Technology Services and Devices:
A broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices are provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process. Wyoming DVR uses the Centrum for Disabilities, a non-profit agency that provides AT evaluations and equipment to clients throughout the state. An AgrAbility program began in May 2006 as a grant program administered by the University of Wyoming. The Assistant Administrator, Field Services, is on their Advisory Panel, and DVR will continue to work with them to provide AT services to the agricultural community. AT services and devices are available 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.
Populations that are Unserved or Underserved
The 1992 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act strengthened the requirements for outreach to “individuals with disabilities who are members of groups that are currently unserved and underserved, including members of minority groups.” Project Consultants who conducted the previous Needs Assessments found no evidence of any population defined by region, type of disability, age, race or ethnicity that is not being served. The 2009 Needs Assessment noted specifically:
“Although the population of Wyoming as a whole is primarily white, some communities across the State have significant populations of individuals reporting other racial or ethnic affiliations.”
“…a comparison of Vocational Rehabilitation caseload data to data from Census 2000 clearly shows that patterns of service closely mirror the racial and ethnic diversity of the Wyoming population at large. Notably, the Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation continues to serve American Indians in proportion to their representation in the State’s general population despite the presence of the two Native American vocational rehabilitation programs on the Wind River Reservation.”
Services to Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities
Minorities with Disabilities
Objective: Promote opportunities to enhance equal access and quality service for individuals who are culturally diverse within the rehabilitation system.
Methods: Continue to have Native American representation on the State Rehabilitation Council and State Independent Living Council.
Objective: Maintain and promote the Section 121 VR Projects for Native American Rehabilitation Services on the Wind River Reservation.
Methods: The Red Feathered Eagle Vocational Rehabilitation (RFEVR) has been awarded new grant funding for up to five additional years. This Project is an effective way to provide rehabilitation services (especially culturally appropriate services) on the Wind River Indian Reservation and to those Native Americans living near the Reservation.
The Northern Arapaho Vocational Rehabilitation (NAVR) program is currently in the second cycle of the Federal Grant. This project focuses on the rehabilitation of all tribal members on or near the Wind River Reservation.
Objective: Section 121 Project staff to attend the DVR annual Counselor and Support Staff In-Service Training sessions.
Method: Advise Project staff of in-service training through invitation/announcement, including a copy of the agenda.
Objective: Include Project staff in surveys of training needs assessments and advise of training availability.
Methods: Forward training needs surveys to Project staff for completion.
Send training announcements as appropriate and place Project staff on mailing lists.
Objective: Collaboration between the Wyoming Relay/Deaf Services Program and the Section 121 Projects on availability of services.
Method: Provide information to the Project staff and their consumers on the availability and use of the Wyoming Relay, the distribution of TT0Y and amplified phones; obtaining assistive devices, obtaining qualified interpreters and developing interpreter training that addresses culturally appropriate services.
Objective: Provide supportive services to minorities with disabilities.
Methods: Determine what types of rehabilitation services are currently available to minorities with disabilities in the State of Wyoming.
Identify all existing rehabilitation organizations currently offering services to minorities with disabilities to better coordinate services.
Identify the most critical rehabilitation needs of minorities that are not currently being met by existing services and facilities.
Determine what actions DVR can implement to improve rehabilitation services for minorities with disabilities in the State of Wyoming.
The populations discussed below were identified in the 2009 Needs Assessment as “underserved.” All were being served, but in less-than representative numbers, or less effectively than other populations. The discussion below focuses on describing efforts made to better serve these groups.
Persons with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI)
Objective: Improve and expand services to persons with SPMI.
Method: Encourage the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division to support the expansion of successful employment models for individuals with SPMI.
Objective: Continue to develop Supported Employment (SE) services with MH organizations on a statewide basis.
Method: Contacts with MHCs and promotion of SE services.
Objective: As training becomes available in the area of working with and serving those with mental illness, have DVR staff and appropriate mental health personnel attend. Invite mental health personnel to attend DVR in-service when appropriate topics are involved.
Method: Invite mental health personnel to attend DVR in-service at no cost to them when the training is being presented in their area of the State. Alert mental health personnel to training via other entities.
Veterans with Disabilities
Objective: Provide appropriate services to Wyoming Veterans
Methods: In November 2010 a “Veterans Services Position” was established in DVR to coordinate statewide services.
Assess the types and quantity of rehabilitation services currently available to veterans with disabilities in the State of Wyoming.
Complete a demographic estimate of the total number of veterans in the state and the number of veterans with disabilities seeking employment.
Complete an inventory of all Veterans Affairs Administration facilities locations and services offered in the region.
Identify existing rehabilitation organizations currently offering services to veterans that are not currently being met by existing services and facilities.
Address and identify the most critical rehabilitation needs of the veterans that are not currently being met by existing services and facilities.
Identify specific actions DVR may implement to improve rehabilitation services for veterans with disabilities in the State of Wyoming.
Students in Transition from School to Work
Objective: Strengthen and improve the working relationship with WDE.
Methods: Continue to involve the WDE in SRC activities and meetings.
Continue to encourage LEA’s to identify students with disabilities and make timely referrals to VR.
DVR’s Transition Consultant will work with the school districts, WDE, and DVR staff statewide.
Provide support for DVR Transition Counselors.
DVR will meet with LEA’s to identify best practice policy in the coordination of services between local school districts and DVR field offices.
Objective: Encourage LEA’s to make timely referrals to DVR.
Methods: Field staff communication with the LEA personnel to educate them regarding VR mission and services.
Develop procedures with LEA’s to help facilitate more timely exchange of information regarding potential Transition student referrals.
VR staff will attend IEP meetings when invited by the school.
Identify new systems to improve referrals and working relationships, including replicating successful service models existing within the state.
If applicable, identify plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the state.
At this time, it is the conclusion of the SRC and DVR administration that there is not a need for more community rehabilitation programs in WY.
WY DVR will continue to monitor the service provision in the state and consult with the members of the SRC to see if there is a need in the future.
Describe strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators.
Performance Indicator 1.1: Wyoming’s unemployment rate in March 2012 was 5.3%. Wyoming has seen a steady decrease since January 2010 when the rate was 7.5%. The State’s economy is dominated by the energy and construction industries, with a low concentration of manufacturing, financial and business services industries. DVR is seeing an increase in new applicants in most offices throughout the State, and a decrease in job openings. The current and future state of Wyoming’s economy is expected to impact the number of successful closures in Federal FY 2012. Although our goal is to meet or exceed this indicator, it is possible that it may decrease until the economy fully recovers.
Performance Indicator 1.2: For the same reasons noted above, results on this indicator could show a decline in the future - fewer successful closures and the same (or more) unsuccessful closures.
Performance Indicator 1.3 Wyoming’s minimum wage increased from $5.85 per hour to $6.55 per hour in July 2008, and will increase again to $7.25 per hour in July 2009. While this increase in minimum wage is expected to lower our results on this performance indicator, we expect that the required performance level will be met.
Performance Indicator 1.4: We do not anticipate any problem meeting the required performance level.
Performance Indicator 1.5: The energy boom that is occurring in Wyoming has resulted in a large increase in the average earnings for Wyoming residents, which is reflected in the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. The latest data available from BLS is from the third quarter of 2010. The BLS data for average hourly earnings in Wyoming (average weekly wage divided by 40 hours per week) follows:
2010: $19.63 (preliminary data for third quarter)
Although Wyoming DVR has not had a problem meeting the required performance level on this indicator, we expect that our actual results will decline in the future and the possibility does exist that at some point we may not be able to attain the required level.
Performance Indicator 1.6: We do not anticipate any problem meeting the required performance level.
Performance Indicator 2.1: Although DVR has always exceeded the required performance level for this indicator, our performance level has had a gradual decline in the last couple of years. There are several reasons: There are two Section 121 American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Grants, Red Feathered Eagle and Northern Arapaho, on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Although the ethnic makeup of DVR’s clients closely mirrors the ethnicity of the Wyoming population, American Indians living on or near the Reservation may be more likely to participate in one of these local projects than the State program. American Indians comprise approximately 2.4% of Wyoming’s population (2010 Census), and a great majority live on or near the Reservation.
While the unemployment rate for Fremont County, where the Reservation is located, was 6.6% (January 2009), 2000 Census data shows the American Indian unemployment rate on the reservation at 32.2%. Jobs are difficult to find on the Reservation, and like many clients DVR works with, people often do not want to relocate. In addition, the culture of this population tends to accept a person with a disability more readily, and does not emphasize a need to overcome or circumvent the impediment to employment that might exist due to a disability.
Wyoming DVR believes that one of the biggest factors affecting performance is that the required performance levels are mandated, and are the same for all General/Combined Agencies regardless of economic and other factors which are different for every State. Performance levels should be negotiated between RSA and each State Agency, as they are with other WIA programs.
Describe strategies for assisting other components of the statewide workforce investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
WY DVR closely works with its partners that provide services under Wagner-Peyser and the Workforce Investment Act. In many instances WY DVR is co-located in the same office same to make for the referral and service provision more effective. WY DVR plans to more effectively use it’s funding resources in connection with these partners to better serve individuals with disabilities.
WY DVR is working with its partners to establish a Supported Employment Leadership Network (SELN). The goal of this group is to increase the employment opportunities of individuals with intellectual disabilities. The SELN brings together Community Rehabilitation Providers, Supported Employment Providers, Medicaid Waiver providers, Vocational Rehabilitation, and WIA providers.
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.
General Education Provisions Act (GEPA):
GEPA requirements include describing proposed steps to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, Federally-funded programs. The potential impediments to equitable access or participation include gender, race, national origin, color, disability or age. In addition to the proposed steps previously described in this document, the following actions have been or will be taken to ensure equitable access and participation in DVR’s programs:
1. The 2009 Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs identified four disability populations of concern in Wyoming: Persons with acquired brain injury (ABI), veterans with a disability, students with disabilities who are in transition from school to work, and minorities with disabilities.
A. DVR entered into a contract with the Brain Injury Association of Wyoming to develop a program that will organize and mobilize existing organizations into a cohesive unit that will support the needs of the ABI population. DVR will be ending this program on September 30, 2011.
B. DVR completed a survey of the services available for veterans with a disability, as well as the potential population that will require our services. DVR should only see a slight increase in veterans with a disability. To become more prepared for any increase, DVR is developing trainings on what services are available to veterans, and identifying where veterans can go for additional assistance and services.
C. Students with disabilities continue to be a special concern for DVR. With distance and the amount of staff available, WY DVR has struggled with providing adequate services to the 48 school districts in Wyoming. To increase our impact, DVR has hired a full-time transition consultant that coordinates efforts at the state level, as well as reaches our to each of the school districts to explain our services and how we can better serve this population. DVR has also placed several counselors into caseloads that focus primarily on transition students.
D. DVR has been concerned with providing services to individuals that are minorities and also have a disability. DVR has worked to reach out to these individuals. The Client Handbook for DVR services is available in Spanish, and we also have one counselor that is fluent in Spanish. A number of staff are also able to communicate in American Sign Language. DVR also has access to interpreters for other languages as needed.
2. Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)
A. DVR has an MOU with the University of Wyoming and all Wyoming Community Colleges. This MOU is designed to guide the planning and delivery of support services to individuals with disabilities who are mutual clients of DVR and enrolled at a Wyoming institution of higher education.
B. An MOU is in place with the Section 121 Program on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation. Through this MOU, DVR provides consultation with Project staff and Native Americans with disabilities.
C. The Wyoming Division of Workers’ Safety and Compensation and DVR have an MOU to provide rehabilitation services to DVR eligible individuals who have been injured in job-related accidents. Joint training for both Divisions occurs periodically as needed.
3. Individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing have potential barriers to equal access and participation due to their disability. DVR has taken steps to ensure equal access and participation in our programs for these individuals.
A. Training has been provided to DVR Counselors, Assistants and Managers on: the use of text telephones (TTY); the use of telecommunications relay service (Wyoming Relay, internet and video relay); Deaf culture; strategies for communicating with hearing-impaired clients; and the use of sign language interpreters during Regional in-services which are conducted periodically across the state.
B. DVR collaborates in many ways with the Wyoming Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (WYRID): to identify all known sign language interpreters in the State; to evaluate their skill level using a method which was jointly developed by DVR and WYRID; and to compile and distribute the list of interpreters to all DVR staff, other service providers, government agencies, businesses and individuals.
C. Training is routinely offered to service providers, government agencies and private sector businesses on Deaf culture, communication strategies, use of interpreters, use of text telephones and Wyoming Relay. This type of training facilitates appropriate referrals to DVR as well as the provision of services and employment for DVR clients.
D. Wyoming Relay is a program administered by DVR. A public awareness campaign is conducted on an on-going basis which includes radio, television, print and billboard advertising statewide.
This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 11:26AM by Brian Hickman
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment (SE) Goals
A. Actions taken in support of DVR’s Goals and Priorities identified in the previous State Plan (FFY 2011):
1. Successfully rehabilitate 640 or more individuals with disabilities.
DVR successfully rehabilitated 675 individuals with disabilities.
All of the strategies helped with our efforts towards accomplishing this goal. DVR monitored the progress on reaching this goal monthly and encouraged staff to continue to close cases successfully. The Area Managers continually reviewed case files and had staff make corrections where needed as well as trained staff to avoid those issue in future cases.
Due to the economic conditions, and the unemployment rate, WY DVR had difficulty locating employment opportunities for clients.
2. Successfully rehabilitate 205 or more SE individuals with the most significant disabilities.
The agency was able to meet this goal by closing 259 individuals with most significant disabilities.
3. Meet or exceed all RSA Performance Standards and Indicators for FFY 2011.
The agency met all Performance Standards and Indicators.
4. Continue staff recruitment, development and retention.
A. Staff recruitment
All strategies for this part of the goal aided the agency with accomplishing the goal. The agency has been able to recruit more Master’s Degree level employees to vacant positions.
B. Staff Development
All strategies for this section of the goal aided the agency with accomplishing the goal. The agency conducted one In Service training for all of the counselors, managers, and consultants and one In Service training for all of the support staff. All topics for these training come from the WYARN, a statewide training needs assessment, quality assurance reviews, and the individual retention/training plans of staff.
C. Staff retention
During calendar year 2011, 11 DVR staff members (12% of staff) left their positions compared to calendar year 2010 when 8 staff members left. Counselor salary was increased to $50,352 by the Wyoming Legislature in May 2010.
5. Expand transition services statewide, for students with disabilities who will be exiting the school system and entering the workforce or post-secondary training.
In FFY 2011, the agency served 1,491 transition aged individuals compared to 1,508 in FFY 2010. The agency was able to maintain the presence of a staff member from the Wyoming Department of Special Education Unit on the SRC. The agency currently has three counselors with caseloads that are primarily focused on transition clients. There are also two counselors that have about half of their caseloads focused on transition clients. WY DVR has also added and updated sections of its policy manual to assist staff in understanding how to work with transition clients. In FFY 2011, the agency had a 10.8% referral rate from Secondary Education. In FFY 2010, the rate was 12.1%.
6. Increase services and employment outcomes for individuals with ABI.
The agency continues to monitor the progress of Project B.R.A.I.N. and the activities of the Brain Injury Association of Wyoming.
The agency saw a slight increase in the number of reported ABI cases in FFY 2011. The agency saw 207 clients with their primary disability as ABI increase from the 187 in FFY 2010. One possible reason for this is that staff are better at coding the ABI disability as the client’s primary.
7. Increase services and employment outcomes for individuals with SPMI.
The agency was able to increase the number of SPMI clients in FFY 2011 by serving 2124 versus 2014 in FFY 2010.
The agency saw a slight increase in the successful closures outcomes for SPMI clients. The agency closed 11 more in FFY 2011 than it did in FFY 2010.
8. Increase collaboration with Federal and State agencies, non-profits and other organizations to build stronger partnerships.
The SRC and SILC continue to meet at least once a year in a joint session. The SRC has a member that is an employee of the Veterans Administration. This continues to open up our ability to communicate with this entity. Our staff in the Sheridan office and our new Veterans Services Person, continue to work with the Veterans Administration to improve services and referrals. VR has designated a Program Consultant to be a liaison with Veteran’s Administration to better reach out to and coordinate services for individuals with disabilities and have been in the Armed Forces.
July 1, 2011 DVR’s umbrella agency, Department of Workforce Services, merged with the Department of Employment. With this merger greater access to our partners in Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, OSHA, Labor Standards and others was made possible. DVR also works closely with its WIA and Wagner-Peyser partners to better access services for its clients.
The agency is continuing to monitor the progress towards the establishment of a new JobCorp center in Riverton, Wyoming. As soon as the center opens, the agency will develop a relationship with the center.
9. Maximize the use of ARRA Funds.
In FFY 2011, DVR used $323,621 in ARRA funds to assist 328 clients and 104 clients were closed successfully using ARRA funds. DVR and the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information’s Information Technology Division had a Master Services Agreement with Software AG for programming of DVR’s electronic case management system. All ARRA related computer programming expenses were paid in FFY 2009 and FFY 2010. Any funds that DVR had set aside for the University of Wyoming, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), WIND Assistive Technology Resources (WATR) to obtain assistive technology devices were redirected back to case services budgets.
Supported employment services are available statewide, with twenty CRPs and a number of independent vendors currently participating in the provision of services.
1. Individuals with the most significant disabilities have access to supported employment services on a statewide basis;
2. Within each CRP, a supported employment coordinator has been designated and a network of coordinators exists statewide;
3. Supported employment coordinators market supported employment to employers in their communities; and
4. Employers are prominently involved in supported employment throughout the State.
5. Improved services to the SPMI population will be achieved by implementing joint training with the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division. DVR will also re-evaluate the MOU with the Division of Mental Health and make updates if needed.
Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act established evaluation standards and performance indicators for the State VR program. The standards and indicators follow with Wyoming DVR’s results for FFY 2011 (10/01/010 – 09/30/11). Results have not been verified by RSA.
Evaluation Standard 1 – Employment Outcomes. A Designated State Unit (DSU) shall assist any eligible individual, including an individual with a significant disability, to obtain, maintain, or regain high-quality employment.
(1) Employment Outcomes
i. Performance Indicator 1.1. The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period.
Required Performance Level: Equal or exceed previous performance period (639)
Actual Performance: 675
ii. Performance Indicator 1.2. Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.
Required Performance Level: 55.8%
Actual Performance: 60.4%
iii. Performance Indicator 1.3. Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage.
Required Performance Level: 72.6%
Actual Performance: 99.4%
iv. Performance Indicator 1.4. Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.
Required Performance Level: 62.4%
Actual Performance: 89.9%
v. Performance Indicator 1.5. The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self, or BEP employment with earning levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report “State Average Annual Pay” for the most recent available year).
Required Performance Level: .52 (ratio)
Actual Performance: .59
vi. Performance Indicator 1.6. Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at exit and the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of support at application.
Required Performance Level: 53%
Actual Performance: 55.2%
Evaluation Standard 2 – Equal Access to Services. A DSU shall ensure that individuals from minority backgrounds have equal access to VR services.
i. Performance Indicator 2.1. The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities.
Required Performance Level: .80
Actual Performance: .85
The following activities were identified in the FY 2010 State Plan for I&E funding. Actual expenditures/ obligations are for the time period October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.
1. In 2011, DVR provided continued financial assistance for further expansion of the WBLN. The time frame for expansion to additional communities is two years, to insure that operations are fully stabilized before WBLN begins a new project.
Estimated Cost: $469,484
2. DVR was in its final year (FFY 2011) of supporting I&E funding for a project targeted towards improving and expanding services for individuals with ABI (Project B.R.A.I.N.).
Estimated Cost: $100,000
3. DVR provided funding support for the SRC. Expenditures included travel, stipends, advertising, supplies, meeting room rental, interpreters, facilitation services, and costs related to consumer satisfaction/outreach.
Estimated Cost: $30,000
This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 11:01AM by Brian Hickman
Attachment 6.3 Quality, Scope and Extent of Supported Employment Services
Community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) providing supported employment (SE) services in Wyoming must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Community mental health centers (MHCs) providing supported employment services must be certified by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division of the Wyoming Department of Health. The DVR management information system (Wyoming Rehabilitation and Employment System aka WYRES) includes criteria to measure integration, client satisfaction, scope of service, client wages and hours worked per week, variety of work options, and disability groups served. This data collection system allows DVR to make informed decisions to modify, improve, or expand SE services delivered through CRPs and MHCs.
SE services provided to individuals are coordinated through an individualized plan for employment (IPE) that includes a description of the services needed; the identification of the state, federal, or private programs that will provide the continuing support; and a description of the basis for determining that continuing support is available.
SE services which may be provided to individuals with significant disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. If necessary, a supplemental evaluation to the evaluation of rehabilitation potential provided under 34 CFR Part 361.
2. Job development and placement into competitive, community integrated employment.
3. Traditionally time-limited services needed to support the trainees in employment, such as:
a) Intensive on-the-job skills training and other training provided by skilled job trainers, co-workers and other qualified individuals, and other services specified in 34 CFR Part 361.48, in order to achieve and maintain job stability;
b) Provision of follow-up services, including regular contact with employers, trainees with significant disabilities, parents, guardians, or other representatives of trainees and other suitable professional and informed advisors in order to reinforce and stabilize the job placement; and
c) Discrete post-employment services following successful case closure by DVR that are unavailable from an extended services provider and that are necessary to maintain the job placement.
Each client’s IPE describes the timing of transition into extended services to be provided by other state agencies and private non-profit organizations following the termination of time-limited services by DVR. DVR will provide traditionally time-limited services for a maximum of 18 months, unless a longer period to achieve job stabilization has been established in the IPE.
SE services are available statewide, with nineteen CRPs currently participating in the provision of services. The following represent improvements in quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services statewide:
1. Nineteen CRPs (including MHCs) throughout Wyoming have implemented SE programs;
2. Individuals with the most significant disabilities have access to supported employment services on a statewide basis;
3. Within each CRP, an SE coordinator has been designated and a network of coordinators exists statewide;
4. SE coordinators market supported employment to employers in their communities;
5. Employers are prominently involved in SE throughout Wyoming;
6. The Department of Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities continues to be used as a resource for supported employment services for individuals with ABI;
7. The Wyoming Centrum for Disability Services was created in 1998 at Central Wyoming Community College with the strong support of DVR. The Centrum delivered assistive technology and job site accommodations to individuals with significant disabilities statewide, beginning in 1998 and continuing through 2004. The Centrum has been reorganized as an off-campus 501(c)(3) corporation and provides Social Security benefit information related to Ticket to Work; and
8. DVR completed an MOU with the Department of Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division in September 2007. The purpose of the MOU is to enhance the working relationship between the Divisions in order to provide more effective services to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This includes increased collaboration in the evaluation, planning and implementation of SE services for persons with SPMI and transition age youth. Joint training on a bi-annual basis will focus on these issues, among others.
This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 11:06AM by Brian Hickman
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