ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

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

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

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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 https://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/ed80-013.pdf) for both the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAndrea Guest

Title of SignatoryDirector, Delaware Divison of Vocational Rehabilitation

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/27/2014

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2015Yes

Comments:

Certification Regarding Lobbying-Vocational Rehabilitation Program Certification Regarding Lobbying-Supported Employment Program

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAndrea Guest

Title of SignatoryDirector, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/27/2014

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

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 SRC leadership participates on the DVR Policy Committee and is 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 Recommendation: With the availability of healthcare through ACA, some people may consider employment. (DVR should look at ways to encourage this.) Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. This comment reflects the significant change in the healthcare landscape for people with disabilities. Reluctance to work due to the fear of loss of healthcare benefits has been an issue for people with disabilities for many years. Individuals with healthcare benefits who obtained employment were, historically, reluctant to pursue full time employment due to a loss of benefits. Through its counselors and benefits specialists, DVR has a long history of assisting consumers with gaining an understanding of employment and healthcare benefits. DVR staff has provided information about the Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities program and will now provide individuals with information and education on how to obtain healthcare benefits with the Affordable Care Act in order promote and encourage people with disabilities to obtain the maximum employment for which they are capable.

SRC Recommendation: For some people, consider two part-time jobs (since healthcare will be otherwise available). Agency Response: DVR agrees with the goal of this recommendation. DVR agrees with the intent of this goal. Fostering independence and self-sufficiency comes with maximizing employment income. With the availability of healthcare benefits that are not tied to employment, individuals may be able to maximize earnings from two, part-time jobs without the fear of losing healthcare benefits due to income overages; however, full-time employment remains the primary employment goal for individuals who are capable of working full time. With full-time employment, individuals are often eligible for other benefits such as sick time, vacation time, and financial savings plans. While DVR will focus on full-time employment, we realize that, in today’s job market, a single, full-time job is not always available. When a full-time job is not available, DVR will assist clients in obtaining a second job in order to meet the individual’s economic needs.

SRC Recommendation: In order to be financially independence, clients need assistance in developing the skills to manage their finances. (DVR should assist with individuals obtaining these skills.) Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. Part of economic self-sufficiency includes the ability to manage one’s income to meet the goals of financial independence. DVR addresses financial literacy in two ways. Individuals who have Social Security benefits receive benefits counseling through the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program which is a DVR grant-funded program. DVR counselors will provide counseling and guidance around managing finances and will also continue to refer individuals to $tand By Me, a free financial literacy program that assist individuals with learning to manage their finances and resolve financial problems.

SRC Recommendation: Continue to expand employment-based training for transition students (Project SEARCH and Start On Success). Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. DVR recognizes the importance of employment-based training for all transition students. DVR has made the expansion of Project SEARCH and Start On Success the focus of its Innovation and Expansion programs. DVR is expanding Project SEARCH into Kent County in FY 2014 with the employer Bayhealth. The Capital School District will be the primary educational contact although students from throughout the Kent County Community Schools may participate through the Capital School District. There is an RFP out to identify a training vendor.

The Start On Success program began in January of 2014 as a partnership between the Christina School District, the vendor Humanim, several YMCAs in New Castle County, and DVR. There are currently 14 youth participants. There is a plan underway to expand the program with the Brandywine School District and the VA Hospital in Fiscal Year 2015.

SRC Recommendation: Keep providing retention data. Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. DVR believes that a significant component to understanding the impact of our employment services is to identify whether individuals who are successfully employed at closure are able to maintain employment. DVR conducts phone interviews with successfully employed clients approximately three months after their case is closed, after six months of employment. Clients are asked about their employment status, whether they have switched employers, whether their hours and wages have increased or decreased, benefits they are receiving, and other questions. Individuals who have ceased to be employed or who could benefit from other employment assistance are given the option of being re-referred back to DVR. Retention data for a fiscal year will be fully collected three months after the end of that fiscal year, in December, and will be compiled for presentation to the SRC as part of the Effectiveness Evaluation in February of 2015.

SRC Recommendations: Next year, please provide more information on training programs and OJT. Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. DVR agrees that obtaining additional data about training programs and on-the-job training would assist the SRC in developing goals and priorities. In conjunction with the migration from our legacy consumer information system to the AWARE system, DVR plans to create reports that provide information on the usage and success rates of training providers. DVR has hired a contract administrator who will present information on training programs and on-the-job training at the next Effectiveness Evaluation in February of 2015.

SRC Recommendation: Develop training programs that meet the needs and demands of employers; this may differ in different parts of the state (urban/rural). Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. Employment opportunities and training needs differ around the state, and DVR recognizes the need to develop different resources. DVR contracts with vendors through a biennial RFP process. DVR looks for additional vendors to meet the service needs of specific populations, regional employers, and geographic regions. DVR has recently hired a contract administrator with the primary functions of identifying, contracting, and monitoring vendor/ training provider contracts.

SRC Recommendation: Continue to focus on jobs above minimum wage to more clients closer to Delaware’s average hourly wage. Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. DVR recognizes that clients who receive education and vocational training are more often qualified for jobs above minimum wage. In FY 2013, DVR supported over 700 individuals in their pursuit of two or four college training. Additional consumers were assisted in obtaining college support through Pell or other grant assistance. DVR is providing opportunities for skills training through employer-linked programs such as Project SEARCH, Start on Success, and the REDi program at Walgreen’s Pharmacy. In addition, DVR is providing clients with employment services through in-house and contracted employment specialist services. DVR’s contract administrator is identifying training vendors in fields such as healthcare that pay above minimum wage. The DVR Employment Services Unit is working closely with the State employment to identify State employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities through the Specialize Employment. SRC Recommendation: Work towards integration of Individualized Education Plans with Individualized Plans for Employment at a younger age in order to increase the quality of services. Agency Response: DVR agrees with this recommendation. The likelihood that a transition student’s services will move efficiently and effectively from school to vocational rehabilitation may be greatly enhanced if the student’s IEP and his/her IPE have integrated goals and services. The DVR Transition Specialist and her counterpart at the Department of Education continue to push the need to integrate or make similar the IEP and the IPE. Training on the topic, almost 2 years ago, has not yet brought about the desired change, but there is continued work towards that goal. The Transition Specialist had been attending the DOE cadre meetings where 9 school districts participate and this topic is discussed at most meetings. The DVR Transition Counselors participated in the most recent meeting, and the plan is to invite them to attend regularly in the fall as the DOE cadre meeting is good forum to make this change. Ultimately, the integration of the IEP and the IPE is likely to take place on a school by school basis.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 2:28PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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 Employment First Taskforce, which is responsible to monitor implementation of Delaware’s Employment First Legislation. DVR participates with the SCPD, a 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 principals, to assist people with disabilities to live more independently in the community, and to align the state’s service delivery system with that goal. This task force has supported implementation of Medicaid for People with Disabilities (Medicaid Buy-in) in Delaware, increased public transportation, and has recently supported development of the Pathways Medicaid waiver program for people with disabilities.

In Delaware, the State Use Law requires that State agencies purchase goods and services from specific organizations that promote the employment and financial self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities. DVR, following the State Use Law, procures goods and services through the Delaware Industries for the Blind and the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

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 Jul 7 2014 9:27AM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

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, 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 school-age, 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. DVR and DOE have a Memorandum of Understanding that identifies and establishes procedures for implementation of the transition program at the State and local school district levels. Under the agreement, each high school has provided 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 Career Cruising, in-depth software and interactive website providing comprehensive vocational exploration and related information to the students we serve.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation participated in the DOE cadre meetings during the 2013-2014 school year. Nine school districts developed teams and met monthly to review state and local data, identify areas needing improvement, write goals and develop plans for implementation. The DVR Transition Coordinator and VR Counselors were invited to participate in the meetings and work with the various teams to increase collaboration at the state and local levels as well as integrate VR and school processes, procedures and resources.

DOE, the Division of Developmental Disabilities, and DVR are financial partners in the state-wide Transition Conference which had over 600 participants in March 2014, including students with disabilities, parents, education stakeholders and other professionals who work with transition aged youth. DOE and DVR partner to provide training to school personnel, DVR staff and community providers related to Customized and Supported Employment. 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, working primarily within the high schools throughout Delaware. Each DVR office has a transition assistant, a part time paraprofessional to provide additional support for transition students and DVR transition counselors. 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 counselors offer technical assistance to the local school districts so educators can develop 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 – Job Link, Delaware’s computerized career information system, and the American Job Centers created under the Workforce Investment Act. 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 have worked collaboratively with the staff from Humanim and the Christina School District to offer the Start on Success Program (SOS). Working with the principal and educators at Central School (a program that provides intensive supports to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students at-risk of dropping out of school) and Christiana High School, 14 students were selected to participate in the program. Start-On-Success is a transitional program that serves high-school seniors with a disability and provides vocational exploration, preparation and training for selected youth to assist in the development and achievement of vocational goals. The program includes a 16-week, paid internship in which selected students learn appropriate work behaviors and gain work experience prior to graduating from high school.

The SOS program is provided by Humanim, a company out of Baltimore, and begins with assessments to identify the strengths and interests of each student. Humanim partnered with the YMCA (Central, Western and Walnut St. locations) to develop internship positions based on the needs of the business and interests of the 14 students. In addition, the students receive classroom instruction to develop job readiness skills, such as communication, resume writing, interviewing, job search and job retention strategies. This is the first year of the program, which is still in process. Students, families and schools are pleased with the results so far and intend to continue support for the program during the 2014-2015 school year. DOE and DVR have begun discussions with another school district and Humaim has partnered with the VA Hospital in order to expand the program.

Project SEARCH is in the 3rd year with Red Clay School District and Christiana Hospital. This partnership continues to strengthen with more employment opportunities becoming available at the hospital as well as in the community. Two interns were employed prior to the end of the program and the additional interns are fully immersed in the job search process. DVR and DOE are working with Capital School District and Bayhealth in Dover to develop an additional Project SEARCH site for 2014-2015.

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 supported education project provides workshops in Math, English and Reading along with some additional specialized study skills training. Over the years, the initiative has grown from one campus to all of the four DTCC campuses statewide.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 2:33PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

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

In July, 2013 DVR opened up solicitations for requests for proposals (RFPs) to provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities. The solicitation process was advertised through Delaware’s electronic purchasing site, bids.gov. Proposals were solicited and awarded for the following services: job development, placement and retention services; employment preparation services, community based work assessment services, job coaching services, job coaching for individuals communicating with ASL, behavioral analysis and support services, supported employment services, assistive technology services, vocational training services, and other services. Prior to the issuing of the solicitations to bid, service descriptions were revised based upon evaluation of the effectiveness of services, and recommendations of best practices from DVR Counselors and Vendors.

Effective October 1, 2013, DVR established Purchase of Service Agreements (PSAs) with 43 community based service providers, private and non-profit programs to provide vocational rehabilitation services and training to people with disabilities in Delaware.

It was determined that certain consumer groups and certain geographic areas had additional service needs; therefore, in May 2014 a supplemental RFP for supported employment, and job placement services with ASL was advertised. Seven proposals were received with three specifically to serve counties with fewer providers for consumers. Pending successful negotiations DVR will increase community based service providers to 50 statewide.

DVR and the Delaware Department of Education have collaborated with Goodwill of Delaware, Christiana Care Network, and Red Clay School District to pilot Project SEARCH in Delaware. The first Project SEARCH site, at the Christiana Medical Center Hospital just completed its third year of services. It is a highly successful, highly regarded program in Delaware. After a long planning period, a second SEARCH site is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014 in Kent County Delaware, at Bayhealth Medical Center. DVR published a Request for Proposal for both SEARCH sites beginning in the fall of 2014, seeking vocational rehabilitation community providers to participate in the project. Proposals are due in June 2014.

The Start on Success (SOS) Program, a model similar to SEARCH, is very successful in the State of Maryland. The program combines classroom training in job readiness and soft-skills, with skill training at an employer site, using onsite supports. After a review of the program and its successes, Delaware DVR decided to pilot Start on Success Program to Delaware. In FY 2013, DVR contacted Humanim, the service provider administering the SOS program in Maryland. A Cooperative Agreement was developed and in January 2014 Humanim implemented the SOS program in Delaware with the YMCA as the employer. The Program is expanding to a second site at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Elsmere, Delaware this fall.

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 rehabilitation services providers in Delaware belong to this organization and use it to address common issues with DVR. The DVR Contract Administrator and other DVR representatives, as needed, 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 Jun 27 2014 2:47PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

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 (Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health) and cognitive disabilities (Division of Developmental 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 cognitive 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 supported employment model was initiated in 2005, based upon the Dartmouth Evidence Based Supported Employment model. Mental health services organizations provided integrated mental health and supported employment services. The project used a team approach to respond to the employment needs of clients with significant mental illness by creating a system of services and supports.

In 2012, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) revised its mental health treatment design, and implemented an ACT/ICM Team model in 2012. A Request for Proposal was published and new providers were secured, offering multiple teams in each County. Two existing providers also made the transition to the new model. The model was refined further in 2014, eliminating ICM Teams and assigning those individuals to ACT Teams. DVR and DSAMH are continuing to work with the new and continuing providers to develop integrated mental health and supported employment services using ACT team model, throughout the state. Employment outcomes from the Evidence Based Supported Employment program declined initially as new providers developed capacity and implemented the new service model.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Developmental Disability Services continue to strengthen and develop supported employment services and increase the number of individuals placed in community jobs. The Early Start to Supported Employment Model provides Supported Employment Services to students with developmental disabilities transitioning from school to work. The model has been refined since its inception in 2005, adding Customized Employment principles and working with providers to begin services earlier, in the year prior to the student’s terminal year. The Department of Education, the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation have updated their cooperative agreements to reflect newly implemented evidence-based practices.

The Project SEARCH model- implemented in Delaware several years ago, through collaboration with Red Clay School District, the Delaware Department of Education, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Christiana Care Health Network- provides employment services to people who are eligible for long term support services through the Division for Developmental Disability Services. DDDS provides long term supports to eligible consumers who received job training and placement through project SEARCH.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 2:48PM by Harrietann Litwin

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

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. The Division developed plans for employment for over 1,700 consumers in FY 2013. Filling vacancies and maintaining staff is critical in ensuring productivity in the agency and availability of services to the public. 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 Specialist 26 1 6
2 Fiscal staff 3 0 1
3 Management Information Staff 2 0 0
4 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 31 1 10
5 Vocational Rehabilitation District Administrators 4 0 0
6 Employment Services District Administrator 1 0 1
7 Employment Specialists 5 0 0
8 Management Analyst 1 0 0
9 Social Service Administrator 1 0 0
10 Sr. Social Service Administrator 2 0 0

 

Delaware does not have an institute of higher education with a vocational rehabilitation program so our Counselors need to obtain their Master’s Degree 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 2013, DVR had one VR Counselor graduate with a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from Winston-Salem State University and one with a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from the George Washington University. In FY 2014 DVR had one counselor graduate with their Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University and one Counselor graduate with their Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from Utah State University. Currently, the Division has one VR Employment Specialist enrolled in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at West Virginia 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 Winston-Salem State University 0 0 0 1
2 West Virginia University 1 1 0 0
3 Utah State University 0 0 1 0
4 The George Washington University 0 0 1 1
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 Rutgers, formally the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. The HRD Specialist has connected with students attending these Master’s programs through classroom presentation and serving as a mentor for graduates to provide insight into State VR to encourage practicum and internships experiences in DVR. DVR also uses social media, specifically LinkedIn, to recruit qualified counselors. In the past, the division has used 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 has provided training statewide to all Counselors and Employment Specialists, as well as community partners who have contracts to do job development and job placement services.

 

The Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has set the following as its personnel standard for rehabilitation counselor: "Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field with coursework in theories and techniques of counseling; or having obtained the credentials of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, with or without a Master’s Degree.” 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 Master’s 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. Currently, 28 of the 31 (30 full-time plus one casual seasonal) Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors have Master’s Degrees in Rehabilitation or a related field. The 3 who do not hold a Master’s degree have plans to retire within 2-4 years. Fifteen counselors meet the CSPD standard of having attained a CRC or are CRC eligible. The remaining 13 have Masters degrees in related disciplines. Overall, 90% of the current counseling staff meets the current personnel standards defined by the agency. 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; however, these individuals must have the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a subject related to the field of rehabilitation counseling. 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 by posting positions through their networks and conducting presentations to graduate seminars to recruit graduate interns. DVR is also utilizing online resources, and has increased the number of periodicals in which postings are listed. The Social Service Administrator works with administration to encourage all counselors who do not meet the CSPD standard to develop a training plan to outline the steps necessary for them to meet the standard. DVR is in the 8th year of a 12 year plan with a goal of 100% of our DVR Counselors meeting CSPD standards. Given the challenge we face with recruiting qualified Rehabilitation Counselors in the absence of an in-state training program and the attrition rate of qualified VR counselors, in part due to the promotion of qualified counselors into other roles in the agency, we have established the following steps to address future needs: 1. Providing tuition support 2. Replacing counselors with only those who meet CSPD standards or who agree to enroll in an approved Master’s Degree Program 3. 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. 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. The 20 hours of In-Service Training requirement is consistent with the requirement of the Commission of Rehabilitation Counseling Committee for those with the CRC designation. 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. The Social Service Administrator responsible for Human Resource Development collects and analyzes information on the training needs that are identified through training evaluations, quality assurance reviews, and information received from the leadership team. The results of the review 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. DVR is also nearing the end of building and implementing a new case management system titled AWARE. Various staff members have been involved in organizing, building, and transferring data as well as testing AWARE’s functionality. Select staff members from each office will attend a Train-the-Trainer training for further skill development and will assist in training all of the field staff. All staff will be trained by office for 2 full days with periodic follow up designed to answer questions and highlight features in the system. 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, assistive technology, motivational interviewing, ethics, assessment, Social Security Disability programs, specific disabilities, DSM 5 changes, and community resources. DVR benefits greatly from its involvement with the George Washington University Technical Assistance and Continuing Education program (TACE). Members of the DVR staff participate in Learning Communities on a wide range of topics: Training, Field Service, Fiscal, Data, Vendor Services, State Coordinators for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf-Blind, Transition, and State Rehabilitation Council. The learning communities form a network of participants from the region who share knowledge and resources which the participants bring back to the betterment of all of the regional VR agencies.

DVR also utilizes the TACE in developing agency level training programs. A member of the TACE staff is scheduled to provide training on several topics, including ethics and social media at the agency’s annual Full Team Training/Meeting event in August. Archived webinars and on line training modules available via the TACE web pages are accessed by staff continually and are used based on a variety of needs such as new counselor training and skill development.

 

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 county. 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 Sr. Social Service Administrator for School-to-Careers Transition works closely with the DOE Educational Associate to coordinate transition programs throughout the state.

The Department of Education holds statewide meetings quarterly that DOE and DVR Counselors attend. The purpose of these meetings is to update all staff on legislative updates to services pertaining to secondary/transition aged youth.

The Transition Coordinator for School-to-Careers Transition program is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Transition Council and the State Transition Council. The Transition Coordinator represents DVR on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens and the adult transition services sub-committee. DVR and DOE have partnered with various agencies and organizations and the Delaware Community of Practice on Transition to hold an annual statewide transition conference.

Also held quarterly are the statewide Transition Cadre meetings where Department of Education Administrators, school district administrators, local education agency personnel, DVR Counselors and DVR Administrators come together to collaborate, share ideas and work on enhancing services, post-school planning and outcomes for transition-age youth.

This screen was last updated on Jul 7 2014 9:16AM by Harrietann Litwin

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

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

State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies are required to conduct a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment on a triennial basis. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the employment-related service needs of individuals in the state in order to develop a plan to address those needs. In 2014, the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), in partnership with the Division’s State Rehabilitation Council, conducted their assessment using data from the American Community Survey as well as data collected from the disability community and the agency staff.

The Rehabilitation Services Administration encourages State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies to us both existing data and newly created data in carrying out the needs assessment. DVR has used existing data, primarily from the 2012 Delaware Disability Status Report (DDSR), the Delaware-specific information gathered as part of the American Community Survey. In conjunction with DVR’s State Rehabilitation Council, DVR has created and implemented online surveys and held a Town Hall Meeting to obtain community and staff input.

Services for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities According to the DDSR, among individuals who are of pre-employment age, ages 16-20, the most prevalent type of disability is Cognitive. The category includes both learning and psychological disabilities. The Cognitive category is also prevalent among working age adults. Many of the individuals with Cognitive disabilities are served through Supported Employment. Both the Consumer and the Staff surveys indicated a need for increased Supported Employment-related services. The need was also discussed at the Town Hall meeting.

DVR staff indicated a need to expand Supported Employment to serve additional populations other than individuals with intellectual and psychological disabilities who also have most significant disabilities. Individuals with physical disabilities are not currently served through supported employment. In order to meet this need, additional funding resources for long-term support would need to be identified. These services would need to be available statewide.

The consumer segment, including consumers, parents/guardians, and advocates, identifies Job Placement Assistance as their 1 barrier to employment, and DVR staff concur but to a lesser extent. Among the Consumer segment, the need for specific assistance such as resume development and job interview preparation are identified. The need for expanding the services that provide or teach these specific skills is indicated.

Individuals with Disabilities who are Minorities The surveys and Town Hall Meeting did not uncover racially-based needs. As with the previous survey, individuals who are Hispanic did not respond. The reluctance to respond is likely to be culturally based.

According to the DDSR, 8.6% of the Delaware population is of Hispanic descent. In FY 2013, 4.47% of the individuals who were successfully rehabilitated, or 46 individuals, indicated that they were Hispanic. While it would seem that the Hispanic population is underserved, the DDSR reports that, out of an estimated 78,100 individuals of Hispanic descent live in Delaware, 5.7% (4,400) report having one or more disabilities. This compares to an overall disability rate of 13% of non-Hispanics who report a disability. The data does not indicate a cause for either the lower disability rate or for why a lower rate at which disability is reported. As the reported disability rate is significantly lower, less than half of the reported rate among non-Hispanic residents of Delaware, it is difficult to ascertain if the Hispanic individuals with disabilities are under-represented and to what extent.

A group of individuals who did report barriers to employment were those individuals who do not have transportation to attend training or employment. Public transportation is available less often in rural communities, but is a barrier statewide for individuals for whom employment is offered as shift-work or on weekends when service is reduced. The availability of para-transit, particularly for individuals who do not live near fixed-route public transportation, is limited and may be reduced in the future due to the cost of running the service.

Transportation to employment and to training is seen as a barrier by both DVR Staff and Consumers. Staff sees it as the 1 barrier. While DVR does have contracted services to assist consumers, the services are not well known, not universally available, or may be insufficient to meet the needs of DVR consumers. As a starting point, the availability of the current services needs to be promoted. Expansion of the current services or additional transportation may be indicated.

Individuals who have been Unserved or Underserved Among working age individuals, the most commonly reported disability is Ambulatory. Using data from the DDSR, the number is 54.24% of those working-age individuals with disabilities report an ambulatory disability. Approximately 73.3% of this group is unemployed, but only 7.4% report that they are actively seeking employment. According to the DVR Rehabilitated Clients Report, in FY 2013, 10.87% of DVR’s successful closures are categorized as having an Orthopedic Impairment. Looking at these numbers, it is evident that DVR could be serving a greater number of individuals with physical disabilities and that additional outreach is indicated.

Individuals with Disabilities served by Other Components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System DVR is co-located at all four of the American Job Centers in Delaware. DVR staff refers clients to the Center’s resources. The letter that notifies individuals that they are on the DVR Order of Selection waiting list includes information about the Centers. Both the Consumers and the DVR Staff have the perception that staff in the One-Stop /American Job Centers is not fully prepared to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Center staff refers individuals to DVR who may not need the more intensive services available through the VR process. Ongoing training and skill building for the Center staff appears to be indicated and in order to increase the comfort levels of both the staff members and the consumers.

The Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs within the State Among the DVR staff, 44.4% indicated that he or she had made a referral to a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP). Multiple responses were permitted. The most frequent reason for the referral was for job placement assistance (81.81%), followed by skills training (72.72%), counseling/work adjustment (59.09), and job seeking skills in that order (54.54%). One individual each indicated job coaching and drug/alcohol counseling.

When asked about barriers to referral to or utilization of a CRP program, again, with multiple responses permitted, the responses were: Transportation 47.61% Client did not want to attend 38.09% Waiting list for services 23.80% Type of program not available locally* 23.80% Program not accessible to my client 19.04% Other* 33.33%

* Two staff mentioned criminal history as a barrier to referral to the program/vocational goal desired by the consumer. Others indicated the CRP staff lacked skills to meet the needs of the consumer or that the consumers wanted specific specialized fields, such as clothing design or interior design, which were not available.

The DVR Contract Administrator is working to address the barriers identified in the survey by meeting with the staff of the DVR offices around the state to identify specific gaps in services available and populations served. An example of how the process is working, and will continue to work, is the recent RFP for providing increased services for individuals who are deaf which will increase the availability of job coaching and employment services to individuals who use sign language as their primary means of communication.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 3:11PM by Harrietann Litwin

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

It is estimated that 8,452 individuals in Delaware statewide will be eligible to apply for services in FY 2015. It is estimated that 3,300 people with disabilities will apply for DVR services in FY 2015. Of those 3,300 applicants, approximately 3,000 will be determined eligible individuals. Including people carrying over plans from prior years, DVR estimates that approximately 7,500 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 2015. The estimated cost of providing services to these individuals is $8,393,850. Out of the 7,500 individuals who will receive services, approximately 120 are anticipated to receive services under Title VI-B. The estimate of FY 2015 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
Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities Title I $4,069,425 3,690 $1,102
Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities Title VI $255,000 120 $2,125
Individuals with Significant Disabilities Title I $3,255,540 2952 $1,102
Individuals without Significant Disabilities Title I $813,885 738 $1,102
Totals   $8,393,850 7,500 $1,119

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 3:17PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

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

FY 2015 GOALS & PRIORITES

Each year, the State Rehabilitation Council and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation review, define, and update DVR’s goal and priorities. The process begins at the annual retreat each February and is continued at the subsequent meetings of the SRC prior to the filing of DVR’s State Plan. The 2015 Goals and Priorities, jointly developed by the State Rehabilitation Council and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, are as follows.

Goal 1. Provide quality employment outcome for people with disabilities.

Performance measures- a. Employment Outcomes (traditional, supported employment, self-employment) b. Average hourly wage adult, transition, supported employment)

Performance Goals- a. Employment Outcomes Increase total outcomes by 5 to 1,035 Increase Supported Employment outcomes by 4 to 90 Increase Self-Employment outcomes by 4 to 6

b. Average Hourly Wage Increase the overall average hourly wage by $.10 to $10.56 Increase the adult average hourly wage by $.10 to $11.24 Increase average hourly wage for transition students by $.10 to $9.36 Increase average hourly wage for supported employment by $.05 to $8.83

Goal 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

Performance Goals- a. In each county, identify 2 training programs that lead to employment in one or more of the top ten industries anticipating hiring in that county. b. Develop and implement resources for On-the-Job Training and conduct staff training in order to encourage utilization.

Goal 3. Provide transition services to more high school students with disabilities.

Performance Measures a. Increased number of transition outcomes b. Increased number of career preparation choices available

Performance Goals- a. Increase by ten (+10) the number of transition students who achieve employment outcomes over the number to 273. b. Increase the number of Project SEARCH locations from 1 to 2. c. Increase the Start on Success from working with 1 school district to working with 2.

This screen was last updated on Jul 7 2014 9:27AM by Harrietann Litwin

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

Justification for order of selection

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 2015, we estimate the total cost of serving the number of clients with IPEs in place, absent an order of selection, will be $8,395,850. Available funding will be $6,083,211 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 $2,312,639. 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 2015

 

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

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

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 American Job Center, established per the Workforce Investment Act.

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 3,810 550 300 Fiscal Year 2015 $4,324,425
2 2,952 450 150 Fiscal Year 2015 $3,255,540
3 738 35 30 Fiscal Year 2015 $813,885

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 3:31PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

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 2013, the most recent year of complete data, DVR found 276 individuals eligible for services in the supported employment program, successfully placing 86 consumers in employment, which is an increase from Fiscal Year 2012 (+22). For Fiscal Year 2014, DVR will maintain the goal of 90 successful employment outcomes. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) collaborates with the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) to provide supported employment services to individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities and to those who are on the autism spectrum. Over the past few years, DDDS has made significant changes with regard to funding for supported employment services due to changes related from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. These changes have impacted the supported employment service providers, the number of individuals referred to DVR for supported employment services and ultimately the successful employment outcomes. DVR continues to work with the providers and DDDS through regular meetings, training and by allowing flexibility in our funding in order to work through the changes and decrease the impact on consumers who are eligible for supported employment services. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) jointly administer an Evidence-Based Supported Employment Program to individuals with mental illness which is in the ninth year of operation. During FY 2012, DSAMH changed their service delivery model from supporting 4 Community Continuum of Care Programs statewide to supporting 16 Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Intensive Case Management (ICM) teams statewide. In May 2014 all ICM teams were transitioned into ACT teams with an additional team projected for July 2014. Since the transition to the ACT model, the agencies have struggled to retain the staff in the positions once providing supported employment supports on the team. The Supported Employment Program has continued to be a priority, and effort has been focused on identifying and training the staff on the ACT/ICM teams to provide the supported employment supports. Due to this transition, DVR has developed an agreement with additional service providers to ensure job development, placement, and supports are provided to individuals with mental illness who qualify for supported employment services. The DVR and DSAMH have also collaborated efforts and funds to assist providers in hiring an Employment Coordinator that will assist the ACT teams in doing job development and other necessary duties that the agencies currently cannot support due to billing restrictions under the current Medicaid statutes. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Education and the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services are in the ninth 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 Social Services Administrator for Transition provides technical assistance and administrative support for the supported employment program for individuals with DD/ID and the Social Service Administrator who oversees supported employment for individuals with mental health disabilities provides support for the individuals with MH disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 3:32PM by Harrietann Litwin

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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

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

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 Start on Success Program, as well as the numerous committees and programs to which DVR staff contributes and through which DVR reaches out to the community. DVR has specifically identified the expansion of employer-focused training programs for transitioning youth, specifically Project SEARCH and Start on Success, as its innovation and expansion project.

 

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 October of 2013, DVR sponsored many members of the DVR staff in a full day of training on assistive technology that was offered by the Delaware Rehabilitation Association. The goal of the program was to increase staff awareness of AT options throughout the VR process and to increase informed choice. The program featured speakers with expertise on a range of Assistive Technology and Rehabilitation Engineering topics. 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 a Spanish speaking counselor and a Spanish speaking District Administrator 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 transition students 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, District Administrators, and Program Managers 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

 

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 but is also expanded to gather information on specific topics during many reviews. Counselors, program managers, 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’s 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 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 is co-located in the four Delaware Department of Labor locations that house the American Job Centers for the State. DVR receives referrals from the Division of Employment and Training (DET) and assists DVR clients in accessing the resources from the American Job Centers. DVR, through resources obtained in previously funded grant programs, has assisted DET in becoming physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities. DVR will continue to work with DET to provide training to their staff so that they are better prepared to assist individuals with disabilities. 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. DVR and Delaware Tech have created the Supported Education to assist DVR-sponsored students to acquire academic and study skills that foster success in the educational process. 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 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. As part of the Effectiveness Evaluation and in conjunction with the results of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, DVR and the SRC discussed recommendation for way to address the 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 that there is the need for employment in jobs with sufficient pay and employee benefits to become self-sufficient. According, DVR is responding by: • Focus on increasing the number of individuals obtaining employment through Supported Employment and Self-Employment as part of the overall goal of increasing employment outcomes. • Focus on increasing the hourly wage of employed consumers as part of a focus to increase the quality of employment outcomes. • Focus on assisting clients to understand the availability of healthcare benefits through the Affordable Care Act so that fear of the loss of health benefits will no longer be a disincentive to employment. • To promote financial independence and in conjunction with educating clients on the availability of healthcare, encourage individuals to earn as much as they can either through a single full-time job or two part-time jobs. • Continue to provide services through the Social Security Administration’s Work Incentives Planning and Assistance grant in order to assist clients in understanding the impact of employment on benefits and to utilize work incentives. Inform individuals to use the Ticket to Work program and encourage individuals to use their tickets. 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. • 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 updated 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. Promote and develop programs such as the REDi program at Walgreen’s. 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. • 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. • DVR continues to manage a small state funded initiative to reach at risk students in one particular school, an intensive learning center for special education students. DVR is assisting these clients through the Start on Success and other employment-focused services. • 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. The Supported Education 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, basic education 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. Students who are actively using these programs may offer access to the DVR transition counselors to use the programs as a plan-development tool. • As part of this continuing CoP, DVR co-sponsors “The Annual Community of Practice Transition Conference: Shared Work; Shared Vision.” The conference is 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 is well attended by 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 2014, DVR established the goal of expanding the availability of employer-based training for transition students. The anticipated goal at that time was to continue the implementation of Project SEARCH in New Castle County while expanding the services into Kent and Sussex Counties. The following progress has been attained: • The Project SEARCH program in New Castle County has been maintained with the third group of nine transition youth from the Red Clay School District completing the program at the Christiana Medical Center and a new group scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014. • A site has been identified in Kent County. Project SEARCH is working with the Capital School District (and other students through the Kent County Community Schools Program) and the employer, Bayhealth. DVR is currently recruiting a training vendor to assist with the program. The program is anticipated to begin in FY 2015. DVR has expanded the goals of the Innovation and Expansion project to reflect the implementation of the Start on Success (SOS) program. Similar to Project SEARCH, SOS provides employer-based training opportunities for youth in transition. Thus far, the SOS sites are in New Castle County, but DVR will explore the expansion into Kent and Sussex Counties. • In FY 2014, DVR implemented the SOS program as a partnership with the Christina School District and several YMCA locations in New Castle County. The training vendor is Humanim. The first cohort included 14 students. • In FY 2015, the SOS program is anticipated to expand to a partnership between the Brandywine School District and the VA Hospital. Humanim will, again, be the training vendor.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 3:39PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

Introduction The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) held its Annual Retreat on February 10, 2014. At the retreat, members of the council and key staff from DVR reviewed information and results from the previous fiscal year, FY 2013, in order to fulfill the SRC’s responsibilities to evaluate the division’s effectiveness and to jointly develop goals and priorities for the upcoming year, FY 2015, to be included in the State Plan. The effectiveness evaluation assessed 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, program performance, and consumer satisfaction data.. 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 2014 retreat. SRC members were joined by DVR staff for the meeting, and 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 the presentations, each of the participants were given a form on which to anonymously evaluate and rate specific identified dimensions of DVR performance as part of the overall Effectiveness Evaluation. Participants used a Likert scale with a rating of 1 meaning “not effective” and a rating of 5 meaning “very effective.”

EFFECTIVENESS EVALUATION Standards and 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 FY2013 is as follows:

• DVR achieved 1030 outcomes in FY2013, an increase of 10 outcomes over the previous year. This was the highest number of outcomes ever for DVR, and clearly exceeded the RSA standard to equal or better the results from the prior year. • The Rehabilitation rate in FY 2012 was 65.03%, over the RSA standard of 55.8%. • 99.81% of the employment outcomes for FY 2013 were competitive employment in the community at or above the minimum wage. This exceeded the standard of 72.6%. • Of all those individuals who were competitively employed in FY 2012 as the result of DVR services, 93.87% were individuals with significant disabilities. This exceeds the RSA standard of 62.4%. • The average hourly wage increased to $10.46 in FY2013, an increase of 7 cents per hour over the previous year. 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. DVR 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 62.74%, above the standard of 53%. • The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds was 92%, exceeding the 80% standard.

Discussion DVR exceeded the RSA standards for six of the seven measures and, accordingly met the overall RSA requirements; however, due to the high average wage of workers in Delaware, DVR 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 41.7% during FY 2013. Delaware has not met Standard 1.5 in many years. Although the standard was not met, the average hourly wage for DVR consumers with employment outcomes did increase by 7 cents per hour in FY 2012. Delaware is implementing a two-phase increase in the State minimum wage which should have a positive impact on this indicator. Consumer Satisfaction DVR began using a new Consumer Satisfaction survey in FY 2012. The survey, developed by a team of DVR and SRC members, asked for a rating of excellent, good, fair, or poor with no middle/neutral position. • The overall customer satisfaction rate (with a rating of excellent or good) for DVR consumers who achieved employment outcomes was 84% in FY 2012. This rating has remained stable. • The overall consumer satisfaction rate for DVR consumers who left the program prior to achieving an employment outcome was 69%. • Primary reasons given for not offering an overall rating of excellent included the length of the VR process, ability to maintain contact with VR staff, and the lack of an employment outcome. • 80% of the survey individuals who achieved employment outcomes indicated that they were satisfied with their job search process. The primary reason for not giving a rating of excellent was the limited job selections from which to choose. • Among individuals who did not achieve an employment outcome, the primary factors were disability-related (29.6%) and transportation-related (18.5%). • 91% of the all of the surveyed individuals who had achieved an employment outcome and 63% of all individuals who had not achieved an employment outcome indicated that they would return to DVR if they required employment services in the future. The primary positive factor was the consumer-counselor relationship. The primary negative factor was the VR process.

 

Goals and Priorities

FY 2013 GOALS & PRIORITES 1. Provide quality employment outcome for people with disabilities. Performance measures- 1. Number of outcomes: Traditional; Self-employment; Supported employment 2. Average hourly wage: Adult; Transition; Supported Employment Target Goals- a. Achieve 50 Supported Employment Outcomes from Evidence Based Program b. Achieve 40 Supported Employment Outcomes from DDDS/DVR SE Program 2. Support training programs that reflect opportunities in the labor market.

Performance Measures- 1. Training choices for clients in areas of job availability 2. Outcomes per training program Target Goals- a. Develop at least 1 new training program in Kent & Sussex County b. Develop at least 1 new training program in the healthcare industry c. Develop at least 1 new training program for people with Traumatic Brain Injury 3. Expand opportunities for students to transition from school to work. Performance Measures 1. Number of new students served 2. Number of transition outcomes Target Goals- a. Increase number of new students served by at least 10 b. Increase number of outcomes by at least 10 c. Develop a social group program for students with autism downstate d. Increase number of students in Supported Education Program in DTCC Stanton Campus to 12 4. Identify funding resources to maintain new initiatives Performance Measures- 1. Grant opportunities monitored 2. Grant applications 3. Grant collaborations & referrals 4. Grants obtained Target Goals- a. Scan weekly for Grant Opportunities weekly b. Apply for at least 1 new opportunity

 

Review of Goals: Goal 1: Provide quality employment outcome for people with disabilities. Performance measures- 1. Number of outcomes: Traditional; Self-employment; Supported employment 2. Average hourly wage: Adult; Transition; Supported Employment Target Goals- a) Achieve 50 Supported Employment Outcomes from Evidence Based Program b) Achieve 40 Supported Employment Outcomes from DDDS/DVR SE Program

Indicators: • DVR set a new agency record with 1030 individuals obtaining successful employment outcomes, 72 more than the previous year’s agency record • Of the 1020 outcomes, 263 individuals were Transition students, down from 265 in the previous fiscal year. • DVR had 2 Self-Employment outcomes with more participation by individuals currently involved in the process of starting businesses, down from 4 in the previous year. • Supported Employment Outcomes 44 though Evidence Based Program (6 under goal) 40 through the DDDS/DVR SE Program (goal achieved) • Average Hourly Wage For All Individuals: $10.46 (increase of 7 cents) For Transition Students: $9.26 (decrease of 33 cents) For Supported Employment: $8.73 (decrease of 23 cents For Individuals who are non-TR and non-SE (Traditional): $11.14 (increase of 47 cents) Discussion In FY 2013, DVR, again, set a record for the number of individuals who completed the program with a successful employment outcome. As indicated above, the vast majority, almost 94%, were individuals with significant disabilities meaning that they had significant, employment-related functional limitations and required multiple services over a period of six months or longer. The overall average hourly wage for DVR clients continues to increase. The wage for all individuals has increased by 7 cents per hour. For adult consumers (non-Transition, non-Supported Employment), the increase was 47 cents per hour. Many of the Transition Students are receiving post-secondary education or training, and it is anticipated that the average hourly wage for this segment will increase in the future. Also, the increase in the State minimum wage may increase wages for individuals in Transition and Supported Employment services. In the past few years, DVR has begun to formally promote Self-Employment as an employment outcome. DVR has several service providers throughout the state to assist individuals who have specific vocational objectives related to self-employment. The services assist the individual with determining the feasibility of their ideas and developing a business plan. Although two cases were closed as successful employment outcomes, several more are currently in the process. DVR has two Supported Employment programs. The Evidence Based program, assisting individuals with mental health disabilities, fell short of its goal with 44 successful outcomes. As anticipated in the previous State Plan, the major changes in the structure of service provision that the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health made in FY 13 has negatively impacted the Evidence Based program success rates in the short term. DVR also has a Supported Employment program that is in partnership with the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS). A majority of the cases with DDDS/DVR are Early Start to Supported Employment (ESSE). DVR is working partnership with the DDDS and the Department of Education, on improving timeliness of the referral and registration process in order to increase the number of transitioning, supported employment students who are involved with job development while in school and who have employment prior to or at graduation. In FY 13, the program with the DDDS met its goal of 40 successful outcomes. Ratings and Recommendations Effectiveness evaluation participants independently rated three aspects of Goal 1. Participants used a Likert scale with a rating of 1 meaning “not effective” and a rating of 5 meaning “very effective.”

Dimension being rated SRC Rating Non-SRC Rating Combined Rating Quantity of Employment Outcomes 4.17 4.67 4.33 Quality of Employment Outcomes 4.67 4.67 4.67 Services support financial independence 4.33 4.33 4.33 Access to Services in non-discriminatory 4.17 4.67 4.33 Comments from the SRC Retreat: • With the availability of healthcare through ACA, some people may consider employment. • For some people, consider two part-time jobs (since healthcare will be otherwise available • Keep providing retention data • Continue to focus on jobs above minimum wage to more clients closer to Delaware’s average hourly wage Goal 2: Support training programs that reflect opportunities in the labor market. Performance Measures- 1. Training choices for clients in areas of job availability 2. Outcomes per training program Target Goals- a. Develop a process for On-the-Job Training that is collaboration between the VR counselors and the Employment Services Unit, and increase the number of people using OJT process by 10%. b. Develop training programs to assist clients in obtaining employment in four of the ten industries with the top anticipated job openings and provide at least two training programs per county. 3. Provide transition choices to more high school students with disabilities.

Indicators • The Project SEARCH is being expanded to Bayhealth in Kent County to serve students in the Capitol School District and other students in the Kent County Community Schools. • The Start on Success Program has started to serve students in the Christina School District using sites at several YMCAs in New Castle County. The program is being expanded to serve students in the Brandywine School District at the VA Hospital.

Discussion During the latter part of FY 2014, DVR hired a Contract Administrator. The role of this position is to identify potential vendors of training and other required services, develop contracts with the vendors, and monitor the outcomes of the contracts. The Contract Administrator will continue to develop training programs that reflect the industries in Delaware where there is anticipated job growth. While DVR has not met its goals in on-the-job training, the division has expanded and continues to expand its business-based training programs through programs such as Project SEARCH, Start on Success, and the REDi program. DVR will continue to look for ways to increase the use of on-the-job training as a vocational strategy.

Ratings and Recommendations Participants used a Likert scale with a rating of 1 meaning “not effective” and a rating of 5 meaning “very effective.” Dimension being Rated Appropriate Training Opportunities SRC Rating 4.2 Non-SRC Rating 4.33 Combined Rating 4.25

Comments from the SRC Retreat: • In order to be financially independence, clients need assistance in developing the skills to manage their finances • Develop training programs that meet the needs and demands of employers; this may differ in different parts of the state (urban/rural). • Next year, please provide more information on training program outcomes and OJT

GOAL 3: Expand opportunities for students to transition from school to work. Performance Measures 1. Number of new students served 2. Number of transition outcomes Target Goals- a. Expand project SEARCH to at least one site in Kent/Sussex County b. Increase by at least ten the number of transition students who achieve employment outcomes over the number in FY 2013. c. Increase the average hourly wage for transition students by 10 cents over the average hourly wage in FY 2012. Indicators • DVR served 2238 individuals in the Transition program in FY 13, an increase of 86 individuals over FY 12. • The number of Transition outcomes in FY 2013 was 263, a decrease of 2 over the previous year • The average hourly wage for Transition clients who achieved an employment outcome has decreased 33 cents over FY 2012. Discussion DVR continues to provide Transition Services to students in all public high school as well as private and parochial schools. Transition counselors meet with students as early as the year prior to their terminal year in school and no later than the fall of terminal year. Each student continues to meet with a VR counselor to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment. A large number of the individuals served by DVR are receiving post-secondary education or training. Statistics show that lifetime earnings are substantially higher for individuals with post high school education or training. It is the most effective strategy to improve self-sufficiency. For students who are not college-bound, DVR employs several strategies to increase employment readiness, employment outcomes, and wage potential. Examples of these programs include Project SEARCH, Start On Success, and Early Start to Supported Employment. Ratings and Recommendations Participants used a Likert scale with a rating of 1 meaning “not effective” and a rating of 5 meaning “very effective.” Dimension being Rated Quality of Transition Services SRC Rating 3.8 Non-SRC Rating 4.0 Combined Rating 3.875 Comment from the SRC Retreat: • Continue to expand employment-based training for transition students (Project Search and Start On Success) • Work towards integration of Individualized Education Plans with Individualized Plans for Employment at a younger age in order to increase the quality of services

 

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 New Castle County, northern Delaware. The program was instituted in FY 2012, serving nine transition-age youth. Second and third cohorts of nine students entered and completed the program. Many of these students have obtained employment either through the host site, Christiana Care, through the state, or with other employers. The other participants are actively seeking employment with DVR support. DVR is actively involved in discussions related to setting up additional Project SEARCH sites throughout the state. DVR has an active RFP, recruiting a vendor to assist with a new Project SEARCH location in Kent County that will work with Bayhealth and the Capital School District. In addition to expanding services available through Project SEARCH, DVR is initiating a Start on Success (SOS) program. Similar to Project SEARCH, SOS is a partnership between DVR, a vendor, and an employer. In January, an SOS program began with the Christina School District, the vendor Humanim, and several YMCAs in New Castle County. Plans are underway to expand the program to the Brandywine School District with the VA Hospital in FY 2015.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 3:48PM by Harrietann Litwin

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

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

The 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: *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 quarterly 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 Substance 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. *DVR coordinates training that is provided by George Tilson, Ed.D, formerly with TransCen, Inc., to provide job development and coaching training to front line staff at the community rehabilitation supported employment programs. The training program certifies staff providing services through the programs. Approximately thirty staff members were trained and received certificates in the first half of Fiscal Year 2013 and approximately thirty additional staff were trained during the second training series offered in the fall. DVR works with the Department of Education, the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, and the Division of Substance 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. The need for supported employment services is evident in the comprehensive statewide needs assessment. The CSNA also indicates the need for services for individuals with physical disabilities. DVR is exploring the long-term follow-along options that may make supported employment services for individuals with physical disabilities possible. 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 health or developmental/intellectual disabilities 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. The transition 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 Jun 27 2014 3:50PM by Harrietann Litwin