ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

Published February 16, 2017.   Print   Print preview   Export to MS Word   Export to Excel  

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration State Plan for Fiscal Year 2015 (submitted FY 2014)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Assistant Director, Employment and Rehabilitation Services

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

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

Assistant Director, Employment and Rehabilitation Services

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

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

State Plan Certified By

As the authorized signatory identified above, I hereby certify that I will sign, date and retain in the files of the designated state agency/designated state unit Section 1 of the Preprint, and separate Certification of Lobbying forms (Form ED-80-0013; available at 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 J. Apperson

Title of SignatoryAssistant Director, Employment and Rehabilitation Services

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 2015Yes

Comments:

The Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (AZRSA) assures RSA that no later than September 30, 2015, it will:• continue to maintain membership in the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) that meets the criteria set forth in Section 105 of the act, as required in Section 101(a)(21)(ii), so that AZRSA can work with the SRC to fulfill the responsibilities listed in Section 101(a)(21)(ii).• complete the remaining interagency agreements or other mechanisms for interagency coordination with public institutions of higher education (IHEs) in the state for the provision of VR services in accordance with Section 101 (a)(8)(B) and 34 CFR 361.53(d).AZRSA also assures RSA that it will provide quarterly reports of progress on the activities related to the completion of these assurances.AZRSA will complete a Comprehensive Needs Assessment that addresses all the requirements found in 34 CFR 361.29 no later than September 20, 2015.

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryJames J. Apperson

Title of SignatoryAssistant Director, Employment and Rehabilitation Services

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

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. No

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

1. SRC recommends that Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (AZRSA) continue to focus their efforts to increase awareness and outreach of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services to individuals with disabilities (including a broad spectrum of disability populations), while highlighting the importance of placement on the Order of Selection waiting list.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to continue to promote awareness of VR services and to conduct outreach efforts in the community in general as well as to specific target groups from underserved populations. As a component of these activities, the importance of placement on the Order of Selection waiting list will be an integral component of the information provided to assure that there is awareness of the impact that not applying, regardless of a waitlist, may have on the timeliness of services to eligible individuals.

2. SRC recognizes and encourages the maintenance of the AZRSA collaborative efforts regarding youth transitioning from school to work as it relates to the VR Program, Department of Education (DOE), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS), and American Indian Programs using protocol and school to work contracts. SRC recommends the AZRSA maintain collaborative efforts of VR representatives fully participating in joint opportunities at the state and local level through the Arizona and National Community of Practice forums (AzCoPT), the Secondary Transition Mentoring Project (STMP), and the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center Institute, which is designed to promote stakeholder work to identify emerging practices that could be utilized in Arizona.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to continue to maintain as well as enhance and expand its collaborative efforts in regards to our transition school to work service agreements with secondary educational programs in the state of Arizona. AZRSA also agrees to continue to collaborate on other joint opportunities and to enhance this participation by encouraging staff to take part, specifically in STMP activity.

3. SRC recommends that AZRSA involve the SRC in the development of the AZRSA Strategic Plan and communicate with the SRC on the implementation of the revised plan.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to include SRC representation in strategic planning sessions and to communicate to the SRC the implementation of the RSA strategic plan.

4. SRC recommends that AZRSA provide SRC with updates of the development of the ‘performance report card/scorecard for providers.’

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to provide SRC with the results and findings of performance related to providers as they become available. AZRSA is currently building a contracts monitoring unit to provide richer and more concise data as a comparison for potential reports related to vendor performance. This will be used in conjunction with other data to provide a well-rounded scorecard. Exploration of the legality of disseminating this data as well as analysis of the appropriate way to compile this data will continue as AZRSA moves forward with this score card.

5. SRC recommends that AZRSA make efforts to identify and alleviate Vocational Rehabilitation Program service provision barriers in Arizona in order that services are distributed equally statewide.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to continue to assess the state in terms of the availability of vendors who could provide services to clients. AZRSA will continue its attempts to recruit vendors for contracts and service provision that are able and willing to provide the services in rural areas where deficits have been identified. AZRSA will also continue to explore methods to incentivize vendors to expand services to rural areas and to aid in the development of service providers in rural areas.

6. SRC recommends that AZRSA utilize and consider SRC Provider Survey responses for AZRSA strategic planning.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to utilize the SRC Provider Survey when assessing areas in need of change and strategic action steps as they relate to our interactions with vendors and the community during the development of that AZRSA strategic plan.

7. SRC acknowledges AZRSA efforts to approach the mandated rehabilitation rate, and recommends that AZRSA meet Federal Standards and Indicators and inform SRC of strategies being implemented.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to continue its efforts to meet the Federal Standards and Indicators. AZRSA also agrees to report to the SRC on a regular basis the strategies and efforts being made as well as any progress or regression related to all Federal Standards and Indicators.

8. SRC recommends that AZRSA continue to maintain partnerships with current Project 121 American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs in Arizona and identify strategies to partner with those tribes that do not have existing Project 121 Programs.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to maintain partnerships and formal agreements with the current Project 121 Programs. AZRSA also agrees to continue to develop and implement strategies to partner with other tribes in the state of Arizona in relation to Vocational Rehabilitation Services. AZRSA will provide the SRC with periodic reports of the progress of these efforts.

9. SRC recommends that AZRSA involve SRC representation in the development and provide updates on the implementation of the Federal Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Regional Work Plan.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to provide the SRC with regular status updates regarding the TACE Center Regional Plan as it relates to training and technical assistance.

10. SRC recommends AZRSA identify collaborative outreach efforts to clients and community, as well as staff, in accordance with the current AZRSA Vision Statements.

Agency Response

AZRSA agrees to further its outreach efforts to clients and the community. AZRSA anticipates that methods for accomplishing this will be integrated into the AZRSA strategic plan.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 1:22PM by saazdeerec

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 Aug 2 2013 1:25PM by saazdeerec

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

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

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

The Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (AZRSA) has the following cooperative agreements with agencies NOT in the Statewide Workforce Investment System:

1. Persons with Serious Mental Illness (SMI): Intergovernmental Agreement between AZRSA and the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services. This program utilizes a match grant funding mechanism to assist in the drawdown of federal funds.

This agreement coordinates services to mutual clients, assigning VR counselors to work with behavioral health clinical teams throughout the state in order to enhance service delivery and customer satisfaction in the provision of customized employment and vocational services.

2. Tribal Agreements: Memorandum of Understanding with the American Indian VR Program with the Navajo Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Tribe, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Fort Mojave Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Tribe.

These agreements are for coordination and cooperation between AZRSA and these Section 121 recipients for VR services.

3. Persons with Developmental Disabilities: Agreement with the Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

This agreement provides for the cooperation and coordination of the referral process and provision of services to persons with developmental disabilities that can benefit from VR services, who will require ongoing employment support from DDD.

4. Veterans Administration: Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program.

This agreement provides for the cooperation and coordination of service between AZRSA and the Veterans Administration for disabled veterans.

5. Comprehensive Disability Related Services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired: AZRSA contracts with seven vendors who provide comprehensive adjustment services to youth in transition and adults who have visual impairments.

This agreement provides comprehensive services that include mobility training, communication skills training, personal and home management instruction, use of assistive technology, plus training in self-advocacy necessary for a successful transition to the world of work. This program utilizes a match grant funding mechanism to assist in the drawdown of federal funds.

6. The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Specialist Project: In partnership with the Arizona Governor’s Council on Spinal and Head Injury.

The purpose of the project is to create and implement seamless transitions for clients with TBI from AZRSA’s Independent Living Rehabilitation Services program or from other referral sources (providers, hospitals, other VR counselors, etc.) to the VR program. The intent is to improve the quality of services and supports for persons with TBI for whom employment is the goal. This will be accomplished through the increased knowledge and expertise of counselors.

7. Youth with Brain Injury Transition Pilot Program (YBITPP): In partnership with the Arizona Governor’s Council on Spinal and Head Injury.

The pilot program is designed to assist youth with a brain injury to gain the confidence and acquire the skills and competencies necessary to successfully transition to adulthood and the world of work. The YBITPP is intended to be offered to the youth over a four year period beginning after the completion of their freshman year in high school and ending when the youth graduates from high school.

8. Persons with Developmental Disabilities within the Foster Care System: Memorandum of Understanding with DDD.

The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to enhance program delivery methods and provide customized employment services to mutual (DDD/RSA) clients within the foster care system. Coordination, cooperation and collaboration between agencies will be facilitated by dedicated AZRSA staff positions in an effort to continue to provide and expand a continuum of comprehensive vocational services to effectively serve the identified population. This program utilizes a match grant funding mechanism to assist in the drawdown of federal funds.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 1:26PM by saazdeerec

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

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

The vision for the AZRSA Interagency Service Agreement (ISA) is “to ensure a smooth and successful transition of students with disabilities to meaningful, gainful, and sustained employment, education, and community living.” The general purpose of the ISA is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration between Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and the Public Education Agencies (PEA).

The Interagency Service Agreement serves to establish a statewide, interagency system of transition services in order to facilitate service provision in the following areas:

1. Technical assistance and consultation2. Outreach and identification of students3. Referral of individuals4. Joint planning5. Scope of individualized services6. Relationship management.

Under the umbrella of the ISA, AZRSA provides coordinated transition services as outlined above through informal agreements known as Protocol. AZRSA also develops Third Party Cooperative Arrangements (TPCA) with PEAs to provide enhanced transition services. Enhanced transition services exceed those offered by the PEA that are available to any student. The TPCAs are commonly known as Transition from School to Work (TSW) programs. Both the TSW and Protocol programs adhere to the vision and purpose stated in the ISA.

AZRSA works to engage a student as early as possible within their high school experience for the purpose of developing an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) before the student exists school. AZRSA operates under an order of selection; however, students not eligible for immediate services will be offered community resources and technical assistance for transition planning.

I. Both AZRSA transition programs address technical assistance and outreach to PEAs in a similar manner.

A. Technical Assistance and Consultation

AZRSA provides technical assistance and consultation throughout the transition process in order to identify appropriate school to post school activities and services as outlined in the ISA in the following manner:

1. Provide guidance and training to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of personnel involved in providing transition services at both state and local levels.

2. Increase the awareness of educational and social service resources and informal and formal supports, which will improve the quality of services delivery.

3. Provide networking opportunities essential to establishing, building and enhancing interagency relationships and partnerships.

4. Encourage personnel to develop and implement consistent procedures on how they will consult and provide technical assistance to all parties involved.

B. Outreach

AZRSA local VR staff will work with PEA personnel to identify students with disabilities who may need and could benefit from VR services in order to develop a youth transition plan prior to exit from school. Outreach efforts to students may include:

1. Provision of brochures, flyers, informational letters and/or VR orientation videos to explain VR program and the role the VR program plays in transition planning.

2. Explanation of VR referral procedures.

3. Information about special joint programs available.

4. PEAs will be considered the lead agency; however, ongoing support will be necessary from partner agencies.

II. Transition planning and roles/ responsibilities of AZRSA staff and PEA staff vary according to the program selected by the PEA for implementation.

A. Roles and Responsibilities

1. Protocol

a. Coordinated Transition Planning-

i. Informational presentations to parents and students about VR.

ii. Identification of students who will be in need of VR involvement to meet post-secondary goals. iii. AZRSA will make eligibility decisions to allow proper planning and IPE development prior to school exit.

iv. Coordination of IPE development and vocational IEP with all community partners (i.e. DDD, Behavioral Health).

v. Implementation of IPE services commence when appropriate for each student resulting in seamless transition from high school to post-secondary goals.

vi. AZRSA will not duplicate services/activities mandated by IDEA.

vii. PEA will develop plan for transition services mandated by IDEA. AZRSA will provide technical assistance if needed. b. Financial Responsibilities

i. Funds are not transferred between PEAs and AZRSA

2. TPCA/ TSW

a. Coordinated Transition Planning- in addition to Protocol planning activities

i. Services provided by PEAs will assist students to meet AZRSA goals.

ii. Both AZRSA and PEAs have dedicated and qualified staff to provide services outlined within the TPCA.

iii. AZRSA staff will collaborate with other agencies to incorporate appropriate elements from other youth transition plans in the IPE.

iv. PEA develops a methodology for a program that integrates vocational services (i.e. career exploration, work readiness, independent living skills instruction) needed to overcome disability related barriers to post-secondary goals of students that are recipients of services from RSA.

v. AZRSA/PEA will develop, establish and coordinate new transition services and expand and/or modify the existing services to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities necessary for the achievement of the objectives stated in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and in their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

b. Financial Responsibilities

i. PEA will provide non- federal dollars to AZRSA.

ii. AZRSA will use these funds to generate Federal Basic Support dollars for the purpose of funding RSA personnel, PEA personnel and other costs for the provision of vocational services agreed upon by both parties in TPCA.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 1:27PM by saazdeerec

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.

Partnership Building

AZRSA is reviewing and enhancing its relationship with local Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) providers as valued partners.  AZRSA administration continues to meet quarterly with CRP providers.  These meetings are intended to improve the relationships and partnerships between AZRSA and the CPR providers. 

AZRSA has developed and implemented Employer Coordinator positions to assist in the development of effective partnerships among AZRSA administration, staff, and providers.  Employer Coordinators will serve as a conduit for information dissemination as well as a provider of technical assistance to both AZRSA staff and provider staff with regard to current employment forecasts and “hot jobs” in addition to assistance with connecting providers with employers who are interested working through AZRSA to place individuals with disabilities. 

Partners in Building and Maintaining a Network of Services and Programs

AZRSA has three active Partnership Plus agreements with Employment Networks (ENs) within the context of the Social Security Administration Ticket to Work (TTW) program.  These agreements are designed to establish an understanding of the referral process flow from agency to agency for individuals who have a TTW.  AZRSA is also promoting the use of these agreements to Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) providers who function as ENs encouraging them to become involved in the provision of extended supports to clients after they have met an employment outcome with services from AZRSA. AZRSA has contracts with many private, non-profit community rehabilitation providers throughout the state in an effort to meet the service needs of clients on a statewide basis. 

AZRSA developed two additional contracts which utilize a grant matching mechanism to assist in drawing down federal grant dollars.  A 21.3% – 25% non-federal dollar match per invoice is required from the contractor in order to assist in drawing additional federal funding. These match contracts have been made with 27 different private community rehabilitation providers to provide Work Adjustment Training and Neuro-Rehabilitation services.

This screen was last updated on Aug 29 2014 5:49PM by Kristen Mackey

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

Supported Employment Services

AZRSA collaborates with for-profit and non-profit Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) providers to ensure that the capacity to serve Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) clients who need supported employment services is available within the community. AZRSA also collaborates with state agencies such as the Division of Development Disabilities (DDD) and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as well as entities within the client’s own support network to identify resources for individuals with significant disabilities who are in need of supported employment services. These collaborations include assisting existing programs to be as integrated and productive as possible. Ongoing services continue to be sustained by service contracts.

Concern with continuity of services for clients has led AZRSA to strongly encourage providers of supported employment services to also contract with agencies who are responsible for providing extended supported employment services. To the extent possible, AZRSA works to create a seamless transition from VR-supported employment services to extended supported employment services paid by/or through these other agencies. Title XIX waivers allow the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) and the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to pay for such services. This combination of funding has permitted a much greater number of joint clients to benefit from services.

AZRSA has established three Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with local providers for the provision of ongoing Partnership Plus services. AZRSA is also working with many provider agencies to encourage them to become Employment Networks (EN) through the Social Security Ticket to Work (TTW) program. This work will provide opportunities for these agencies, within the context of Partnership Plus, to provide extended supports following the conclusion of AZRSA services to a client who is a TTW holder.

Extended Supported Employment Services

Collaboration exists between AZRSA and the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services, the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Councils of Government (COG), and statewide EN’s to ensure ongoing employment supports are available to those successfully rehabilitated clients of the VR program who need the supports.

Collaboration with the ADHS/DBHS

AZRSA has an ongoing intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the ADHS/DBHS to serve individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI). This IGA contains joint vision and mission statements and sets overall policy for services to clients receiving services from both agencies. The IGA emphasizes the relationship between mental health and work and the need for both agencies to integrate the concept of work into everything that is done for, and with, the clients. ADHS is contributing funding to the cost of of services. This financial contribution will assist RSA in drawing down of federal funds for services.

Collaboration with the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities

Long-standing collaborative efforts have been in place for well over twenty years between AZRSA and the DDD intended to meet the employment needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. Employment related services are coordinated with the DDD under a joint agreement that describes mutual roles and responsibilities. Coordination of services is accomplished at the local VR counselor/DDD support coordinator level. Only time-limited VR supported employment services are provided by AZRSA.

Collaboration within DES and with the Councils of Government (COG)

AZRSA works within the Department of Economic Security (DES) and with local COG’s in the planning process for the use of Social Services Block Grant resources. AZRSA provides assistance to local COG’s during SSBG planning periods by providing information on current client needs as well as, data from the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment as well as service/provider details. AZRSA manages the resources allocated for extended employment support services ensuring funds are utilized to support individuals with the most significant disabilities who have successfully completed their VR program and are in need of extended employment supports. AZRSA contracts with community rehabilitation programs to provide extended support services and monitors providers to ensure a high level of quality in services and contract compliance.

Collaboration with Employment Networks

AZRSA currently has Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements in place with three Employment Networks (ENs) to provide ongoing employment support for Ticket to Work holders. These ENs operate within the context of the Partnership Plus program to utilize TTW benefits and EN payment structures for the purpose of extended supports. AZRSA continues its efforts to promote and establish new ENs as well as formulate and solidify formal agreements with ENs for the provision of extended supports.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 1:30PM by saazdeerec

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

AZRSA currently utilizes two systems to track personnel. The Human Resources Information Solution (HRIS) is maintained by the Arizona Department of Economic Security; AZRSA maintains an internal tracking system to collect personnel information as well. Both systems contain current information on AZRSA staff regarding hire dates, personnel actions, diversity information, plans to meet qualified standards (if necessary) and professional certification measures. Reports can be designed for many purposes including: the determination of the number of staff currently meeting qualified staff standards, determination of those staff that are in the process of becoming qualified staff, projection of retirement dates, assess affirmative action criteria, and assist in manpower planning.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Total Number of Staff 246 42 61
2 Rehabilitation Services Specialists III (RS III)(V 180 35 45
3 Rehabilitation Program Representatives 4 1 0
4 Rehabilitation Supervisors 27 3 7
5 Rehabilitation Service Technician 35 3 9
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 University of Arizona – Bachelor 61 0 0 16
2 University of Arizona – Master 49 14 0 3
3 University of Arizona – Doctorate 13 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

University of Arizona (U of A) is currently the only state university that offers Rehabilitation Counseling degree programs. AZRSA continues to maintain its longstanding Intergovernmental Agreement with the U of A to facilitate the preparation and retention of qualified personnel.

AZRSA coordinates with Region IX Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE), operated through the U of A and San Diego State University, to provide training on various subjects in an effort to continue the education, preparation and retention of qualified staff. Currently, TACE is addressing the topics of Applied Ethics and the Theory and Practice of Motivational Interviewing. TACE Institutes take place three times a year in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson to facilitate attendance.

Recruitment of individuals with disabilities and individuals from minority backgrounds continues to be an ongoing priority. Strategies which encourage recruitment of individuals with disabilities and those of minority background continue to be sought out and implemented when appropriate. AZRSA is committed to providing all appropriate accommodations to staff members with disabilities in order to facilitate effective and conducive working environments. In order to accommodate all staff needs, information is disseminated in accessible format and is provided to staff members who are blind or visually impaired prior to meetings. Streamlined processes for requesting interpreters have been developed in order to expedite requests for interpreters at meetings and assure that the preferred type of translator is available for meetings.

 

DES currently utilizes an online recruiting and application system which provides online access to current job openings. AZRSA participates in job fairs statewide, holding job fairs specific to AZRSA, as well as participating in national job bank postings. Managers and supervisors are encouraged to recruit and encourage qualified applicants to view potential job openings at this online site (national job bank postings). AZRSA works closely with state personnel staff to ensure qualified applicants are identified and placed on the certified hire lists. All potential new hires are made aware of the necessity of meeting qualified staff standards within six years of hire prior to first day of employment. Failure to provide documentation each year indicating progress toward meeting qualified staff standards may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Recruitment and retention strategies continue to be a major part of AZRSA’s strategic plan.

AZRSA considers it a priority to hire and retain personnel who meet national standards for rehabilitation counseling. The Joint Committee on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Education and Experience standards has been adopted by AZRSA as the qualified staff standard for rehabilitation professionals. All managers, supervisors and professional staff are aware of the requirements needed to meet qualified staff standards. New personnel are expected to meet the staff standards by becoming qualified and eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam within six years of initial hire date. New personnel not meeting the requirements will be required to read and sign an Employee Education Agreement indicating they intend to meet qualified staff standards within six years of hire. Survey results are compiled on an annual basis to review and assure compliance with qualified staff standards and assess the recruitment and retention needs of qualified staff standards.

AZRSA and U of A have continued to maintain an Intergovernmental Agreement since 1990 in order to provide both a complete Master’s program in Rehabilitation Counseling as well as stand-alone graduate courses for personnel who require supplemental courses in order to meet the qualified staff standards. A liaison position was created within AZRSA in efforts to improve and streamline communication and processes between AZRSA and U of A. This has resulted in the increased enrollment of AZRSA employees in U of A courses, improved communication between U of A and AZRSA through the formulation of quarterly meetings, and the improved ability of AZRSA to track employee progress in meeting Qualified Staff Standards.

In 2012, U of A merged their School Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling programs into a new 60-credit hour program called Counseling and Mental Health. Students can now obtain a degree in Counseling and Mental Health with a specialty in Rehabilitation Counseling. The Rehabilitation Counseling program remains Comprehensive Orientation Rehabilitation and Education (CORE) accredited and students will be eligible to become CRC as well as meet the educational requirements to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). U of A is also pursuing the Council on Accreditation of Counseling-Related Education Programs (CACREP) accreditation in Mental Health Counseling for the new 60 credit program.

AZRSA supports individuals in obtaining professional certification reflecting qualified staff standards by offering reimbursement for the payment of exam fees upon notice of successful completion of the CRC. AZRSA also reimburses for CRC renewal certification. Trainings which offer CRC Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits are offered at no cost to the employee throughout the year.

 

Each new hire attends an in-depth CORE training which provides information specific to the position to acclimate the new hire to the agency and job duties. Professional and paraprofessional new hires receive extensive training in order to learn foundational information on topics such as the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Workforce Investment Act, state policy and appropriate service provision. Topics such as client engagement techniques, client informed choice, relationship management, disability awareness and electronic case management instruction are also presented. Currently, new employee curriculum is being updated and enhanced to better prepare counselors for meeting the needs of AZRSA clients. Once enhancements are complete, current staff will be required to participate in the revised Eligibility and IPE Development trainings. Staff will be given the opportunity to re-train in other areas as needed.

AZRSA provides conferences and in-service trainings in a number of areas to support the continued development of professional and paraprofessional staff. Continuing education is available for those who are maintaining licensure or accreditation.

 

In order to best serve applicants who have Limited English Proficiency, several mechanisms are in place. The Arizona State Personnel System facilitates the recruitment of bilingual qualified staff. Efforts continue to result in the increase of the number of employees who speak languages other than English. All staff have been trained statewide on “Limited English Proficiency” via computer based training, in addition to receiving supplemental instruction specific to AZRSA Limited English Proficiency policies and procedures. AZRSA currently contracts with several vendors who are able to assist in face-to-face translation/interpretation, language phone line translation/interpretation and has directly hired several sign language interpreters to assist with communication needs. AZRSA has resources through the Designated State Agency (DSA) to assist with the conversion of vital documents into other languages.

Video phones are available in all local offices to provide Video Relay Services (VRS) and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). All AZRSA materials are made available in alternative formats. Each district has access to Braille materials and the ability to provide print material in an alternative format per client and staff request. Staff members are provided with accessible computers, software, note takers, ergonomic equipment and other devices as needed.

AZRSA maintains training sites throughout the state. Each training site is equipped with accessible computers, software and other devices as needed for accommodation purposes. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), American Sign Language (ASL), transliteration interpretation, FM systems, Closed Caption Television (CCTV), Job Access with Speech (JAWS), ZoomText, and other accessible devices are provided at all training sessions.

 

AZRSA works closely with the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services, to provide opportunities to remain current in transition policies and procedures. An Intergovernmental Agreement exists that outlines cross training opportunities between partners. AZRSA and Arizona Department of Education collaborate annually to provide a Transition Conference which serves to bring the community of providers together to learn about national policies and trends. Additionally, AZRSA partners with Arizona Department of Education in providing a web based career information system named Arizona Career Information System (AzCIS) which allows students, families, education professionals and AZRSA staff to collaboratively assist students in developing appropriate and viable career goals.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 1:55PM by saazdeerec

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

AZRSA, in compliance with Section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1992 as amended, has completed the required three year Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA). This survey was formally referred to in Arizona as the Statewide Needs Assessment Project (SNAP). This assessment is designed to, in conjunction with other available data, provide insight for the VR program and the SRC to use in planning and formulating recommendations with a focus of energies within the VR program in Arizona.

The 2013 CSNA was comprised of 36 questions (see Appendix A). These questions included basic demographic queries as well as questions designed to assess needs and service gaps as they relate to persons with disabilities in Arizona. The survey was conducted online via Survey Monkey and was also available in hardcopy format upon request. Notification of the survey was provided to all employees of AZRSA as well as to a wide variety of stakeholder groups. These various entities were requested to forward the information on the CSNA to the community. The CSNA was open to whoever wanted to participate regardless of disability status, residency, age, or other factors.

The CSNA was available for completion between February 14, 2013 and March 22, 2013. A total of 343 individuals completed the CSNA during this time period. All questions that were globally relevant were required to be filled out by the respondent for the completion of the survey. Discrete questions designed to elicit information from target respondents, such as Veterans, were optional.

The first 19 questions asked were basic demographic questions. When possible and relevant, information is presented for comparison related to the overall population of Arizona as it aligns with what was asked in the CSNA. In some situations, categories and information being requested in the CSNA did not correlate with the way other, larger and more holistic surveys sorted information and, as such, comparisons were not possible.The remaining 17 questions were focused on assessing the views of respondents related to various settings and how well they believe they are able to integrate into their communities, work sites and in their home as a result of their disability related needs. It is the hope that by comparing the responses to these questions with the demographic results, a picture of the holistic needs of the state in addition to the more regional needs within the state will be shown. Various assumptions and conclusions will not be outlined in great detail here; rather, an interpretation will be formulated by those who need to utilize the data for strategic planning purposes when such planning occurs.

Highlights of this survey:

1. The rehabilitation needs of the most significantly disabled, including their need for supported employment.

The following narrative identifies, by county, the reported areas of need for persons with various disabilities as well as areas where there are potential gaps in service delivery for these individuals. This is laid out in the narrative under Significant Findings to Consider. Specifics related to supported employment are not evident in this data and any assumptions related to supported employment would be conjecture. Future surveys will need to more clearly address this area of exploration.

2. The VR needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities.

The discreet VR needs of individuals with disabilities as described in the context of this survey can be found detailed throughout this narrative. Respondents were queried related to their current or past involvement with VR services as well as their race or ethnicity. Of the respondents to this survey, 54 percent reported receiving in the past or currently receiving VR services. The following displays the percentage of individuals who have taken advantage of VR services or are taking advantage of VR services segmented by race and ethnicity:American Indian or Alaskan Native: 57 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 57 percent, 100 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Asian: 40 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 40 percent, 100 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.Black or African American: 31 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 31 percent, 100 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Hispanic: 44 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 44 percent, 100 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 100 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 100 percent, 100 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

White or Caucasian: 55 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 55 percent, 88 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

These numbers reflect a potential deficit specific to the Black or African American population of individuals with disabilities in the State of Arizona regarding the provision of VR services. Individuals identifying as Black or African American had the lowest reports of involvement with a VR program. This was closely followed by individuals who identified as Asian and Hispanic.

3. The VR needs of individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program. The discreet VR needs of individuals with disabilities as described in the context of this survey can be found detailed throughout this narrative. Respondents were queried related to their current or past involvement with VR services as well as their race or ethnicity. Of the respondents to this survey, 54 percent reported receiving in the past or currently receiving VR services. The following displays the percentage of individuals who have taken advantage of VR services or are taking advantage of VR services segmented by their reported primary disability:

Blindness or visual impairment: 90 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 90 percent, 95 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Deafness and blindness: 100 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 100 percent, 100 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA. It should be noted that this 100 percent consisted of a singular individual and as such the data may be misleading.Deafness or hard of hearing: 53 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 53 percent, 92 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Developmental or cognitive impairments: 51 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 51 percent, 86 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Learning disabilities: 62 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 62 percent, 100 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Mental health or psychiatric disabilities: 58 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 58 percent, 97 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Mental health or psychiatric disabilities: 58 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 58 percent, 97 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

Physical impairments (physical problems or chronic illness): 56 percent of these respondents had or are utilizing AZRSA services and of that 56 percent, 77 percent had or are utilizing them through AZRSA.

These numbers reflect a similar level of engagement for most disability groups aside from “blindness or visual impairment”. Individuals reporting blindness or visual impairment as their primary disability reported a heightened engagement with VR compared to other individuals with disabilities.

4. The VR needs of individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system.

Information specifically related to other components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System is not forthcoming from this study and as such the access to, utilization of, or unmet needs specifically related to persons working with these entities cannot be isolated within the context of this study.

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

This survey provides information by county and disability where individuals report continuing to have barriers in their life related to their disabilities. These are varied but do display a trend that individuals with autism, individuals with developmental or cognitive impairments, and individuals with mental health or psychiatric disabilities are in need of more services throughout the state. This leads to the assumption that there is a need throughout the state to establish, develop, or improve the community rehabilitation programs specific to these disability groups. More discrete and specific data based on each county within AZ can be found in the following synopsis of the study.

Significant Findings for Consideration

As noted above, for the questions designed to assess how individuals viewed the impact of their disabilities on the various areas of their life, the majority of respondents throughout the study commented their lives were affected either “not at all” or “sometimes” by their disability. There were a small number of respondents who indicated their lives were; in fact, impacted by their disability. When viewed from the vantage point of more defined elements of the demographic data, some conclusions can be drawn from the data related to the potential areas of need within the State of Arizona.

The majority of respondents of the survey reported being residents of Maricopa County. This larger sample size (Maricopa County) provided the opportunity for more credible conclusions based on a richer data set than may be drawn from a much smaller sample size of respondents from other areas of the state. The following analysis represents a discussion of program areas in which the available data displayed an area of potential need. This potential need is typified by a majority or significant population reporting their disability as affecting their ability to participate in one of the discrete life areas “most times”. It will also be noted if, in conjunction with a high reporting of “most times”, a large number of “sometimes” responses are displayed.

1. When you are at home, does your disability affect your ability to move from place to place on your own?

In Maricopa County, 38 percent of respondents who reported having a physical impairment also reported that this life area was “most times” affected by their disability. Of the respondents, 45 percent reported that this life area was “sometimes” affected by their disability. These two subtotals combine to a total of a combined 83 percent of all respondents from Maricopa County reported their disability affects their ability to move freely in their home. This can be compared with Pima County results (74 percent responding “sometimes” or “most times”) which also show a heightened number of respondents who reported having a physical impairment and it has impacted this life area.

2. When you are at work, does your disability affect your ability to move from place to place on your own?

In Maricopa County, 33 percent of respondents who reported having a physical impairment reported that this life area was affected by their disability “most times”. Of the respondents 42 percent reported that this life area was “sometimes” affected by their disability. This results in a combined total of 73 percent of all respondents from Maricopa County reporting that their ability to move from place to place in their work environment is affected by their disability.

3. When you are in the community, does your disability affect your ability to move from place to place on your own?

In Maricopa County, 41 percent of respondents who reported having a physical impairment reporting that this life area was affected by their disability “most times”. Of the respondents 41 percent reported that this life area was “sometimes” affected by their disability. This results in a combined total of 82 percent of all respondents from Maricopa County reporting that their ability to move from place to place in the community is affected by their disability. 4. When you are at home, does your disability affect your ability to communicate?

There were no significant results related to this question for respondents reporting “most times”. However, some results from Maricopa County display three potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 56 percent• Developmental or other cognitive disabilities: 40 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 42 percent

5. When you are at work, does your disability affect your ability to communicate?

Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County reporting autism as their primary disability reported that this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 50 percent. Individuals reporting autism as their primary disability reported that this life area was affected 38 percent of their disability “sometimes”.

Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County display some potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 50 percent• Developmental or other Cognitive Disabilities: 40 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 46 percent

From Pima County:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 88 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 67 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Learning Disability: 80 percent

It should also be noted that the one individual from Yavapai County who identified their primary disability as Deafness or Hard of Hearing responded “most times” to this question.

6. When you are in the community, does your disability affect your ability to communicate?There were no significant results related to this question for respondents reporting “most times”. Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County displayed some potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Autism: 50 percent• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 58 percent• Developmental or other Cognitive Disabilities: 40 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 57 percent

From Pima County:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 88 percent; and• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 83 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Learning Disabilities: 60 percent

7. When you are at home, does your disability affect your ability to socialize?

There were no significant results related to this question for respondents reporting “most times”. Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County display potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 39 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 57 percent• Physical Impairments: 38 percent

From Pima County:

• Physical Impairments: 47 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Physical Impairments: 60 percent

8. When you are at work, does your disability affect your ability to socialize?

Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported autism as their primary disability reported this life area was affected “most times”, 62 percent of the time by their disability. Individuals who reported autism as their primary disability reported that this life area was affected 37 percent by their disability “sometimes”.

Also, respondents from Maricopa County who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments responded this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 55 percent.

Secondary to this, some results from Pima County display potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Pima County the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 75 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 83 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Physical Impairments: 56 percent

9. When you are in the community, does your disability affect your ability to socialize?

Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported autism as their primary disability also reported this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 63 percent. Individuals who reported autism as their primary disability reported that this life area was affected 38 percent by their disability “sometimes”.

Also, respondents from Maricopa County who reported having developmental or other cognitive impairments responded that this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 55 percent.

Individuals, who reported a traumatic brain injury as their primary disability, responded this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 57 percent.

From Pima County, individuals who reported their primary disability as mental health or psychiatric disability responded this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 55 percent.

Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County displayed potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 61 percent• Learning Disabilities: 58 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 57 percent• Physical Impairments: 42 percent

From Pima County:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 75 percent• Physical Impairments: 58 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Physical Impairments: 60 percent

From Yuma County:

• Physical Impairments: 100 percent

10. When you are at home, does your disability affect your ability to care for yourself and perform daily tasks?

Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported development or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 40 percent. Individuals who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported this life area was affected 30 percent by their disability “sometimes”.Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County display potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Learning Disabilities: 50 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 48 percent• Physical Impairments: 53 percent

From Pima County:

• Physical Impairments: 74 percent

11. When you are at work, does your disability affect your ability to care for yourself and perform daily tasks?

Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported development or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 40 percent. Individuals who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported this life area was affected 35 percent by their disability “sometimes”.Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County display potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Learning Disabilities: 42 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 39 percent• Physical Impairments: 45 percent

From Pima County:

• Physical Impairments: 74 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Physical Impairments: 56 percent

12. When you are in the community, does your disability affect your ability to care for yourself and perform daily tasks?Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported development or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 40 percent. Individuals who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported that this life area was affected 40 percent by their disability “sometimes”.

Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County display potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Autism: 75 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 52 percent• Physical impairments: 51 percent

From Pima County:

• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 67 percent• Physical impairments: 74 percent

13. When you are at home, does your disability affect your ability to set goals, plan and make responsible choices?Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported autism as their primary disability reported this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 75 percent.

Also, from Maricopa County, respondents who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments responded this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 50 percent. Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County displayed potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Mental Health of Psychiatric Disabilities: 52 percent

From Pima County:

• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 100 percent

For Yavapai County:

• Physical impairments: 50 percent

14. When you are at work, does your disability affect your ability to set goals, plan and make responsible choices?Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported autism as their primary disability reported this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 63 percent.

Forty percent of individuals who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported this life area was affected by their disability “sometimes”.

15. When you are in the community, does your disability affect your ability to set goals, plan and make responsible choices?Significantly, respondents from Maricopa County who reported autism as their primary disability reported this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 63 percent.

Also, from Maricopa County, respondents who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments responded that this life area was affected by their disability “most times” at a rate of 40 percent. Individuals who reported developmental or other cognitive impairments as their primary disability reported that this life area was affected 40 percent by their disability “sometimes”.Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County displayed potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 59 percent

From Pima County:

• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 100 percent

For Yavapai County:

• Physical impairments: 50 percent

16. In employment settings, does your disability affect your ability to learn and perform new job skills or tasks?

There were no significant results related to this question for respondents reporting “most times”. Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County displayed potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 44 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 45 percent

From Pima County:

• Deafness or Hard of Hearing: 88 percent• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 67 percent• Traumatic Brain Injury: 100 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Physical Impairments: 50 percent

17. Does your disability affect your ability to work your scheduled hours?

There were no significant results related to this question for respondents reporting “most times”. Secondary to this, some results from Maricopa County displayed potential areas where additional focus may be needed. In Maricopa County, the following results for “sometimes” were provided:

• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 45 percent

From Pima County:

• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities: 100 percent

From Yavapai County:

• Physical Impairments: 60 percent

Conclusion

The data collected as a result of administering this survey provides various programmatic insights about the state of services and the needs of the citizens of Arizona regarding disabilities. Conclusions drawn from this data should be developed carefully to ensure that the data being viewed actually appears to be based on a reliable number of respondents.

There are several groups who appear frequently throughout the survey as having unresolved barriers. These groups present a portion of the population where energy related to services should be focused. These groups are persons with:

• Autism;• Developmental or other Cognitive Disabilities; and• Mental Health or Psychiatric Disabilities.

Individuals who listed deafness or hard of hearing and physical impairments also displayed a heightened level of service needs throughout the state. This information provides some guidance as to where the VR program as well as other agencies who work with individuals with disabilities can focus their energies. While the information from this survey is useful, there are areas where improvement needs to be made for future surveys to continue to reach for more precise and representative data:

1. A larger and more diverse sample size would have benefited the survey. 2. Promoting the survey in Spanish and potentially other languages to ensure that the maximum number of people possible have the opportunity to fully participate in this process.3. Refining the data elements to more closely align with other federal reports to ensure that proper comparisons of data can be made from the survey. 4. Use of other more qualitative methods of gathering information such as focus groups or individual interviews in conjunction with quantitative survey data would have provided a richer picture of the needs and service gaps in Arizona.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 2:04PM by saazdeerec

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
1 Title I $34,547,687 13,545 $2,550
1 Title VI $485,967 316 $1,537
2 Title I $2,043,143 796 $2,566
2 Title VI $0 0
3 Title I $557,221 218 $2,556
3 Title VI $0 0
Totals   $37,634,018 14,875 $2,530

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 2:07PM by saazdeerec

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

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

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

Recommendations from the SRC were provided and considered in the development of the goals and priorities. The following Goals and Priorities are in line with SRC’s recommendations. PRIORITY 1 Goal 1: Write and implement 10 percent more Individualized Plans for Employment in FFY 2015 than are written in FFY 2014.

Goal 2: Increase the rehabilitation rate to 55.8 percent by September 30, 2015.

Goal 3: Increase the percentage of clients who have their eligibility determined within 60 days of application for Vocational Rehabilitation Services to 80 percent in FFY 2015.

Goal 1: Increase the number of applications from individuals with a serious mental illness by 25 percent from the previous year in FFY 2015.

Goal 2: Increase the number of successful employment outcomes for clients with a serious mental illness by 35 percent from the previous year in FFY 2015.PRIORITY 3 Goal 1: Increase the number of cooperative agreements with post-secondary schools that include a funding match component to 10 by September 30, 2015.

Goal 2: Increase the number of cooperative agreements with secondary schools that include a funding match component to 28 by September 30, 2015.  

This screen was last updated on Aug 29 2014 5:54PM by Kristen Mackey

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

Justification for order of selection

Order of Selection is an organized, equitable method for serving groups of individuals with disabilities in a priority order if all eligible individuals who apply cannot be served.  The criteria used to establish this Order of Selection consist of the number of functional limitations to employment, caused by one or more disabling conditions in combination with the number of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services needed to address these limitations, and the amount of time necessary for completion of service.

AZRSA does not expect to have the ability to open Priority Categories 2 or 3 in FFY 2015.  

 

Description of Priority categories

Definitions

An individual with disabilities which does not seriously limit one or more functional capacities in the context of an employment outcome; and who is not expected to require multiple services over an extended period of time.  

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

Individuals in Priority Category I are selected for services before all other individuals with disabilities, then Priority Category II and III.  As funding allows, individuals will be released from the waitlist based on priority category and oldest date of application. 

 

Service and outcome goals and the time within which the goals will be achieved

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 13,545 1,092 1,140 19.07 months $34,547,687

This screen was last updated on Aug 29 2014 5:57PM by Kristen Mackey

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.

Priority Increase Employment Opportunities for Individuals requiring Supported Employment

Goal 1 AZRSA will serve 320 individuals utilizing Title VI Part B funding during FFY 2015.

Goal 2 AZRSA will successfully rehabilitate 84 individuals utilizing supported employment funding during FFY 2015.

Goal 3 Write and implement 10 percent more Individualized Plans for Employment that will utilize supported employment funding in FFY 2015 than are written in FFY 2014.

In an effort to increase employment opportunities, AZRSA promotes and enhances collaboration with stakeholders and partners. AZRSA works closely with the partners to provide a seamless delivery system for supported employment services and extended supported employment services by creating a network of mutual providers.

The Supported Employment program is integrated into the VR process. Title VI, Part B monies are available to all staff for use with individuals who will need ongoing, long-term employment support services in an integrated setting earning at least minimum wage. Many of those individuals will be receiving their extended supported employment services through other community partners such as the Department of Behavioral Health Services or the Division of Developmental Disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 2:12PM by saazdeerec

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.

• Continue cooperative programs with regional behavioral health authorities, tribal entities (including Native American programs), the Department of Education, as well as public education agencies.• Provide transition-related information for students, their families and pertinent school personnel through conferences, job fairs, and educational fairs.• Foster collaboration with private and public agencies, employers, and advocacy and community groups.• Continue service integration activities with other Arizona Department of Economic Security (AZDES) organizational units statewide.• Continue participation in the yearly Arizona Disabilities Exposition for networking with disability organizations, advocacy groups, and businesses in the community.• Utilize an updated, comprehensive and efficient electronic case management system.• Continue and increase outreach and marketing to community partners, high schools, colleges, advocacy groups, and the public statewide.• Work with partners to develop pre-vocational services and guidelines regarding the timeliness of referrals.• Expand services to youth, including transition age youth in foster care.

 

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.

• Throughout the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) process, evaluate and provide Assistive Technology (AT) training and devices to VR clients as necessary in order for them to benefit from VR services.• Provide AT equipment such as power-adjustable tables, fully-adjustable ergonomic chairs, computer systems with products such as JAWS, ZoomText, TextHelp, Dragon Naturally Speaking and alternative keyboards and mice, as well as FM systems, TTY, amplified phones, video phones in multiple sites and CCTVs to One-Stop Career Centers across the state.• Continue to educate employers about the benefits of AT and provide technical assistance in the work setting.• Co-sponsor “AT in the Saguaros,” a comprehensive assistive technology conference that educates staff and clients in new advances in AT. • Support a computer lab, as part of “AT in the Saguaros,” for training in the use of the Arizona Virtual One-Stop Internet-based registration and job search databases, using AT products typically found in One-Stop locations. • Offer five comprehensive adjustment programs serving adults who are blind or visually-impaired including both training and provision of AT necessary for employment. Three of these programs also serve transition-age students. The comprehensive adjustment programs also provide other necessary training and evaluation services needed to address the full range of rehabilitation needs for clients.• Increase the availability and use of assistive technology devices to VR clients through the Arizona Technology Access Program (AzTAP).• Explore new innovation and technology that can be used as AT and integrate these into the VR process.

 

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.

• An orientation to VR video, which casted minorities with disabilities, is complete. The video is available in Spanish, ASL, open captioning, and descriptive video for the blind and visually impaired. The video is widely distributed in DVD format to the AZRSA’s community stakeholders, such as Centers for Independent Living, behavioral health agencies, schools, and others. The video is also available on VHS tape and is posted on the AZRSA internet site and can be accessed via the internet through YouTube. Other marketing materials which include the AZRSA VR brochure are also available in Spanish. • A promotional video has been completed and is used for transition youth in order to educate them on the benefits of VR and encourage them to take advantage of VR services. This video is presented with an ethnically diverse cast. The video is available in Spanish, ASL, open captioning, and descriptive video for the blind and visually impaired. The video is available in DVD format.• A marketing plan has been implemented for optimal visibility and outreach to engage individuals with disabilities, individuals with significant disabilities and individuals who also have various minority backgrounds.• Statewide focus groups have been held and will be planned for communities in which the AZRSA offices are located. Vocational Rehabilitation clients, advocates, local agencies, and members of the community with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds are represented. The AZRSA provides interpreters for various languages, including Spanish and ALS. • Memorandums of Understanding have been established by the AZRSA with five of the Section 121-VR Grant projects with some Native American tribes to include: Fort Mojave, Navajo Nation, Tohono O’odham, White Mountain Apache, and Hopi communities. The Memorandums of Understanding articulate the coordination of VR programming for eligible Native Americans with disabilities residing within or near the boundaries of each respective tribal entity. Memorandums of Understanding permit both the Native American VR tribal programs and state VR programs to serve Native American clients under both federal grants when necessary. The increased collaborative activity between AZRSA and the Native American tribes will continue. • The AZRSA will continue collaborative efforts with One-Stop Career Centers to outreach to non-traditional clients into the VR program.

 

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

In order to meet the needs of Arizona’s diverse client population, AZRSA plans to continue identifying needs and providing the resources to fund the programs to meet those needs. The plan will incorporate the results of: a) The 2013 Triennial Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities; b) The Governor’s State Rehabilitation Council Customer and Provider Satisfaction Surveys; and c) The AZRSA Strategic Plan.

Strategies:• Develop an efficient vendor/provider procurement system to ensure qualified suppliers are available to assist the AZRSA in providing effective VR services.• Evaluate performance-based contracts to improve efficiencies in the delivery of employment services.• Redevelop priorities for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs.

 

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

• Provide on-going training and discussion regarding AZRSA policies and evidence-based best practices.• Adopt continuous improvement principles and quality management processes to increase the rehabilitation rate and to improve the quality of employment outcomes. • Ensure quality services by conducting quarterly case reviews, and offering ongoing training to continually improve timeliness and delivery of services to clients.• Conduct studies of unsuccessful closures and develop strategies to decrease numbers of unsuccessful closures. • Provide quality vocational counseling and vocational planning to VR clients for optimal employment outcomes.• Continue to address training and educational needs of AZRSA VR staff to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities in serving clients with various types of disabilities.• Explore the success other vocational programs have had and determine if there are areas AZRSA can borrow from in relation to their tactics and experience.

 

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

• Ensure that the One-Stop Career Centers are fully accessible in all aspects for persons with disabilities. • Make training materials, labor market information, and other print media available in alternative formats such as Braille, large print, or electronic means as requested by the individuals.• Equip all One-Stop Career Centers with a TTY or TTD device and train staff on its use.• Familiarize staff with the telephonic relay service for the deaf and with sign language interpreters on call. • Develop a comprehensive training program for One-Stop Career Center staff to increase disability awareness and improve service accessibility. • Encourage all local and state WIA staff and One-Stop partners to participate in disability awareness training sponsored by the AZRSA to ensure programs and services are accessible to persons with disabilities through the use of assistive technology. • Ensure that each One-Stop Career Center will have, at a minimum, a computer available to customers containing common accessibility devices such as JAWS, Zoom Text, enabled sticky keys, modified keyboards and other input devices. • Train staff on the maintenance and operation of available assistive technology devices.• Develop coordinated projects with WIA partners to improve the employability, employment, and career advancements of persons with disabilities. • Maintain an active partnership with the Employer’s Disability Resource Network, a coalition of employment and rehabilitation organizations who are available to provide information and resources.

 

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

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

Priority 1: Improve Client Outcome:

1. Continue ongoing policy training and discussion highlighting Policy Roundtables and Policy Predicaments Newsletter.2. Increase outreach and coordination with employers to provide quality job placements. 3. Provide ongoing training focused on specific elements of the IPE process.4. Continue to utilize an electronic survey method for the case review process. 5. Coordinate with local employer collaborative programs such as Linkages and Project Search.6. Increase cooperation with One-Stop Career Centers to gain access to a wider employer network. 7. Train consumers on the use of internet resources to expand and enhance their job search skill set. 8. Develop a pilot project to provide more internal job development and placement services. Expand as appropriate. 9. Provide training based on strong needs identified in the training needs assessment.10. Coordinate trainings with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families to understand the unique needs and culture of service members in relationship to employment. 11. Explore job development and placement practices in an effort to increase successful rehabilitations. 12. Monitor and provide support to assist VR counselors in developing and implementing IPE within the 120 day time requirement.13. Utilize the computer based DB101 benefits calculator to assist clients in understanding how employment decisions will impact benefits throughout the vocational rehabilitation process.14. Monitor and provide support to assist VR counselors in accurately completing quality eligibility determinations within the 60 day time requirement.

Priority 2: Enhance Services for Seriously Mentally Ill Individuals in Arizona

1. Increase the physical presence and cooperation of Vocational Rehabilitation counselors for AZRSA in the public mental health clinics throughout the state.2. Increase the number of Vocational Rehabilitation counselors specializing in working with individuals who are seriously mentally ill.3. Provide specialized training to Vocational Rehabilitation counselors regarding psychiatric disorders and the provision of vocational counseling to individuals with a serious mental illness.4. Provide focused experience related to employment and pre-employment skills for clients with serious mental illness.

Priority 3: Expand Match Funding Opportunities for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program

1. Increase outreach and promotion of the Vocational Rehabilitation program to other state and local governmental agencies that work with individuals with disabilities.2. Develop innovative focused programs to serve specific populations that allow an intersecting of services between the Vocational Rehabilitation program and other state and local governmental agencies.3. Continue outreach to secondary schools in Arizona, promoting specialized programing for transition age students that can be provided in the school and in cooperation with AZRSA.4. Explore agreements with public community colleges and universities for cooperative agreements that will benefit mutual clients.5. Continue to work with other programs that target youth with disabilities.6. Incorporate match funding criteria in new contracts for services for vocational rehabilitation clients.

•Support innovation and expansion activities; and

The development and implementation of strategies to improve and expand the provision of vocational rehabilitation services is an ongoing process. As the AZRSA Strategic Plan becomes more viable, strategies will be identified to meet those new and innovative goals. Future priorities and goals with their accompanying strategies will be set as a result of further input from community rehabilitation program providers, councils, stakeholders, and other interested parties.

•Overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program.

See “Strategies” above, and Attachments 4.8(b)(4) and 6.3.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 2:25PM by saazdeerec

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

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

Priority 1: Improve Client Outcomes

Goal 1: Increase the number of successful rehabilitations from 945 in FFY 2011 to 946 in FFY 2012 and 947 in FFY 2013.

Extent Achieved: During FFY 2013 1150 individuals were successfully rehabilitated by AZRSA, far exceeding this goal.

• Strategies Used:

1. Continue ongoing policy training and discussion highlighting Policy Roundtables and Policy Predicaments Newsletter.2. Increase outreach and coordination with employers to provide quality job placements. 3. Provide ongoing training focused on specific elements of the IPE process.4. Develop and utilize a new instrument for the case review process. 5. Coordinate with local employer collaborative programs such as Linkages and Project Search.6. Increase cooperation with One Stop Career Centers to gain access to a wider employer network. 7. In coordination with the Medicare Infrastructure Grant, coordinate the state’s efforts in the “Think Beyond the Label“ campaign. 8. Train consumers on the use of internet resources to expand and enhance their job search skill set. 9. Develop a pilot project to provide more internal job development and placement services. Expand as appropriate. 10. Provide training based on strong needs identified in the training needs assessment.11. Coordinate trainings with Arizona Coalition for Military Families to understand the unique needs and culture of service members in relationship to employment. 12. Explore job development and placement practices in an effort to increase successful rehabilitations. 13. Monitor and provide support to assist VR counselors in developing and implementing IPE within the 120 day time requirement.14. Utilize the computer based DB101 benefits calculator to assist clients in understanding how employment decisions will impact benefits throughout the vocational rehabilitation process.

• Impediments to Achievement: This goal was achieved.

Goal 2: Increase the rehabilitation rate from 36.4 percent in FFY 2011 to 55.8 percent by September 30, 2013.

• Extent Achieved: Strides were made in achieving this goal, raising the rehabilitation rate to 40.39 percent from 36.5 percent in FFY 2012, an increase of 3.89 percent. The overall goal of 55.8 percent was not achieved however in FFY 2013.

• Strategies Used:

1. Continue ongoing policy training and discussion highlighting Policy Roundtables and Policy Predicaments Newsletter.2. Increase outreach and coordination with employers to provide quality job placements. 3. Provide ongoing training focused on specific elements of the IPE process.4. Develop and utilize a new instrument for the case review process. 5. Coordinate with local employer collaborative programs such as Linkages and Project Search.6. Increase cooperation with One Stop Career Centers to gain access to a wider employer network. 7. In coordination with the Medicare Infrastructure Grant, coordinate the state’s efforts in the “Think Beyond the Label“ campaign. 8. Train consumers on the use of internet resources to expand and enhance their job search skill set. 9. Develop a pilot project to provide more internal job development and placement services. Expand as appropriate. 10. Provide training based on strong needs identified in the training needs assessment.11. Coordinate trainings with Arizona Coalition for Military Families to understand the unique needs and culture of service members in relationship to employment. 12. Explore job development and placement practices in an effort to increase successful rehabilitations. 13. Monitor and provide support to assist VR counselors in developing and implementing IPE within the 120 day time requirement.14. Utilize the computer based DB101 benefits calculator to assist clients in understanding how employment decisions will impact benefits throughout the vocational rehabilitation process.

• Impediments to Achievement: During FFY 2013 AZRSA was still recovering from the economic turndown that began in 2007. Loss of experienced staff as well as the loss of several important cooperative agreements had decreased the agency’s ability to work to its full potential. These deficiencies were however beginning to be alleviated as more staff were hired and trained and as new agreements were developed.

Goal 3: Increase the percentage of clients who have their IPE developed within 120 days of eligibility determination or activation from the OOS waiting list from 62.9 percent in FFY 2011 to 80 percent in FFY 2013.

• Extent Achieved: During FFY 2013 the number of IPE’s developed within 120 days of eligibility determination or activation from the OOS waiting list was 62.4 percent, showing a percentage decrease from FFY 2012 of 8.3 percent.

• Strategies Used:

1. Continued emphasis in training for vocational counselors related to the expectations that IPE’s be developed within 120 days.2. Special focus on counselors serving transition age populations regarding the need to develop IPE’s with transition age youth within the 120 day time frame established by AZRSA.3. Monitoring of time frames for IPE development with tools available in the electronic case management system.

• Impediments to Achievement:

1. The dynamic of transition age youth still formulating their ideas surrounding employment and the challenges associated with developing a realistic and full plan with this population in 120 days has created significant challenges in meeting the 120 day criteria.2. Large caseloads for vocational rehabilitation services compounded with the large influxes of clients released from the Order of Selection (OOS) waitlist has created a situation where counselors in general are experiencing difficulty managing their time and maintaining contact with their clients. This in turn led to difficulties completing IPE’s in the expected time frame of 120 days.

Priority 2: Improve Access to Services for Underserved Populations

Goal 1: Increase the percentage of clients with a physical disability as a primary disability served from 19.5 percent of persons served in FFY 2011 to 24.2 percent in FFY 2013.

• Extent Achieved: This goal was not fully achieved although strides were made in achieving the goal. The percent of individuals with a physical disability as a primary disability served in FFY 2013 was 21.97 percent, which is 1.67 percent over the 20.3 percent of this same population served in FFY 2012.

• Strategies Used:

1. Target outreach to community groups serving underserved populations. 2. Increase collaboration with the Section 121- VR programs and reach out to initiate collaborative efforts with other American Indian tribes. 3. Increase training opportunities for AZRSA staff to expand their knowledge, skills and abilities in delivering vocational rehabilitation services to clients with various disabilities.4. Work with Tribal Regional Behavioral Health Authorities to identify potential applicants of the VR program. 5. Work cooperatively with branches of the armed forces to identify potential applicants of the VR program. Attend their Welcome Home Events, Community Re-integration Events and their Stand Down events.

• Impediments to Achievement: The overall fiscal and personnel situation that AZRSA has operated in, in terms of the lack of staff and resources, has hindered outreach efforts in general.

Goal 2 Increase the percentage of American Indian clients served from 3.8 percent in FFY 2011 to 6.8 percent in FFY 2013 in VR programs within the state of Arizona.

• Extent Achieved: This goal was not fully achieved although strides were made in achieving the goal. The percent of American Indian clients served in FFY 2013 was 5.22 percent, which is .42 percent over the 4.8 percent of this same population served in FFY 2012.

• Strategies Used:

1. Target outreach to community groups serving underserved populations. 2. Increase collaboration with the Section 121- VR programs and reach out to initiate collaborative efforts with other American Indian tribes. 3. Increase training opportunities for AZRSA staff to expand their knowledge, skills and abilities in delivering vocational rehabilitation services to clients with various disabilities.4. Work with Tribal Regional Behavioral Health Authorities to identify potential applicants of the VR program.

• Impediments to Achievement: The overall fiscal and personnel situation that AZRSA has operated in, in terms of the lack of staff and resources, has hindered outreach efforts in general.

Priority 3: Increase Employment Opportunities for AZRSA Clients

Goal 1: In FFY 2013 establish and fill 3 employment specialist positions to work with AZRSA staff, clients and community rehabilitation providers related to preparing for employment, engaging employers, and other employment related skills.

• Extent Achieved: During FFY 2013 two employment specialist positions were filled to work with AZRSA staff, clients and community in relation to this goal.

• Strategies Used:

1. Expand AZRSA’s involvement with CSAVR Sponsored National Employment Team.2. Provide and increase disability awareness trainings to employers.3. Target outreach to employers, Chambers of Commerce and other employer organizations throughout the state. 4. Investigate the possibility of re-establishing the Business Leadership Network. 5. Increase cooperation with One Stop Career Centers to gain access to a wider employer network. 6. In coordination with the Medicare Infrastructure Grant, coordinate the state’s efforts in the “Think Beyond the Label” campaign. 7. Increase activity with community service providers to provide more outreach to employers. 8. Engage Employment Networks and other community resources to act as a source of long term supports for clients who need long term supports to remain employed.9. Provide training for AZRSA staff focused on preparing clients for employment.10. Implement job clubs in vocational rehabilitation offices.11. Enhance relationships with WIA partners to ensure potential shared resources are being utilized to their maximum extent.

• Impediments to Achievement: Justification for employment specialists were only approved by DES/DERS/RSA based on one per major region, thus only two employment specialist positions were allowed to be developed and hired.

Goal 2: Increase disability awareness and outreach among employers by engaging in 24 new employers in targeted disability related activities in FFY 2013.

• Extent Achieved: An accurate assessment of the number of new employers engaged in 2013 is not available for reporting although the reported activity from FFY 2012 continued at the same level in FFY 2013.

• Strategies Used:

1. Expand AZRSA’s involvement with CSAVR Sponsored National Employment Team.2. Provide and increase disability awareness trainings to employers.3. Target outreach to employers, Chambers of Commerce and other employer organizations throughout the state. 4. Investigate the possibility of re-establishing the Business Leadership Network. 5. Increase cooperation with One Stop Career Centers to gain access to a wider employer network. 6. In coordination with the Medicare Infrastructure Grant, coordinate the state’s efforts in the “Think Beyond the Label” campaign. 7. Increase activity with community service providers to provide more outreach to employers. 8. Engage Employment Networks and other community resources to act as a source of long term supports for clients who need long term supports to remain employed.9. Provide training for AZRSA staff focused on preparing clients for employment.10. Implement job clubs in vocational rehabilitation offices.11. Enhance relationships with WIA partners to ensure potential shared resources are being utilized to their maximum extent.

• Impediments to Achievement: Lack of a proper or accurate measure and tracking tool makes assessment of the achievement of this goal impossible.

Goal 3: Implement Memos of Understanding with 7 Employment Networks regarding the Ticket To Work Partnership Plus model in FFY 2013

• Extent Achieved: During FFY 2013 three employment networks were engaged and agreed to sign and participate in the Partnership Plus model. • Strategies Used:

1. Increase activity with community service providers to provide more outreach to employers. 2. Engage Employment Networks and other community resources to act as a source of long term supports for clients who need long term supports to remain employed.

• Impediments to Achievement:

1. Difficulty identifying Employment Networks who were actually active in the state of Arizona due to outdated and inaccurate information maintained by the agency Maximus.2. Loss of key staff responsible for implementing the Partnership Plus agreements for AZRSA.

 

Goal 1: AZRSA will serve 254 individuals utilizing Title VI Part B funding during FFY 2013.

• Extent Achieved: 458 individuals with supported employment needs served during FFY 2013.

• Strategies:

1. Continued collaboration and outreach with DDD and BHS agencies in order to effectively serve individuals with supported employment needs.2. Provided periodic training for RSA staff thereby increasing staff knowledge of collaborative efforts between RSA and DDD/BHS and service availability.3. Periodic analysis of use of Title VI, Part B funds and identification of trends and needs in order to best serve clients and/or identify additional opportunities.

• Impediments to Achievement: None, this goal was met.

Goal 2: AZRSA will successfully rehabilitate 76 individuals during FFY 2013.

• Extent Achieved: 40 individuals with supported employment needs were rehabilitated.

• Strategies Used:

1. Continued efforts to retain qualified vendors who provide effective supported employment services. 2. Encouraged vendors to continue to advocate for supported employment services to employers. 3. Continued strong collaborative efforts with DDD and BHS to ensure seamless transition to extended support services.

• Impediments to Achievement: Lack of sources for long term funding for individuals in need of supported employment has been a factor in the agency’s ability to successfully close some individuals. Our agency was struggling in FFY 2013 with accurately identifying individuals who should be utilizing this funding source due to errors in our case management system.

Goal 3: In FFY 2013 Implement Memos of Understanding with 7 Employment Networks regarding the Ticket To Work Partnership Plus model which include opportunities for these Employment Networks to agree to act as long term supports for supported employment clients who are successfully closed from the AZRSA vocational rehabilitation program and who are Ticket To Work holders.

• Extent Achieved: Extent Achieved: During FFY 2013 three employment networks were engaged and agreed to sign and participate in the Partnership Plus model.

1. Increase activity with community service providers to provide more outreach to employers. 2. Engage Employment Networks and other community resources to act as a source of long term supports for clients who need long term supports to remain employed.

• Impediments to Achievement:

1. Difficulty identifying Employment Networks who were actually active in the state of Arizona due to outdated and inaccurate information maintained by the agency Maximus.2. Loss of key staff responsible for implementing the Partnership Plus agreements for AZRSA.

 

Indicator 1.1: Change in Employment Outcomes

At the end of FFY 2013, AZRSA exceeded the goal of indicator 1 by 6 cases. Indicator 1.2 - Percent of Employment Outcomes

At the end of FFY 2013, AZRSA did not meet the goal of indicator 1.2 by 15.4 percent. Factors affecting this goal was the number of counselor vacancies within the program, the general economic condition in the State of Arizona and the lack of job opportunities in the rural areas. However, it should be noted by the remaining indicators that the majority of the employments achieved are considered quality outcomes. AZRSA has historically not met this indicator.

Indicator 1.3 - Competitive Employment

At the end of FFY 2013, AZRSA exceeded the goal of indicator 1.3 by 26.9 percent.

Indicator 1.4 - Significant Disability

At the end of FFY 2013, AZRSA exceeded the goal of indicator 1.4 by 36.9 percent.

Indicator 1.5 - Earnings Ratio

At the end of FFY 2013 AZRSA met this indicator.

Indicator 1.6 - Self Support

At the end of FFY 2013, AZRSA exceeded this indicator by 13.2 percent.

Indicator 2.1 - Ratio of Minority to Non- Minority Service Rate

At the end of FFY 2013, AZRSA exceeded the goal of indicator 2.1 by 13.0%. AZRSA has consistently achieved this indicator.

 

I &E funding was used, in accordance with federal regulations, to provide funding for allowable activities for the Governor’s State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Governor’s Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). During FFY 2013, the SRC utilized a budget of $1608.51 from I & E funding to carry out their allowed for activities. During FFY 2012 the SILC utilized $204,758.74 of I & E funding to carry out their allowed-for activities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 2:28PM by saazdeerec

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

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

The Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration contracts with Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) providers to ensure availability of supported employment services for VR clients. AZRSA coordinates with the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) to ensure mutually enrolled clients with identified supports have access to long-term, extended supported employment services after successfully completing their rehabilitation program.

Through the use of limited Social Service Block Grant (SSBG) monies, separate from Title I funding, the AZRSA supports a limited number of individuals who require extended supported employment services. AZRSA is working with local COG SSBG planning committees to allocate more funds for this service.

QUALITY OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

The AZRSA has been involved with supported employment since receipt of the Supported Employment Systems Change Grant in 1985. Efforts over the years have consistently focused on maintaining options for individuals with significant disabilities and promoting the move of individuals from more restrictive to less restrictive and more integrated environments.

Strategies to promote more integrated and less restrictive employment environments for clients of the VR program are as follows:

1. The AZRSA provides a tiered outcome - based system to reward community rehabilitation program providers for successful employment placements in work places that are integrated, competitive, and consistent with the client’s strengths, resources and disability - related needs.

2. The AZRSA works with Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) providers to improve the service delivery systems as follows:

a. Extensive technical assistance and training is provided to CRP staff in the areas of supported employment philosophy, job coaching, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hiring qualified staff, marketing, and technological assistance based on needs identified by CRP providers.

b. Clients are offered opportunities to move to less-restrictive settings in the community. Many community rehabilitation programs offer support group activities for individuals who are working and receiving supported employment services in either the Vocational Rehabilitation program or the extended Employment Support Services program.

c. Assist CRP providers to develop new integrated and competitive programs and service methodologies by advertising and awarding contracts for services that contribute to client success.

SCOPE

Supported employment services are provided to all clients of the VR program who are eligible to receive services, have been identified as needing extended supported employment services, and have identified a financial resource for those supports. Per Federal Regulations, VR may provide supported employment services for up to eighteen months. Clients eligible to receive supported employment services through VR will receive VR services deemed necessary for the achievement of successful employment.The use of existing resources, including a Plan to Achieve Self-Sufficiency/Impairment Work Related Expense (PASS/IRWE), is explored for every individual and if available, is used to pay for extended supported employment. AZRSA is also working with Employment Networks in Arizona to utilize the Partnership Plus model to develop avenues for Employment Networks to provide long term support for Ticket-to-Work holders. Funds for long-term supports must be identified before proceeding with a VR Individualized Plan for Employment. The transfer to extended supported employment services occurs when the client is successfully employed in a job goal that suits the client’s strengths, resources and disability - related needs; and the transfer of responsibility for employment supports is mutually agreed upon by all parties and documented within the client’s electronic case file. AZRSA continues to monitor trends regarding the need for supported employment services and will collaborate with local COGs, planning councils and other community entities to advocate for clients in need of this service and the funding necessary to support extended employment services.

EXTENT

The VR eligibility process includes consideration of supported employment as an option to assist individuals with significant disabilities to attain employment outcomes. If long-term funding or supports are identified and available, the individual will be served by VR and may receive up to 18 months of supported employment services.

This screen was last updated on May 12 2014 2:05PM by saazdeerec