ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

Published September 4, 2014.   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
Rehabilitation Services Administration, DC Dept. on Disability Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 (submitted FY 2013)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Department on Disability Services/Rehabilitation Services Administration 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 Department on Disability Services/Rehabilitation Services Administration [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

Deputy Director

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

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

Deputy Director

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAndrew P. Reese

Title of SignatoryDeputy Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/28/2013

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 2014No

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
Department on Disability Services - 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. No

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

The Designated State Unit worked closely with the SRC in developing the State Plan. Drafts of the Plan were provided to the Policy Committee. The DSU met with members from the SRC to discuss annual priorities and goals. The DSU reviewed the SRC’s annual plan and has the following responses to recommendations from this annual plan:

15. RSA should improve outreach in the business community to ensure people with disabilities have opportunities to work any every sector represented in the local area. Response: RSA’s business relations unit is dedicated to fostering and improving relationships with the local business community. DCRSA also is a member of the DC Chamber of Commerce, the DC Jobs Council, and the DC Metro Business Leadership Network, with whom DCRSA staff work closely.

1.      Develop the scope of work for and conduct the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment: Section 101(a)(15(9A)(i-iii) of the Rehabilitation Act mandates that the state VR agency and the SRC jointly conduct a comprehensive needs assessment every three years.  Response: DCRSA, in consultation with the SRC, has selected and contracted with San Diego State University (SDSU) to conduct the CSNA for the District of Columbia. DCRSA has received positive feedback on needs assessments that SDSU has conducted for other jurisdictions; DCRSA is confident in SDSU’s ability to deliver useful data that will inform the State Plan to be submitted to Federal RSA in July.   2.      Finalize the implementation, personnel training structure and full utilization of the new VR Case Management System: On several occasions, RSA has not had the ability to provide necessary aggregate data on the demographics of people served by RSA nor the services these individuals are receiving. RSA needs to ensure that this system is implemented in ways that captures data and produces required reports, as well as improves overall workflow. In addition, RSA needs to ensure that a training structure is in place that keeps current staff proficient when updates occur and prepares future staff regardless of when they are hired. ? Response: DCRSA’s case management system, System 7, is fully implemented across the agency. Libera, the vendor who owns System 7, was onsite in December, 2012, to assist with the reboot of System 7 and to answer questions from RSA staff on harnessing all of the functionalities that System 7 has to offer. RSA staff has worked closely with Libera to make necessary additional changes to the system to ensure that it provides all necessary support in establishing proper edits in the system to ensure that case information is entered accurately; allows for supervisors to make necessary edits to the system; provides queries to support appropriate supervisory reviews; and allows supervisors to make necessary edits; makes queries available to staff and supervisors to aid in monitoring cases management. System administration staff were trained in May 2013. All staff will receive additional training in June, 2013.   3.      Improve the recruitment and retention of qualified RSA personnel: In FY 2012, the agency reports losing eight counselors due to resignation or other reasons and anticipates losing eleven more in the next five years due to attrition or retirement. There are currently six counselor position vacancies that need to be filled. The SRC is concerned that low retention rates and the lack of ability to recruit qualified personnel is negatively affecting the current staff’s capacity to provide quality and timely services, especially for those working with individuals who are blind, deaf, have limited English proficiency (LEP) or have an intellectual disability. We support RSA’s efforts to improve the quality and consistency of internal communications and supervision of personnel.  Response: DCRSA has been actively recruiting counselors to fill vacancies within the agency. The agency currently has been successful in recruiting qualified counselors. All counselors hired in FY 2013 already have their CRC. With current job offers, the agency has only one counselor vacancy at this time. In March 2013, DCRSA was excited to announce the hiring of Ayo Fadeyi as its new VR Administrator. Ms. Fadeyi comes to DCRSA with a substantial background in vocational rehabilitation, having served as Assistant Director of VR in Georgia, and as a VR counselor and supervisor in the New York State VR systems. The agency has had some difficulty in recruiting qualified VR supervisors. In March, 2013, the agency engaged two different private recruitment firms to conduct nationwide searches for qualified VR supervisory staff.   4.      Improve coordination with schools, especially public charter schools, to ensure 100% of transition students who want to work have an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE): RSA reported in their FY 2011 Performance Accountability Report that 24.48 percent of transition students have an IPE. Not only is this unacceptable, this situation greatly increases the potential of RSA having to address a higher level of need when individuals are finally connected to services. The agreements between RSA, DC Public Schools and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education are currently not effective enough to meet the legal obligations the District has to its transition students. In addition, these agreements do very little to connect RSA to students with disabilities attending the plethora of public charter schools in the District. Response: RSA has been working with OSSE to revise and expand the scope of the agencies’ Memorandum of Agreement. The provisions of the new MOA establish specific timelines, policies, and procedures for transitional IEP development, outreach, referral, application for services, intake and eligibility determinations that conform with federal regulations. This MOA governs the entire system, including public charter schools, DCPS and non-public schools. In addition, DCRSA has been actively working with OSSE, DCPS and other public and private partners to improve coordination of transition services. In FY 2013, the agency significantly increased the number of transition referrals it received and processed, from 445 in FY 2012 to 645 through the first half of FY 2013. DCRSA continues its efforts to increase referrals and improve the processing of these referrals. The agency meets monthly with DCPS to monitor the status of all referrals made. Lastly, DCRSA is working closely with DCPS, OSSE and a private non-profit agency, School Talk, to develop a “Tool Kit” for transition. This will be a resource available to all school personnel, high schools students and their parents,will describe the transition process and provide information on which services are available from the different agencies involved in the transition process, and when these services would be available. In addition, School Talk will assist DCRSA to develop materials for Transition Specialists to be used for outreach purposes, describing DCRSA services and timelines for school personnel, students and families.   5.      Increase adult basic education opportunities and improve outreach to individuals with disabilities who have low literacy skills or LEP: With so many students with disabilities having left high school without a diploma or a quality education, many adults need to have the opportunity to acquire basic skills, especially in reading, before they will be ready for employment. RSA should focus on connecting these individuals to general services. RSA should also ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access these services. Response: DCRSA is developing a comprehensive outreach plan to inform and connect individuals with disabilities with low literacy skills or LEP with opportunities to acquire basic literacy skills. DCRSA also is working with adult education and training providers in DC to identify opportunities for people with disabilities, working through OSSE, which oversees adult education, and the DC Jobs Council, whose members are adult education and training providers.   6.      RSA should work with the Office of Boards and Commissions to reconstitute the DC State Independent Living Council. Response: The Statewide Independent Living Council was reconstituted in September 2012. The Mayor appointed all necessary members in September, 2012. These members were sworn in, in December, 2012, and the SILC began regular meetings in January, 2013. Because of the long lapse, without a constituted SILC, the group has been meeting on a monthly basis since then to discuss the State Plan for Independent Living and other initiatives as set by the SILC Chair.   7.      The SRC should review and comment on RSA regulations adopted by the Agency during the period when there was no SRC participation, starting with the secondary education and the cost participation. Response: All current regulations were passed following the proper notice and comment requirements under District law. However, DCRSA is in the process of reviewing all Vocational Rehabilitation regulations found at Chapter 1, Title 29 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. The agency will work with the Policy Committee of the SRC as it reviews and revises, these regulations, and will provide notice and opportunity for public comment later this year.   8.      RSA should collaborate more with the Department of Employment Services to define and achieve outcomes that would benefit both agencies. This should include cross-training staff at One Stop Centers to work with individuals with disabilities so people can start getting services even if the RSA representative is not present on a particular day. Response: RSA currently collaborates with DOES on Secondary Transition, Business Services, and the sharing of intake information between agencies for people who are interested in being supported by both. DCRSA has staff collocated in the American Jobs Centers in DC and DCRSA staff encourage people to enroll in DOES programs. Additionally, RSA is working with DOES staff to ensure that the agencies’ Memorandum of Agreement reflects outcomes that are mutually beneficial to both agencies and the people they serve, which includes cross-training, collaborations around youth, collaborations on orientations to each other’s agencies, and sharing of information between DCRSA’s Business Relations Unit and DOES’s Business Services Group.   9.      RSA should work with employers to increase the capacity to establish natural supports for people in Supported Employment so job coaches transition out of the picture. Response: DC RSA staff meet monthly with Supported Employment providers, during which they stress the importance of fading their support and building an employer’s capacity to provide support through supervisors and coworkers. Also, DCRSA’s Business Relations Unit actively collaborates with employers to establish and strengthen natural supports for individuals receiving Supported Employment services or less intensive support. RSA shares the SRC’s goal of maximizing natural supports and reducing reliance on job coaches wherever possible and consistent with individuals’ need and informed choice.   10. RSA and the SRC should work to engage individuals at every stage of intake, service, and employment outcome in the Consumer Satisfaction Survey. Response: RSA has engaged the SRC on developing a comprehensive Consumer Satisfaction Survey that evaluates the entire service delivery process, from initial referral to employment outcome. In accordance with 34 CFR Sec. 361.52, RSA’s Office of Quality Assurance and Compliance (OQAC) conducts periodic Consumer Satisfaction Surveys throughout the fiscal year. In March 2013, OQAC staff conducted a telephonic survey of individuals who applied for VR services during the month of February 2013, to capture the applicant’s first impression of services rendered during the initial intake interview. Additional surveys are planned during the remainder of the fiscal year.   11. RSA should improve access to benefits counseling for the individuals they serve. Response: RSA currently contracts with two providers who have benefits counselors on staff. In addition, the agency has on benefits counselor on staff who provides regular orientation sessions for VR clients, meets regularly with all VR counselors and makes appropriate referrals for benefits counseling. The agency’s performance goal for FY 2013, was to provide orientation to at least one hundred clients per quarter by the end of the fiscal year. The agency was meeting this goal by the second quarter of the fiscal year. The benefits counselor on staff reaches out at new client orientation, she meets with counselors to remind them of the services, and she independently reaches out to SSI/SSDI recipients to invite them to orientation and consider them for referral to a benefits counselor.   12. RSA should take the necessary steps to meet all requirements under the Language Access Act. ? Response: RSA is in full compliance with the Language Access Act, as certified to the Office of Human Rights. In addition to providing comprehensive Language Access Act training to staff as part of its required all-staff meetings, RSA has prominently displayed notices and flyers on the requirements of the Language Access Act throughout RSA’s workplace.   13. RSA should improve internal collaboration among the divisions serving individuals with specific disabilities. ? Response: RSA is working closely with DDS’ Developmental Disabilities Administration to ensure that individuals who may eligible for services from both RSA and DDA are identified and receive eligibility evaluations in a timely, efficient manner. RSA has also worked with DDA in order to improve the referral process between the administrations to improve coordination of services. One individual has been identified in each administration to be responsible for referrals between administrations to ensure timely processing of referrals and effective tracking of clients referred.   14. RSA should help raise its staff’s and the broader community’s expectations of where people with disabilities work and what tasks they can accomplish. Response: RSA staff operate under the presumption that everyone determined eligible for VR services is capable of competitive employment. This presumption was cemented by Mayor Gray’s October 2012 proclamation declaring the District of Columbia an Employment First State. In so doing, the District affirmed its overwhelming preference for competitive, integrated employment before any other options are considered, and that everyone who is determined eligible for services is presumed capable of such employment. Additionally, RSA is soliciting and sharing success stories with staff, providers, and other stakeholders of VR clients who have achieved employment outcomes.  

On June 18, 2013, DCRSA had a public hearing to hear public comment regarding the state plan. There were twenty three community members in attendance, including individuals with disabilities and provider agency representatives. Five individuals testified at the hearing, and DCRSA received written testimony from two individuals who were unable to attend the hearing, including a representative from University Legal Services Protection and Advocacy for persons with disabilities and a member of the SRC.  All public testimony was generally positive. The comments focused on the importance of following through with the priorities identified by DCRSA and the SRC in the state plan. Particularly, the testimony focused on the importance of addressing issues related to customer service and staff training, especially in the area of providing services to persons with mental health disorders. There were also a number of comments regarding the importance of providing comprehensive services for persons with low literacy. Lastly, testimony focused on the importance of following through with plans to track rates of college graduation; and all individuals testifying commented positively on DCRSA’s current efforts, and specific strategies in the plan to expand services to transition youth. Overall, there were no suggestions of a need to amend or add to the draft plan, but individuals expressed hope that DCRSA, with oversight from the SRC, will follow through with the plan established.   A transcript of the public hearing, as well as copies of all written testimony are available upon request from DCRSA’s Office of Quality Assurance and Compliance.

 

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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 Sep 17 2009 5:42PM by sadcwinfieldd

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 Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration values its relationships with its federal, state and local partners including those that are not a direct part of the Workforce Investment System. These partnerships allow for DDS/RSA to collaborate with other organizations to expand our services in community settings and increase our reach to more District of Columbia residents with disabilities.  The Administration is working aggressively to finalize and revise its cooperative agreements to address the deficiencies while making progress in completing its outstanding agreements.   DDS/RSA currently has twenty-seven (27) community outreach sites in place with other government agencies and local organizations that provide locations for satellite sites with established schedules, allowing for expanded outreach and services in community settings reaching hard-to-reach residents. These community sites include the following diverse settings such as rehabilitation centers, mental health clinics, hospitals, community health centers, homeless shelters, other DC Government Offices, and the court system. DDS/RSA offers services in the following community sites: DC Government Child and Family Service Agency, DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Unity Health Care (three sites), N Street Village, Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, George Washington University Hospital Acute Rehabilitation Unit, DC Aging and Disability Resource Center, DC Department of Employment Services American Job Centers (three sites), Central Union Mission, Washington Hospital Center Outpatient Psychiatric Unit, DC Office of Asian Affairs, DC Superior Court House, DC Office of Veterans Affairs, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (two sites), ORCA, and National Rehabilitation Hospital.   DDS/RSA is continually working to increase its community presence with efforts in place to institute three additional outreach sites in the following locations: Samaritan Inn, DC Office of African Affairs, and Howard University Hospital Mental Health Clinic.  Along with sites in community settings, DDS/RSA has several other partnerships for services reflected in Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs) and Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) with the following agencies and entities:   The National Multiple Sclerosis Society  agreement establishes the terms, conditions, and procedures for a DDS/RSA satellite office for the purpose of conducting outreach services to person(s) currently receiving or interested in receiving vocational rehabilitation services. These services may include: receipt of referrals or applications for services, counseling.   There are two agreements with the University of the District of Columbia  with the objective of establishing the terms, conditions, and procedures which UDC will provide DDS/RSA with a satellite office for the purpose of conducting outreach services to person(s) currently receiving or interested in receiving vocational rehabilitation services. These services may include: receipt of referrals or applications for services, counseling and guidance. The objective of the other agreement is to establish the process for the coordination of services for students with disabilities who are served by both agencies.   The agreement with Project Search provides services and support to staff and students in this combined education and work experience program for students with disabilities, focused on preparing students in their last year of high school. The current agreements are with four Federal government agencies including the Depts. of Interior, Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor. Plans for new Project Search sites next year include expansion to the Smithsonian Institution and a site at George Washington University targeting out of school young people.   The agreement with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), Transition Services establishes terms, conditions, and procedures for the coordination of data sharing related to transition services for students as they progress from secondary education to postsecondary employment, training and education.   The agreement with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Division of Special Education, establishes a collaborative partnership that will facilitate the transition of students for school to the achievement of their post- secondary goals.  The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA’s)  agreement establishes a partnership in which CSOSA will refer eligible people to DDS/RSA programs, providing vocation rehabilitation services to adult offenders supervised by CSOSA to improve their employment opportunities. The agreement with the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services(DYRS) provides  a full time VR Counselor to offer vocational rehabilitation services to eligible DYRS youth and strengthen placement and re-entry service strategies and enhancing employment opportunities for youth with disabilities returning from secure confinement. The agreement with the District of Columbia Public Library  allows for the provision of the National Federation of the Blind Newsline Services to be available for DC Regional Library patrons who are blind and physically disabled.   Children and Family Service Administration (CFSA) agreement  coordinates services for youth transitioning from the foster care system to independence. This is an agreement between CFSA and the Designated State Agency, DDS. The MOA covers services provided by the Developmental Services Administration, as well as the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Within RSA, the agreement addresses both Independent Living Services, for youth with developmental disabilities, other than intellectual disabilities, who are not eligible for DDA services.  The agreement ensures that these youth will receive appropriate independent living supports as they transition into adulthood. In addition, the agreement provides for RSA to have one VR counselor stationed at CFSA’s Office of Youth Empowerment one day per week, in order to provide information about RSA services and conduct intake interviews and be available to meet with existing RSA clients who are also current clients of CFSA.  The Administration counselors use the facilities at various itinerary sites including Community Connections, DC Superior Court, DC Aging and Disability Resource Center and National Rehabilitation Hospital.

 

 

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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.

DCRSA has been working closely with DCPS and OSSE over the past several months to clarify the procedures for coordination between state and local education agencies and the DCRSA to develop clear procedures for timely identification and referral of eligible youth to DCRSA for rehabilitation services.  DCRSA and DCPS have had an agreement in place since 2011, which allows for sharing of information and establishes the referral process for youth.  DCRSA and OSSE are finalizing the MOA between their agencies, to be completed prior to the submission of this state plan on July 1, 2013, which will outline the process by which all youth in charter and non-public schools are identified and referred to DCRSA for consideration for eligibility for VR services.  DCRSA currently has Transition Specialists assigned to provide outreach, education about VR services and accept applications at 24 Public Charter Schools, 28 Non-Public Schools, 2 Private Schools, and 25 Public Schools (including 2 schools located in MD where DC foster children attend school).  DCRSA and DCPS meet monthly to review all referrals made and monitor the progress off applications for all youth in DC Public Schools, and Dependent Charter Schools that are under the authority of DCPS, as well as non-public schools where DCPS students are in attendance.  DCRSA is finalizing its MOA with OSSE so that  systems are in place in FY 2013 to ensure that all eligible District youth (including all public charter, and DC students placed in non-public placements) are provided with information about RSA services and, when appropriate, are referred for services. 

DCRSA works with OSSE, DCPS, DMH, DYRS and DOES on the Secondary Transition Community of Practice.  This group meets monthly to coordinate all services to District high school youth with disabilities.  A committee of the Secondary Transition Community of Practice has been working together to develop a "Tool Kit" that will include comprehensive processes and procedures that effectively reach eligible secondary school youth with disabilities and their families in a timely and efficient manner that supports them as they transition from school to post-school activities. At the end of Quarter 3 in FY13, the Youth and Transition Unit received 739 referrals, which is a significant improvement in comparison to the FY12 YTD number of referrals at 445. This is due in part to the increased participation of VR Specialists and Transition Specialists in the DCPS morning collaborative meetings connecting with teachers, increasing awareness, and meeting with groups of students to provide an orientation of available services, and  participating in parent information sessions. The Vocational Rehabilitation Services Division within DDS/RSA will include two (2) Youth and Transition Units. There will be two supervisors, 8 VR counselors, three transition specialists, and two rehabilitation assistants.   The Transition Specialists will all be assigned to schools within the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) as well as charter and non-public schools. They will conduct outreach to secondary school youth with disabilities and their families through workshops and informational sessions; provide consultation and technical assistance to school staff regarding the DDS/RSA processes; and assist the VR Specialists in collecting application and required documentation.  The VR Specialists will also be assigned to schools within the DCPS as well as charter and non-public schools, and will conduct intake and eligibility interviews at the schools. The VR Specialist determines a student’s eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, develops an approved Individualized Plan for Employment, and makes referrals for necessary transition services to assist the student to plan for and obtain successful post-school employment.  

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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.

The wide range of DDS /RSA services partnerships through twenty-five (25) Human Care Agreements (HCAs) representing local private non-profit, community rehabilitation providers are described below:    Capitol Hill Supportive Services Programs, Inc. provides job readiness skill training, preparing and assisting individuals to obtain employment by locating job openings, assessing job requirements, matching job requirements with the individual’s capabilities, and providing sufficient follow-up services to both the individual and the employer.   Creative Options & Employment, Inc. (COE) is a one stop nonprofit community-based person-centered organization that assists people with disabilities by eliminating employment barriers, enhancing marketable skills, providing person-centered planning, fostering community inclusion and developing the necessary supports to maintain individual career and personal goals.   Goodwill of Greater Washington provides work adjustment training, supported employment and job placement services for adults with disabilities. For over 75 years, Goodwill of Greater Washington has provided vocational services and employment to individuals with disabilities and disadvantage. Goodwill works closely with local employers to develop programs that prepare people for jobs in a wide variety of industries. In addition to formal classroom training, Goodwill prepares clients for permanent jobs through a combination of supported, temporary or transitional employment at a Goodwill facility or in the community.   Linden Resources, previously operating under the name Sheltered Occupational Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. has been in existence as a non- profit organization since 1959, serving as an employment services organization, providing vocational rehabilitation, workforce development, and employment opportunities for people with developmental, psychiatric, cognitive, and or physical disabilities in the Washington metropolitan area.  Its mission is to expand opportunities for people with disabilities while exceeding our customers’ expectations.    Melwood has been in existence for 50 year as a nonprofit that creates jobs and opportunities to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Melwood serves more than 2,400 people with disabilities in the greater Washington, DC area with the mission to create jobs and opportunities for people with differing disabilities so they can have a good quality of life.   National Children Center Inc. (NCC) is a recognized leader in providing comprehensive and innovative services for children and adults with developmental disabilities in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Their community-based services include early intervention, schools, employment, adult day and residential programs. These quality personalized lifespan services now benefit more than 500 infants, children and adults with developmental disabilities every day. Additionally, they offer supported employment services and long-term follow-along services for persons with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities.    Project Redirect, Inc. has a mission to empower families to prevent child abuse, juvenile delinquency, and to work proactively to facilitate the restoration of the family.    Psychiatric Center Chartered, Inc. is a private, certified mental health facility that has served the Washington Metropolitan area since 1973, and allows customers to remain in the community while receiving intensive therapy. Its Rehabilitation and Employment Services Program continuum consists of six (6) interactive programs: psychosocial rehabilitation, prevocational training/counseling, sheltered work, work readiness, supported employment and transitional employment. (St. Johns’ Community Services (SJCS) is a nonprofit, community-based organization that supports children and adults with intellectual, developmental, physical and other disabilities. SJCS’s support without walls activist approach enables people with disabilities to fully participate in and become contributors to the communities of their choice in education, employment, adult day, and residential services. SJCS employment services in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Northern Virginia and West Tennessee support people with disabilities to explore career options and to acquire and retain competitive employment. People supported include those with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health issues, visual impairment, autism, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injury, stroke survivors, as well as welfare recipients. As individuals explore their job interests and express preferences, SJCS staff work with them to determine their goals and the support needed to do the job successfully. SJCS employment specialists provide comprehensive vocational assessments, career planning, job development and selection, on-the-job training, job coaching, and other life skills training. At the same time, they support employers and co-workers to work effectively with new employees. The SJCS staff works to meet the needs of both employees with a disability and employers, while gradually increasing the probability for a long-term employee-employer relationship. Additionally, SJCS provides consulting services to local, national and international organizations.   The Art and Drama Therapy Institute, Inc. (ADTI) is a medically supervised, therapeutic day treatment center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ADTI is located in an economically deprived part of Northeast Washington, D.C., less than three miles from The White House. Its innovative approach to the care and treatment of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the use of art, music, movement, and drama therapies, along with innovative behavior management techniques, has been hailed by the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation and The Washington Post as ”a national model”. ADTI is home to the Therapeutic Noh Theater, directed by Master Teacher, Dr. Sirkku M. Sky Hiltunen. In addition, ADTI has built its own authentic Keiko Komatsubara Noh Stage—the first of only three (3) in the United States. Dr. M. “Muggy Do” Dickinson, is the Founder and Producer of ADTI’s Inspirational Choir and Moroccan Ensemble, whose CD received two submissions for a nomination for Grammy. CD and DVD are currently available on Amazon.com under ”Let Us Fly”.     Work Opportunities Work Opportunities Unlimited, Inc. provides supported employment services that include support services, individual placements, benefit planning and asset management, vocational evaluation, situational assessments, and job readiness and job placement services.  The Arc of DC Inc. provides services to persons with intellectual disabilities with primary and secondary disabilities. Services include, but are not limited to, work adjustment training for individuals with significant and persistent mental illness, vocational work adjustment training with emphasis on transitional employment and job placement.  Creative Options & Employment, Inc. (COE) is a one stop nonprofit community-based person-centered organization that assists persons with disabilities by eliminating employment barriers, enhancing marketable skills, providing person-centered planning, fostering community inclusion and developing the necessary supports to maintain individual career and personal goals.      Unlimited Opportunities provides day to day supports and training opportunities for people with disabilities, aiming to offer a one- stop community training program that offers specialty construction skills such as painting and dry wall, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, masonry, and building maintenance.  The training program is structured to model actual employment with guidance from instructors.     SEEC is a nonprofit organization, providing customized, community-based supports to help individuals with developmental disabilities achieve their unique version of The American Dream. People supported by SEEC face the challenges of intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy and other disorders requiring support for daily living. SEEC staff provide assistance to help each person direct the course of his or her services towards attainment of personal goals for a well- rounded life including, employment, education, leisure activities, good health, and friendships. All services are provided in the community and are individualized to meet each person’s unique needs, desires and aspirations.   MBI The organization’s mission is to provide individuals with disabilities the equal opportunity for gainful employment and to live, learn, work, socialize, and participate in their home and communities.  MBI works to help provide people with the opportunity to practice social skills as well as socialize in a safe environment, while participating in community activities, while assisting people find their own voice and to strengthen their ability to live as independently as possible in their community. New Life, Incorporated provides independent living skills and recreational services for wheelchair users who are youths and adults with developmental and physical disabilities living in the Washington, DC area. Through supervised interactions with other youths and adult wheelchair users, our consumers receive training in a wide variety of wheelchair sports. Over the past 30 years, many of these consumers have attended Special Needs summer camps and participated in wheelchair sports activities and games. Through one-on-one mentorship and motivational, life-changing experiences, youth wheelchair users have emerged better equipped to tackle the challenges of living independently in the community and seeking employment. Columbia Light House for the Blind Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind helps people who are blind or visually impaired in the greater Washington region to overcome the challenges of vision loss. Their work enables people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired to remain independent, active and productive in society. Their programs and services include adaptive technology,, professional and career services training, low vision services, rehabilitation, counseling, children’s services, independent living and older adult programs.  DC Center for Independent Living (DCCIL) was established by Congressional legislation in 1981 to promote independent lifestyles for people with the most significant disabilities while offering assistance to meeting their independent living goals and involvement in the larger community.   As a nonprofit and community based, consumer controlled, cross disability center, DCCIL is directed by and assists people with disabilities to lead independent and productive lives.    RCM of Washington provides job placement services for adults with significant disabilities. They also provide community living services and supports, and individualized planning that assists people in achieving goals they set for themselves.   Anchor Mental Health is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, affiliated with the Archdiocese of Washington. Its mission is to provide the support necessary to empower adults recovering from mental illnesses to define and pursue their life goals. Its Anchor Enterprises helps consumers locate and hold competitive employment in the community. NISH contract job sites offer supported transitional employment opportunities for consumers who are not yet ready for competitive employment. Its Rehabilitation Services Program (RESP) is a structured day program which offers an array of rehabilitation, counseling and vocational services to help adults who have mental illnesses in their recovery efforts. (20 consumers served)     Community Connection, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit mental health agency in Washington, D.C. Since 1984, Community Connections has worked with people who have been marginalized to assist them toward stable, integrated community living. Clinical programs, residential and supportive services, and research projects play mutually supportive services, and research projects play mutually supportive roles in achieving this goal. (12 consumers served)     Deaf Reach, Inc. was founded in 1972 by the National Health Care Foundation for the Deaf (Deaf-Reach) as a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization within the District of Columbia. Its mission is to maximize the self-sufficiency of deaf adults needing special services by providing referral, education, advocacy, counseling, and housing. Green Door provides vocational work adjustment training with emphasis on transitional employment for adults with significant and persistent mental illness to assist them in improving their functioning in the community, maximizing their community tenure and succeeding in obtaining and retaining employment. Emphasis is placed on supported employment and transition consumers. Green Door has an agreement with the Administration to provide comprehensive independent living services to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. The target population are adults eighteen years of age and older with a primary diagnosis of severe persistent mental illness, a significant number of whom have a secondary diagnosis of substance abuse. Many of these consumers are African American, Latino and Asian. The Green Door is a model psychosocial program certified by the International Center for Clubhouse Development. Program services that are offered include, but are not limited to counseling, peer and family counseling, educational program advocacy, continuing education, guidance counseling, pre-vocational skills, basic education and literacy GED training, life skills; and, information and referral for numerous support services.  Pathways to Housing DC was founded by Dr. Sam Tsemberis in 1992, and is widely credited as being the originator of the Housing First model among people with psychiatric disabilities. Housing First provides housing first and then combines that housing with supportive treatment services in the areas of mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment. Housing is provided in apartments scattered throughout a community. This scattered site model fosters a sense of home and self-determination, and it helps speed the reintegration of Pathways’ clients into the community. The model has been replicated in more than 40 cities across the United States, as well as in Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.  Psychiatric Center Chartered (PCC)is a comprehensive facility serving the needs of the residents of the Greater Washington Metropolitan area.  PCCwas founded through a partnership of psychiatrists devoted to serving clients in their communities beyond the traditionally offered services.   In 1973 PCC opened its doors with the mission of promoting the holistic care of individuals so that they may live more productively with choice and dignity. The goal of PCC’sprograms is to provide medically necessary services, in the least restrictive environment.   Pendergrast Alton Consulting provides employee support services to adults including those with disabilities with the mission to assist individual with disabilities to obtain independence, community involvement, empowered decision- making in every aspect of life.  

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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.

Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services: The Administration’s Supported Employment program (SE) for persons with persistent mental illness utilizes an evidenced-based approach to help individuals with the most significant disabilities to secure, retain, or regain competitive employment in an integrated setting that pays minimum or better wages, and provides benefits. Supported Employment services are individualized and include, but are not limited to: • Counseling and guidance • Job coaching (on–the-job training) • Rapid job search and placement • Short-term training • Follow-along (unlimited supports) • Development of natural supports. The Administration coordinates its Supported Employment services through partnerships with DDS’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). These partners have worked together to develop a cadre of community based providers with expertise in serving persons diagnosed with developmental disabilities and persons diagnosed with serious mental illness. DDS/RSA and DDA have continued to establish Human Care Agreements with additional supported employment providers who serve people with developmental disabilities. The Evidenced-Based Practice (EBP) in supported employment for persons with persistent mental illness is a model that emphasizes employment as an alternative to other models; it has been adopted by the Administration. The model allows the Administration to make supported employment services accessible to individuals with a lack of job readiness, chronic substance abuse, a history of violent behavior, minimal intellectual capacity and/ or symptoms of a mental illness. The Administration continues to improve and strengthen its partnerships with the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) to maximize the delivery of supported employment services for individuals with significant disabilities and to improve competitive employment outcomes for its shared consumers. The Administration’s supported employment staff continues to streamline the application process to ensure that notifications of appointments, eligibility determinations, and the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) are completed in accordance with federal requirements. In FY 2014, DCRSA plans to assign one VR Specialist to work exclusively with persons referred from DDA. The Administration is establishing a “specialized” caseload in this area in order to further improve coordination between DDA and RSA and improve timeliness of processing applications and putting services in place, and improve the quality of the services provided, as the individual assigned will also be expected to avail herself of additional continuing education provided by DDA regarding provision of services to persons with intellectual disabilities. Long term follow-along services for consumers are provided by DDA and DMH. DDS/DDA administers a Medicaid Home and Community Based waiver, which includes long term supports for consumers with developmental disabilities in Supported Employment as well as an array of other services, such as residential, transportation, and homemaker services that may be required to support an individual. DMH provides on-going support through its core mental health agencies. Six (6) private non-profit organizations (Anchor Mental Health; Community Connections, Inc.; Deaf-Reach, Inc.; Green Door; Pathways to Housing; and Psychiatric Center Chartered Inc.) are providing people with persistent mental illness with Evidenced Based Supported Employment. Seventeen (17) providers (Goodwill of Greater Washington; Arc of DC, Inc.; Creative Options & Employment, Inc.; National Children’s Center, Inc.; Pride Industries; Project ReDirect, Inc.; St. John’s Community Services, Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute; RCM of Washington; SOC Enterprises; New Life; Innovative Concepts; Global Business and Management Solutions; Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind; Capital Hill Supportive Services Programs, Inc.; Art & Drama Therapy Institute; and Work Opportunities Unlimited), provide supported employment services that include, but are not limited to, work adjustment training, job coaching, and job placement services.

Plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds Number of Individuals with a Disability to be Served, Number to be Rehabilitated Supported Employment Model Projected, Funding Mental Illness 295 70% 70 Job Coaching Evidenced-Based Model 150,000.00 Cognitive Disabilities 71 17% 13 Job Coaching Supported Employment 50,000.00 Traumatic Brain Injury 29 7% 3 Job Coaching 70,000.00 Other 25 6% 5 Job Coaching 30,000.00 TOTAL 420 100% 91 $300,000.00

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

 

The Administration maintains annual employee profiles within the DDS Office of Human Capital. This office tracks and documents counselor completion of college course and in-service training credits needed to earn and/or maintain CRC certification. In addition, the Office of Human Capital provides information to supervisors, counselors and support staff on relevant training opportunities to enhance service delivery to our customers. The Administration is pursuing several means of insuring staff are continuously informed of their current CRC status and remaining need, including but not limited to check-ins with the Office of Human Capital and Dashboarding software. A. During FY13, DC RSA increased the emphasis on the recruitment and retention of qualified VR staff. The total number of personnel employed by the Administration in the provision of providing vocational rehabilitation service is. The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor is 34. The total number of support staff for VR counselors is 10. Total estimated population served to date in FY 2013 is approximately 6000 persons with disabilities. The average counselor/person served ratio this fiscal year is 176:1.However, the current number of active cases in the system is approximately 4400, for an average caseload size of 129 cases/counselor.  B. Number of personnel currently needed by the agency to provide vocational services by personnel category In FY 2012, the agency terminated its practice of assigning any cases to counselors with “specialized caseloads.” Due to concerns about the impact this had regarding delivery of services to persons who are blind or visually impaired, or persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, the agency is in the process of transitioning back to specialized caseloads, and specialized units. As this transition is finalized, the agency expects that in 2014, the caseload standards will be as follows: VR general caseloads – 125:1; Blind and Visually Impaired or Deaf and Hard of Hearing Caseloads – 75:1; Transition Caseloads – 175:1. The current caseload includes approximately 150 persons who are blind or visually impaired and approximately 200 persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Therefore, the agency requires two counselors specializing in working with persons who are blind or visually impaired and three counselors specializing in working with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The caseload in the Transition Unit is currently approximately 1100. The transition unit works with youth referred by schools, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services and the Child and Family Services Agency. There are additional transition age youth who apply directly to the agency for services, and are no longer in school. These youth are currently served by counselors in the General VR units. There are currently seven VR counselors in the Transition Unit, three Transition Specialists, one Rehabilitation Assistant and one Clerical Aide. There is also one additional VR counselor scheduled to begin working on June 17, 2013. The agency is also currently recruiting for two VR supervisors for the Transition Unit. Prior to this, the agency had one supervisor for this unit. However, given the increase in referrals and necessary increase in staff, the agency has added one supervisory position for this unit. Once the agency is fully staffed, in terms of supervisory VR specialists, there will be four VR General Units, with six VR Specialists and one Rehabilitation Aid in each.  The total number of personnel vacancies in positions currently needed by the Administration to provide VR Services include: 1 VR counselor (we are currently recruiting for a VR counselor proficient in ASL to work with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing) – and we assume that two counselors scheduled to begin working in May and June will be added to our current ranks; 4 Supervisors – this includes 2 Transition Supervisors, 1 General VR supervisor and 1 supervisor for the unit serving persons who are blind or visually impaired (because of the size of the blind unit, this person would also supervise blind services staff whose time is spent primarily providing independent living services, therefore we anticipate the funds for this position will be charged only 50% to VR, and 50% to IL and ILOB); and 3 rehabilitation assistants. During FY13, counselor attrition was met with an aggressive hiring strategy and, at present, DC RSA has enough counselors to maintain average caseloads in all units under the levels identified above. DC RSA is aggressively recruiting for the supervisory vacancies. C. Projections of the number of personnel, by personnel category The estimate of the number of persons needed by the agency to provide VR services over the next five years is based on the estimate of the number of persons expected to retire or leave the agency with the next five years. Prior year attrition, which was high, factors into the projection. STAFF PROGRAM ATTRITION RETIREMENT 1 Supervisors VR 3 VR Counselors VR  1Rehab Assistants VR  At this time, there is one (1) individual in a supervisory position and four (4) vocational rehabilitation counselors planning for retirement in the next five (5) years. A total of 10 staff are expected to retire or leave the field. Several current staff members are completing courses and course requirements to sit for the CRC. The Administration continues its vigorous recruitment efforts to attract CRC’s and prepare current VR staff to become certified. 10 VRCs are eligible to sit for the CRCC and that the remaining 15 have their CRC already.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Specialist 38 4 8
2 VR Specialist (Vocational Evaluator) 1 0 1
3 Rehabilitation Assistant 7 3 2
4 Vocational Rehabiliation Supervisor 8 4 2
5 VR Administrator 1 0 0
6 VR Services Manager 1 1 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

The State Agency Office of Human Capital maintains relationships with the local universities that have rehabilitation counseling programs.  There are currently two programs in the District of Columbia, one at the University of the District of Columbia and one at George Washington University.  The agency currently has interns from both of these programs.  The internship coordinator for the agency works closely with both institutions to coordinate internship opportunities.  In addition to fostering this relationship as a means of recruiting new staff, the agency’s training coordinator works with these institutions to coordinate continuing education opportunities for staff, in order to help them maintain their CRC, or to identify appropriate classes for our staff who have outstanding course work in order to sit for the CRC exam.  The agency remains committed to assisting all current staff to obtain their CRC by October, 2015, and continues to provide as part of this plan sufficient funds to pay for staff to take the CRC exam, and for staff with remaining course work, to take three credits per semester.

 

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

 

 

In FY 2012, the Administration began recruiting counselors at grade 12 pay level, the highest grade level for a rehabilitation specialist. Applicants at this level must have completed a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling with at least one year of experience and CRC. In FY 2012, the Administration formally established a recruitment plan to address the hiring of a sufficient number of vocational rehabilitation counselors within DDS/RSA. By the end of June, 2013, the administration will have only one VR Specialist vacancy (for a grade 11/12 VR Specialist who is proficient in ASL, to work in the unit serving deaf and hard of hearing persons). Although the administration hopes to enter FY 2014 with no VR Specialist vacancies, it will continue efforts to recruit qualified VR specialists, in order to have a pool of qualified candidates as vacancies occur. These recruitment efforts include (1) posting vacancy announcements on the D.C. Office of Personnel website (at the time any vacancy occurs), and (2) posting vacancy announcements at community programs and through professional organizations, (3) visiting classrooms and faculty at universities, and (4) increasing its use of interns and volunteers. RSA hired 8 new counselors during FY13 to fill vacancies using this strategy, and currently has 3 interns from local universities. The recruitment plan consists of two major goals: Goal 1: Expand recruitment efforts Objective 1.1 Contact graduate school programs and develop relationships with the program chairs. Maintain appropriate contact information to mail notices of job openings. Objective 1.2 Schedule attendance at job fairs at colleges and universities Objective 1.3 Develop opportunities for paid and non-paid internships with colleges and universities Objective 1.4 Participate in research projects, classroom visits, and other activities to raise DCRSA’s profile with the above institutions and therefore increase access to potential counselors. Goal 2: Increase retention efforts Objective 2.1 Continue DDS/RSA new counselor orientation program Objective 2.2 Increase opportunities for professional growth through increased opportunities for continuous learning through in-service training and workshops Objective 2.3 Expand opportunities for employee recognition DDS/RSA has developed an formalized onboarding program with several weeks of prescribed activities to orient new staff to DDS/RSA as well as to provide the training needed to effectively utilize the case management system, understand the organizational structure, and develop an understanding of the DC population of job-seekers at large and the subpopulation of job-seekers with disabilities. This orientation is comprised of 7 modules. Informed Consent, Ethics (All staff receive 1 CRC credit), Overview of the VR Process, Intake & Eligibility, Comprehensive Assessment,  IPE Development, Overview of Internal Database System, DC Policy Review (Review with Supervisor during initial week of employment)  DDS/RSA is implementing a 12 session supervisor training “boot camp” in the summer of 2012 that will help supervisors support counselors and other staff through prevailing practices in management. This management training should help ease morale concerns amongst both supervisors and their subordinate staff and serve to attenuate counselor attrition. In addition, the “boot camp” will allow DDS to further discern the specific professional development needs that are particular to supervisors, and will provide training as appropriate and necessary. DDS provides an annual awards event that celebrates employee success. However, DDS/RSA will be expanding this recognition to monthly and quarterly events as well. Customer service, strong counseling, and teamwork will be emphasized during 2013. The Administration will also solicit bids from training firms both within the rehabilitation counseling community and with other training agencies that have been successful in training public employees. By “casting a wide net” for potential trainers, The Administration anticipates being able to provide a wider variety of necessary trainings as the data about training needs presents itself. For example, performance management training will be conducted for counselors if the principles and practices of performance management need to be inculcated in counselors to insure they adopt appropriate behaviors under this management philosophy. The Administration encompasses a uniquely diverse staff. Currently, it has 15 bilingual staff. We are continuing to expand our outreach to attract employees proficient in Spanish and ASL and all languages served by the District of Columbia and covered entities identified by the D.C. Office of Human Rights. Languages in which current staff is bilingual include French, Spanish, Ibo, American Sign Language (ASL), Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin. The administration continues to struggle with the recruitment of qualified VR supervisors. In FY 2013, one supervisor resigned and a VR Manager retired. In addition, to this, there were three VR supervisor vacancies at the beginning of 2013, which remain vacant; the administration has added one additional VR supervisor position due to expanded referrals during FY 2013 in Transition; and the VR Administrator position was vacant at the beginning of the fiscal year. The administration has been able to recruit a VR Administrator from outside the agency, and was able to promote one person to a VR supervisor position, from within the administration. The agency has employed two different recruitment firms to seek qualified VR supervisory staff. In addition, we have posted these positions on the CSAVR listserve. To date, these efforts have met with little success.  The private recruiter was able to identify a qualified VR Administrator, who joined the agency in March, 2013.  In addition, we have recently interviewed a number of candidates who were referred through the private recruiter and the DC Human Relations website.   

 

 

(1) Standards consistent with nationally or state approved certification The Administration bases its personnel standards for VR Specialists on the degree needed to meet the national CRC requirements through CRCC. New hires as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist must have a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or Counseling. To-date, all of our counseling staff has master’s degrees in either Rehabilitation Counseling or one of the related areas identified under category R by the CRCC. Currently, 16 VR Specialists are certified. 10 are currently eligible to sit for the CRC. 10 Staff are not yet eligible, but all are taking certification courses. (2) Strategies to retrain or hire personnel within the designated state unit to meet the standards. ASME Local 2401, the VR Specialist’s collective bargaining unit, as well as all VR Specialist staff, have been notified and given their CSPD letter and have been asked to return their letters to the Office of Human Capital with their plan to obtain certification. The Administration has established and continues to implement the following process to assist counselors to meet CSPD requirements: 1. The Administration will pay for 3 credit hours a semester including books for on-line or classroom courses. 2. The Administration will pay the one-time cost of the CRC examination. 3. The Administration will allot hours during the work day for staff to attend training. 4. After negotiation with a university offering the rehabilitation counseling program, the Administration will arrange to offer courses on site. (3) Plan for retraining, recruitment and hiring of personnel (A) Specific strategies for retraining, recruiting and hiring personnel Agency jobs are listed on the D.C. Department of Human Resources website. The Administration currently collaborates with The George Washington University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The Administration has hosted interns from both universities and has recruited numerous staff from both of these rehabilitation counseling programs. The Agency is currently seeking to strengthen relationships with Virginia Commonwealth University and other universities offering degrees in rehabilitation counseling. The Administration will assist counselors with Master’s degrees in taking core courses that will allow them to sit for the CRC exam. In addition, the Administration will encourage staff to enroll in Master’s degree programs in rehabilitation counseling. The Administration will assist staff with 3 credit hours per semester and pay for staff to sit for the CRC examination. Additionally, the Administration has launched outreach activities in the community as well as at vocational training programs, colleges and universities to attract young professionals interested in embarking on a career in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. (B) Time frames to meet the standards.  The Administration notified counselors by letter of the CSPD requirement in March, 2010. The labor union was notified of the federal requirements. All staff must complete CSPD requirements by October 1, 2015. The Administration will implement incremental time frames to ensure that all staff who pledge to complete university programs can do so before the deadline. Follow-up contact will be made with each counselor on an individual basis to formalize the proposed training plan and checklist of required college courses based on the formal analysis of their transcripts from the selected university program. As of October 1, 2015, any remaining VR Specialists who do not meet the CSPD requirement can no longer perform the duties of a “qualified rehabilitation counselor.” (C) Procedures for evaluating progress in hiring and retraining personnel 1. Finalize and clarify any remaining issues with Human Resources and the local union 2. Finalize review of counselor transcripts and initiate follow-up contact with counselors to develop a formalized training plan. 3. Clarify procedures for requesting training with all staff. 4. Clarify responsibilities of designated staff within the Office of Vocational Supports related to monitoring and evaluating CSPD performance for all employees. 5. Maintain up-to-date records of training activities. 6. Complete annual training plans on all staff. Annually, all DDS/RSA staff receives an e-performance evaluation from their immediate supervisor. The employee will update the training plan along with their supervisor as part of e-performance reviews. The Office of Human Capital will track receipt of the plans and monitor compliance. D. Identification of initial minimum requirements. The desired minimum state requirement for the Administration is a Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and having a CRC or being CRC eligible. If, after extensive recruitment efforts, the Administration is unable to find acceptable candidates meeting the desired qualifications, new hires will be limited to candidates with Master’s degrees in counseling, special education, social work or one of the 13 human service categories recognized by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification under Category R. A condition of employment will require the candidate to enroll in an approved graduate program in rehabilitation counseling with the goal of obtaining a Master’s degree and CRC certification. The agency will pay a minimum of three credit hours per semester. E. plans for training staff who do not meet the established standards DC RSA will not hire staff who do not meet the established standards for sitting the CRC moving forward

 

 

(1)     System of Staff Development with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement and rehabilitation technology. Over the last three years, supervisors and staff have received intensive training, attended conferences and received incentives to enhance their knowledge of best practices for quality service delivery. Training received through TACE at The George Washington University included supported employment and independent living, ethics and VR case management, and clinical supervision. Training was provided on-site through local Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) center, as well as on on-line training opportunities by other regional (TACE) Centers.  There were trainings conducted by local subject matter experts in the field of employment as Ethics (Rationalizations, Boundaries and Ethic, Confidentiality, Exploring the CRC code), Informed Choice, Social Media in Today’s Workforce, VR Processes (Caseload management), Advocacy (Due Process and Self-Representation), Medical Aspects (Autism Spectrum Disorders, Psychiatric Disabilities), Training was provided on-site by Mississippi State University on Adjustment to Blindness; The agency continues to provide Employment First/Customized Employment Seminars. Additional training included: Employment Issues in Multiple Sclerosis; Implications of Adult Onset Disabilities; Independent Living: Indentifying IL vs. VR Cases ; Medical Aspects of Psychiatric Disabilities; Ethics in the Real World; Medical Aspects of Disabilities/Neurological Conditions; Cost Participation Regulation Training; Ethical Workplace Culture and Rehabilitation Counseling Practice; Social networking Ethics and Best Practices; Case management information system: Libera System 7 database training; Secondary transition workshop; Documentation training; Disability awareness conference;. City-wide transition workgroup training; Employer contact training ; Mini-training on job development; eight session Supervisory training on managing employees performance; Asset development for people with disabilities summit; Independent living/Supported Living training; Annual CSAVR Meeting and Training sessions; National Transition Community of Practice Meeting; ASPE National Conference; American Council for Blind Conference; National Federation of the Blind Conference; National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Conference; DCRSA Regulation Training: Review of Regulation Requirements; Project SEARCH summer training institute; Project SEARCH annual conference . (2)     Administrative staff within the Office of Human Capital have been charged with the responsibility to seek out, plan and coordinate on-site and offsite training opportunities for staff on an on-going basis. Additionally, the agency has launched outreach activities in vocational training programs and colleges and universities to attract young professionals interested in embarking in a career in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. In order to ensure training on rehabilitation technology is taken by staff, the DC Assistive Technology Center attended one of DCRSA’s monthly all staff meetings in order to provide staff with more exposure to rehabilitation technology and also to provide staff with training in applicable technologies, particularly in support of students transitioning to postsecondary education. DCRSA has been working on improving coordination with the AT Center in order to ensure that VR counselors are aware of services available there, and aware of AT services available for persons with disabilities, in order to know when a referral for an AT assessment is appropriate. The training staff in the Human Capital Administration have been working closely with VR Program staff and the TACE staff to develop curriculum for providing training on conducting assessments, including functional assessment, developing IPEs and informed choice. The informed choice training was provided to all counselors in FY 13. The other trainings will be provided in FY 14. The training institute in DDS keeps data on counselors who have attended trainings. Pre- and post-training evaluations and reports on trainings and conferences attended are being conducted. The Human Capital Administration training coordinator monitors conferences available around the county, and advises staff when relevant conferences or trainings are available. The agency supports staff in attending these conferences. In FY 2014, the agency will more closely monitor to ensure that whenever individual staff attend an outside conference that the individual or individuals who attend, provide a presentation at All Staff meetings upon their return, in order to ensure dissemination of knowledge learned to all staff.

 

 

The Administration will continue to employ personnel who are able to communicate in the native languages of applicants for services and clients who have limited English speaking ability. The Administration provides accommodations for special communication needs such as interpreters, specialized services and materials for individuals who are deaf, blind or deaf-blind. Sign language skills are considered a minimum qualification for positions providing services to persons who are deaf  or hard of hearing. The Administration’s services population continues to expand because of increased outreach efforts. The agency seeks to serve individuals with disabilities from the six languages identified by the D.C. Office of Human Rights. The languages include Spanish, Chinese, French, Vietnamese, Korean and Amharic. The agency will continue emphasize the bilingual capacity of staff in recruitment efforts. The Agency is in compliance with the Language Access Act. Staff from the DC Office of Human Rights provide training annually to all staff regarding the DC Language Access Act and provision of services to non-English and limited English proficient persons. The bilingual capacity of the DDS/RSA staff is as follows: Staff who speak Spanish: 4 VR Specialists, 1 Deputy Director, 1 Rehabilitation Assistant, 1 Sign Language Interpreter. Staff who are fluent in American Sign Language 1 ASL Interpreter 2 Managers/Supervisory VR Staff; 3 VR Specialists, 1 Program Monitor, 1 Business Relations Specialist. Staff who speak French 2 VR Specialists. Staff who speak Ibo 1 VR Specialist 1 Clerical assistant. Within DDS, in the offices shared with RSA, there are additional staff who speak some of the languages above as well as staff who speak Haitian Creole, Telugu, Hindi, German, Japanese, Yoruba, Mandarin, Portuguese and Kru.

 

 

The Administration staff receives training on a continuous basis. The Administration is fully committed to providing effective, coordinated transition services. The agency has created a Youth and Transition Unit that currently employs three transition specialists and seven vocational rehabilitation specialists, to be increased to eight by June, 2013. The transition specialists received specific training on transition services from Mrs. Barbara Lewis, training consultant and staff from the TACE. A manger recently attended the Annual National Community of Practices in Transition Conference in North Carolina. DDS/RSA staff participates actively on DC’s Community of Practice on Transition, coordinated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). DDS/RSA staff also remains active in Partners in Transition activities, which included on-going activities with DCPS, OSSE and other public and private partners who work with youth with disabilities in the District of Columbia. The transition unit has a weekly staff meeting at which periodic continuing education is provided. The administration will coordinate with TACE staff who specializes in transition services to develop a training plan for all transition staff for FY 2014. 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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.

DCRSA, in coordination with the SRC contracted with San Diego State University (SDSU) to conduct a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA).  This CSNA was supposed to be completed in 2011.  The agency established the contract with SDSU to conduct this needs assessment in March 2013.  This organization was selected through a competitive process.  Proposals were evaluated by a team including representation from DCRSA and the SRC.  SDSU had demonstrated experience with completing needs assessments for a number of other state rehabilitation programs across the country.  In addition, this organization submitted a proposal that clearly identified strategies for completing the needs assessment within the very tight timeline required in order for the CSNA to inform this year’s state plan.  The results of the CSNA were provided at a public meeting at DCRSA on June 7, 2013, from 1-3 pm, in the first floor training room.  The state plan was then updated consistent with the findings of the CSNA. 

The following is excerpted from San Diego State University’s written report of their Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment of the District of Columbia, and is an overview of their main conclusions on the state of DCRSA services, which are based on the electronic surveys, focus groups, and key informant interviews SDSU conducted in April-May 2013.  The needs assessment identified the following themes, and made the following recommendations for follow up: 

I.            Poor Customer Service o   Unresponsive (via e-mail and telephone) and slow service; lack of on-going contact o   Changes in leadership at RSA result in inconsistent agenda and priorities o   Vacancies in supervisory positions o   Intake process is cumbersome and can be an obstacle to people completing and following through with VR process o   Need for consistent training program for staff o   Staff perspective – need for: § Smaller caseloads § Less paperwork § More administrative support o   Difficulty scheduling meetings with counselor       II.            Services to Individuals with the most significant disabilities o   IL Services – need for training for all staff on IL services; IL services need to be clearly linked to VR services o   Supported Employment Services – RSA is not ensuring long-term follow up for SE; need for training for all staff on supported employment (including requirement that people be placed in integrated work setting, consistent with TAC dated 11/21/05); the 90 days and out mentality is inappropriate for SE; need for better coordination with DDA o   Services to persons with sensory impairments § Need for more low vision evaluators § CRPs for job placement services for persons who are blind or deaf § Need for IL services for people who are blind § Need to communicate in accessible formats     III.            Services to unserved and underserved populations o   Hispanic and Asian – need for expanded outreach to the communities where individuals live. Need to hire more bilingual staff; use language line; do not rely on friend/relative of person being served o   Ethiopians – DC has a large Ethiopian population that has not been accessing services o   Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (according to key informants) o   Older persons who are deaf-blind; limited services for this group § Other underserved groups by disability: ·         Older individuals with disabilities (including dementia) who need to keep working. There will be a concurrent growing need for personal attendant care for this group. The identification of this group was consistent across all groups. ·         Individuals with mental illness in that vendors are not trained to serve this group. ·         Individuals with traumatic brain injury, especially their need for employment services and job retention services. Washington, DC is ranked high in both the number of traumatic brain injuries and the number of traumatic brain injury deaths. ·         Individuals with autism spectrum disorders, especially those who are high-functioning, for whom employment is feasible. ·         Veterans: There is a need for much more outreach to this group. There needs to be more partnership between RSA and VA. The partnership is not consistent. o   Recommendations: § DC-RSA needs to do targeted outreach to the Hispanic, Asian and Ethiopian populations in the District. Identify community programs that serve individuals with disabilities of these ethnic backgrounds and do on-site outreach, including intakes with them.

      • DC-RSA should identify organizations in Wards 7 and 8 where a DC-RSA counselor can be out-stationed to serve individuals in their communities. The movement of counselors out of the office and into the community has been growing, and DC-RSA is encouraged to continue to develop this practice.
      • Hire bilingual staff that speak Spanish.
      • In order to increase the numbers of individuals served that have significant physical disabilities, DC-RSA should outreach to organizations that serve this population such as United Cerebral Palsy, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and any spinal cord injury Rehabilitation hospitals or programs in the District.
      • Recruit a deaf-blind specialist to serve the growing number of individuals seeking services from DC-RSA with these disabilities.

      IV.            Coordination of services with DOES – persons with disabilities need to be served by One Stops, not just referred back to RSA. o   Need for accessible technology for people who are blind or visually impaired; provide assistance to people who are unable to access information through computer o   One Stops need information about benefits counseling – make referrals to RSA. o   Provide services to transition age youth with disabilities o   Need for training for One Stop staff on the rehabilitation process and working with people with disabilities         V.            Transition – need to engage earlier with youth; get to know youth while they are still in school; provide training to families regarding transition/rehabilitation process; make AT assessments available to youth in school; IL services need to be available to transition age youth, and addressed in the transition plans       VI.            Quality of CRPs o   Delay in accessing job placement services? o   Need to expand number of CRPs as it relates to persons with sensory impairments o   Need for additional vocational evaluation services o   Payment method is seen as a barrier to success – i.e., providers are paid whether person finds a job or not.    VII.            Need to improve social security reimbursement rates o   Benefits counseling should be provided at the beginning of VR process o   Ticket to Work should be assigned to RSA.   VIII.            Frequently cited lack of vocational/training/education programs in the District. o   Recommendation - Create a coalition of government programs and service providers that work together in partnership to meet the needs of people with disabilities in the District. These organizations, with DC-RSA as the leader, can identify ways to streamline referral and share knowledge and resources.

 

 

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

 

The District of Columbia labor force data indicates that there are 425,152 working age residents. Of those of working age (18-64) 37,770 are estimated to have a disability, which represents 8.9% of the District’s working age population.                Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2011 American Community Survey

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Title I Part B Title I $14,413,348 7,150 $2,015
Title VI Part B Title VI $300,000 225 $1,333
Totals   $14,713,348 7,375 $1,995

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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.

 

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: o    the most recent comprehensive statewide assessment, including any updates; o    the performance of the state on standards and indicators; and o    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 Goals and Priorities for Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Program Updated priorities of the vocational rehabilitation state agency and the state rehabilitation council. In Fiscal Year 2013, the District of Columbia State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) has scheduled six meetings per year. These sessions are public forums structured to gather information about the employment of persons with disabilities, and for the designated state unit to provide information about services provided. Every effort is made to provide a variety of avenues for public input whenever issues, concerns, or policy changes are considered.   The SRC has an active policy committee that reviews and comments on proposed regulatory, policy and procedure changes. Meetings of the SRC are held at our District of Columbia State Rehabilitation Administration offices at 1125 15th Street, NW, Second Floor Conference Room, Washington, DC 20005. The public hearing on the District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration 2013 State Plan was held on June 15, 2012, .at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in the Jackson Graham Building located at 600 5th Street, NW, 1st Floor Conference Room, Washington, DC 20001. A notice was published in the District Register, as required by law, and notice was placed on the Department on Disability Services (designated state agency) website. Goals and Priorities for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Program: The Goals and priorities for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported employment program are set annually and are in response to both National and State issues, as mandated by Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The focus of their goals and activities includes but are not limited to consumer satisfaction, statewide needs assessment, state plan and amendments, policy, extent/scope/effectiveness of services, interagency agreements, and District of Columbia employment programs. These goals were developed, reviewed, and approved by DC RSA and the SRC. Planned program goals to be accomplished by the DC Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration were based on agency performance on standards and indicators.   Planned program objectives and initiatives to be accomplished by the DC Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration are: OBJECTIVE 1 – Increase both the quantity and quality of employment outcomes. DCRSA produced 501 successful closures in FY 2012. The agency is currently on track to surpass this number in FY 2013. On March 31, 2012, DCRSA had 167 successful closures; on March 31, 2013, the agency had 224 successful closures. DCRSA’s goal for 2014 is to meet the federal standard requiring the agency to have more closures in FY 2014 than it will have in FY 2013.   Strategy: ·         RSA has expanded its outreach efforts in FY 2013 in order to ensure that services are widely available in the community, focusing its efforts on locations in underserved and unserved areas of the city. The agency will continue to serve clients in community settings, in an effort to expand the client base, which will assist in raising the number and quality of successful employment outcomes. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         DCRSA will have agreements with government and community based agencies to provide VR intake services with at least 30 different locations throughout the city, focusing particularly on unserved and underserved areas (i.e., Wards 7 and 8; and areas where there is a high percentage of Spanish speaking and other limited English proficiency speakers, based on 2010 Census data and which has the highest density of people with disabilities in DC. ·         DCRSA will also establish formal agreements with local University Offices of Student Services and Disability Services to make rehabilitation services available to individuals graduating from these institutions. Strategy  ·         The agency is focusing on improving its customer service in order to ensure that its systems assist clients in accessing services. DCRSA established a written application in FY 2013, which is widely available in the community. The agency also accepts referrals via its website, telephone, U.S. mail or from clients who walk into the agency. The agency will develop additional materials for clients that will be available both in the agency and at partner agencies in the community (e.g., client handbook explaining services and provided forms, including application form, and DVD providing orientation to DCRSA services). The agency is currently in the process of updating its website. The revised website will ensure that the referral form is accessible and prominent on the website, and will also provide an application form.  Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         DCRSA is implementing recommendations from its Performance Improvement Team regarding improving intake in the agency to reduce barriers to clients entering services and to ensure that clients being referred to the agency for services are referred to a counselor who can assist with assessment, development of an appropriate plan and provision of services in a timely manner and within established timeframes.  ·         In FY 2012, the agency ended the practice of assigning people to specialized counselors (e.g., specifically to counselors serving blind and visually impaired clients, and to those serving deaf and hard of hearing). The agency reinstituted specialized caseloads for counselors in the last half of FY 2013 in order to ensure that VR counselors have the specialized knowledge necessary to assist clients with specific disabilities, particularly for clients who are blind or visually impaired, clients who are deaf or hard of hearing, and clients with intellectual disabilities. ·         DCRSA’s Office of Quality Assurance will coordinate with the SRC to conduct quarterly consumer satisfaction surveys.  Strategy ·         DCRSA is reorganizing its Business Relations Unit (BRU) to ensure that the unit focuses not only on developing relationships with employers in the community, but also includes employment specialists who will work directly with clients, providing jobs skills and soft skills training (e.g., interviewing skills).  Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         The BRU’s focus will be both external and internal in that it will establish and maintain relationships with employers. However, specialists in this unit will be expected to capitalize on those relationships by establishing relationships with counselors and clients, having a specific performance goals for job placements made in the fiscal year. The unit will have a goal over the course of the year of creating at least 160 job placements. Strategy ·         Ensure that services are accessible to clients with low literacy skills and focus services on improving literacy and basic educational skills for clients receiving VR services. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         Coordinate with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to ensure that GED classes and testing are available and accessible for blind, visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing clients. ·         Provide training for VR counselors on providing effective services for clients with low literacy skills. ·         Ensure that all clients are screened for the need for literacy and adult basic education; and provide this service when appropriate and consistent with the individual’s employment goal. Strategy ·         DCRSA has hired external program monitors in its Quality Assurance Unit. These monitors regularly visit the contract service providers. The monitors compile information regarding private contract agency performance. The information gathered will enable DCRSA agency to provide technical assistance and training to improve outcomes of the Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) job placement, job development and supported employment providers. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         The goal is for the monitors to both compile information for counselors and consumers to assist in informed choice of service providers, and to identify areas where technical assistance and training is needed in order to improve the overall performance of DCRSA’s community rehabilitation providers. Based on these reports, DCRSA will have information on CRPs available in printed format and on its website to assist clients in making informed choices regarding service providers. ·         Job development and placement providers will meet the goal of placing at least 55% of clients referred to them for job placement within 90 days. Strategy ·         Work with the SRC to finalize the agency’s policy on Supported Employment. Ensure that all staff are trained on supported employment protocols and that the agency is fully compliant with federal regulations regarding provision of supported employment services. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         All clients receiving supported employment services will be placed in jobs that pay at least the District minimum wage (currently $8.25 per hour) or for those who are placed in jobs paying less than this amount that a proper plan is put in place to ensure the individual receives this minimum wage.   Strategy ·         DCRSA has provided all VR counselor staff with training on the "Employment First" concepts and strategies, including customized employment, which provide that community-based, integrated employment is the first option for employment services for youth and adults with the most significant any disabilities Contract providers will also be provided training on Employment First concepts and strategies, particularly customized employment, in order to improve outcomes in identifying employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         All VR counselors will be familiar with the Employment First concepts, and will refer appropriate clients to private providers trained to provide Customized Employment Services. Strategy   ·         Provide benefits counseling as well as information about Ticket to Work and the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS Program) to clients.   Performance by September 30, 2014:   • Provide benefits orientation to at least 250 clients per quarter. Refer clients to individual agencies for benefits counseling and information about how to use the Ticket to Work, as well as assistance with developing a PASS.   Objective 2:  Improve the efficiency of RSA operations Strategy ·         DCRSA will use the automated case management system and regular supervisory case reviews to ensure that the agency complies with federal timeline requirements regarding determination of eligibility and development of IPEs and to ensure that quality services, provided in compliance with District and federal regulations. DCRSA will develop clear protocols for counselors and supervisors, identifying specific expectations regarding contact with clients, moving cases through the rehabilitation process, and the frequency and quality of case review by supervisors, all to improve the quality of services provided to clients. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         DCRSA will maintain compliance with its District Performance goals related to timeliness of completing eligibility determinations and developing Individualized Plans for Employment. Goal - 90% of eligibility determinations (without waivers, obtained with the consent of the client) will be completed within 60 days of application for VR services. ·         90 % of IPEs will be developed within 90 days of eligibility determination. ·         VR supervisors will conduct random case reviews of all counselors cases each month to ensure quality practice, consistent with federal and District regulations.  Strategy ·         The agency will continue to provide support to staff who have not yet obtained a CRC, supporting staff for up to three credits per semester toward classes necessary to obtain a CRC; and paying one time for the counselor to take the CRC exam. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         All newly hired VR counselors will be either CRCs or eligible to take the CRC exam.  ·         At least 28 of the agency’s 37 VR counselors, and all supervisors will have a CRC. Strategy ·         DCRSA, in collaboration with the SRC, will undertake a comprehensive review of all agency policies and procedures. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         The agency will have reviewed and revised all policies, as necessary, working collaboratively with the SRC, allowing for at least one community forum to review the proposed changes with interested members of the public. Strategy ·         DCRSA will develop contract provider evaluations and make the results available on the state agency’s website, to assist clients in exercising informed choice of service providers. ·         The Quality Assurance unit will continue regular quality case reviews. The results from these reviews are to be publicized to all staff at monthly All Staff Meetings, and the data shared with the SRC in quarterly meetings. ·         Quality Assurance will continue to administer customer satisfaction surveys.  Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         Information regarding the quality of services provided by agencies that contract with DCRSA to provide services for DCRSA clients will be available on the agency website to allow clients to make informed choices of service providers. Strategy ·         DCRSA will expand the availability of assessment services Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         DCRSA will recruit at least five additional private psychologists to provide assessments to determine eligibility for services. ·         DCRSA will recruit at least 3 additional providers qualified to conduct vocational assessments to assist in the development of the comprehensive assessment necessary for development of Individualized Plans for Employment. ·         DCRSA will purchase necessary equipment and provide staff training for the Vocational Evaluator on staff in order to expand the range of vocational evaluations offered within the agency. ·         DCRSA will purchase necessary equipment to ensure that the DCRSA staff assistive technology specialist is able to provide comprehensive assistive technology assessments at the agency. Objective 3 - Transition - Expand and Improve the Quality of Transition Services and Improve Coordination with the state education agency and all local education agencies. Strategy - ·         VR Counselors will conduct intake interviews for clients in schools, engaging with the whole transition team to provide services throughout the transition from high school to post secondary education, training or employment. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         A VR counselor and Transition Specialist will be identified as the point of contact for every DC public school, each public charter high school and each non-public school that accepts placements of DC students. ·         Students will be referred for VR services by the end of tenth grade to ensure that the VR counselor is engaged and part of the planning by eleventh grade. ·         RSA will increase the number of youth referred for VR services to 1100 during FY 2014, from 445 in FY 2012, and 729 in FY 2013 (effective 4/30/13) Strategy ·         DCRSA will work with the private non-profit provider School Talk to develop training materials for Transition Specialists to use to provide information to schools about VR Services. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         Transition Specialists will provide information at morning collaborative and other staff meetings at all schools regarding availability of VR services and the intake process. Strategy ·         DCRSA will process applications for VR services and complete IPEs within required timeframes. Performance ·         Compliance with timeframes for completion of eligibility determination will be 90% ·         Compliance with timeframes for development of IPEs will be 90% Strategy ·         Make the necessary changes to the case management system to ensure that the agency is able to monitor client’s progress in funded services, particularly postsecondary education. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         DCRSA will be able to identify how many clients have graduated from 2 year or 4 year colleges; and will be able to determine the employment outcomes for this group. ·         DCRSA will be able to identify how many individuals successfully complete other training programs and provide data on the employment outcomes for this group. Objective 4 – Develop a Self-Employment/Entrepreneurship Program – Strategy ·         The agency will develop policies and regulations consistent with the current federal and local regulations governing provision of services to individuals with a goal of self-employment. Performance by September 30, 2014 ·         DCRSA will have worked with the SRC to develop policies and procedures governing the Entrepreneurship Program. ·         DCRSA will identify a staff person responsible for appropriate assessment and support for clients interested in a goal of self-employment. ·         DCRSA will ensure that it has agreements with private agencies to support individuals with a self-employment goal in developing a business plan.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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.

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Aug 18 2011 9:55AM by sadcalbertr

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.

 

4.11 (c) (4) -- Goals and plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds Attachment 4.11(c)4 Disability of Individuals Number to be Served The Administration plans to serve 110 persons with mental health disabilities, through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Mental Health, which provided Evidenced Based Supported Employment Services; 75 persons with intellectual disabilities, referred by the Developmental Disability Administration. These persons will receive assessment, job development and job placement, and job coaching services. In addition, the Administration will serve an additional 40 persons with other disabilities, including traumatic brain injury, and other physical disabilities. These persons will receive assessment, job development and job placement, and job coaching services. Job coaching services may be provided for a significant period of time, as there are no long term supported employment services available through the Elderly and Disabled Persons Waiver. Therefore, the job coach will need to work toward fading the service, and transitioning to natural supports, in order to ensure a sustained, successful outcome. Total served – 225. Goal 1: Provide continued support to six (6) mental health supported employment providers to increase successful employment outcomes for individuals with mental health disabilities The Administration will continue to support the Human Care Agreements with six (6) providers of mental health supported employment services to support staff at each site to assist in increased referrals to DDS/RSA and the development of placement and employment opportunities through supported employment. Goal 2: Improve coordination with DCDDA  in order to ensure that more persons referred from DDA achieve a successful outcome. Initiatives to address this goal include assigning one VR counselor to work with this population. This counselor will then develop relationships with DDA staff, in order to ensure an effective referral. In addition, this counselor will participate in all Employment First training, in order to be familiar with customized employment services available to DCRSA clients and participate in customized employment assessment and discovery training. 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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.

Goal 1: Increase both the quantity and quality of employment outcomes. DCRSA produced 501 successful closures in FY 2012. The Administration is currently on track to surpass this number in FY 2013. On March 31, 2012, DCRSA had 167 successful closures; on March 31, 2013, the Administration had 224 successful closures. DCRSA’s goal for 2014 is to meet the federal standard requiring the agency to have more closures in FY 2014 than it will have in FY 2013.  

Strategy: RSA has expanded its outreach efforts in FY 2013 in order to ensure that services are widely available in the community, focusing its efforts on locations in underserved and unserved areas of the city. The Administration will continue to serve clients in community settings, in an effort to expand the client base, which will assist in raising the number and quality of successful employment outcomes. Strategy: The Administration is focusing on improving its customer service in order to ensure that its systems assist clients in accessing services. DCRSA established a written application in FY 2013, which is widely available in the community. The Administration also accepts referrals via its website, telephone, U.S. mail or from clients who walk into the Administration. The Administration will develop additional materials for clients that will be available both in the Administration and at partner agencies in the community (e.g., client handbook explaining services and provided forms, including application form, and DVD providing orientation to DCRSA services). The Administration is currently in the process of updating its website. The revised website will ensure that the referral form is accessible and prominent on the website, and will also provide an application form.  Strategy: DCRSA is reorganizing its Business Relations Unit (BRU) to ensure that the unit focuses not only on developing relationships with employers in the community, but also includes employment specialists who will work directly with clients, providing jobs skills and soft skills training (e.g., interviewing skills).  Strategy: Ensure that services are accessible to clients with low literacy skills and focus services on improving literacy and basic educational skills for clients receiving VR services. Strategy: DCRSA has hired external program monitors in its Quality Assurance Unit. These monitors regularly visit the contract service providers. The monitors compile information regarding private contract Administration performance. The information gathered will enable DCRSA Administration to provide technical assistance and training to improve outcomes of the Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) job placement, job development and supported employment providers. Strategy: Work with the SRC to finalize the Administration’s policy on Supported Employment. Ensure that all staff are trained on supported employment protocols and that the Administration is fully compliant with federal regulations regarding provision of supported employment services. Strategy: DCRSA has provided all VR counselor staff with training on the "Employment First" concepts and strategies, including customized employment, which provide that community-based, integrated employment is the first option for employment services for youth and adults with the most significant any disabilities Contract providers will also be provided training on Employment First concepts and strategies, particularly customized employment, in order to improve outcomes in identifying employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities. Strategy: Provide benefits counseling as well as information about Ticket to Work and the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS Program) to clients.   Goal 2: Improve the efficiency of RSA operations Strategy: DCRSA will use the automated case management system and regular supervisory case reviews to ensure that the Administration complies with federal timeline requirements regarding determination of eligibility and development of IPEs and to ensure that quality services, provided in compliance with District and federal regulations. DCRSA will develop clear protocols for counselors and supervisors, identifying specific expectations regarding contact with clients, moving cases through the rehabilitation process, and the frequency and quality of case review by supervisors, all to improve the quality of services provided to clients. Strategy:  The Administration will continue to provide support to staff who have not yet obtained a CRC, supporting staff for up to three credits per semester toward classes necessary to obtain a CRC; and paying one time for the counselor to take the CRC exam. Strategy: DCRSA, in collaboration with the SRC, will undertake a comprehensive review of all Administration policies and procedures. Strategy: DCRSA will develop contract provider evaluations and make the results available on the state Administration’s website, to assist clients in exercising informed choice of service providers. The Quality Assurance unit will continue regular quality case reviews. The results from these reviews are to be publicized to all staff at monthly All Staff Meetings, and the data shared with the SRC in quarterly meetings. Quality Assurance will continue to administer customer satisfaction surveys.  Strategy: DCRSA will expand the availability of assessment services by recruiting additional private providers to conduct psychological evaluations and vocational evaluations; and the Administration will purchase equipment to allow for qualified staff to provide vocational evaluations and assistive technology assessments.   Goal 3: Transition - Expand and Improve the Quality of Transition Services and Improve Coordination with the state education Administration and all local education agencies. Strategy: VR Counselors will conduct intake interviews for clients in schools, engaging with the whole transition team to provide services throughout the transition from high school to post secondary education, training or employment. Strategy: DCRSA will work with the private non-profit provider School Talk to develop training materials for Transition Specialists to use to provide information to schools about VR Services. Strategy: DCRSA will process applications for VR services and complete IPEs within required timeframes. Strategy: Make the necessary changes to the case management system to ensure that the Administration is able to monitor client’s progress in funded services, particularly postsecondary education.   Goal 4: DCRSA will develop a Self-Employment/Entrepreneurship Program. Strategy: The Administration will develop policies and regulations consistent with the current federal and local regulations governing provision of services to individuals with a goal of self-employment.

 

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.

 

In FY 2013, DCRSA hired an Assistive Technology Specialist. This individual is available to all staff to consult regarding AT questions. In addition, the agency is purchasing the necessary resources to allow the AT specialist to conduct AT assessments on-site at DCRSA’s office. In addition, to conducting assessments, the AT specialist also meets with individual clients when they have questions related to AT. Lastly, this individual serves as the DCRSA representative on the AT Community Advisory Board at ULS, the DC Assistive Technology grantee. DCRSA works closely with the AT Center at University Legal Services. In FY 2013, ULS provided a presentation at a DCRSA all staff meeting about the services provided by the AT Center. DCRSA intends to regularly invite ULS to All Staff Meetings to ensure that VR Specialists are aware of services offered at the center. Aside from having its own AT specialist on staff, DCRSA also maintains a human care agreement with a private community based provider that conducts AT assessments. 

 

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.

 

During FY 2013, DCRSA began aggressive efforts to increase outreach to individuals with disabilities, attempting to focus on unserved and underserved communities. As indicated above, the agency has established agreements with other government agencies and community based, non-profit agencies that are in communities or serve clients identified in our 2008 needs assessment as unserved or underserved (i.e., Wards 7 and 8 and individuals who are non-English speaking or limited English speaking). In FY 2013, DCRSA had or was establishing relationships with 11 government agencies and 11 community based agencies, in 27 different offices across the city. The number of referrals in the first half of FY 2013 was 1555, as compared with 1180 in the first half of FY 2012. Some of this increase has also been due to increased outreach to schools. As indicated above, DCRSA will track the referral numbers from each of the new referral sites in order to ensure that relationships are maintained with those sites that result in increased referrals to DCRSA. Currently, DCRSA assigns at least one counselor per week to each of these sites. As appropriate, the number of days per week or number of counselors could be increased. In addition, the agency intends to establish additional relationships with other agencies, to reach a goal of having more than 30 outreach sites by the end of FY 2014. The results of the 2011-14 needs assessment will be presented on June 7, 2013. This information will inform where DCRSA will devote these additional resources in FY 2014. The agency will attempt to develop relationships with agencies that serve persons with disabilities identified in this needs assessment.

 

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

 

The District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration continues to add new Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) that partner with us to provide an array of vocational rehabilitation services to consumers. The agency currently has agreements with 26 different community based providers. Additional services available to our consumer through the Human Care agreements include VR work adjustment services, trial work experiences, job placement and benefits analysis and planning. The human care providers are now working collaboratively with the agency’s Business Relations Unit to provide job readiness training and supports to our consumers, and to link consumers to potential employers. The Administration has two staff who work as provider relations specialists, who are responsible for supporting the network of approved CRPs. In addition, in FY 2013, the Administration added two additional staff who serve as quality assurance monitors to identify needs, and maintain and improve their quality. The Administration provides joint training with our Human Care Agreement CRP partners, to ensure that our collaboration yields the desired results in supported employment, job placement, and career assessment services and increased employment outcomes for consumers, particularly those with developmental disabilities and chronic mental illness. This happens, in part, through monthly meetings in addition to other training. Strategy 1: Use training and technical assistance to ensure that both DC RSA and CRP staff are knowledgeable of best practices and promising practices that increase the effectiveness of CRP providers and lead to employment outcomes. Encourage and promote increased collaboration of the CRP with the Administration in continuous job readiness activities. Strategy 2: Focus CRP-related process reforms on providing training to Administration staff on how counselors evaluate CRP information and provide that information to consumers so that they can exercise informed choice. Increasing counselors’ support to CRPs, assessment of CRP services, and ability to maintain constant contact with CRP providers regarding referred consumers will, the Administration believes, increase CRP effectiveness. Strategy 3 – Work collaboratively with CRP staff to implement concepts from Employment First, to increase employment outcomes for the most significantly disabled persons. Ensure that all DCRSA VR Specialists have training on Employment First and customized employment, to ensure that they are able to refer clients to appropriate agencies for specialized support. Strategy 4 – Participate, along with CRPs in Employment First Community of Practice in order to fully integrate Employment First concepts into supported employment services provided to persons with the most significant disabilities, in order to improve employment outcomes for these individuals.

 

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

Standard I

Indicator 1.1  Annual Change in Employment Outcomes: the difference in the number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period as compared to the previous performance period. Strategy 1: Increase counselor and client participation in activities sponsored by DCRSA’s Business Relations Unit including: ·         Weekly Job Readiness Workshops ·         Monthly Employer/Industry Spotlights ·         Quarterly Career Fairs ·         On-going Talent Preview Internship Program  Strategy 2: Strengthen collaboration with the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), and the DC Department of Human Resources, taking full advantage of the programs and services available to job-seekers including: ·         The First Source Employment Agreement: requires all project contractors doing business in the District with contracts totaling $100,000 or more to use DOES as their first source for recruitment of all newly created jobs, and requires that 51% of all newly created jobs be filled by District residents; ·         One City Fellows Initiative: an incentive program designed to encourage employers to hire unemployed District residents. The DC Department of Human Resources will cover an employee’s salary for the first six months. The employer is expected to cover the salary beyond the first 6 months; ·         The DC Government Point Incentive Program: eligible individuals applying for DC Government positions may receive additional points, awarded post-interview, including five (5) points for persons with disabilities, ten (10) points for DC residents; and ten (10) points for veterans with honorable discharges; Strategy 3: Continue to expand the number and types of employers participating in the Project Search program, enabling transition-aged students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while receiving on-the-job support. Strategy 4: Increase the number of SSI/DI recipients referred for Benefits Counseling; Strategy 5: Finalize the Department’s initiative to serve as an Employment Network for the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program. Indicator 1.2           Percent of Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals exiting the program who have achieved an employment outcome after receiving services. Strategy 1: Adopt and implement an enhanced communication policy ensuring counselors: ·         Establish monthly contact with clients under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) using client’s preferred mode of communication; ·         Communicate at least monthly with service providers ensuring services are delivered in accordance with established contract/agreement; ·         Conduct periodic site visits to CRPs and other training programs Strategy 2: Host quarterly Provider Fairs to provide counselors and clients the opportunity to meet and “interview” providers face to face; Strategy 3: Develop and implement Vendor Profile, summarizing standard information about each provider including provider’s outcome statistics. Indicator 1.3 Competitive Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals who exit the VR program in employment in integrated settings with hourly rate of earnings equivalent to at least the federal or state minimum wage rate, whichever is higher.   Strategy 1: Continue quarterly CRP meetings to provide a forum for discussions and to ensure all providers are aware of the agency’s policies, regulations and expectations governing the provision of services.   Strategy 2: Continue to develop the agency’s Employment First initiative, a concept designed to facilitate the full inclusion of people with the most significant disabilities in the workplace and community.   Indicator 1.4 Significance of Disability: reflects the significance of disability served by the VR agency and is the percentage of those identified in Indicator 1.3 who have significant disabilities.   Strategy 1:      continue to identify new programs and services to ensure persons with significant disabilities receive appropriate and quality services leading to successful employment outcomes          Indicator 1.5 Earnings Ratio: indicates that VR consumers who achieved competitive outcomes are earning, on the average, at least 52 cents for every dollar earned hourly by all employed individuals in the state; and   Strategy 1: Provide job seekers with up-to-date information on employment trends in the District; Strategy 2: Connect with local colleges and universities to disseminate to students with disabilities information related to the agency’s services; Strategy 3: Encourage enrollment in short-term training/certificate Workforce Development programs offered by community colleges the DC metropolitan area; Strategy 4: Ensure counselors serving transition-aged youth provide timely services to help students develop career goals, and achieve employment and self-sufficiency; Indicator 1.6: Self-Support: for those identified in Indicator 1.3, the difference in the percentage of individuals who at program entry reported their income as the largest single source of support, and the percentage that reported their personal income as the largest single source of support at program exit. Strategy 1: Increase the number of SSI/DI recipients referred for Benefits Counseling; Strategy 2: Encourage enrollment in short-term training/certificate Workforce Development programs offered by community colleges the DC metropolitan area. Strategy 3: Continue to develop the agency’s Employment First initiative, a concept designed to facilitate the full inclusion of people with the most significant disabilities in the workplace and community.   Strategy 4: Increase the use of Customized Employment enabling persons with significant disabilities the opportunity to achieve successful employment outcomes.

 

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

 

In 2014, DCRSA will continue its partnership with DOES, and the other members of the Workforce Investment Council. The agencies will: ·         Refine the cross referral process within RSA and DOES to ensure that persons are able to access services through both agencies. ·         Reestablish communication and partnership with the DOES Business Services Group, which was reorganized and recently re-launched.  DOES has access to many large employment/recruiting opportunities, DCRSA will continue to partner in an effort to gain inclusion on major hiring efforts managed the DOES. ·         DCRSA will continue to have one counselor assigned to each One Stop Center to conduct intake interviews for VR services and see DOES clients interested in VR services. ·         Collaborate with DOES to map out a clear pathway for job seekers to receive services.  ·         DCRSA will continue to work with DOES to improve access to services within DOES for persons with disabilities.  ·         The agencies will work together to provide cross training of program staff who have contact with job seekers. In 2013, DOES One-stop staff were trained about DCRSA, service and supporting individuals with disabilities. ·         Establish a linkage between the DCRSA Transition Youth Team and the DOES Youth Program team to increases access to employment training, temporary work assignments and placements. ·         The Deputy Director of DDS/RSA will continue to represent the agency on the Workforce Investment Council.

 

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.

 

DCRSA is currently utilizing the findings and recommendations of San Diego State University’s   Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment for Fiscal Year 2011 (but conducted with a final report issued in May 2013). Additionally, DCRSA is utilizing  the Fiscal Year 2013 Monitoring Report on the District of Columbia Vocational Rehabilitation Program by the U.S. Department of Education, RSA, May 3, 2013. Both note that the Administration faces enormous but surmountable challenges as it seeks to improve VR services individuals with disabilities in the District. These goals and priorities were developed, reviewed, and approved by DC RSA and the SRC. Planned program objectives and initiatives to be accomplished by the DC Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration were based on agency performance on standards and indicators. Goal 1 (Increase both the quantity and quality of employment outcomes): DCRSA is projected to surpass its number of FY 2012 successful employment outcomes in FY 2013, and plans to improve this number further through expanded outreach, increased efforts to serve people in community settings, and agreements with government and community-based agencies to provide VR intake services citywide that focus on underserved areas such as Wards 7 and 8, and the establishment of formal agreements with local University Offices of Student Services and Disability Services. Additionally, DCRSA is developing materials for clients that will be available both in the agency and at partner agencies in the community (e.g., client handbook explaining services and provided forms, including application form, and DVD providing orientation to DCRSA services). Innovation and Expansion: DCRSA is revamping website, which will ensure that its referral form is accessible and prominent on the website, and will also provide an application form.  Additionally, DCRSA is reorganizing its Business Relations Unit (BRU) to ensure that the unit includes employment specialists who will work directly with clients and establishes relationships with counselors and clients; the BRU’s year-end goal is to  create at least 160 job placements. Furthermore, DCRSA is revising its entire policy and procedure handbook with a focus on ensuring that the revised documents support Employment First philosophy where community-based, integrated employment is the overwhelmingly first option considered for all individuals, regardless of severity of disability. This follows from the Mayor’s declaration of the District as an Employment First state in 2012.  In the same vein, DDS has created an Employment First Leadership Workgroup on which DCRSA staff are active participants. The Workgroup brings together advocates, providers, and others who are leaders in implementing Employment First in the District to strategize on expanding and promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities district-wide. Initiatives have included an Employment First-specific conference to be held in June 2013, a DCPS initiative to develop students’ soft skills, and ho  Additionally, DDS has launched a Customized Employment Community of Practice to give employers and providers who have not yet implemented customized employment tools, resources, and information on personalizing the relationship between employers and job candidates in ways that satisfy the needs of both. DCRSA will work with providers and employers to gather more detailed information and tailor supports, employment opportunities, and services on individual’s learning styles, challenges, environmental preferences, and in other areas with an eye to matching them with employment opportunities for which they are the best suited and which give them the greatest opportunity for a long-term, rewarding career.  Moreover, DCRSA is working to engage providers, employers, and others in the VR process by distributing responsibility for employment outcomes across the entire vocational-medical spectrum  in a way that focuses and gives meaning to other services or therapies that are involved and are a predicate to individuals’ successful vocational rehabilitation. Finally, DCRSA is working to coordinate services with individuals served by or eligible for services from the Developmental Disabilities Administration, and to ensure the provision and sufficiency of the non-VR services such as medical, maintenance, and other services, that are pivotal to individuals’ employment success. Goal 2 (Improve the efficiency of RSA operations):   DCRSA will use its automated case management system, System 7, and regular supervisory case reviews to ensure eligibility determination and IPE development timeliness guidelines are met, and to ensure that quality services are provided in compliance with District and federal regulations. DCRSA will develop clear protocols for counselors and supervisors, identifying specific expectations regarding contact with clients, moving cases through the rehabilitation process, and the frequency and quality of case review by supervisors, all to improve the quality of services provided to clients.  Additionally, VR supervisors will conduct random case reviews of all counselors’ cases each month to ensure quality practice, consistent with federal and District regulations. Also, DCRSA will develop contract provider evaluations and make the results available on the state agency’s website, to assist clients in exercising informed choice of service providers. Additionally, The Quality Assurance unit will continue regular quality case reviews and administer customer satisfaction surveys.  DCRSA will work to overcome barriers to assessment timeliness by recruiting no fewer than five private psychologists to provide assessments to determine eligibility for services, and three additional providers to assist in the development of the comprehensive assessment necessary for development of Individualized Plans for Employment.   From a personnel standpoint, DCRSA will work to streamline operations by expanding opportunities for employee collaboration , both intra-RSA and with DDA.   Furthermore, DCRSA will work to improve employee satisfaction and retention by ensuring supervisors are providing consistent, positive reinforcement to employees and are available and utilized by their subordinate employees in high-stress, high-importance situations and environments. From an IT perspective, DCRSA will continue to work with Libera, the case management software vendor, on refining System 7 to ensure the reported on and returned by the system is tailored to the specific needs of the District’s VR system.  Goal 3 (Expand and improve the quality of transition services and improve coordination with the state education agency and all local education agencies):   DCRSA has committed itself to specific initiatives aimed at improving transition services and outcomes for transition age youth. Specifically, DCRSA is working with SchoolTalk, an area nonprofit organization, to develop a Transition Toolkit for t transition age youth, their parents, and school personnel. The Toolkit’s aim is to provide implementable, adaptable resources and information that facilitate individuals’ secondary transition to employment or postsecondary education. The toolkit will provide support for the referral process, intake and eligibility, IEPs, transition plans, IPEs, and as needed elsewhere throughout the VR process. The end products of the Toolkit will be the What Comes Next? Transition Guide for parents and students; a Transition Road Map poster for distribution to and prominent display in schools; updated color brochures, accessible PowerPoint presentations; factsheets. Along with SchoolTalk and DCRSA, the Toolkit is a collaborative effort with the DC Public Schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the Department of Mental Health, and other District agencies. Examples of Toolkit tools being developed are implementation guidelines for Student-Led IEP meetings and suggested, specific roles and responsibilities in the transition process broken down between parents, students, DCRSA, and the school system. DCRSA anticipates that the Toolkit will be finalized prior to the upcoming 2013-14 school year.  Additional strategies in Transition include increasing DCRSA’s presence at transition IEP meetings, designating a VR counselor to work specifically with blind students of transition age, collaborating with other agencies to host career fairs and information sessions at schools and in the community to facilitate referrals at age 14.  Goal 4 (Develop a Self-Employment/entrepreneurial ship program): DCRSA is partnering with the State Rehabilitation Council to develop a new Self-Employment Policy that allows individuals pursuing self-employment the greatest possible opportunities for entrepreneurial success and career satisfaction. The policy will work to support individuals to maximize their earnings and by extension, financial independence, in their chosen industry or field, consistent with their skills, abilities, interests, and employment goals. DCRSA will work to provide and expand access to the services and supports that new entrepreneurs need the most, such as access to business planning and accounting services, marketing consultation, access to startup capital/loans where necessary, and career-oriented trainings. Additionally, DCRSA will designate a responsible staff person for individually tailored assessment and support for clients interested in pursuing self-employment as an employment goal.  The staff person will serve as a direct resource for accessing entrepreneurial-focused supports and resources and will work with consumers to revisit individuals’ entrepreneurship goals to ensure that services and supports are giving them the greatest possible chance to succeed in the self-employment realm. Moreover, DCRSA will develop agreements with private agencies to support individuals with an entrepreneurial goal in developing a business plan. This will include collaboration with local American Job Centers to support individuals working to start their own businesses. Additionally, DCRSA through its Business Relations Unit will work to identify individuals who are successful entrepreneurs in their own right and other resources such as business incubators, microloan programs, and small business assistance centers for individuals considering self-employment to connect with for resources or further information.  Finally, DCRSA will engage in targeted outreach that connects with youth once they reach 14 years of age so that it can coordinate IL services while they are still in school, coordination adaptive technology and equipment assessments, and work with them for successful transition.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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

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

Goal 1: Increase the number of employment outcomes in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area, with priority given to those with significant and most significant disabilities. DCRSA produce 625 successful closures in FY 2012.

DCRSA was not successful in meeting this goal. The Administration had focused during FY 2012 on improving compliance with meeting federally required timelines for determining eligibility and developing IPEs. In addition, the Administration focused on reviewing all cases and closing out cases in which the Administration had lost contact with the client or where there had been no progress toward achieving a successful outcome. During this time, the Administration reduced its presence at outreach sites, thereby reducing the overall number of new referrals. Although there was significant improvement in compliance with federal timelines, the number of successful closures fell far short of the Administration’s goal. Strategy:·         The Administration will give priority to those individuals with significant and most significant disabilities (amputation, arthritis, autism, visually impaired, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, intellectual disabilities, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, muscular-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disabilities, end-stage renal disease). Creating programs and services directed specifically to youth with disabilities, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and people with significant mental illness through enhance supported employment and evidence-based supported employment models. ·         The Administration will focus on increasing employment opportunities for individuals who are blind, deaf-blind, deaf or hearing impaired. To assist the Administration in this effort, the Administration will expand outreach efforts to all areas of the city. The Administration will place an increased emphasis on outreach and extended services to employers through creating opportunities for on the job training and disability management services. The Administration established the BRU, which reached out to employers to create opportunities for on the job training and disability management services. While the BRU was successful in establishing some on the job training opportunities, these were not sufficient to increase the number of successful closures sufficiently to meet our annual goal of 625. ·         RSA’s VR Specialists who are now deployed in seventeen (17) community locations and almost 100 local schools, to increase outreach to people with significant and most significant disabilities. Develop 5 additional outreach sites in the community. The Administration did not follow through on this initiative. Rather than expanding outreach sites during the fiscal year, the Administration reduced the number of VR Specialists deployed in community locations. In FY 2013, the Administration is working on this goal, and has since increased the number of VR Specialists deployed to community locations to 27. By the end of FY 2012, the Transition Specialists had relationships with approximately 75 schools. Factors that Impeded the Achievement of Goals: The Administration was focused on improving compliance with federal timelines and local and federal regulations. Due to this, it retracted from much of its outreach efforts, which resulted in lower numbers of referrals and subsequently lower numbers of successful closures.  Goal 2: Improve the efficiency of RSA operations. The Administration has completed the implementation of the new case management system, which enables efficient tracking of cases throughout the VR process to improve timeliness of services. The implementation of the Quality Assurance component of DDS/RSA has enabled the state vocational rehabilitation Administration to effectively monitor case compliance to federal performance indicators. The Administration will implement a vendor report card process to provide information and support to RSA customers in exercising informed choice when selecting vendors and providers for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the Authority of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as Amended in 1998; CFR Section 361.52. Within 30 days of completion of a RSA sponsored training program, the counselor shall meet with the customer to solicit his/her comments regarding the training experience. The consumer shall provide comments on the RSA Vendor Satisfaction Survey. Surveys are available in English, English-Large Print, Spanish, Chinese and Cantonese. The counselor shall provide assistance if needed and shall ensure completion of all applicable sections of the survey. The counselor shall assure the customer that his/her identity will not be shared with the vendor or with other customers. The original copy of the survey shall be placed in the case record and a copy shall be forwarded to the Office of Quality Assurance and Federal Compliance. Comments will be made available to customers seeking similar training. The Administration plans to implement a customer satisfaction survey for clients to complete based on their experience in the Reception/Intake area. The survey will be available in the eight languages recognized by the Office of Human Rights. During FY 2012, the Administration added a Dash Board capability for all supervisors to aid them in monitoring counselors’ compliance with completing eligibility determinations and IPE development timely. This DashBoard helped the agency significantly improve its performance in these areas. At the beginning of the fiscal year, the agency performance was 53% in timely determination of eligibility and 73% in timely development of IPEs. By the end of FY 2012, the performance had improved to 85% for timely determination of eligibility and 94% for timely development of IPEs.  Strategy: To ensure continuous improvement, the DDS/RSA Office of Quality Assurance and Federal Compliance will conduct quarterly caseload reviews on active (St.10-18) and closed (St. 26 and 28) cases. Unit supervisors will conduct monthly reviews on randomly selected cases. Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:100% of eligibility determinations (without waivers) will be completed within 60 days of application for VR services.100% of IPEs will be developed with 90 days of eligibility determination. At the end of FY 2012 the Administration’s performance on these measures Strategy: DDS/RSA will prepare a recruitment/employment plan that will support the hiring and retention of qualified and dedicated counselors.Performance Measure by September 30, 2012: Eighty (80) percent of the counselor vacancies will be filled by counselors with CRCs or by counselors eligible to take the CRC exam. Currently all VR counselor vacancies are filled with individuals who are eligible to sit for the CRC exam. StrategyDDS/RSA will implement a vendor report card process to provide information and support to RSA customers in exercising informed choice when selecting vendors and providers for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.Performance Measure by September 30, 2012:Within thirty (30) days of completing a training program, etc. consumers will be contacted by their assigned counselor or staff from the Office of Quality Assurance and Federal Compliance and provided an opportunity to share their training experience by completing the Vendor Satisfaction Survey. The resulting scores will be made available to customers seeking similar training.Strategy:The Administration will implement a customer satisfaction survey for consumers to complete based on their experience in the Reception/Intake area. The survey will be available in the eight languages recognized by the Office of Human Rights. Performance Measure by September 30, 2012:The survey forms will be tallied monthly. The target is an average monthly rating of 90% or above. Surveys were completed. However, the surveys are currently conducted in English and Spanish (the primary language of NEP and LEP clients of the agency).  Factors that impeded achievement of goal: The Administration was not able to add external monitoring staff to its Quality Assurance unit until FY 2013. These two staff members are now working on addressing these issues, visiting all vendors regularly, developing a monitoring tool to assess quality and effectiveness of private vendors, and providing information to VR staff about the quality of vendors. The Administration was not able to meet these goals in FY 2012, as the additional staff members were not hired until the beginning of FY 2013. Goal 3: Improve DCRSA’s overall customer service to individuals with disabilities.The Administration’s priority in this area is to increase the number of Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) hired by the Administration, support current staff in completing their CRC requirements, and provide training to all staff on policy and procedures including compliance with federal regulations. The Administration will place greater emphasis on creating a “customer-friendly” environment and timely delivery of services. The Administration wrote a successful grant to obtain a year of technical assistance on Universal Design, which will support this goal as well. Strategy:Increase 5 additional CRC’s.Development of client applications within 5 days of initial contact with referrals Factors that Impeded the Achievement of Goals: One of the local programs that offers a Masters Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling closed in FY 2012. The pool of qualified applicants is fairly small. The Administration continues efforts to support existing staff in obtaining necessary course work or in paying one time for staff to sit for the CRC exam. In addition, the new counselors hired are all eligible to sit for the CRC exam. However, the agency continues to have a number of staff who are not CRCs. This is due to the high number of staff who were already at the agency before the requirement that all VR counselors have a CRC (by October 2015) was established.  The Administration was able to detail one staff person to work as a customer relations staff person. This individual has been extremely helpful in fielding specific customer complaints and ensuring that issues are resolved. Goal 4: Build and strengthen the capacity of RSA providers to provide quality VR services to a diverse group of individuals across disability types, and expand the pool of available qualified employer candidates. The Administration now has a certified Work Incentives/Benefits Counselor to provide work incentive counseling to VR consumers. With assistance from DC?s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, DC now has five certified Benefits Counselors, who are available to serve RSA consumers as part of a Benefits Network. The RSA Benefits Counselor coordinates referrals to certified approved benefits counselors who are part of the network. The Administration’s priority is to continue to expand and develop various human care and cooperative agreements, which now includes benefits analysis and counseling and which will enhance and facilitate services to a broad range of consumers, expand the counselor’s knowledge base of employers, and create a larger pool of qualified applicants for jobs. The new Business Relations Unit’s activities support this objective as well.Strategy:Provide benefits orientation to 200 individuals Factors that Impeded the Achievement of Goals: The Administration’s benefits counselor was able to provide benefits orientation to 196 VR clients during FY 2012, almost achieving the goal of providing this service to 200 clients. One challenge has been the level of understanding of the staff about the need for this service, and the extent to which clients concerns about possible termination of benefits affect their motivation to enter the workforce. The benefits counselor has been working to confront this challenge through regular meetings with all VR unit staff, and through direct contact with clients via telephone, and in person when clients come into the agency for initial applications.  Goal 5: Strengthen and expand existing collaboration and coordination of transition services to improve vocational, post-secondary employment and career opportunities for youths between the ages of 16-22 transitioning from school to work. The Administration plans to improve and enhance a seamless service delivery process through collaboration with District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to ensure that students with disabilities have an IPE developed before graduation. Transition services to students and parents are planned through parent workshops, increased information dissemination to parent organizations, outreach to schools and the DDS/RSA website and public service announcements. RSA now also has a data-sharing MOA and has developed a joint consent/referral form with DCPS, both of which should facilitate youth referrals to RSA.Strategy:Provide transition services to 500 students from the DC school systemThe Youth and Transition Unit is now staffed with four (4) Transition Specialists, four (4) VR Specialists/Counselors and a Rehabilitation Assistant, more than doubling the number of staff dedicated exclusively to youth transition. Factors that Impeded the Achievement of Goals: The Administration exceeded its goal in this area. The Administration added two additional VR counselors during the fiscal year, bringing the total to six VR counselors. The Administration continues to improve its performance in this area. One significant challenge is the number of different public charter schools in the District. The Administration has been working with DCPS and OSSE to ensure that all schools where eligible youth may attend, including DC public schools, public charter schools and non-public schools are identified, with a transition specialist assigned to provide outreach and education and receive referrals.  During the course of this year, the Administration, through its work on the Secondary Community of Practice, began working with a community based non-profit organization (School Talk, Inc.) to develop a Tool Kit, to be available to youth, their families and school staff, that will describe the transition process and services available from RSA.  Goal 6: Provide specialized vocational rehabilitation and independent living services to individuals with blindness and visual impairments. RSA has strengthened and expanded the unit working with people who are blind, low-vision or deaf/blind. This unit is working aggressively to expand service options for people who are blind, low-vision or deaf/blind.Strategy:Provide expanded and specialized services to 332 individuals Factors that Impeded the Achievement of Goals: The Administration was able to provide specialized services to 215 persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf/blind. The Administration did not achieve this goal as the Blind Administration did not become fully staffed until FY 2013. This is a very specialized service, requiring special training and experience. In FY 2013, the Administration brought in staff from the University of Mississippi to provide specialized training, and was finally able to recruit staff to fill all vacant positions.     

 

Goal 1: Utilize American Recovery Reinvestment Act (AARA) to increase successful employment outcomes for individuals with mental health disabilities

The Administration developed Human Care Agreements with six (6) providers of mental health supported employment services to hire additional staff at each site to assist in increased referrals to DCRSA and develop placement and employment opportunities through supported employment.

Beginning in FY 2012 ARRA funds will end, the funds were used to help build capacity for providers to establish the mean to maintain the level of service provision. The providers will cover the cost for employees.

Goal 2: Provide improved supported employment services resulting in increased employment outcomes.

The Administration will continue to solicit Human Care Providers to provide supported employment and Evidenced-Based Supported Employment with a focus on individuals with developmental disabilities by increasing the number of referrals from the DC Developmental Disabilities Administration.

The Administration continues to coordinate with the Department of Mental Health to provide supported employment services to individuals with mental health disabilities.  The program served 80 persons with mental health disabilities over the course of the fiscal year.  Staff from DMH and DCRSA continue to work together to increase the numbers of referrals and number of successful outcomes.

DCRSA continues to work closely with DCDDA to improve coordination of services to persons with intellectual disabilities.  During FY 2012, there were 47 referrals from DCDDA, with only 2 successful outcomes.  The agency is working on a number of efforts to improve its performance in this area. 

 

 

In FY 2012, DCRSA exceeded all RSA requirements on standards and indicators except indicators 1.1, 1.2 and 1.5.  Indicator I.5 contues to be a particularly difficult standard for the District to achieve, due to the relatively high average wages in the area.  Standard I:  VR’s Impact on Employment 1.1   Annual Change in Employment Outcomes: the difference in the numvber of individuals exiting the VR program who acheived an employment outcome during the current performance period as compared to the previous performance period.  FY 2012 Target: ? 659  Results: 501 Closures - Failed –The agency was focused during FY 2012 on improving compliance with federal timelines, e.g., percentage of cases in which eligibility was determined within 60 days of application and percentage of cases in which IPEs were developed within 90 days of eligibility determination. In implementing measures to improve performance in this area, the agency pulled back from many of its outreach efforts, thereby reducing the number of new referrals. Although performance in compliance with timeliness significantly improved over the course of the year, the number of successful closures declined significantly.1.2   Percent of Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals exiting the program who have achieved an employ employment outcome after receiving services. FY 2012 Target: ? 55.8%. Result: 28.9% - Failed. In addition to focusing on improving the performance on timeliness, the agency focused on closing out cases that had been inactive for a long period of time. This resulted in a very high number of unsuccessful closures during the fiscal year. 1.3   Competitive Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals who exit the VR program in employment in integrated settings with hourly earnings equivalent to at least the federal or state minimum wage rate, whichever is higher. FY 2012 Target: ? 72.6 Result: 90.2% - Passed.1.4   Significance of Disability: reflects the significance of disability served by the VR agency and is the percentage of those identified in Indicator 1.3 who have significant disabilities. FY 2012 Target:  ? 62.4% Result: 90.3% - Passed.1.5   Earnings Ratio: indicates that VR consumers who achieved competitive outcomes are earning, on the average, at least 52 cents for every dollar earned hourly by all employed individuals in the state. FY 2012 Target: ? $19.46. Result: $12.60 – Failed. This continues to be a very difficult indicator for the District to achieve as the average earnings of all employed individuals in the state are high compared with other states in the country. 1.6   Self-Support: for those identified in Indicator 1.3, the difference in the percentage of individuals who are program entry reported their income as the largest single source of support, and the percentage that reported their personal income as the largest single source of support at program exit. FY 2012 Target: ? 53. Result: 92. Passed.   Standard 2: Minority Background Service Rate: The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program who received VR services. FY 2012 Target: ? .80. Result: 1.00 – Passed  

 

The Administration’s plan for the use of Innovation and Expansion funds was to focus on the following areas:

Develop an assortment of marketing materials in (English Spanish,and French), including tabletop displays, brochures, pamphlets, and flyers to market the RSA employment services to businesses, referral sources, potential consumers, and their families. Materials can be translated into other languages upon request.

Use I&E funds to sponsor Transition workshops intended to target rehabilitation counselors, educators, high school personnel, and community rehabilitation providers working with youth and parents.

Support the District of Columbia State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council as required in Section 101(18)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998 and consistent with their resource plans prepared under Section 705(e)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR ?364.21 (i).

The Administration was able to develop some outreach materials that have been made available.  These materials are curerntly being translated into Spanish (the language spoken by the highest number of current NEP or LEP clients).  The agency has a parent night once a year for transition youth and their parents.  During the course of FY 2012, the Administration successfully recruited interested community members to serve on the Statewide Independent Living Council and the State Rehabilitation Council. 

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

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

  Supported Employment services are available to any DCRSA client who is certified as having a most significant disability and for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of that disability.  DCRSA has identified two populations that require the use of supported employment services: persons with severe and persistent mental illness and persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The community rehabilitation providers provide to the two populations supported employment services which include intake, assessment and job coaching. Other consumers may require a job coach model for their initial placement but do not require the extended services as provided under the provisions of supported employment services. Each provider provides individualized services to consumers. Their efforts are geared toward competitive placements in an integrated work environment. At times, a company or a government agency may hire several clients, but the clients are not placed within the same work area to ensure that they are in an integrated work setting. With their rehabilitation specialist’s assistance, clients make informed choices to select their vocational goals. If a client chooses to change that goal during the supported employment process, their VR specialist assists and the new goal is implemented. Every effort is made to ensure clients are placed in jobs that are consistent with their interests and abilities. An "any job will do" attitude is never acceptable. Employment Specialists/Job Coaches spend valuable time with clients teaching them about the workplace’s expectations and the required tasks, assuring also that they know who to ask when assistance is needed. Time is spent with the person on the worksite who is identified as the natural support person as well to ensure that they are comfortable and prepared to provide workplace support as needed. The person identified as the natural support completes training in techniques and strategies to assist the assigned consumer to complete tasks required and identify the areas in which prompting or feedback may be appropriate in order to assure accurate completion of all assigned work tasks. The client is also provided with the name and telephone number of the Employment Specialist/Job Coach in the event of questions or problems. The workplace supervisor also receives training in order to assure that, if the primary natural support person leaves, another person can be identified who is willing to accept that role. Contacts are made by the Employment Specialist/Job Coach with the consumer on an as-needed basis. Additional follow-up contacts are made each month with the supervisor to ensure problems are identified early in the employment process and consumers receive the assistance they need to maintain employment. The Employment Specialist/Job Coach also provides travel training as needed. The Employment Specialist/Job Coach makes certain that transportation funds are available to assist the consumer in his/her job retention as needed. Additionally, all decisions are discussed jointly by the committee and with the consumer. Issues are seldom presented to consumers by only one party to ensure consumers see the group as united toward their goal of employment. Supported Employment providers are monitored, as are all providers. Some visits are announced while some are unannounced. The services being provided are reviewed and a report is returned to the Administration’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services Division that includes the monitors’ observations regarding the program. Problems are discussed with the provider and, when necessary, a corrective action plan is developed and implemented.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2013 3:40PM by Chris Pope

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:07/30/2013 3:40 PM

Last updated by:rscopopec

Completed on: 08/15/2013 5:13 PM

Completed by: rscopopec

Approved on: 08/15/2013 5:13 PM

Approved by: rscopopec