ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

1.1 The Delaware Department of Labor 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 Delaware Department of Labor [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

Director DE Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

... 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

Director DE Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

... 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 Signatory
Andrea Guest

Title of Signatory
Director, Delaware Div. of Vocational Rehabilitation

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/28/2012

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 2013
Yes

Comments:

Certification Regarding Lobbying-Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Certification Regarding Lobbying-Supported Employment Program

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Andrea Guest

Title of Signatory
Director, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/28/2012

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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
Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

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))

X This agency is 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.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) The designated state unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the state who apply for services. No

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

ATTACHMENT 4.2(C) Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the State Rehabilitation Council maintain open lines of communication. The DVR Director and Deputy Director participate in SRC meetings. The Director reports key activities to the SRC as a regular agenda item at each meeting. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the SRC participate on the DVR Policy Committee and are part of discussions regarding proposed changes to the DVR Policy manual. The SRC frequently designates a representative to participate in the state budget process for DVR, attending the DOL Budget Hearings with the Office of Management and Budget and the Delaware Legislature’s budget hearings before the Joint Finance Committee. The State Rehabilitation Council is invited to comment on the state plan as part of the annual plan development process. The SRC recommendations for DVR policy and program improvements are primarily received during the annual Effectiveness Evaluation, conducted during the retreat.

SRC Recommendations.

DVR should track/report employment retention, consider 180 or 365 day retention study;

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

DVR has been tracking retention for some time. DVR will continue to track retention, and will report retention results to the SRC. DVR has been tracking successful outcomes after one year of employment, to determine if the individuals are still employed, their wage and benefit status. Based on a desire to come more in line with the “common measures”, DVR is transitioning to a 180 day retention report.

SRC Recommendations.

RSA should consider more regional standards and indicators, since not all national performance measures are appropriate in all areas

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

DVR has consulted with RSA about the ability of Delaware to meet standard 1.5, due to the high average wage of citizens of the state of Delaware. DVR has shared with the SRC that many east coast states have the same issue. The SRC is recommending that RSA consider a more regional approach to this standard, which DVR agrees with in principle.

SRC Recommendations.

Track individuals who do not complete training programs;

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

The SRC receives data during the Effectiveness Evaluation each year on the outcomes, wages, and benefits for individuals who complete skill training programs supported by DVR. The SRC is seeking to contrast this data by comparing it to clients who do not complete the training, as a measurement of the impact of training. This seems like a valid tool, and DVR will provide this information in the future,

SRC Recommendations.

DVR needs to increase focus on placement for SE clients;

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

The supported employment program in Delaware is currently under substantial review and revision, both for individuals with mental illness and those with intellectual disabilities. The Delaware substance abuse and mental health agency DSAMH is substantially revamping its mental health delivery service, implementing an ACT model. This has resulted in new providers, and new service methodologies. DVR is revising the supported employment model and working with DSAMH and its new vendors to develop a robust SE model for people with mental illness.

DVR is also participating with the developmental disabilities community in Delaware to continuously improve supported employment services for people with developmental disabilities. DVR, the Department of Education, and the Division for Developmental Disabilities Services are working on improving the Early Start to Supported Employment program, starting participants earlier and improving outcomes.

SRC Recommendations.

Better information sharing about RSA standards, DVR Goals and Priorities with staff;

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

The SRC had a concern that all DVR staff did not receive information about the Goals and Priorities developed and agreed upon by DVR and the SRC. DVR has subsequently shared the Goals and Priorities with the field office in a more formal way.

SRC Recommendations.

SRC would like to increase communication with DVR leadership.

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

DVR is agreeable to open more lines of communication, as SRC desires. The DVR Director and Deputy Director regularly attend SRC meetings, and members of the DVR Leadership Team participate in the annual Effectiveness Evaluation. The DVR Deputy Director will have ongoing dialog with the SRC leadership to address their communication needs.

SRC Recommendations.

Seek feedback from individuals that did not complete the training to determine if there are improvements in the training programs that could increase the completion rate;

Agency Response. DVR agrees with the intent of this recommendation.

DVR is requesting the vendors report customer satisfaction data for its services in an effort to evaluate the quality of vendor services, and have information about services to share with DVR customers. DVR will continue efforts to obtain and disseminate information about customer satisfaction with services, including training programs, from successful and unsuccessful customers.

SRC Recommendations.

Expand project SEARCH to other locations in Delaware;

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

This is a challenging task, SEARCH involves coordinating 4 stakeholders, education, service providers, DVR, and a host employer with large diverse workforce. Notwithstanding the challenge, DVR supports this model, and is putting together stakeholders in an effort to establish a SEARCH program in the southern part of the State. DVR worked with a local school district, Goodwill, and Christiana Hospital to establish a project SEARCH program this fiscal year. The program had nine successful completers, some of whom are already employed; the remainder are in active job search.

SRC Recommendations.

Reach out to younger students to encourage them to stay in school and graduate

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation, although this may be outside the scope of activities DVR is equipped to sponsor.

The Department of Education reports that a significant number of students are lost beginning in 9th grade. There are many students with disabilities who are not recruited into the DVR transition program because they have left the school system prior to their senior year. DVR has had success in some of the school districts with receiving referrals for services on behalf of juniors, prior to the completion of their junior year. DVR has been meeting with juniors near the end of the school year, to engage them earlier. In addition, DVR administers a DEI Employment grant with US Dept of Labor, the TARGET grant. The focus of this grant is at risk youth, and one of the activities identified under the grant is conducting workshops and reaching youth in the 14-16 year old group, to encourage them to stay in school.

SRC Recommendations.

Develop more work experiences, vocational skills, and continue to provide more supports for students

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

As identified in the previous responses, DVR is seeking to expand project SEARCH opportunities for transition students, connecting youth with internships and work exploration activities through the TARGET grant, and identifying other opportunities to provide work experiences for transition students. DVR has established a small internship program within the state, where DVR hires graduates as employees, and provides them internships with state agencies who have work in the graduate’s areas of training. Internships have already been provided in accounting, human resources and information technology.

SRC Recommendations.

Continue to seek new funding sources.

Agency Response. DVR agrees with this recommendation.

Already in Fiscal Year 2012, DVR has obtained a grant to establish a Business Leadership Network in Delaware, as a method to reach out to more employers, and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Delaware.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 9:29AM by Harrietann Litwin

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

Identify the types of services to be provided by the program for which the waiver of statewideness is requested.

The waiver request should also include:

  • a written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the designated state unit the non-federal share of funds;
  • a written assurance that designated state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect;
  • a written assurance that all state plan requirements will apply to all services approved under the waiver.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2009 2:06PM by Harrietann Litwin

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.

ATTACHMENT 4.8(b)(1) Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide

Workforce Investment System with other Entities

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) maintains relationships with other agencies, both public and private, that provide services to individuals with disabilities. DVR maintains cooperative agreements with public and private non-profit agencies such as programs that serve individuals with developmental disabilities, individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse disabilities, and community rehabilitation programs. Some of these agreements have been in effect for more than 20 years. The agreements provide for cooperation in key areas such as respective roles related to joint constituents, agency financial responsibilities including terms of reimbursement, liaison relationships to promote information flow, joint referral processes, and dispute resolution.

DVR maintains ongoing relationships with several councils throughout the state that have missions related to individuals with disabilities including the State Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD), the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), the Governor’s Commission for Community Alternatives, the University of Delaware Center for Disability Studies, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and the Governor’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity (GCEEO). These councils address issues of common concern to the disability community. DVR’s Director participates in the Governors EEO Committee. The SCPD is the coordinating council for all disability-related councils throughout the State. DVR participates in the Governor’s Task Force on Community Inclusion, a collaboration of state agencies, organizations and entities involved with issues relating to disabilities. The goal of the task force is to develop strategies to implement the Olmstead principles, to assist people with disabilities to live more independently in the community, and to align the state’s service delivery system with that goal. Among other things, this task force has supported implementation of Medicaid Buy-in in Delaware and increased public transportation.

As required by the Rehabilitation Act, DVR developed a Memorandum of Understanding with the public institutions of higher education in Delaware, specifically, Delaware Technical and Community College (DTCC), Delaware State University, and the University of Delaware. DVR and DTCC have collaborated with a separate Memorandum of Understanding to provide supported education services to DVR clients who are enrolled in remedial education programs at DTCC. The program provides additional training in study skills, time management, study techniques, and accommodations necessary for students to be successful in the school environment.

In July 2011, DVR entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Delaware Division of Social Services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families with minor children under title IV-A of the Social Security Act (TANF) in order to:

1. Increase the breadth of specialized services available to TANF recipients that foster employment and self sufficiency.

2. Create an unimpeded path of entry for eligible TANF recipients into DVR’s programs directly from DSS and from other TANF funded employment and training providers.

3. Create agreed upon communication pathways between the Divisions that maintains regular communication regarding shared clients.

4. Provide DVR with TANF or State Maintenance of Effort funds to fund initial workforce services so that TANF recipients without significant disabilities would be referred to the (Disability Employment Initiative) Disability Resource Coordinators and are not required to wait for services.

5. To provide funding to DVR to provide additional supports to TANF recipients as determined by family circumstances.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 9:29AM by Harrietann Litwin

  • 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.

Attachment 4.8(b) (2): Coordination with Educational Officials

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has strengthened and expanded its relationship with the Exceptional Children Early Childhood Group, the Vocational Technical Education and School-to-Career Group, the Child, Family and School Support Group, the Department of Education (DOE), the Division of Employment and Training, and Delaware’s local school districts. DVR has continued its participation in and cooperation with the State Transition Council, State Transition Task Force for Emerging Adults with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs and its related work groups, the New Castle and Kent-Sussex Regional Councils, Partner’s Council for Children with Disabilities , Delaware’s Division on Career Development and Transition and Delaware’s Community of Practice Transition Group. DVR has formed a work group with 2-4 year colleges and universities in the state to expand collaborative efforts to increase postsecondary educational options for transitioning students. These groups collaborate to improve the quality and coordination of services for students with disabilities to facilitate a seamless transition from education to careers and adult life. The transition population is defined as those youth between the ages of 14 (or eighth grade, whichever comes first) and 21 years old, inclusive, who are students with any identified disability.

The innovative statewide partnership between DOE and DVR is designed to enhance the coordination, provision, and quality of transition services to students with disabilities through a collaborative, consumer-responsive system. Its on-going success stems from its ability to reinforce each agency’s commitment to collaboration, communication, problem solving, and strategic planning. During 2009, DVR and DOE renewed the Memorandum of Understanding that identifies and establishes procedures for implementation of the transition program at the State and local school district levels. Under the agreements, each high school has provided on-site office space in the school where the DVR counselor can meet with students on a regular basis. DOE also supports training for DVR counselors related to DOE programs, services, or policies. With the implementation of the Student Success Plan, a DOE initiative designed to ensure that students graduate prepared for success in college, work and citizenship, they continue to provide training to DVR Transition staff on CareerCruising, in-depth software and interactive website providing comprehensive vocational exploration and related information to the students we serve. DOE and DVR are financial partners in the state-wide Transition Conference which had close to 600 participants this year, including students with disabilities, parents, education stakeholders and other professionals who work with transition aged youth. DVR provides financial support for eligibility and vocational rehabilitation client services under the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

DVR’s current School to Career Transition Program actively works in 19 local public school districts as well as in charter and other non-public schools throughout Delaware As part of this program, DVR has eight DVR counselors with their caseloads dedicated to serving students with disabilities and twelve counselors with who carry transition caseloads in addition to serving other clients working on-site at all public high schools throughout Delaware. Each DVR office has a transition assistant, a part time para-professional to provide additional support for transition students. The counselors and transition assistants provide career exploration and vocational guidance in each high school, conduct job clubs, and schedule employer tours and job mentoring experiences for students. DVR policy requires that an IPE be developed with each transition student prior to graduation.

DVR counselors offer technical assistance to the local school districts so educators can development cooperative jobs and career exploration opportunities for students with disabilities. Counselors also provide training for students in the effective use of the Department of Labor’s Virtual Career Network, Delaware’s computerized career information system, and the One-Stop Centers created under the Workforce Investment Act. Our Transition VR staff has utilized the DOL Mobile One Stop Unit at numerous high schools throughout the state for career exploration activities with high school students. The self-contained large vehicle has 13 computer terminals which are used to complete vocational interest inventories, conduct job search activities via the internet and access individual student accounts in CareerCruising. As a result, students with disabilities now have equal access to and the benefit of the Department of Labor’s career system that is currently in place throughout the state. Counselors make service recommendations at student Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings. DVR and staff from local school districts co-sponsor student and parent information sessions and encourage students’ attendance at job, college, and agency career fairs. These programs serve as a form of outreach to future transitioning students who will need transition services when they enter their senior year of high school.

DVR and DOE work closely with the Parent Information Center to increase and encourage parental participation in the student Individual Education Plan (IEP) process. DVR and DOE have worked collaboratively with the principal and educators at Central School, a program that provides intensive supports to 11th and 12th grade students at-risk of dropping out of school, to develop a pilot project called, Career Transition Project. The project is designed to provide individualized attention, career exploration, and transition services for the at-risk students and encourages them to take advantage of DVR’s transition services, graduate from high school, and go on to postsecondary education or training or successful employment. Most recently, the project procured several iPads and offered extensive training to all students in the program so they could utilize this technology for job seeking, career exploration and related occupational information. The project hosted a Career Fair at the school that was well attended by 20 local employers and all 9th through 12th grade Central High School students. In addition to sharing information about their companies and employment opportunities, the employers conducted mock interviews with many of the student participants and offered valuable feedback to each participating mock applicant.

The DVR and Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) participate in a continuing, collaborative initiative to provide intensive educational supports for graduating transition students enrolled in remedial programs at DTCC. The project provides support workshops in Math, English and Reading along with some additional specialized study skills training. Over the past four years, the initiative has grown from one campus to all of the four DTCC campuses statewide.

An Effectiveness Study for Transition which recently reviewed services to students with disabilities demonstrated the following findings:

• In FY 2011, 1,873 students received school to career transition services.

• The number of high school seniors served was 769 students for the 2010-2011 school year.

• Of the students receiving transition services in 2011, 91.5% were students with significant disabilities.

• The number of transitioning students who achieved successful employment outcomes in FY 2011 was 305. This is up from 283 in FY10.

• The special education high school dropout rate of 5.8% for the 2010 – 2011 school year. This is an increase from the previous year when the dropout rate was 5%. The national average is 13%.

• Transition aged youth employed in FY 11 = $ 9.00 per hour. Down slightly from the previous year, wages were $9.08 per hour in FY10

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 9:48AM by Harrietann Litwin

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

Attachment 4.8(b)(3) Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers

On April 7, 2011 DVR received solicitations for bids for technology innovation and expansion grants from community rehabilitation programs in good standing with the State of Delaware. DVR requested proposals for technology innovation and expansion services and awarded two grants that demonstrated consideration for the following priorities of DVR:

1. Technological services that incorporate assistive technology (ex. video magnifiers, screen readers, Dragon software, adaptive keyboards, Inspiration software) into existing or new programs in order to make services available to a wider range of persons with disabilities.

2. Technological services that involve certifications and objectives connected to specific employer demands in the business community.

3. Technological services that are based on vocational rehabilitation research and/or developed in conjunction with the regional TACE centers as appropriate service models for persons with disabilities.

4. Technological services that will update new and/or existing programs to better meet the needs of current industry standards.

The grants were awarded to Connections, CSP, Inc. and VLS IT with a project implementation contract and guideline effective until July 31, 2012, at which time the DVR Vendor Specialist will perform on site monitoring to ensure that the funding has been utilized according to the specifications in the grant proposals.

On July 2, 2011 DVR opened up solicitations for requests for proposals (RFPs) to provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities. The solicitation process was advertised for the first time in DVR history through the electronic bidding process under Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget Bid Solicitation Directory. Bids were solicited and awarded for the following services: self employment consulting services, job placement services, employment readiness training services, community based work assessment services, job coaching services, behavioral analysis and support services, tutoring services, transportation services, job coaching with American sign language support services, supported employment services, assistive technology services, vocational training services, and other services. Prior to the issuing of the solicitations to bid, all contract definitions for services were revised to remove any duplication of definitions in service, in addition to establishing new provider forms and documentation standards which were integrated into the requirements for community rehabilitation programs under the contracting process. Self employment consulting services, assistive technology services, and behavioral analysis and support services were all new services added to the request for proposal process based on the service needs of DVR customers as assessed through counselor and customer surveys in the previous year.

Effective October 1, 2011, DVR established Purchase of Service Agreements (PSAs) with 36 non-profit community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) securing and enforcing improved standards in vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities in Delaware.

In an effort to maintain effective working relationships with these programs, DVR continues to collaborate with the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (DelARF). Most of the CRPs in Delaware belong to this organization and use it to address common issues with DVR. The DVR Vendor Specialist and other DVR representatives participate in the DelARF Vocational Committee Meetings to address issues and trends which impact DVR and service providers. The Committee discusses contractual and service-related issues, referred to it by the larger group of DelARF members, such as program performance, consumer choice and satisfaction, as well as staff education and turnover.

Under the Ticket-To-Work Initiative, DVR has contacted all Employment Networks (EN) that have agreed to serve Delaware. Currently, eight community rehabilitation facilities contracted through DVR are registered as ENs. The Delaware Department of Labor’s Division of Employment and Training became registered as an EN in 2011 and began receiving Ticket to Work referrals. DVR has supported these activities through its WIPA and Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grants.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 9:49AM by Harrietann Litwin

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.

Attachment 4.8(b) (4) Arrangements and cooperative agreements for the provision of Supported Employment Services

DVR continues to strengthen and expand its relationships with key state agencies that serve individuals with significant mental illness and cognitive disabilities in Delaware. Cooperative agreements exist between DVR, the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). Inter-agency work groups that were established by the cooperative agreements continue to address important issues such as program integration, staff training, barrier removal, and serving our mutual consumers. The collaborative efforts of DDDS and DSAMH have enhanced extended services for persons with significant mental illness and mental disabilities throughout the state.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health jointly administer the implementation of an Evidence- Based Supported Employment Project. The project was initiated in 2005 through a grant from the Johnson & Johnson- Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program and is currently being maintained by the divisions. Mental health organizations have been chosen to serve clients and have placed individuals with serious mental illness in community employment. The project uses the team approach to respond to the employment needs of clients with significant mental illness by creating a system of services and supports. A revised cooperative agreement between DVR and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health was signed in 2006.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Developmental Disability Services have started new initiatives to re-vitalize the supported employment program and to increase the number of individuals placed in community jobs. The Early Start to Supported Employment Project, established in 2005, provides Supported Employment Services to students with developmental disabilities transitioning from school to work. Students are served by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation during their last year of school with the goal of leaving school with a job. A new initiative was added in 2007 to serve and meet the needs of clients who have the most significant disabilities through a Customized Employment pilot program. Customized Employment has been incorporated into DVR’s supported employment program. The Department of Education, the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation have signed an updated cooperative agreement in 2011 for the Early Start Initiative. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has had a cooperative agreement on Supported Employment with the Division of Developmental Disabilities since 1996 and a revised version of the agreement was most recently signed in 2008.

This screen was last updated on Jun 20 2012 11:35AM by Harrietann Litwin

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

DVR is a small agency with a central office and four field units. As such, the division is able to closely monitor the statewide need for qualified personnel. Additionally, DVR receives annually updated information from the Delaware Department of Labor human resource office about individuals who are eligible for retirement both with full and partial benefits in the upcoming year.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Administrative Specialists 21 0 10
2 Fiscal staff 4 0 1
3 Management Information System staff 4 0 1
4 Program Specialists 5 1 2
5 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 30 1 7
6 Vocational Rehabilitation District Administrators 4 0 2
7 Employment Services District Administrator 1 0 1
8 Employment Specialists 5 0 1
9 Administrators 2 0 1
10 0 0 0

 

Delaware does not have an institute of higher education with a vocational rehabilitation program so our Counselors who need to obtain their Masters Degree select from programs in the Mid-Atlantic Region and/or a program offered online. As a small agency, Delaware generally does not have more than a few Counselors enrolled in a Master’s program at any given time. The Human Resource Development Specialist is responsible for tracking the information on an annual basis. In FY 2012, DVR had one VR Counselor graduate with her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland. Currently, the Division has two VR Counselors enrolled in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at The George Washington University. In addition, the Division has one Employment Specialist who is interested in attending West Virginia University or The George Washington University.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Virginia Commonwealth University 0 0 1 0
2 Univ. of Medicine and Dentistyr of NJ 0 0 0 0
3 University of Maryland 0 0 1 0
4 The George Washington University 2 2 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

The state of Delaware does not have a college or university that offers a program in rehabilitation counseling, so the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation looks both inside and outside the state in recruiting qualified personnel. DVR sends notification of posted counselor positions to numerous universities in the region and across the country and has a representative on the Advisory Committees at George Washington University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a historically black university, and the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. In the past, the division has used the Rehabjobs.info web site through the Region I RCEP at Assumption College as well as the Job Announcements web page on the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation web site for recruitment purposes. The division continues to utilize the contact at the Region I Technical Assistance & Continuing Education Center to promote vacancies.

The State of Delaware has a Selective Placement Program in which agencies can interview qualified individuals with disabilities without having to post a position. This program was developed to recruit more individuals with disabilities.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has been working closely with the Mid-Atlantic Region Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center through The George Washington University. They have developed training programs that meet the training needs to retain qualified counselors and meet the specific, identified needs of this agency. These programs have been offered in Delaware, online, or in Washington, DC. The division also works with the Center for Disabilities Studies, the University Affiliated Program at the University of Delaware and regional consultants to develop and deliver training programs.

 

The Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has set the following as its personnel standard for rehabilitation counselor:

"Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field with coursework in theories and techniques of counseling.”

DVR will review the credentials for counselors who have degrees in related fields other than counseling to the requirements for the counselors who may not have a course in counseling theories and techniques. For over ten years, a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field has been required to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination. As the State of Delaware does not have a licensing or certification standard for employment as a State vocational rehabilitation counselor, DVR has identified requirements based on the national standards for training and preparation to be a vocational rehabilitation counselor, those required to become or remain a CRC. DVR’s standards are consistent with the national standards.

The State Human Resource Management Office approved changes to the Vocational Rehabilitation Career Ladder/Promotional Structure that favors counselors with Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and Certified Rehabilitation Counselors.

Currently, 23 of the 29 (one current vacancies) Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors have Master’s Degrees in Rehabilitation or a related field. Of the six who do not hold a Master’s Degree, two are enrolled in a Rehabilitation Counseling Master’s degree program. Nine counselors have achieved the CRC designation along with five administrators. Overall, 79% of the current counseling staff meets the current personnel standards defined by the agency. Seven percent are enrolled in a Master’s Degree program. Of the four counselors who do not meet CSPD requirements, the HRD specialist is working with administration and District Administrators to encourage these counselors to develop a training plan to start the process towards obtaining a Master’s Degree.

DVR is in the 6th year of a 7 year plan, which we are extending an additional 5 years (12 year plan) to have 100% of our DVR Counselors meet CSPD standards. Although CSPD compliance is improving, DVR is extending this plan to allow time for counselors to enroll in and complete a Master’s program. In addition, some of the counselors who are not compliant with the CSPD standard have considered retirement in the next 5-10 years and have not decided if they want to pursue a Master’s degree. All of these counselors have been employed as a VR Counselor I for several years and given the difficulty we face with recruiting qualified Rehabilitation Counselors, we would like to work with our current staff to meet compliance, which will involve:

1. Encouraging non qualifying counselors to enter masters programs

2. Providing tuition support

3. Replacing counselors with only those who meet CSPD standards or who agree to enroll in an approved Masters Degree Program

4. Develop CSPD goals for each of the counselors who do not meet CSPD standards. These goals will be incorporated into their performance plan, and counselor’s performance will be measured, in part, on their completion of established goals.

DVR is encouraging and offering support to Counselors who enroll in the Job Development Job Placement Certificate Program at The George Washington University. The courses from this program are Master’s level and can transfer into the Rehabilitation Counseling Program for those who decide to pursue their Master’s Degree and move towards meeting DVR’s CSPD standards.

To fill specialized positions with special linguistic requirements or positions in rural locations or in the complete absence of candidates who meet the established personnel standards, DVR recognizes that it may be necessary to hire individuals who will not meet the CSPD requirements. In order to minimize the number of individuals not meeting CSPD requirements, DVR has increased its marketing to universities with Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling programs, is utilizing online resources, and has increased the number of periodicals in which postings are listed.

Every permanent position within DVR has an established job description which outlines the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position. DVR uses competency-based interviewing, a process for determining whether the job candidate has the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities in the job description, to fill open positions.

 

The performance of all DVR staff is formally evaluated annually. Specific performance expectations relative to the mission of the Division and the duties of the position are listed on each staff member’s performance plan. The performance plans of all Rehabilitation Counselors and Employment Specialists include the goal of completing a minimum of 20 hours of In-Service Training, a requirement that meets the annual requirement to maintain the CRC credential. Also included on the performance plans for Rehabilitation Counselors is the goal of serving consumers with the most significant disabilities. During the Performance Review process, the staff member is evaluated based on his or her ability to meet the outlined expectations. When training is recommended to improve performance, it is noted on the performance plan and incorporated into the individual’s training needs assessment.

On an annual basis, the Program Specialist responsible for Human Resource Development collects and analyzes information on the training needs of all division personnel. The data collected reflects both the individual’s self-assessment of his/her training needs and those needs as reflected in the individual’s annual performance review. The results of the assessment are used to develop the In-Service Training grant, to formulate a calendar of division-sponsored training programs, and to identify appropriate training programs outside the division.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s In-Service Training program addresses staff development in support skills training, post-secondary education, and single or multiple day training programs related to the vocational rehabilitation program. The focus of the training offered reflects both the results of the training needs assessment and Federal priorities.

The objective of support skills training is to provide the staff with the tools, such as computer, fiscal, leadership and management skills, necessary to support the vocational rehabilitation process. Computer training includes internal workshops on the use of the division’s computer system, including training on the Delaware Rehabilitation Information System (DELRIS) and the RSA 911, while external training utilizes a consultant to provide skills training on the specific software packages used within the division. Fiscal training is offered within the State training system for individuals using the First State Financials system. Staff members in management or supervisory positions, as well as those members of staff aspiring to the positions, are encouraged to participate in management training offered by the Division, the Department, the State Human Resource Management Office and the Regional Technical Assistance & Continuing Education Centers.

The In-Service Training program supports post-secondary education for staff to develop specific skills and encourage professional development. Upon receiving a request for post-secondary training, the Human Resource Development Specialist reviews the applicant’s proposal with the agency Director, Deputy Director and any additional staff necessary to determine that the request is appropriate. IST is also available to assist with costs related to the occasional travel required of counselors who are involved in RSA grant-funded Master’s programs.

The major focus of the In-Service Training program is to provide training to staff relating directly to disability, disability research and employment issues. In the past four quarters, training, information and resources have been provided to staff on a variety of topics, some of which include school-to-careers transition, job placement and related services, customized employment, ethics, assessment, Social Security Disability programs, specific disabilities, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and community resources.

 

Within the Division, two counselor positions have been designated as Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. One of the incumbents has a hearing impairment and is fluent in American Sign Language, making DVR services accessible to consumers who use manual communication. The other counselor, located in the Wilmington unit, is proficient in American Sign Language. Within New Castle County, one position is designated for a bilingual, English and Spanish, counselor in order to serve the Hispanic population within the city of Wilmington. One counselor in the Wilmington office and one in the Pencader office are bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. The division hires interpreters to work with clients where there is no counselor proficient in Spanish as well as for other non-English speaking clients.

 

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Delaware Department of Education work closely in providing Transition services to high school students with disabilities. DVR has a counselor assigned to each of the public high school programs in the state as well as private schools statewide. Counselors maintain regular hours to meet with students on the school grounds. The DVR Program Specialist for School-to-Careers Transition works closely with the DOE Educational Associate to coordinate transition programs throughout the state.

The Program Specialist for School-to-Careers Transition is a member of the State Transition Council, a sub-council of the Partners Council for Children with Disabilities, the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development Committee for the Delaware Department of Education, pursuant to the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. DVR and DOE have partnered with the Division on Career Development & Transition and the Delaware Community of Practice to develop a statewide annual transition conference.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 10:11AM by Harrietann Litwin

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.

4.11 (a) Results of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities and the Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs

DVR and the State Rehabilitation Council developed and carried out the DVR Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment during Fiscal Year 2010. The needs assessment included several phases in order to provide an opportunity for numerous constituencies to participate. The phases included review of available data, survey development, and survey implementation to counselors, key stakeholders, staff from community rehabilitation programs, consumers of services provided through the One-Stop Centers, and individuals who had contacted DVR or services but whom had not, or had not yet, accessed DVR services. In addition, Town Hall Meetings were held in both up-state and down-state Delaware, although the meetings did not draw many attendees.

Service needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services:

Survey results indicated the need for a continued focus on increasing Supported Employment services. Specifically, participants stated the need to provide incentives for more vendors to provide supported employment, for increased availability of supported employment services for students transitioning from school to employment, and the need to expand the populations for whom supported employment services are available. Respondents noted that some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders are not found to be eligible for long-term supports through the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. Several respondents noted that many of individuals with cognitive disabilities need significant assistance because of the decrease in repetitive manufacturing jobs. Recommendations included an expansion of the time during which an individual may receive assessment and on-the-job training services as well as the development of services, including long term follow-along, for individuals not currently eligible for supported employment.

Numerous respondents indicated a need for expanded services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) including facilities or programs that specialize in the provision of services to serve the disability group. One service that was specifically mentioned by several respondents was the need for social skills training to help individuals with ASD to understand the complexities of the work environment. In addition, on-site training supports is needed for individuals with ASD.

In terms of the geographic need for services, respondents identified several issues specific to Delaware’s lower two counties, Kent and Sussex. Among the needs identified were addictions counseling, transportation, and improved service providers who provide placement assistants.

Town Hall Meeting feedback

* Need for socialization program for youth with Asperger’s starting in middle school

* Earlier (middle or high school) career guidance (specifically for youth with Asperger’s)

* Need employment experiences for youth with Asperger’s

* Work-Site/Situational Assessment that is individualized to the client’s interests and needs, including sites for individuals who are intellectually capable of professional positions

* Counselor/Employment Specialist needs to prepare the employer prior to a job interview for a person with Asperger’s

* Counselor/Job Coach/Employment Specialist needs to accompany some individuals in employment interviews to prevent the pattern of being employment-capable but not interview-capable.

* Counselor/Job Coach/Employment Specialist needs to educate individuals in the work place about Asperger’s

* Increase the use of On-the-Job training

* Need for more than the 90 days of OJT for an individual with Asperger’s (use of on-site/job coach supports and cultivation of natural supports/mentors in the workplace)

* Need to train counselors to encourage clients/families to meet with multiple providers while developing an individual’s IPE; need to help the clients/families get beyond the jargon to find out if the services offered by the vendor will really meet the needs of the individual.

Service needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities:

Across all respondent groups, the plurality of responses on the topic of services to individuals who are minorities dealt with services to individuals with disabilities whose primary language is not English, with most specifically related to individuals who are Spanish speaking. Recommendations included Spanish versions of more DVR forms and documents, more English as a Second Language (ESL) training, more vendors who speak Spanish, cultural sensitivity training for DVR and community rehabilitation program staff, and training for individuals who are Spanish speaking regarding the work expectations and cultural norms in Delaware.

Individuals who minorities have similar barriers to employment such as criminal histories, lack of employment history, limited academic skills, and physical limitations. Following the ESL training, skills training would still be necessary. Several respondents specifically mentioned Sussex County when discussing the need for services for individuals who are Spanish speaking.

Service needs of individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program:

In order to assess the needs of individuals who have not been able to access vocational rehabilitation services, the consumer survey information was sent to individuals who had 1) contacted DVR, but never followed up with application, 2) been closed prior to a determination of eligibility, 3) had been determined eligible, but for whom no plan had been developed, and 4) were on the waiting list due to Order of Selection. The majority of respondents came from the last category.

The survey was available online in both English and Spanish. The second paragraph of the letter that invited individuals was in Spanish as was the web site address; however, no one in any of the four categories responded to the survey in Spanish, and only 3% of the overall respondents self-identified as being Hispanic. The lack of response points to the need to provide increased outreach and services to individuals who speak Spanish.

The most frequent services needs identified by the consumer respondents were:

* Job Placement Services (44%)

* Vocational Education/Training (33%)

* On-the-Job Training (24%)

* Job Seeking Skills (24%)

* Vocational Assessment (22%)

* Dental Care (20%)

Among consumer respondents, the most often cited reasons for lack of access to the needed services included:

* Delay due to Waiting List (34%)

* High Out-of-Pocket Expenses (15%)

* Lack of central source of information about services (11%)

* Delay due to Eligibility Process (10%)

The other stakeholder groups (counselors, key stakeholders, CRP staff) identified constituencies that had been discussed in the previous questions including individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and individuals who speak Spanish as unserved/underserved. In addition, they included individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, individuals with mental illness, and individuals with substance abuse disorders as underserved disability groups as well as individuals who lack computer and technical skills. Consistent with the consumer survey, the other stakeholder groups identified individuals not receiving services due to Order of Selection as an unserved/underserved group.

Service needs of individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system:

A survey was developed for individuals with disabilities who were accessing the One-Stop Career Centers. Initially, the survey was available online; however, when no consumers accessed the survey, the survey was created in a paper format. Only 15 surveys were completed and returned. Of those who completed the survey, 10 (67%) indicated that they were having no difficulty obtaining services or equipment. When difficulty was indicated, the primary services needed were job placement (4, or 27%) with vocational education/training, job seeking skills, and dental services tied (2, or 13%) each. Of those who mentioned a difficulty, the primary reasons were high out-of-pocket costs (3, or 20%) and delay due to a waiting list (2, or 13%).

The services most often identified as being needed by the respondents were:

* Job Placement Services (67%)

* Vocational Education/Training (47%)

* Job Seeking Skills Training (47%)

* On-the-Job Training (33%)

* Case Management/Service Coordination (33%)

In surveying Key Stakeholders and CRP staff, the most notable finding was that most of them indicated a lack of familiarity with other components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System or the One-Stop Career Centers. Almost half of the Key Stakeholders indicated that they were unfamiliar with the services or made no comments. When comments were made, many were non-specific, one word responses such as “funding,” “education,” or “employment.” A few mentioned the need for more information about service options. One CRP staff member did note that services such as Supported Employment and job coaching were not available through the One-Stop.

Responses from the DVR counselors indicated that access was the primary need of individuals with disabilities. Specific responses indicated the need for interpreter services, physical access, alternate formats for brochures, and better training for One-Stop staff regarding serving individuals with disabilities. Overall, the services needs identified were similar to services needs for clients of DVR: training, job placement, résumé preparation, interviewing skills, and letter writing. As many of the services in the One-Stops are accessed by computer, the need for one-on-one assistance or computer literacy training through the One-Stop was recommended.

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

Several respondents indicated the need for the community rehabilitation programs to expand their employer contacts in order to increase employment outcomes. One respondent suggested employer partnerships such as exists currently with an Embassy Suites hotel. The need to improve inter-agency communication was identified by several respondents, both between DVR and the CRP staff, between the staff of CRPs, and between CRPs and other community agencies. Training opportunities for DVR and CRP staff were recommended in order to make better referrals and provide quality services.

Throughout the surveys, respondents made recommendations related to the need for CRP services. Among the issues identified are the need for services for individuals with disabilities who do not speak English, services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, expanded Supported Employment or similar services offered to an expanding range of disabilities, and for service expansion in Sussex County.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2010 11:51AM by Harrietann Litwin

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates of Individuals to be Served and Costs of Services

In Delaware, approximately 35,000 individuals have been issued a Ticket to Work. Of these individuals and other individuals with disabilities, it is estimated that 7,698 individuals will apply for/be eligible for services in FY 2013.

Of those 7,698 eligible individuals, DVR estimates that approximately 7,000 individuals will receive services through individualized plans for employment (IPEs) under Part A of Title I and/or Part B of Title VI in FY 2011. The estimated cost of providing services to these individuals is $5,974,983.

While we anticipate serving an increasing number of individuals through supported employment, 120 individuals will be served out of the Title VI-B funds.

The estimate of FY 2013 service costs for each category within the Order of Selection for Services is as follows:

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Most Significantly Disabled Title I $1,810,000 2,150 $841
Most Significantly Disabled Title VI $255,000 120 $2,125
Significantly Disabled Title I $2,867,000 3405 $842
Not Significantly Disabled Title I $402,000 525 $765
Pre-Order of Selection (not classified) Title I $640,983 800 $801
Totals   $5,974,983 7,000 $853

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 10:18AM by Harrietann Litwin

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.

DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

FY 2013 GOALS & PRIORITES

1. Provide quality employment outcome for people with disabilities.

Performance measures- a. Increase in the number outcomes: Traditional; Self employment; Supported employment b. Average hourly wage for adult, transition, supported employment

Target Goals- a. Achieve 40 Supported Employment Outcomes from Evidence Based Program b. Achieve 45 Supported Employment Outcomes from DDDS/DVR SE Program c. Meet RSA Standard and Indicator for Employment

2. Recruit new training programs that reflect opportunities in the labor market.

Performance Measures- a. Training choices for clients in areas of job availability b. Outcomes using on the job training program

Target Goals- a. Develop a path to On-the-Job Training that includes a collaborative vendor service by the end of FY 2013. b. Develop training programs to assist clients in obtaining employment in four of the ten industries with the top anticipated job openings.

3. Provide more transition choices to more high school students with disabilities.

Performance Measures a. Number of new students served b. Number of transition outcomes c. Number of new career preparation choices available

Target Goals- a. Expand project SEARCH to Kent/Sussex County b. Provide two additional career preparation opportunities by the end of FY 2013

4. Secure funding resources to maintain new initiatives

Performance Measures- a. Grant opportunities monitored b. Grant applications c. Grant collaborations & referrals d. Grants obtained

Target Goals- a. Review grants.gov at least once weekly for Grant Opportunities b. Seek at least one grant funding to support Autism Social Group Program

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 11:18AM by Harrietann Litwin

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

Justification for order of selection

Due to limited resources, the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation believes that it will be unable to provide services to all individuals who are eligible under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended (the Act). According to section 101 (a)(5) of the Act, if a rehabilitation agency determines that it is unable to provide services for all eligible individuals, an Order of Selection is required in order to ensure that the agency has as its priority the provision of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities and that categories are established to define the priorities.

In FY 2013, we estimate the total cost of serving the number of clients with IPEs in place, absent an order of selection, will be $6,876,623. Available funding will be $5,974,983 from our Title I and Title VI grants including the required matching funds. The difference between the projected cost of services and the funding available reveals a deficit of $901,640. The Rehabilitation Act requires DVR invoke an order of selection to prioritize services to those with the most significant needs when it is not able to serve everyone. Therefore, DVR determines that it must continue to implement an Order of Selection in FY 2013

 

Description of Priority categories

Description of Priority categories

Accordingly, DVR establishes the following categories for service provision:

Priority Category I, Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities (MSD)

Eligible individuals with impairments that result in serious limitations of three or more functional capacities that require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time, six months or more.

Priority Category II, Individuals with Significant Disabilities (SD)

Eligible individuals with impairments that result in serious limitations in one or two functional capacities requiring multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time, six months or more. An allowed SSDI beneficiary or SSI recipient is automatically considered to be, at least, an individual with a significant disability, and should be reviewed for possible Priority 1 status.

.

Priority Category III, Individuals with Non-Significant Disabilities

Eligible individuals with a disability who do not meet the definition for MSD or SD.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

In order to focus services on the individuals with the most significant disabilities, DVR will serve individuals in the following order:

First: Priority Category I

Second: Priority Category II

Third: Priority Category III

As DVR identifies that the agency has sufficient resources to move individuals from the waiting list, individuals will be moved to active services first according to priority category and secondly according to date of application.

 

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

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

DVR established an Order of Selection effective Nov. 15, 2008. Prior to that date, the data collected did not differentiate between most significantly disabled and significantly disabled although individuals receiving Supported Employment services were identified in the case records as meeting the criteria for most significantly disabled. Records for those in-service as of November 15, 2008 were not modified to differentiate between categories I and II. Also, prior to Order of Selection, some individuals receiving services who have a significant disability were not identified. At the start of the beginning of FY 2012, 922 individuals with no category designation were receiving services. The “no category” estimates for FY 2013 would be 800 in service with 80 closures in status 26 and 40 in status 28 with a cost of services of $680,983.

Written notification is sent to all individuals who are placed on the waiting list for vocational rehabilitation services. The notification includes information about available services and resources the individual may contact for assistance in employment. Each letter identifies the nearest One-Stop Career Center, established per the Workforce Investment Act, and a referral which includes the name and phone number of the Disability Resource Coordinator, who can assist them in accessing one-stop and partner services.

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 2,270 300 150 Fiscal Year 2013 $2,065,000
2 3,405 500 300 Fiscal Year 2013 $2,867,000
3 525 70 35 Fiscal Year 2013 $402,000

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 2:07PM by Harrietann Litwin

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.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) funds supported employment services for consumers under Title VI, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act and allocates all funds for services. Program Funds are used to purchase supported employment assessments and services from the community rehabilitation programs under a Purchase of Services Agreement with DVR. In order to provide supported employment for all consumers who require services, Title I funds are used to supplement the Title VI, Part B allocation. During Fiscal Year 2011, the most recent year of complete data, DVR served 431 individuals in the supported employment program, successfully placing 97 consumers in employment, which is an increase from Fiscal Year 2010 (75). For Fiscal Year 2013, DVR will maintain the goal of increasing the successful employment outcomes to 110, an increase over Fiscal Year 2011.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health jointly administer an Evidence-Based Supported Employment Program to individuals with mental illness. The program is in its seventh year of operation and continues to place individuals with serious mental illness into community employment. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation continues to increase the number of consumers served in the supported employment programs and this program, in particular, has contributed substantially to increasing the number of individuals with mental illness who receive supported employment services.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Education and the Division of Developmental Disability Services are in the seventh year of the jointly established Early Start to Supported Employment Project. Students with developmental disabilities are receiving supported employment services during their two final years of school, creating a seamless transition from school to work. The project promotes a strong coordination and cooperation between schools, supported employment provider agencies, students, and families for successful employment while still in school.

The Program Specialist for Supported Employment and the Transition Program Specialist provide technical assistance and administrative support for the program.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2012 2:26PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

DVR will engage with a wide range of stakeholders in the community in order to expand and improve services including consumer organizations, public and non-profit agencies, community rehabilitation programs, education, and employers. By listening to input from stakeholders and building programs that have value and address the objectives of multiple members of the rehabilitation community, the impact of vocational rehabilitation is increased. Examples of collaboration include the Transition Community of Practice, the Early Start to Supported Employment, the Project SEARCH program, Supported Education, and the Employment Specialist Community as well as the numerous committees and programs to which DVR staff contributes and through which DVR reaches out to the community.

 

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.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation makes assistive technology goods and services available to individuals with disabilities at all stages of the rehabilitation process. DVR maintains collaborative relationships with organizations and entities that provide rehabilitation technology goods and services, including the Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI), Easter Seals Society of Delaware and Maryland Eastern Shore, and the University of Maryland’s AgrAbility Program.

In February of 2011, DVR sponsored training on Assistive Technology for DVR and Community Rehabilitation Program staff. The goal of the program was to increase staff awareness of AT options throughout the VR process and to increase informed choice. Presentations were made both by Tony Langton of the George Washington University and AT providers. The training participants were given case studies for discussion as part of the training process.

DVR and Easter Seals Society of Delaware and Maryland Eastern Shore jointly administer the AT Loan Program and Telework Loan Program in Delaware. DVR has relationships with vendors who provide a wide array of assistive technology goods and services. Counselors who have clients with assistive technology issues collaborate with one of several vendors with specialized knowledge in rehabilitation technology when serving clients with specific AT needs. DVR has a check-off item on every Individualized Plan for Employment to prompt counselors to consider AT needs for every client in the planning process.

 

Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

DVR counselors maintain a broad array of referral sources to provide outreach services to people with disabilities in Delaware, including minorities and individuals with the most significant disabilities. DVR has been working with the Brain Injury Association in Delaware, BIAD, to make an effort to reach and serve individuals with physical disabilities which has been identified as an underserved population in the on-site review process. The largest DVR office is located in the city of Wilmington, which has the largest population of minority residents in the state. DVR has two Spanish speaking counselors who serve the Hispanic population and provide outreach to churches and community centers in the city. DVR has a strong collaborative relationship with the local school district transition coordinators and Delaware Department of Education Special Education Coordinator. DVR receives referral information from all public and most private high schools in the state regarding students entering or in their terminal year that may benefit from DVR services and contacts every one individually to offer DVR transition services. A substantial proportion of these students are minority students and students with significant disabilities. DVR Counselors and District Administrators conduct outreach activities to advocacy organizations, other state agencies, non-profit service providers, individual and organizational health-care providers and mental health providers to offer DVR services to their clients.

 

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

DVR provides rehabilitation services and training to individuals with disabilities through contracts with community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) in Delaware. DVR follows a request for proposal (RFP) process and solicits proposals from all CRPs in the state to provide services on a two-year cycle. DVR and the community rehabilitation programs have strong collaborative relationships. Referrals for services flow both ways.

DVR conducted a community rehabilitation provider services forum with DVR staff and providers collaborating to improve services for Delawareans with disabilities. DVR staff provided information to participants of the forum including results of needs assessments, demographic data, counselor recommendations, and outcome data. The forum participants then provided insights and recommendations on how to improve the service delivery system in Delaware to meet the needs of people with disabilities. The results of this effort is being used to make changes to the services and trainings available to DVR consumers, as well as the process for sharing information between DVR and the community rehabilitation programs.

DVR completed a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment in FY 2010. The resulting recommendations will be used in the proposal development process for the next two-year cycle to be initiated during FY 2013. The next triennial Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment will be completed in FY 2013.

 

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

DVR maintains processes to continually monitor progress and seek ways to improve performance. DVR maintains a quality assurance process, conducting quarterly reviews of cases to evaluate quality and timeliness of services, and conformance to the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act and regulations. The review instrument is patterned after an RSA review instrument and tailored to highlight the specific focus-area for that review. Counselors, Program Specialists and fiscal staff review randomly selected case records to evaluate quality casework standards. The results of the reviews are shared with the counselors, their supervisors, and the training administrator. They are used to evaluate the quality of services provided by DVR, and also to identify training needs, performance deficiencies, and policy issues.

DVR efforts to improve services and training opportunities for people with disabilities as part of the revised RFP process are intended to improve agency performance in achieving goals and meeting standards and indicators. DVR is working with training service providers to promote training programs that are more closely aligned with employer job requirements and to include internships as part of the training experience. DVR is collaborating with Delaware Technical and Community College to provide more educational/training supports and opportunities for transition students to attend post-secondary educational programs at Delaware Tech.

DVR is collaborating with the mental health agency to implement an evidence-based supported employment program in Delaware for people with mental illness. The goal is continuous improvement in the service delivery capability among the community mental health agencies so that employment, placement, and employment supports are part of the services available in those agencies.

 

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

DVR was awarded a Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grant from the US Department of Labor, focusing on the needs of and providing outreach to youth, ages 14-24. DEI staff members, the Disability Resource Coordinators, have been trained to be familiar with the wide range of programs and services available to youth and adults with disabilities. The Disability Resource Coordinators will also provide services in the One-Stop Centers to youth and adults with disabilities who come for services. In addition, the DEI grant has hired and trained two Employment Specialists to focus on project participants in obtaining employment. These Employment Specialists work with the DVR Employment Services Unit to identify and share employment resources. Also in conjunction with the DEI grant, the Delaware Division of Employment and Training, the lead One-Stop Center agency, has become an Employment Network under the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program.

In addition to working with resources within the Delaware Department of Labor, DVR has a strong relationship with the Department of Education and the statewide Delaware Technical & Community College. The Workforce Investment Board is represented on the State Rehabilitation Council by an active member of the WIB Youth Council who is a former DVR client and and strong advocate for vocational rehabilitation and individuals with disabilities.

 

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

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

(A) Strategies to Achieve Goals and Priorities.

The State Rehabilitation Council and DVR utilized the results of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment as an input into the development of the agency’s four goals and priorities. Ways in which DVR will continue to support the goals and priorities include:

1) Provide quality employment outcome for people with disabilities.

• The priority relates to concerns expressed by both the consumers and the service providers who have noted the need for employment in jobs with sufficient pay and employee benefits to offset the loss or decrease in public benefits. Accordingly, DVR is responding by:

• Provide state-wide counselor training and focus on opportunities for On-the-Job training opportunities during FY 2013.

• Development of a program that builds community including the staff of DVR’s Employment Services Unit and job placement personnel from community rehabilitation programs through ongoing meetings and training opportunities. The DVR Employment Services Unit will facilitate quarterly meetings for the purpose of training and information sharing throughout FY 2013.

2) Support training programs that reflect opportunities in the labor market.

The priority relates to the employment services/employment needs as well as the need for information.

• Utilize employment trend information available from the Delaware Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information by 1) using the labor market information to advise community rehabilitation programs in the development of training programs, 2) seeking additional programs that offer training in fields where the employment outlook is positive, and 3) using labor market information during the counseling/informed choice process with DVR clients. This will be achieved through the DVR contracting process with community rehabilitation and training programs. Prior to contracting, labor market information will be utilized to establish the baseline of current contracted training programs that correspond directly to the top 10 occupational categories that will have projected occupational openings in Delaware over the course of the next 5 years. Between 2010 and 2012 it is estimated based on labor market data that the top 10 categories with the most occupational openings comprise 75% of all job openings in Delaware. The primary objective will be to ensure that DVR has a minimum of one training program that corresponds to each of the projected top 10 occupational category openings in each of Delaware’s 3 counties. As these measures change, DVR will adapt accordingly in contracting with programs that train people to obtain positions within the majority of the openings in the Delaware labor market.

• Continue to work with Community Rehabilitation Programs as part of the RFP process to use the labor market information to develop training programs that reflect labor market trends. Enable clients to make informed choices about their vocational training by providing information about the training programs through the Choices booklet.

• Work directly with employers and with Community Rehabilitation Programs to develop training programs that are held on-site at places of employment in the community. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation currently has four contracted programs statewide that achieve this objective through partnership with private industry (AT&T, Christiana Hospital, Shoprite, and Embassy Suites). DVR’s objective will be to increase the number of these contracted programs by a factor of 1 per fiscal year.

3. Expand opportunities for students to transition from school to work.

Transition students served by DVR have a wide range of disabilities and vocational needs. They require quality training programs that focus on careers available in the labor market in order to get employment.

• Support training for school to careers transition counselors to enable them to meet the unique needs of youth with disabilities. Each transition counselor will participate in at least one transition-focused training in FY 2013.

• The Supported Education program at the Delaware Technical and Community College targets youth with disabilities as clients who may benefit from the additional supports offered through the program in order to be successful in post-secondary education.

• DVR works with the Department of Education and the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services to provide supported employment to common clients under the Early Start to Supported Employment program.

4. Identify funding resources to maintain new initiatives

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the State Rehabilitation Council embrace the goal of obtaining grant funding to provide services and activities that support the DVR program and enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The need to identify and understand service availability and to address financial concerns is being addressed through new and ongoing programs.

• For five years, DVR provided benefits counseling through an RSA System Change grant project entitled, “CLIMB to Employment.” DVR subsequently received the SSA Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) grant which enables DVR to continue to provide benefits counseling and planning to recipients of Social Security Disability Benefits. As the WIPA program funding is scheduled to end, DVR will continue to seek funding to continue this beneficial program.

• DVR applied for and was awarded one of the nine initial Disability Employment Initiative grants. The grant assists all individuals with disabilities seeking services at the One-Stop Career Centers while focusing outreach services on youth with disabilities, ages 14-24. In conjunction with the DEI grant, the Division of Employment and Training became an Employment Network under SSA’s Ticket to work program. DVR continues to explore the use of the Partnership Plus program.

• In FY 2010, DVR received a grant from the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council to establish an ongoing community of employment specialist in the DVR, the Division for the Visually Impaired, and non-profit agencies. The project successfully brought together the employment specialists on a quarterly basis for networking and training. Although the project is no longer funded, the Employment Specialist Community continues to meet, working toward the desired outcomes, the sharing of employment leads and resources across agencies and increased knowledge related to job development and placement and quality employment outcomes.

• DVR is managing a small state funded initiative to reach at risk students in one particular school, an intensive learning center for special education students. The model has promise, and DVR is collaborating with the Department of Education to seek additional grant funding to expand the model to several school districts.

• DVR is collaborating with the Delaware Technical & Community College (DTCC) to provide more training and educational opportunities for transition youth in this post-secondary educational organization. DVR is continuing to utilize a supported education model, with DTCC support, to provide Intensive Learning Academies for students in remedial programs at DTCC. The model provides study skills training, tutoring and other intensive supports on campus to students enrolled in DTCC in the remedial program. The program is available state-wide.

• DVR is part of the Department of Education in the Community of Practice (CoP) initiative to work collaboratively with parents, students, advocates, and other agencies and service providers in a coordinated and collaborative effort.

• The DVR Specialist for Transition collaborates extensively with the Department of Education and local school district representatives. One of the Department of Education projects has been the implementation of a Student Success Plan (SSP) and the Career Cruising self-assessment/career planning tool for all students, including students with disabilities in the Delaware public school system.

• As part of this continuing CoP, DVR co-sponsored “The Fifth Annual Community of Practice Transition Conference: Shared Work; Shared Vision” at the Sheraton Hotel in Dover on April 3rd. The day-long conference was a collaborative effort by the Delaware Department of Education, the Division on Career Development and Transition and members of the CoP (i.e.: Parent Information Center of Delaware, school district representatives throughout the state, and the Student Leadership Team). The conference was well attended by over 600 students, parents, educators, DVR transition counselors, transition specialists from many high schools, as well as other stakeholders involved in assisting youth with disabilities transition to post-secondary life.

(B)Innovation and Expansion

In FY 2011, DVR embarked on a new innovation and expansion project with the goal of providing expanded and comprehensive services to individuals with the most significant disabilities who do not currently have access to supported employment or long term follow-along services. The need for the services was identified in the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and is congruent with the current Order of Selection.

1. In order to provide quality employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities:

• Building upon the success of Delaware’s first Project SEARCH site, identify additional work sites including Kent/Sussex counties.

• Develop strategies to expand the availability of long-term follow along supports, working with community rehabilitation programs and other eligible entities to become Employment Networks under the SSA Ticket to Work program, enabling Social Security Disability Beneficiaries to obtain long-term follow-along services using the Partnership Plus program to increase long-term employment success for individuals with the most significant disabilities.

2. To increase training opportunities for individuals with the most significant disabilities:

• Work with students identified for the Early Start to Supported Employment in their junior year of high school to assist them in completing the required eligibility for follow-along prior to graduation.

• Expand Project SEARCH opportunities.

3. Collaborate with agencies in order to implement Delaware’s recently passed Employment First legislation.

4. Exploring the expansion of available supported employment services to individuals with the most significant physical disabilities by identifying a source of long-term follow-along.

(C) Overcoming Barriers to Access

Per the comprehensive statewide needs assessment, the top three barriers to access were delay due to waiting list, lack of central source of information about resources, and high out-of-pocket costs.

• Delay due to Waiting List: For the first time, DVR established an Order of Selection in November of 2008. Since that time, approximately 2,270 individuals have been placed on the waiting list, over 2230 of whom have been released from the list. By managing financial resources, DVR has been able to provide services to all of the individuals with most significant or significant disabilities who have applied for services and anticipates continued ability to continue to move individuals who do not meet the criteria for significant disability off of the waiting list. Individuals who have neither most significant nor significant disabilities who remain on the waiting list have received information about alternate resources and services providers and will be released from the waiting list as resources permit.

• Lack of central source of information about resources: DVR is in the process of updating the agency web site to include more information presented in an easier to navigate manner. DVR sends resource information to every individual who is placed on the waiting list. The pages include information on employment, training, housing, and medical services as well as other items. One of the resources listed is the Delaware Helpline, a statewide information repository. To further promote the resource, DVR is adding a link to the Helpline web page on the DVR related links web page.

• High out-of-pocket costs: Many DVR services are provided at no cost to the individual such as counseling and guidance, assessment, and placement. For some services, individuals may be asked to contribute according to income guidelines, based on the Federal poverty level, that are reviewed at least annually. Individuals who receive Social Security Disability benefits are not subject to the financial needs test. DVR pursues comparable benefits where available. For rehabilitation technology, the pursuit of comparable benefits may not cause a significant delay in receiving the services.

• DVR provides equitable access to individuals from minority backgrounds as indicated by the .98 ratio reported for FY 2011 which exceeds the standard of .80.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 2:17PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

Attachment 4.11 (e) Evaluation and Report on Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

FY2011 Effectiveness Evaluation

Introduction.

Pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the State Rehabilitation Council of Delaware (SRC) annually conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the administration of the public vocational rehabilitation program in Delaware, and implementation of jointly developed goals and priorities. The evaluation of the FY2011 program year was conducted at the February 13, 2012 meeting of the State Rehabilitation Council.

The effectiveness evaluation evaluated DVR’s implementation of the jointly developed Goals & Priorities; and the agency’s administration of the public program in Delaware, as measured by federal program standards and indicators. Key DVR staff and SRC leadership agreed upon the scope and process for conducting the evaluation. Consistent with the process used in prior years, the evaluation was conducted at the State Rehabilitation Council February 2012 meeting. SRC members were joined by DVR staff for the meeting, and all jointly participated in the process. Several DVR Administrators provided information, data, and analysis to the group on key program areas, standards and indicators, and programs related to the goals and priorities. After these presentations, the group divided into discussion groups, then evaluated and rated a specific identified dimension of DVR performance as part of the overall Effectiveness Evaluation.

 

Supported Employment.

The participants viewed a presentation about Supported Employment in Delaware. Supported Employment Services are available throughout the State of Delaware for individuals with the most significant disabilities. There are multiple service providers that serve a diverse population of individuals with disabilities. In FY2011, 431 individuals with the most significant disabilities received supported employment services, a modest increase over 422 in FY2010. Outcomes improved as well, with 97 individuals achieving employment outcomes, a 29% increase over the 75 outcomes in the prior year. Increases were achieved in both developmental disability and mental health supported employment programs.

Evidence Based Supported Employment for people with mental health disabilities.

The supported employment program for individuals with mental health disabilities is a collaboration between the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and four statewide mental health service providers. Following an evidence-based model, supported employment services have been integrated into the mental health services and are provided by four mental health service providers. The program focuses on open access, customer choice, immediate access to services, rapid placement into employment, and integrated ongoing supports. In FY2011, the number of program participants continued to increase modestly, reaching 283, up from 278. The number of successful outcomes increased from 41 to 59 year over year. Participating agencies and providers have frequent and ongoing contacts, and are addressing and resolving issues which impede growth. Lack of available employment opportunities and critical staff shortages were key reasons that the supported employment program did not produce more outcomes.

Traditional Supported Employment.

The Supported Employment Program in Delaware is a collaboration between the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, and a variety of large and small community supported employment service providers. An individual who has follow along resources, and is an appropriate supported employment candidate, is referred by a family member or community collaborator to DVR for supported employment services.

Early Start to Supported Employment.

The Early Start to Supported Employment Program is designed to assist transition students with the most significant disabilities to attach to DVR and the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, select and work with a SE Provider during their exit year from high school, with a goal of beginning employment immediately upon completing high school, if not sooner. DVR continues to improve the service delivery model. DVR is using more of a team approach, improving communication between providers and agencies, and initiating the process sooner.

 

Standards & Indicators.

DVR provided information to SRC members on DVR performance administering the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, as measured by federal standards and indicators. The performance on standards and indicators in FY2011, is as follows:

• DVR achieved 948 outcomes in FY2011, an increase of 243 outcomes, or 34% more thank the prior year. This was the highest number of outcomes ever for this agency; and clearly exceeded the RSA standard to equal or better the results from the prior year;

• The Rehabilitation rate in FY 2011 was 68%, well over the RSA standard of 55%, and virtually unchanged from last year’s impressive result of 69%;

• More than 99% of the employment outcomes were competitive employment in the community at or above the minimum wage, the same as last year. This exceeded the standard of 72.6%

• The average hourly wage increased to $10.05 in FY2011, after two years of decrease, $9.89 in FY2009 and $9.77 in FY2010. The standard for hourly wage is that DVR clients’ wages average 52% of the average wage for all wage earners in the State of Delaware. Once again, DVR’s result of 44%, while improved over last year’s 43%, did not meet this standard;

• The increased percentage of individuals who report their wages as the largest source of support between application and successful closure is 70%, well above the standard of 53%.

• Minority service rates continue to be high, 98% of all minority applicants for services were provided with VR Services, improving last years’ 91%, and exceeding the 80% standard.

• Customer satisfaction rates with DVR services improved substantially this past year, reaching 93%, approaching the high water mark of 96% in FY2007. This is significant, considering the substantially higher number of individuals in service last year.

• The proportion of individuals achieving successful employment outcomes , who have significant disabilities increased slightly to 94%, a 2% increase over last year, and substantially exceeding the 64% standard.

Discussion.

Due to the high average wage of workers in Delaware, DVR again did not meet Standard 1.5, the proportion of average hourly wage to the average hourly wage of all wage earners in Delaware, the ratio was 44% during the past year. This is a standard that Delaware has not met in years. More concerning was the fact that the average hourly wage fell slightly, for a second year. The sluggish job market is the primary factor seen to impact wage rates. DOL analysts report that this recession and weak recovery has impacted middle class and manufacturing jobs more than other recessions historically.

Overall customer satisfaction rate was 93% in FY2011, a substantial improvement over the previous year. While caseload sizes continue to increase during the year, the improving job market seemed to offer clients more opportunities for employment in areas of their interest. DVR Counselors may have adapted to are necessarily spending less time with each client, which is impacting customer service. With high unemployment continuing in Delaware, DVR customers have less employment options, and many are taking lower paying jobs in areas other than their desired goal.

DVR met or exceeded the Standards and Indicators except for the hourly wage measure. DVR is looking at ways to maintain a high level of customer service and productivity, despite high customer demand and unfavorable job market. Improvements in the case management system, and technology upgrades, such as scanners, have helped counselors to be more efficient in their case management practices, enabling them to spend more time with customers and less time on process. DVR is implementing several strategies to improve the quality of employment outcomes, including increasing the use of “on the job training” as a strategy to increase the number of employment outcomes.

Rating and Recommendations.

As part of the SRC Annual Retreat, DVR staff makes presentations and answers questions on the topics to be evaluated. Following the presentations and question sessions, the SRC members break up into groups to provide an overall rating for DVR’s performance on each of the topics. The evaluation groups come to a concensus rating based on the previous discussion.

The evaluation team rated DVR’s performance in terms of results for standards and indicators as 4.75 on a 1 (low) to 5 (high) scale. Recommendations from the evaluation team with respect to the performance on standards and indicators were:

• DVR should track/report employment retention, consider 180 or 365 day retention study;

• RSA should consider more regional standards and indicators, since not all national performance measures are appropriate in all areas.

Goals & Priorities.

The Goals and Priorities for FY2010, with performance measures, were:

1. Provide quality employment outcomes for people with disabilities; o Employment outcomes achieved; o Average hourly wage o Customer satisfaction o Self-employment outcomes

2. Support training programs that reflect opportunities in the labor market; o Additional training choices available o Upgraded training curriculums o Track outcomes for clients who receive training

3. Expand opportunities for students to transition from school to work; o Service dollars spent on education and training o Number of transition students served and transition outcomes o Numbers served in Early Start to Supported Employment

4. Identify funding sources to maintain new initiatives. o Grant programs and funds o Grant applications

GOAL 1. Provide quality employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Goal 1 Indicators:

• DVR assisted 948 individuals to find employment, an increase of 243 outcomes, or 34%, from the previous year.

• DVR clients experienced an increased hourly wage up to $10.05 in FY2011, after two years of decrease, $9.89 in FY2009 and $9.77 in FY2010. The average hourly rate for transition outcomes was $9.08, up from $8.90 the year before.

• Customer satisfaction data results revealed 87% of individuals achieving successful outcomes liked their job, and 82% felt that the job matched their abilities and interest, up from 84% and 71% respectively from the prior year.

• Self-employment outcomes increased modestly in FY2010 over the prior year.

Delaware DVR served a very large number of individuals this past year. With an improving job market, and a large client population, DVR clients were able to achieve 948 employment outcomes in FY2011, an increase of 243 over the prior year.

Rating and Recommendations.

The evaluation team rated DVR’s performance on Goal 1 as 4.0 on a 1 to 5 scale. Recommendations from the evaluation team with respect to improving results on Goal 1 were:

• Track individuals who do not complete training programs;

• DVR needs to increase focus on placement for SE clients;

• Better information sharing about RSA standards, DVR Goals and Priorities with staff;

• SRC would like to increase communication with DVR leadership.

GOAL 2. Support training programs that reflect opportunities in the labor market.

Goal 2 Indicators: o Additional training choices available o Upgraded training curriculums o Track outcomes for clients who receive training

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation makes maximum use of training providers in the State of Delaware, including all public higher education programs, as well as public, private, for-profit and non-profit training organizations that meet DVR standards of performance and accessibility for people with disabilities. Delaware Technical and Community College (Del Tech) is a statewide community college with four campuses throughout the State of Delaware. They have a wide array of educational and job training programs. DVR maintains a very cooperative relationship with Del Tech, and uses them to the maximum extent possible for educational and training services for DVR clients. Del Tech is a training provider under the Workforce Investment Act with many training programs to offer.

DVR also contracts with Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP’s) to provide skill training programs specifically designed for individuals with disabilities. DVR has encouraged CRP’s to target their training goals to match employer needs in the workplace. In FY2011, recently developed training programs were continued, and some new ones were added for people with disabilities:

• Service Source (formerly the Opportunity Center) continued with its training program with Embassy Suites Hotel in Newark, Delaware, to provide a training program at the hotel;

• Connections, CSP, continued its Culinary Arts Training Program, developed in FY2010, and expanded it to Sussex County in the past year;

• VLS IT, continued to provide computer technology training to DVR clients.

• Lee Institute developed a Home Health Aide training program and collaborated with DVR to make the training program available specifically for people with disabilities;

• Anton & Associates developed and provided a Customer Service Training Program to DVR clients last year in Kent County. The program was supported by DVR as well as the Delaware Office of Economic Development and employer Dover Downs.

• DVR added behavioral evaluation and behavioral support services as a supplement to skill training programs in FY2011, in order to assist individuals with cognitive and behavioral issues to overcome barriers and achieve success.

Rating & Recommendations.

The evaluation team rated DVR’s performance in terms of results for Goal 2 as 4.75 on a 1 to 5 scale. Recommendations from the evaluation team for improving results on Goal 2 were:

• To continue to develop training programs as needed

GOAL 3. Expand opportunities for students to transition from school to work.

Goal 3 Indicators: o Service dollars spent on education and training o Number of transition students served and transition outcomes o Numbers served in Early Start to Supported Employment

The DVR School to Career Transition Program continues to mature and improve. The number of seniors entering transition services decreased slightly in 2011, from 848 in FY2010 to 796 in FY2011. Additional school requirements around confidentiality and documentation related to DVR referrals may have contributed to the decline. The number of successful outcomes for students completing their transition program and going to work increased from 286 to 305 this past year. DVR Transition Counselors, supported by paraprofessional transition assistants continue to provide transition services on site, in all Delaware public high schools, thanks to a partnership between DVR, school districts, and the Department of Education.

The Delaware Department of Education’s “Student Success Plan” was embraced by DVR Counselors, who use this valuable tool for career goals and employment plan development. The Department of Labor’s Mobile One-Stop Vehicle has been used effectively by the Transition program, bringing the One-stop resources on-site to many of the high schools in the state.

DVR, and Delaware Technical and Community college now provides the Supported Education program at all campuses of DTCC. The program in Georgetown campus continues to lead the way in terms of innovation, attendance; and outcomes. The program provides additional structure, training and support to enable remedial DTCC students to successfully complete the remedial program and transition into college level training programs.

DVR worked with Red Clay School District, Christiana Care Medical Center, and Goodwill Industries to establish Project SEARCH in Delaware. Nine students pioneered this program at the Christiana Hospital. Students received morning classroom instruction, and in the afternoon received on the job skill training at several different worksites at the hospital. Students received instruction on several different positions, rotating after approximately twelve weeks of training at each site. Project staff focused on collaboration and on the needs of students in this ambitions project. Discussions are underway to establish a downstate SEARCH site.

Rating & Recommendations.

The evaluation team rated DVR’s performance in terms of results for Goal 3-Transition Services, as 4.5 on a 1 to 5 scale. Recommendations from the evaluation team for improving results on Goal 3 were:

? Expand project SEARCH to other locations in Delaware;

? Reach out to younger students to encourage them to stay in school and graduate

? Develop more work experiences, vocational skills, and continue to provide more supports for students

GOAL 4. Identify funding sources to maintain new initiatives.

DVR continues to focus on grant opportunities that can fund programs and initiatives for people with disabilities that support its mission.

Goal 4 Indicators: o Grant Monitoring o Grant applications, collaborations, referrals o Grants Obtained

DVR applied for two grants during the past fiscal year. The first, a collaboration with two other state agencies for supported employment infrastructure development, was not funded. The second, assisting the Business Leadership Network in obtaining funding for its initiatives, was successful.

DVR is in year two of the Disability Employment Initiative Grant with the US Department of Labor. This 3 year, $1.5 million grant, provides funding for employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and job exploration activities for at risk youth with disabilities, as well as provide supports for individuals with disabilities accessing the DOL One-stop career centers.

Rating & Recommendations.

The evaluation team rated DVR’s performance in terms of results for Goal 2 as 4.0 on a 1 to 5 scale. Recommendations from the evaluation team for improving results on Goal 4 were:

• Continue to seek funding opportunities

Standards and Indicators 4.75

Goals & Priorities

• Goal 1: Quality Outcomes 4.0

• Goal 2: Training Opportunities 4.75

• Goal 3: Transition Services 4.5

• Goal 4: Funding new initiatives 4.0

Overall Rating: 4.40

The State Rehabilitation Council and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation rated DVR as effective in administering the public vocational rehabilitation program in Delaware and implementing the jointly developed goals and priorities.

 

Innovation and Expansion:

Since November of 2008, DVR has been on an Order of Selection. In order to increase successful outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities, DVR focused its innovation and expansion activities on preparing staff and expanding services to clients in the category. DVR counselors and other staff participated in a program to increase awareness and use of assistive technology. During FY 2011, DVR worked with partners in the community to develop a Project SEARCH location, a transition program for students with the most significant disabilities, in a local hospital in northern Delaware. The program was instituted in FY 2012, serving nine transition-age youth. As of June, 2012, several of these youth have not only completed the program, but have also found employment. The other participants are actively seeking employment with DVR support. In the upcoming year, the agency will look to expand the program to other places of employment. Focus on Supported Employment services has resulted in increased successful outcomes.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 2:33PM by Harrietann Litwin

  • 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

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

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation administers the Supported Employment Program under Title VI, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act. Supported Employment occurs in an integrated setting where individuals with the most significant disabilities receive minimum wage or above for work. In the absence of the services available as part of supported employment, many of the participants would not obtain or retain employment.

The Division is focused on providing quality services through the use of the following strategies:

*On-Site Quality Assurance Reviews of all supported employment programs operated by rehabilitation providers. A representative from the administrative unit and representatives from Vocational Rehabilitation Services meet with staff from the Community Rehabilitation Programs on a bi-monthly basis to review progress and resolve programmatic issues.

*Oversight monitoring in partnership with long term funding agencies. At least quarterly, representatives from the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) and the Division of Drug Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) meet with DVR program staff to address issues related to the smooth transition from DVR services to the extended services provided by the other divisions.

* Addressing issues and concerns at meetings with the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (DELARF).

*DVR coordinates training that is provided by Mark One Communications, formerly affiliated with the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware, and TransCen, Inc. to provide job coaching training to front line staff at the community rehabilitation supported employment programs. The training program certifies staff providing services through the programs. Fifty-two staff members were trained and received certificates in Fiscal Year 2012. DVR works with the Department of Education, the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, and the Division of Drug Abuse and Mental Health to fund and coordinate training through a SE Consortium of state agencies.

*The ongoing development of training programs to maintain and increase the expertise of all staff providing supported employment services. Staff from all of the State agencies, including DVR, participates in training programs to enhance their abilities to provide supported employment services.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is currently under Order of Selection which prioritizes services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. DVR has been able to serve all individuals with most significant disabilities. To ensure that Supported Employment services are available to eligible individuals, DVR augments the Title VI, Part B funds with Title I funds.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides supported employment services for those populations considered to have the most significant disabilities and for whom long term funding has been secured for extended services. The division uses needs assessments, the public meeting, and strategic plans to identify and address the needs of unserved and/or underserved populations. DVR conducts a supported employment assessment for every client referred to the supported employment program to determine the client’s need for the intensive services available through the program.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation works with the DDDS and the DSAMH to identify appropriate referrals for supported employment services. Primary indicators for supported employment are:

*Demonstrated inability to maintain employment utilizing traditional employment programs without extended follow-along services as the result of a most significant disability.

*Indication that, due to the significance of the disability, the individual is not likely to obtain and maintain employment in the absence of intensive services from DVR and extended services from DDDS or DSAMH.

Individuals with the most significant mental illness or developmental disability who are identified as appropriate for supported employment services will have the following services available:

1. Assessment services to assist the individual in selecting an appropriate vocational goal consistent with the individual’s unique strengths, resources, interests, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities and informed choice.

2. Job development and job placement in an integrated work environment based on the results of the assessment.

3. Intensive job coaching services on-site and/or off-site to enable the individual to become stabilized in his or her employment.

4. Upon stabilization, DVR and the agency identified to provide extended services commence the transition to extended services. DVR will be the lead service provider, facilitating communication with the individual, the employer, and the extended service provider for a minimum of 90 days following stabilization.

5. The individual will be eligible for post-employment services for those services unavailable through the extended service provider.

Supported employment services are available to clients for no more than eighteen months by which time a client should achieve job stabilization. When circumstances, documented in the client’s IPE, indicate that an extension of services will be necessary to enable an individual to retain employment, exceptions may allow the services to extend beyond the eighteen-month time limit.

Clients are determined ready for follow-along services when job stabilization is achieved. Although the program is flexible in order to provide for the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, stabilization most often occurs when the job coach is providing support services only 20% of the time that the individual is working. The client, DVR Counselor, job coach, case manager, and employer must agree that work performance is satisfactory and employment can be maintained with the level of Follow-Along Services available. When job stabilization is declared the DVR Counselor starts the ninety-day count for DVR closure.

To provide for a smooth transition, the connection to extended services begins at job stabilization. Extended services are provided by the long-term funding agency that has contracted with the community rehabilitation program providing supported employment services. During the transitional period, from job stabilization to closure, both DVR and the long-term funding agency work together to insure the client will retain employment. Closure from DVR services occurs only if there is agreement among the parties that the client is performing satisfactorily on the job.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2012 2:33PM by Harrietann Litwin

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Last updated on 08/28/2012 at 2:50 PM

Last updated by sadelitwinh

Completed on 08/28/2012 at 2:50 PM

Completed by sadelitwinh

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Published on 09/21/2012 at 12:57 PM

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