State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
South Carolina Commission for the Blind State Plan for Fiscal Year 2015 (submitted FY 2014)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The South Carolina Commission for the Blind is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the South Carolina Commission for the Blind [3] agrees to operate and administer the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this State Plan [4], the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations [5], policies and procedures established by the secretary. Funds made available under Section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and the administration of the State Plan for the vocational rehabilitation services program.

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

SCCB Commissioner

... has the authority under state law to receive, hold and disburse federal funds made available under this State Plan and its supplement.

1.8 The (enter title of state officer below)... Yes

SCCB Commissioner

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryJames Kirby

Title of SignatoryCommissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/30/2014

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2015No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option A was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

This agency is an independent commission.

This screen has never been updated.

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jun 13 2012 8:39AM by sascbradleym

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

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

The South Carolina Commission for the Blind (SCCB) believes that better service delivery begins with cooperation and collaboration with community and agency partnerships. Our primary purpose of collaboration is to provide the individuals we serve with the most comprehensive services possible between SCCB and other community partners. SCCB has developed and maintains cooperative agreements with: • The National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina • The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI), located in Charleston, SC • Goodwill Industries in Florence and Greenville South Carolina. • South Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, many of our offices are co-located • South Carolina Association of the Deaf, Inc. • We also partner with community partners such as churches, local governments and other social assistance services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 16 2014 7:56AM by sasclyonj

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

The Agency has a long history of successful coordination with education officials in order to enhance the service delivery for transition aged blind and deaf/blind individuals. Our approach is a comprehensives statewide service delivery system that focuses on ensuring an effective transition from the education system to vocational rehabilitation services. This collaborative partnership includes cooperation with each of the 27 school districts, coordination and inclusion in IEP meetings and specialized partnerships with the vision teachers in the state. The South Carolina Commission for the Blind and the South Carolina Department of Education have an agreement that outlines the cooperation between the programs. The agreement sets forth understandings and obligations of each agency. Each agency agrees to maintain regular and effective communications to exchange information necessary in order to make the agreement successful. The agreement describes the following: 1. Financial responsibility of each agency in providing special education programs and services, including rehabilitation services, to individuals who are blind. 2. Conditions, terms and procedures for reimbursement of these programs and services. 3. Procedures for resolving interagency disputes regarding financial responsibility under this agreement. 4. Procedures for the local education agency, education service district, state operated education program, or early childhood special education program and the South Carolina Commission for the Blind to promote the coordinated, timely and appropriate delivery of services to eligible children, including planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to vocational rehabilitation through the development of the individualized plan for employment prior to leaving the school setting Services for transition youth and adults are further outlined below: Transition Youth- Whenever possible, identification and coordination of services begins with collaboration between Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) staff and Children’s Services and our educational partners. The SCCB Children’s Services program serves children between the ages of 3 to 13 years of age, often visiting the local schools. Our agency has worked hard at developing good working relationships within all 27 school districts so that they are fully aware of the procedures to identify and refer potential students with disabilities who would benefit from agency services. The students are referred to the VR at age 14 for the start of transition services and to participate in the Summer Teen Program. The Transition Counselors participate in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process for students when appropriate to ensure an adequate bridge is created between the education system and the rehabilitation system. The agency provides consultation and technical assistance to assist the regional programs in planning for the transition of students into the agency services and employment.

Service delivery includes: Coordination of services with vision teachers in the school districts, low vision evaluations, aid with assistive technology that is not provided by educational entities (ie. Items used for non-classroom use), counseling and guidance, information and referral, and opportunities for youth to participate in the SCCB Summer Teen Program. In the effort to avoid duplication of services provided through educational partners, collaboration with partners in developing IPEs is promoted by participation whenever feasible with IEP meetings. Beginning in FY 2014 SCCB increased collaboration with statewide vision teachers in order to increase outreach to most significantly disabled students and their need for supported employment services. Based on the average age of SCCB individuals receiving services, transition aged youth appear to be an underserved population. Continued outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition is a goal of the SCCB’s continuous improvement plan. SCCB does not take a lead role with students completing their secondary education until the junior and senior year. Training for adults- South Carolina University System The South Carolina Commission for the Blind works closely with several post-secondary educational facilities in the state to include the University of South Carolina, South Carolina State and Clemson University. The purpose of the commitment is to implement a cooperative framework for providing coordinated vocational rehabilitation education services for eligible students with disabilities. Commission staff work with the disability coordinators very closely to monitor service provision to jointly served individuals. The joint responsibilities include: 1. Collaborating to assure access to reasonable accommodations for the provision of effective auxiliary aids and services and services for mutual clients. 2. Provide opportunities for counselors and disability service representatives to become familiar with relevant information related to accommodation functions or related topics. 3. Form a cooperative work group to facilitate implementation of the agreement and evaluated the effectiveness of the agreement. 4. Collaborate on legislative issues that affect the objectives of this commitment. 5. Collaborate, as appropriate, on seeking external initiatives to further enhance service provision to students with disabilities. The agency transition counselors throughout the state have established strong working relationships with the teachers of the regional education systems. These programs have specialists who work with blind students throughout the state on blindness skills such as Orientation and Mobility, Braille, and Technology, as well as assist the teachers within the child’s school make any necessary adaptations to the child’s curriculum to ensure they fully participate in the learning environment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 3:03PM by sasclyonj

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

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

In alignment with the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, SCCB is working to develop a network of community rehabilitation providers (CRP). This will expand our ability to provide services to underserved areas and populations. In addition to the already mentioned partners of National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the Association for the Blind (AFTB), SCCB is also working collaboratively with South Carolina Association of the Deaf, the Atlanta office of the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC), and Walton Options, Independent Living. With Walton Options we not only partner in providing some very rural areas with service, we co-locate office space in the Walterboro office. A comprehensive plan to identify CRPs which will expand some partnerships with state non-profits, establish credentialing expectation and consistency in service pricing, is underway and should be concluded by the end of FY 2015.

This screen was last updated on Jun 15 2014 10:17AM by sasclyonj

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

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

SCCB is establishing fee-for-service agreements with entities able to provide long term supported employment services throughout South Carolina in accordance with the requirements of the state plan. SCCB is developing this structure with the goal to give more SE/SJBT choices to consumers and their counselors, allowing them to customize a set of services from a provider(s) unique to the needs of a particular consumers. SCCB continues efforts to identify and make arrangements, where appropriate, with other supported employment entities. These efforts are coordinated by the SCCB Regional Director with the scope of supervision over Supported Employment. A plan is underway to evaluate the need for a specific Supported Employment Specialist. In further efforts to use our SE grant funds this would be an individial who conducts 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. SCCB has recently formed a committee of staff members with statewide service delivery perspectives to provide ongoing input and suggestions regarding the provision of services, the policies around SE/SJBE, and approval of service providers. This has been a service delivery deficit area and these efforts will allow constant attention for appropriate utilization of these grant funds.

This screen was last updated on Jun 16 2014 8:00AM by sasclyonj

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Staffing patterns are set through a joint effort of the SCCB commissioner, director of consumer services, senior management staff as appropriate, and regional directors. 1- In an effort to assess current staffing and hiring needs, SCCB analyzes the following data on an annual basis: 1. Rate of consumer referrals to the VR Program 2. Ratio of VR Counselors to consumers certified eligible for VR services 3. Ratio of VR Counselors to consumers served 4. State demographics (Incidence of visual disability, Occupational data trends, Population estimates) 5. Employment/Unemployment data trends 6. Current and projected monetary resources In FY 12, the SCCB VR Program received 581 referrals and served a total of 1,123 consumers. This represented a consumer to VR Counselor ratio of 66 to 1. Based on the incidence of visual disability data, the ratio of VR Counselors to the number of individuals in South Carolina with a visual impairment is 3,829 to 1.Current staffing patterns are sufficient to accommodate a 10% increase in the number of consumers served. Staffing patterns will continue to be evaluated by staff in an effort to make projections for future capacity to provide vocational rehabilitation services.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Counselors 11 3 2
2 Transition Counselors 2 0 0
3 VR Counselor Assistants 10 3 3
4 Rehabilitation Instructors 16 1 9
5 Nurse 1 0 1
6 Other Staff (Support staff, drivers and BEP) 33 4 11
7 Job Placement Specialist 3 1 1
8 Quality Assurance Reviewer 1 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

SCCB has a close relationship with the University of South Carolina and South Carolina State University, both of which produce graduates who have Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degrees. SCCB has opted to use a state Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) standard and can recruit not only from candidates with a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, but also with a Master’s degree in related fields. These strategies satisfy staffing needs. The following chart shows statistics for the in-state university vocational rehabilitation counseling degree programs. Data is collected annually by program directors at each institution and shared with executive staff to assist in current and future staffing.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 South Carolina State University 42 3 9 15
2 University of South Carolina 56 10 18 34
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Progress toward meeting the required CSPD standard began in January 2001. The Commission has a working relationship with the University of South Carolina and South Carolina State University, both of which offer all of the courses required by the Council On Rehabilitation Education (CORE). A recruitment plan is in place to recruit graduates from all schools in South Carolina as well as out-of-state schools which have counseling and rehabilitation counseling degree programs. When this is not possible due to high demand, the department will continue to hire counselors with closely related Master’s degrees. In accordance with South Carolina state law, each transcript is assessed and the counselor is placed in a plan that allows up to 30 months to complete the current state educational requirements. The University of South Carolina and South Carolina State University prepare individuals for graduate degrees in rehabilitation counseling. SCCB is improving and increasing outreach efforts to these universities and other universities to include: publications and distribution of targeted recruiting material, attendance at career days and job fairs, and recruitment events. In addition, practicum placements and internships are offered to students who are in CSPD qualifying programs. These efforts are designed to recruit qualified personnel, including minority graduates and those with disabilities. SCCB has been especially successful in recruiting personnel from the SC institutions, particularly those from minority backgrounds. Students from these programs and out-of-state programs are encouraged to accept internships and practicum placements with the Commission. In addition to the New Employee Orientation program and to retain qualified staff, SCCB uses a system for staff evaluation that is a modification of a system that is available to all state employees. The system focuses on the individual employee’s job duties compared to stated goals and objectives. These goals and objectives are identified and discussed with the employee at the beginning of the rating period. Ongoing communication between the employee and supervisor clarifies the employee’s understanding of how to meet the performance standards and enhances service delivery to the client. At the conclusion of the rating period, an evaluation is performed to rate the employee on each duty in relation to performance objectives. The system provides for employee input into the development of the goals and objectives in order to support successful performance. Another feature of the system allows objectives to be amended throughout the review period. This system also provides a mechanism for helping a substandard performer improve and a means of removing an employee from a position should performance not improve to an acceptable level. SCCB takes an active role in employee/employer relations. Through strong leadership and the assistance of all staff, the Commission provides a healthy and safe work environment. Employee behavior and performance problems are addressed appropriately and in a timely manner, with an emphasis on assisting the employee to improve. SCCB promotes internal and external customer service and has made teamwork an integral part of day-to-day operations.

 

Personnel Standards SCCB has selected the option to utilize state standards to administer the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) as it relates to hiring practices. According to state law, VR Counselors must have a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, or a Master’s degree in the field of counseling with a graduate course in Theories and Techniques of Counseling, or a Master’s degree in any discipline and at least 18 credit hours of coursework at the Master’s level or above within thirty months of the date of hire. The 18 credit hours of coursework must include the following: One graduate course with a primary focus on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling three graduate courses, each with a primary focus on one of the following areas: Occupational Information, Job Development and Placement, Medical Aspects of Disabilities, Foundations of Rehabilitation, Psychological Aspects of Disabilities, and Personal and Vocational Adjustment Two graduate courses, each with a primary focus on one of the following areas: Assessment, Research Methodology, Vocational and Career Development, Community Resources, Case Management, and Delivery of Rehabilitation Services; or a current Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification, regardless of degree. SCCB currently has 3 vacant VR Counselor positions. Of the11 counselors currently employed by SCCB, 7 have met the state’s CSPD requirements of having a Master’s Degrees in rehabilitation counseling or counseling; 3 have Master’s Degrees in other disciplines and have completed 18 hours of additional coursework; 1 counselor has a Master’s Degrees in another discipline and is currently under a plan to complete the 18 hours of additional coursework. SCCB also has 2 VR Transition Counselors, both of whom have obtained their Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. SCCB has 1 VR Counselors who has obtained the CRC Credentials. SCCB has 1 Transition Counselor who has obtained the CRC Credential. The SCCB Office of Human Resources monitors each counselor’s progress to ensure timely compliance with CSPD requirements. SCCB uses an In-Service Training Grant as the primary source of funding to assist counselors in meeting the CSPD requirements. New hires have three years to become CSPD compliant if a position is underfilled.

 

SCCB has developed a comprehensive staff development training program designed to expand and strengthen the knowledge and skill level of service delivery staff. The four objectives outlined in the training program are based on the need to increase staff competency so that the quality and quantity of competitive employment placements can be improved. SCCB has partnered with the University of South Carolina, the Southeast Region IV Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center (TACE) and private and public consultants specializing in the field of vocational rehabilitation and/or blindness in order to provide quality staff development training. The most critical training needs of SCCB staff were determined from the results of a Staff Development Training Needs Assessment, comments from Training Evaluations, and the VR Staff Survey results from Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. Staff development training needs have been identified in the areas of Leadership Skills, Administrative Skills and Technical Skills. Four (4) training objectives were identified as follows: Objective 1 (Leadership Training Objective) Organization assessment, problem solving skills, basic supervisory skills and best personnel practices are the primary focus areas of Objective 1. To accomplish the leadership training objective, SCCB will utilize Certified Public Management (CPM) training, State sponsored supervisory training, National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute (NRLI) and other targeted trainings and conference to keep our business practices up to date with current paradigms. SCCB recognizes that staff development needs may change. In an effort to accommodate any necessary changes, Region IV TACE will be utilized for consultation and development of additional training activities that will take place through distance learning means such as webinars and teleconferences. Objective 2 (Technical Skills Training) The development of technical skills to achieve the SCCB mission and vision is the primary focus of Objective 2. Region IV TACE and internally developed trainings will be utilized for accomplishing this objective. Private contractors who specialize in the field of blindness and vocational rehabilitation will also be utilized to accomplish Objective 2. Continued professional development and retention CRC credentials is encouraged and supported by SCCB. Objective 3 (Communication of Policies and Procedures) Orienting staff to the SCCB organizational structure and service delivery policies and procedures is the primary focus of Objective 3. In order to accomplish this, new staff will participate in an agency wide two day Employee Orientation provided by HR. They will also receive field specific training in AWARE, VR training modules on policy and procedures, and shadow adjustment and VR staff for a two week period. Objective 4 (Specialty Training) For FY 2015, each region is scheduled for quarterly meetings in which case staffing and regional specific trainings will be included. Departmental training schedules are currently being developed with the intention of holding one annual in-service when feasible. Bi-annual surveys of staff are done to stay abreast of trends in staff training needs. In an effort to provide equal access to staff development training for all staff, accessible formats (i.e. Braille, large print, electronic format, etc.) will be provided to those who require alternative formats.

 

SCCB has qualified staff proficient in Braille production, in communication with the Deaf/Blind and a bilingual counselor to communicate with the rapidly growing Hispanic population. Braille services are provided to SCCB staff and upon request to other public and/or private entities statewide. The SCCB has a Deaf/Blind Consultant who is proficient in the use of sign language for the deaf, hard of hearing and dual sensory impaired. In FY 2015, SCCB will sponsor sign language training for the VR Counseling staff to facilitate communication with the dual sensory impaired consumers. SCCB contracts interpreter services as needed in order to serve all other individuals who have limited English speaking ability or limited modes of communication. SCCB has expanded one counselor position to aid in the coordination of interpreter services so that services are not delayed when the Deaf/Blind Coordinator is not available.

 

SCCB collaborates with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDOE) to coordinate procedures and activities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The focus of the collaboration will be the development of strategies for improving service delivery systems for blind and visually impaired individuals who are receiving services from the SCCB Children’s Services program and VR Transition Counselors. In FY 2015, SCCB will sponsor in-service training on the availability and use of assistive technology and low vision devices for school staff (i.e. vision teachers), staff of the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Department of Disability and Special Needs. In addition to disability specific training modules, a module on Transition Basics, with a focus on evidence-based practices and quality service delivery, is being developed and will be delivered to all VR Counselors. The Summer Teen Program at SCCB now has a component where local counselors are being included in active roles in this program to assist in the coordination of transfers of youth from Transition caseloads to local counselors for continued services. The goal of this is to allow youth to be familiar with their local counselors to aid in seamless transfers with minimal service delivery interruptions.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 3:50PM by sasclyonj

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

During FY 2013 the South Carolina Commission for The Blind (SCCB) conducted its tri-annual Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA), as required by The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (The Act). The following narrative   describes the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the South Carolina,, 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. Also, the assessment examined the need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the South Carolina. This assessment was conducted using protocol developed by The Rehabilitation Services Administration. (RSA). To gather information, SCCB utilized a combination of statistical data about South Carolina, characteristic of blind and visually impaired residents of the state, and data drawn from the SCCB caseload. Additionally, VR consumers were surveyed, as well as SCCB staff and persons in the state with knowledge of the SCCB program. A series of six public meetings were held in South Carolina to obtain further input for the assessment.   A.    Needs of Significantly Disabled   The information obtained from the CSNA suggests the following respective to significantly disabled consumers of SCCB VR:  The data shows that South Carolinians of working age (18-64) who are blind/visually impaired, when compared with non-disabled residents of the state are more likely to be living at or below the FPL, less educated, more unemployed, and less likely to have health insurance.  RSA data and information from the SCCB AWARE system shows that since October 1, 2011, fewer consumers are exiting the program with an employment outcome.   Also, the number of those exiting with a competitive employment outcome has decreased, and is lower than the national average of VR agencies that serve only blind/visually impaired consumers. At the same time, the number and percentage of consumers closed as homemakers is rising. This type of closure pays no wages. Data shows that hourly earnings for consumers with employment outcomes are significantly lower than the national average for similar VR agencies. Further, expenditures for services such as assessment, post-secondary and other training, and rehabilitation technology are decreasing. Such services can contribute greatly to a consumer’s potential to obtain well-paying jobs. SCCB currently has 13 VR Counselors with caseloads (two VR Counselors are responsible for working with transition age consumers). Each of these Counselors is required to produce a given number of cases that result in an employment outcome; and there is a performance expectation that 80% of all employment outcomes be in competitive employment. There is also an expectation to reduce the number of homemakers by doing better screenings from referral status to IDLB and Older Blind programs. ACS data from 2011 estimates that there are 65,100 visually impaired South Carolinians between the ages of 18 and 64. Of these, 21,200 are reported to be employed. The ACS further estimates that there are 4,700 visually impaired persons who are not working, but have actively sought employment in the last 12 months.   While not all of the 43,900 working age visually impaired South Carolinians would be eligible for, or willing to participate in the SCCB VR program, it is logical to assume that there may be significant numbers of persons who could benefit from the program.   CONCLUSION:Based on data from the SCCB caseload, survey and interview responses, there is clearly a need for SCCB to take actions to increase both the quantity and quality of competitive outcomes for consumers that exit the VR program.   B. Needs of Most Severely Disabled Including the Need for Supported Employment     SCCB defines an individual with a most significant disability as an individual:        Who has a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits two or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and Who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), spinal cord conditions (including paraplegia and quadriplegia), sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end -stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.   SCCB does not provide supported employment services. None of the Title VI (supported employment) funds have been expended since FY 2011. SCCB VR Counselors have been provided training on the legal requirements for supported employment, The staffing deficit that has contributed to our lack of utilizing the SE grant has been rectified and a SE plan will be implemented for FY 2015. CONCLUSION: Based on data from the SCCB caseload, and survey and interview responses, there is clearly a need for SCCB to expand services to most severely disabled consumers. This includes the need to develop and implement a supported employment program. B.  SERVICES TO MINORITIES       African-Americans are well-represented in the SCCB caseload. However, Hispanics , given that data presented earlier shows there are 1,900 working aged, visually impaired Hispanics reported to be in South Carolina, are not. Further, while there is one federally-recognized Native American Nation in South Carolina (Catawba Indian Nation) and seven state-recognized tribes, these groups are not represented in the caseload.  CONCLUSION:  Available statistical and caseload data referenced in this report supports the need for SCCB to develop strategies to reach out to the Hispanic and Native American populations in South Carolina to make these groups aware of the services offered by SCCB VR. C.  Unserved/Underserved Populations   Almost all respondents to surveys and interviews said they believe there are blind/visually impaired persons in South Carolina that are not currently being served by the program. Most respondents did not offer specific evidence in support of their belief. In addition to identifying Hispanics and Native Americans as examples of unserved or underserved populations, most respondents stated that the highly rural areas of South Carolina were where unserved and underserved groups could be found.   The 2010 SCCB CSNA identified five counties in the state where no consumers were being served. SCCB initiated steps to increase outreach to these areas, and now reports that there are at least two consumers from each county.   CONCLUSION: Data indicates that there is clearly a need for SCCB to continue its efforts to ensure that all potentially eligible blind/visually impaired in South Carolina have knowledge of the program, and can access its services, with emphasis on rural areas of the State, and counties where services are provided to a small number of consumers.   D. Services to those Served by Other Components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System   This area received very little commentary from surveys, interviews and public meetings. Those who did respond appeared to interpret the question to relate to how blind/visually impaired persons were served by the South Carolina Works (formerly the One-Stop Centers). There are presently 12 SC Works Centers in South Carolina. Each VR Counselor is required to visit the sites in their location on a regular basis. VR Counselors generally meet with the SC Works Director and are available to interview clients of other agencies who have expressed interest in SCCB services. Intake information is obtained, and in cases where the individual is not an appropriate candidate for SCCB, referrals to other resources are offered. Training about SCCB VR programs, SCCB sponsored vision screenings, and disability awareness training are some of the activities VR Counselors may conduct or participate in at the SC Works Centers. Brochures regarding SCCB VR are readily available at SC Works Centers.   CONCLUSION: SCCB maintains a regular presence with other components of the statewide workforce system. Steps shouldbe taken to ensure that legal responsibilities (e.g., make sure Memorandums of Understanding) are up to date.   E.   NEED TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE COMMUNITY REHABILITATION FACILITIES   Respondents to surveys and interviews overwhelmingly affirmed the need to expand vocational rehabilitation services to areas of the state outside of Columbia through the use of CRPs. As stated earlier in this report, the EBMRC is the only comprehensive adjustment to blindness and training program for blind/visually impaired persons in South Carolina. Smaller programs in Greenville, Charleston and Florence offer some training in the use of assistive technology, and two of these are prepared to conduct vocational assessments on a limited basis.   VR Counselors, especially, reiterated that the lack of localized programs that can offer the services blind/visually impaired consumers need, especially orientation& mobility, Braille and home management skills are a major deterrent to assisting consumers become work ready.   If consumers in need of comprehensive adjustment services cannot, or will not agree to participate in the EBMRC, the only option currently available is through the three mobile Outreach programs that must cover the entire state.     CONCLUSION: Data from the SCCB caseload and survey and interview responses indicate that SCCB should closely examine the need to expand VR services and offer these services through local community rehabilitation programs in South Carolina.    Consumers that need adjustment to blindness services, particularly orientation and mobility, home management and braille can only obtain these services at the EBMRC or through the SCCB mobile outreach program. This program has only three teams that must cover the entire state of South Carolina. EBMRC is the only residential program in the state that can provide intensive adjustment to blindness services. Further, there are no programs that provide specialized skills training and exposure to work experiences to better prepare consumers to enter competitive employment.    FY2014 efforts have yielded greatly reduced or eliminated waitlists for adjustment and outreach services in attempts to increase numbers served.    

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 16 2014 8:37AM by sasclyonj

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

In FY 13, the number of individuals in the state who were served by SCCB’s VR program was 1357. Total referrals was 1030. Total estimates of population in South Carolina who may be considered eligible per census records indicate approximately 5,000 individuals who are blind or visually impaired according to census criteria. We estimate between 3,500 and 4,000 individuals who may be appropriate for services. Budgetary and staffing needs were analyzed and indicated that there was adequate funding to serve all eligible VR consumers. SCCB has experienced a significant attrition of staff during this FY with turnover in six of 13 counseling positions, one supervisory position, and the VR director position. This has had a significant impact of our ability to meet our standards and indicators. Hiring trends indicate that qualified CSPD compliant staff are being recommended to fill these vacancies. That will be of a benefit to our service delivery process. The average cost of services for a successful closure in FY 2013 was $6811.98. SCCB was able to successfully close 247 cases, with a total number served of 1357.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Title I, Part B Title I $2,500,000 1,400 $1,785
Title VI Title VI $44,453 12 $3,704
Totals   $2,544,453 1,412 $1,802

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 3:41PM by sasclyonj

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

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

During FY 2013, SCCB conducted its tri-annual Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, as required by The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The following shows the goals and priorities that have been developed in response to the findings of the CSNA. SCCB’s strategic plan is tied to the three year cycle of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) with interim progress assessments regarding goals and priorities. The strategic planning process is comprehensive and includes defining the agency’s mission, principles, goals, priorities, strategies and measurements. Input for the development of the goals, priorities and strategies came from the CSNA; public comment taken at the SCCB Board’s monthly meetings; ongoing consumer satisfaction surveys; and other program evaluation activities including the case file review, MIS reports and monitoring activities. SCCB continuously monitors its progress towards meeting the standards and indicators and makes necessary adjustments to priorities and strategies as required. Specific strategies to achieve these goals and priorities are detailed in Attachment 4.11(d). The goals, priorities and progress are reviewed quarterly by the VR leadership team and the Quality Assurance Department. Adjustments are made as required. Concerns and progress are reported in quarterly reports to the Board. Mission The mission of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind is to provide quality, individualized vocational rehabilitation services, independent living services, and prevention of blindness services to blind and visually impaired consumers leading to competitive employment and social and economic independence

Goal - Service Delivery: SCCB will deliver high quality vocational rehabilitation services blind and visually impaired individuals to assist them in obtaining employment consistent with their career goals

This goal reflects SCCB’s continued focus on improving the quality and quantity of the VR service delivery system with the priorities and strategies identified by the CSNA. Goal 1: Improve VR services to transition age youth Strategies: • Develop a strategic plan for transition services • Explore the use of social media to connect youth to VR services • Increase involvement of VR Transition Counselors in Summer Teen Program • Increase the opportunities for career awareness in Summer Teen Program • Increase outreach to schools in an effort to raise awareness • Include guidance counselors and school nursing staff in SCCB outreach activities • Explore developing a transition planning guide • Maintain SCCB presence at Special Education conferences and continue outreach to special education teachers • Convene focus group made up of youth with an emphasis on communication and engagement strategies • Research RSA’s emerging practices for youth services • Develop Supported Employment program to appropriately serve individuals with most significant disabilities Goal 2: Improve VR awareness in underserved counties Strategies: • Develop a rural work group to identify realistic goals for rural services; develop strategies for meeting these goals; and convey this information to VR field staff • Maintain strong relationships with SC Works partners and other referral sources in underserved counties • Develop partnerships with other state agencies providing rural services in South Carolina • Identify locations and establish a travel schedule for rural areas and share with community stakeholders • Develop CRPs, establish qualifications for CRPs serving rural locations • Maximize the use of technology for the service delivery Goal 3: Recognize and explore improved service delivery to individuals who experience blindness or a visual impairment Strategies: • Monitor emerging trends and best practice models • Establish working relationships with other adjustment centers for strong networking connections • Obtain and maintain membership in Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) • Remain active in the National Council of State Agencies for Blind • Explore pilot projects under Innovation and Expansion opportunities • Develop Supported Employment program to appropriately serve individuals and utilize grant funds Goal 4: Ensure in-house VR provided services are effective. Strategies: • Engage in annual and random case service review processes • Review current statewide standards and modify/develop as needed • Analyze the relationship of in-house VR services to case movement • Develop mechanisms for matching evaluation to outcomes • Ensure all staff have required knowledge for use of in-house services Goal 5: SCCB will meet or exceed state and federal performance standards Strategies: • Increase successful competitive employment closures for SCCB clients in each of the next three federal fiscal years • Increase appropriate referral sources and engage in orientation for all referrals in an active effort to increase appropriate referrals/intakes • Research practices of other public VR programs in timely IPE development • Increase outreach to individuals with minority backgrounds, including Hispanic and Native American populations Goal.6: DVR will develop a CRP system to increase outreach and service delivery outside of the direct areas of the Columbia headquarters and areas of regional offices to ensure that an increased number of individuals who may be underserved or unserved have access to SCCB services. Strategies: • Develop a process to recruit CRPs • Establish consistent systems for rate of pay, credential requirements and service definitions • Market CRP as a career to current Direct Service Professionals through presentations in the community • Provide staff training on CRP identified needs • Work with rural VR counselors to identify potential rural CRPs • Develop a system to evaluate CRPs for quality services and areas to improve services to SCCB VR participants

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 3:46PM by sasclyonj

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Sep 1 2009 2:56PM by sascbradleyd

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

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

SCCB remains committed to the development and implementation of a supported employment program that will enable us to provide VR services to consumers with the most significant disabilities. For FY 2015 SCCB plans to distribute all of the funds to counselors statewide and to expend all of the funds received to provide SE services under an IPE. We anticipate there will be adequate funding to meet the needs of those individuals requiring SE services. Goal:

SCCB’s SE program is potentially available to any individual with a most significant disability who needs such services to be successfully and competitively employed. Title VI, Part B funds are utilized for the time-limited services necessary for an individual to stabilize in competitive employment in an integrated setting. Priorities for the maintenance and expansion of SE services include the following: 1. Emphasize community based, integrated employment settings and partner with other state agencies to develop long term supports 2. Explore opportunities for CRPs and other entities to become employment networks to provide long-term supports 3. SCCB will hire an individual to serve as an internal expert to field staff who are unfamiliar with SE activities to increase expectation of grant utlilization

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 15 2014 12:51PM by sasclyonj

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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

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

SCCB is committed to expanding and improving VR services in South Carolina in order to maximize employment opportunities blind and visually impaired individuals. To first identify needed improvements to VR services, SCCB has implemented a continuous improvement model through strategic planning and data analysis. Efforts to expand the service delivery system include collaborations with other agencies that provide services to people with disabilities, especially for those identified as priority populations through the comprehensive statewide needs assessment (CSNA). Strategic planning also gives SCCB the opportunity to concentrate on the principles of efficient uses of personnel, technology, and financial resources. Specific collaborative efforts include: • Partner with other service providers to maximize resources and coordinate services for individuals who are in need of long term supported employment services • Participate and support research opportunities and areas of emerging practices • Support efforts to establish vocational services from community behavioral health providers • Continue support for SCCB to the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) National Employment Team (the Net) • Participate in community partnering with SCWorks and South Carolina DVR • Representation on the Statewide Independent Living Council • Continue partnering with South Carolina Association for the Deaf

 

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.

SCCB’s position on assistive technology (AT) is that AT devices and services must be expressly considered as a potential service for all applicants and eligible individuals as a component of the assessment to determine eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs and throughout the IPE service delivery process. Assistive Technology services are provided by the SCCB Training and Employment Program (T&E). VR Counselors make referrals to the T&E Program for assistance in preparing for professional level job placement. Consumers are assessed with a variety of assistive technology devices and software in order to determine the skills and interests that will enable the consumer to make informed choices about the use of assistive technology as it relates to his/her employment goal. Examples of the assistive technology devices and software recommended and supported by T&E are as follows: Screen reading software (JAWS - Job Access With Speech); Screen Enlargement Software (Zoomtext and Mag-IC (Magnification in Color); Text to Speech Software (Text Cloner Pro, Open Book); Stand-Alone Reading Machines (SARA); Video Magnifiers; and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

SCCB has implemented an assistive technology virtual training outreach program for those consumers who are unable or unwilling to travel to the main complex to receive training. Through the virtual training program, consumers are trained via the Internet using assistive technology equipment and software provided by SCCB. Participation in the Virtual Training Program is currently being offered to other states on a fee for service basis. SCCB has also developed and implemented cooperative agreements for the provision of assistive technology outreach services through the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the Association for the Blind (AFTB) and Goodwill.

Assistive technology services are also available to consumers who are participating in the adjustment to blindness program at the SCCB Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC). Use of the EBMRC resource room provides consumers with the opportunity to practice their computer skills in the evenings. The T&E Department maintains the EBMRC resource room by ensuring that the assistive technology software and equipment is fully operational and equipped with the latest versions of computer technology.

 

 

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.

Outreach to minorities, unserved and underserved individuals is an area of ongoing assessment and evaluation as part of our strategic planning and efforts of continuous improvement. Analysis of the statistical data obtained during the comprehensive statewide needs assessment indicated that the deaf-blind population has been identified as most significantly disabled, a minority, underserved and unserved group. Services for this population will be coordinated by the SCCB Deaf-Blind Consultant and the VR Counselors. These professionals will work together to identify and meet the specialized needs of deaf-blind individuals, particularly those individuals who have been diagnosed with Ushers I or Ushers II Syndrome. Coordination of service delivery needs will also include collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN), the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCCB), the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC).<

 

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

SCCB is actively working on a plan to develop a CRP system. SCCB continually assesses the need to develop and improve CRPs within the state. It is an on-going challenge. The goal of a CRP system is to expand service delivery to areas where it is impractical for SCCB to directly provide services. This goal is outlined more thoroughly in the State Goals and Strategies section.

 

 

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

SCCB strives for continuous improvement in all areas of the agency. To maintain and/or improve this level of performance, SCCB continually monitors the data throughout the year for anomalies or trends. VR Leadership staff actively monitor and offer guidance to field staff as to their progress in caseload movement to meet the standards and indicators. Strategies include: • Formalize training for new staff on production goals and AWARE case management tools • Disseminate information to staff on a regular basis on production statewide and the their part in the bigger picture • Continually monitor current production and reports to ensure SCCB meets and will continue to meet standards

 

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

SCCB’s VR Counselors will continue to make at least monthly contacts at their local SC Works (statewide workforce investment system in South Carolina) in order to facilitate competitive employment outcomes for job ready consumers.  VR Counselors will participate in SC Works employment coordination with consumers and employers.

 

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

SCCB has worked very hard this current FFY to improve our business processes to reflect our mission statement, particularly in the areas of effectiveness and efficiency. Our overall goal pertains to continuous improvement efforts to our service delivery systems.

Goals in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) and the specific strategies are listed below.

Goal 1: Improve VR services to transition age youth Strategies: • Develop a strategic plan for transition services • Explore the use of social media to connect youth to VR services • Increase involvement of VR Transition Counselors in Summer Teen Program • Increase the opportunities for career awareness in Summer Teen Program • Increase outreach to schools in an effort to raise awareness • Include guidance counselors and school nursing staff in SCCB outreach activities • Explore developing a transition planning guide • Maintain SCCB presence at Special Education conferences and continue outreach to special education teachers • Convene focus group made up of youth with an emphasis on communication and engagement strategies • Research RSA’s emerging practices for youth services • Develop Supported Employment program to appropriately serve individuals with most significant disabilities

The goal and strategies above will be incorporated into our agency strategic plan with a quarterly schedule to check on progress and goal attainment. Adjustments will be noted each quarter to effectively monitor the process.

Goal 2: Improve VR awareness in underserved counties Strategies: • Develop a rural work group to identify realistic goals for rural services; develop strategies for meeting these goals; and convey this information to VR field staff • Maintain strong relationships with SC Works partners and other referral sources in underserved counties • Develop partnerships with other state agencies providing rural services in South Carolina • Identify locations and establish a travel schedule for rural areas and share with community stakeholders • Develop CRPs, establish qualifications for CRPs serving rural locations • Maximize the use of technology for the service delivery

Many counties that show as underserved are in areas very high in unemployment. Having a CRP system will develop employment support resources and assist in outreach efforts for these communities to ensure they are aware of SCCB services.

Goal 3: Recognize and explore improved service delivery to individuals who experience blindness or a visual impairment Strategies: • Monitor emerging trends and best practice models • Establish working relationships with other adjustment centers for strong networking connections • Obtain and maintain membership in Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) • Remain active in the National Council of State Agencies for Blind • Explore pilot projects under Innovation and Expansion opportunities • Develop Supported Employment program to appropriately serve individuals and utilize grant funds

SCCB has been a fairly insular agency for many years. While this goal is broad in scope, it ties in with our other goals and strategies and will become more defined in our strategic plan and next year’s state plan.

Goal 4: Ensure in-house VR provided services are effective. Strategies: • Engage in annual and random case service review processes • Review current statewide standards and modify/develop as needed • Analyze the relationship of in-house VR services to case movement • Develop mechanisms for matching evaluation to outcomes • Ensure all staff have required knowledge for use of in-house services

We have already started moving in this direction by paying close attention our output results and retooling our Quality Assurance processes so we have more integrated goals amongst staff. Staff need to have a greater understanding of the whole process so that they understand the value of their contributions.

Goal 5: SCCB will meet or exceed state and federal performance standards Strategies: • Increase successful competitive employment closures for SCCB clients in each of the next three federal fiscal years • Increase appropriate referral sources and engage in orientation for all referrals in an active effort to increase appropriate referrals/intakes • Research practices of other public VR programs in timely IPE development • Increase outreach to individuals with minority backgrounds, including Hispanic and Native American populations

SCCB is revising business practices so that there is planning and thoughtfulness connecting our business practices to our production.

Goal 6: SCCB will develop a CRP system to increase outreach and service delivery outside of the direct areas of the Columbia headquarters and areas of regional offices to ensure that an increased number of individuals who may be underserved or un-served have access to SCCB services. Strategies: • Develop a process to recruit CRPs • Establish consistent systems for rate of pay, credential requirements and service definitions • Market CRP as a career to current Direct Service Professionals through presentations in the community • Provide staff training on CRP identified needs • Work with rural VR counselors to identify potential rural CRPs • Develop a system to evaluate CRPs for quality services and areas to improve services to SCCB VR participants

SCCB realizes that as a small agency we cannot carry the capacity to serve all of our community and/or consumer needs. In order for us to achieve the overall attainment of improved service delivery we will need to work on developing a CRP system and focus that system to areas that may be underserved and in areas where we are struggling to achieve goal attainment.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 4:40PM by sasclyonj

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

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

The goals and priorities identified on the FY 2015 State Plan and the evaluation of progress is outlined below:

Goal 1- SCCB will increase the quantity and quality of employment outcomes by 3% per year, and the rate of competitive employment outcomes will represent 80% of all employment outcomes. SCCB did not meet Standard 1.1, however there are mitigating circumstances to take into consideration. In FY 2014 SCCB saw turnover of 50% of the VR counseling staff and the director of consumer services. So while our overall numbers did not meet or exceed FY 2013, we actually increased our production based on filled counseling positions. Training, increased quality assurance activities and revised position descriptions for field staff were major contributors to the positive changes observed in this past year. We are continuing to refine our business practices in response to our staff needs and production expectations. These are further outlined in the goal section of the FY 2015 state plan. SCCB has seen success with the following strategies outlined on the FY 2014 state plan: Strategy 1 (increase outcomes) was addressed in the revision of performance evaluations. Strategy 2 (QA reviews) resulting in improving and increasing the frequency of the QA/case file review processes. Strategy 3 (regional directors monitoring case flow data) was incorporated into strategy 1 and 2. Strategy 4 (developing resources for VR counselors) resulted in elimination or significant reduction in waitlists for vocational evaluations and adjustment services, thereby increasing caseload movement to be more efficient. Strategy 5( Training plan)- The departments working in conjunction with VR now have a quarterly and annual training plan in addition to a formalized on-boarding process for new staff. Strategy 6 ( Greater employment outcomes with earnings) Still in progress and incorporated into training and staff development activities. Strategy 7 (Requiring that average hourly wages increase) Currently under evaluation for efficacy.

Goal 2-SCCB will develop the capacity to provide Supported Employment services for consumers with the most significant disabilities. Staffing for SE related positions remained vacant for most of FY 2014. The supervisory position has recently been filled and will further the development of a specific SE plan to allow SCCB to utilize the SE grant, which has not been used since 2011. All specific strategies outlined on last year’s plan have seen a delay and are being revised for FY 2015.

Goal 3- SCCB will develop the capacity to identify and provide VR services to minority groups that are presently under-represented on caseloads.

This is an ongoing objective with continuing efforts to identify minority populations who are un-served or under-served. This aspect is included in FY 2015 plan.

Goal 4- SCCB will identify and provide VR services for visually impaired persons that reside in counties where there are presently ten or fewer consumers.

This is an ongoing strategy incorporated into our FY 2015 plan to reach under-served and un-served. Data shows that the counties with historically high unemployment rates are the counties that we serve the fewest consumers from. Ongoing analysis is being conducted to determine if lack of numbers are accurately reflected by stating these areas are underserved, or if our numbers are reflective of the overall employment factors of these counties. It was determined that more research was needed before we could conclude findings associated with this goal.

Goal 5- SCCB will expand the availability of CRP services in Spartanburg and Charleston. These strategies are revised to not make the services location specific and instead we are devising a plan to develop a statewide CRP system. Efforts in this endeavor have been carried over to the state plan for FY 2015.

 

SCCB has developed a staffing infrastructure to provide support and services for SE. This position was created and will be staffed for FY 2015. VR staff were provided training in FY 2013, however SCCB did not utilize SE funds in FYs 2013-2014. Training will need to be updated as we progress in our implementation of our SE program.

 

Indicator 1.1 was not met in FY 2013. Mitigating circumstance to consider was that individual caseload expectations saw an increase in outcomes. If SCCB had been fully staffed in FY 2013 and 2014, it can be projected that 1.1 would have been met. SCCB is aggressively engaging in efforts to recruit and retain qualified staff and we are seeing positions being filled with CSPD compliant applicants.

Indicator 1.2 was not met. Data indicated that staffing shortages significantly contributed to not meeting this indicator. Plans are in place to rectify this deficit for FY 2015.

Indicator 1.3 was met.

Indicator 1.4 was met.

Indicator 1.5 was met.

Indicator 1.6 was met.

Indicator 2.1 was met.

 

Funds reserved for innovation and expansion activities were utilized to expand VR services to consumers. SCCB has expanded its student internship program for a college juniors and seniors by increasing the number of participants by 10 to 12.

Funds for innovation and expansion also support the activities, training and travel for the SCCB Board Members. Board members who cannot travel to meetings are included via technology.

For FY 2015 up to $30,000 will be set aside for innovation and expansion purposes. With demonstrated need, the amount may be reconsidered pending budget availability.

This screen was last updated on Jul 1 2014 8:15AM by sasclyonj

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

Supported Employment (SE) is a training option available to individuals with the most significant disabilities receiving services from the South Carolina Commission for the Blind (SCCB). An individual with the most significant disability is defined as an individual with a severe visual impairment or combination of visual, physical, or mental impairments which profoundly limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and an individual whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require at least four extensive or intensive multiple core services for at least twelve months. Supported Employment requires the provision of a job coach for the initial, intensive training; and requires long-term, intermittent support to insure the individual is successful on the job. This long term support is provided for as long as the person has the job. SCCB provides financial support of supported employment services using Title VI Part B funds only if the placement is expected to meet the following conditions: 1. The placement is community-based. 2. The consumer is integrated into the workforce with other non-disabled individuals. 3. The consumer earns minimum wage or better. 4. The need for ongoing support is expected to continue indefinitely. SCCB is in the process of identifying long term support providers. SCCB will provide support for a minimum of 90 days past employment and up to 6 months after placement. SCCB is also in the process of developing policies and procedures more clearly delineating the responsibilities of the different agencies and institutions to be involved and the scope and nature of services available to younger persons with disabilities in transition from school. This will apply to persons who are likely to require supported employment in the future, as well as those students without this need. Financial support by SCCB for supported employment services is limited to 6 months post placement unless there are compelling reasons to believe that extending SCCB support will result in a more successful placement. For example, supported employment services may be provided by SCCB for longer than 6 months in those cases involving consumers between the ages of 18 and 22. In such cases, SCCB will extend services for longer than 6 months as appropriate the age of 22 is reached and other community adult supports can be utilized. In those cases in which the consumer has a developmental disability, partnerships with other state agencies providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities will be explored. A small number of blind and visually impaired persons with non-developmental complications, primarily those with traumatic brain injuries or mental health issues occurring after age 21, might benefit from supported employment services. Generally, however, funding for services extending beyond eighteen (18) months to such persons is not available. In such cases, SCCB staff will assist the consumer in identifying possible resources for the ongoing support, such as developing a PASS (Plan to Achieve Self Sufficiency). The Regional Director in charge of the SE program, will monitor staff and consumer progress, so that eligible clients do, in fact, obtain the services they require. Continued training regarding Supported Employment services is provided to counselors, statewide. SCCB is working on developing CRP contracts with private providers of job coaching and related services. Contracts are developed on behalf of individuals with the most significant disabilities with both private and public providers who are actively seeking suitable work placements for them in integrated settings. We expect to serve approximately 12 SE consumers in the upcoming FY.

This screen was last updated on Jun 16 2014 11:45AM by sasclyonj