ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

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State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Rehabilitation Services Administration, DC Dept. on Disability Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2015 (submitted FY 2014)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Deputy Director

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

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

Deputy Director

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAndrew P Reese

Title of SignatoryDeputy Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)07/21/2014

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:

DC RSA assures it will conduct a comprehensive statewide needs assessment on a triennial basis, having last performed the statewide assessment in FY 2013 for the period covering FY 2011 through FY 2013, as required by Section 101(a)(15)(A) of the act and 34 CFR 361.29.

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAndrew P. Reese

Title of SignatoryDeputy Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)07/21/2014

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. 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 Designated State Unit worked closely with the SRC in developing the State Plan. The DSU met with members from the SRC to discuss annual priorities and goals. A Draft of the final State Plan was provided to the SRC for review prior to the public hearing on the State Plan. In developing the goals and priorities with the SRC, the DSU specifically addressed its plan to include an Order of Selection in the State Plan. A copy of the draft State Plan was provided to the Director of the Client Assistance Program for review prior to the public hearing held on June 20, 2014. The CAP Director submitted written questions regarding the State Plan to the Deputy Director of DDS/RSA the week prior to the public hearing. The CAP Director also testified at the public hearing. The Deputy Director spoke at the public hearing and provided a summary of the priorities and goals for the year and reviewed the reasons for the need to include an Order of Selection in the State Plan. There was no opposition to the DSU’s plan to include the Order of Selection in the State Plan. The DSU reviewed the SRC’s annual report and has the following responses to recommendations from this annual plan:

The SRC included recommendations to be included in the State Plan, as well as recommendations regarding actions to be taken in the current fiscal year.

The SRC recommended that the DSU address the following five issues in the State Plan:

1. Develop the scope of work for and conduct the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment: Section 101(a)(15(9A)(i­iii) of the Rehabilitation Act mandates that the state VR agency and the SRC jointly conduct a comprehensive needs assessment every three years.

The DSU has contracted with the Interwork Institute of San Diego State University ("SDSU") to conduct the comprehensive statewide needs assessment. SDSU submitted the implementation plan for completing the CSNA. The work began in April, 2014, and is expected to conclude with the submission of a final report in December, 2014.

2. Continue to monitor the implementation, personnel training structure and full utilization of the new VR Case Management System.

DCRSA implemented a new electronic case management system in 2010. At that time, the agency did not fully implement the system, in that it did not convert to electronic filing and did not fully utilize the reporting capability of the system. In FY 2013, the agency provided several days of training for system administration, business operations and all case management staff to ensure that all staff were able to fully utilize all functions within the system. In addition, all new staff are trained on the system. The current contract with the case management system provider expires at the end of June, 2014. The agency is in the process of renegotiating this contract. In FY 2015, there are several enhancements planned for the system, to improve the efficiency of the agnecy operations. These include, instituting electronic case files (to be fully implemented by the end of 2015); establishing a vendor module, to allow referrals to go to CRPs within the case management system, and to be able to receive reports and complete billing through the system.

3. Continue to improve the recruitment and retention of qualified RSA personnel:

RSA has made great strides in this area. There is currently one VR counselor vacancy and one VR supervisory vacancy. The state agency’s HR department has used private recruiters to successfully assist RSA in hiring qualified VR supervisors and counselors. In addition, DCRSA provides internships for master’s level VR students. This has proved to be a successful way of bringing qualified staff into the agency.

4. Continue to improve coordination with schools, especially public charter schools, to ensure 100% of transition students who want to work have an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE):

During FY 2013 and FY 2014, DCRSA made significant strides in improving coordination with the local public schools, as well as public charter schools and non-public schools that serve youth from the District. The agency is working toward ensuring that all interested youth are referred for services two years prior to graduation, to ensure that a qualified VR specialist is able to participate in transition planning with the youth, his or her family, and all other members of the IEP team working with the youth at their local school. DCRSA has assigned a VR specialist to every DC Public, Public Charter, and non-public school within the Washington Metropolitan area that serves DC youth. These VR specialists conduct intake appointments at the schools. When additional evaluations are needed, at times, those are also provided at the school. DCRSA is committed to ensuring that all interested youth complete applications and have the opportunity to do career exploration and vocational assessment wtih a qualified VR specialist, to ensure that a meaningful IPE can be developed prior to graduation.

5. Continue to increase adult basic education opportunities and improve outreach to individuals with disabilities who have low literacy skills or LEP.

DCRSA is working with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to identify publicly available options for people needing literacy classes, basic education and GED preparation. The agency has also met with OSSE to discuss concerns about the availability of services for individuals with sensory impairments.

The SRC recommended that the DSU address the following issues this fiscal year:

1. RSA should collaborate more with the Department of Employment Services to define and achieve outcomes that would benefit both agencies.

The Director of the DSU attends the Workforce Investment Council Meetings. He also participates in two working groups within the WIC, including the group addressing the certification of One Stops in the District. This group is discussing how to ensure that One Stops provide for access to all necessary services for District job seekers. The DSU currently has a VR specialist placed at each One Stop in the city. The plan in the coming year is to increase this to four to five days per week, at least in those offices located in areas of the city identified in the CSNA as underserved.

2. RSA should work with employers to increase the capacity to establish natural supports for people in Supported Employment so job coaches transition out of the picture.

DCRSA has updated its Supported Employment Policy, with input from the SRC, in FY 2014. Supported Employment procedures are being developed and will be implemented in FY 2015. Part of the policy speaks to the need to develop a plan for extended services, including the use of natural supports. In developing training to support implementation of the new procedures in 2015, DCRSA will work with the TACE to ensure that VR specialists are able to develop plans with people that rely, to the extent possible on any available natural supports, which would be the preferred and least intrusive way to provide on-going supported employment services.

3. RSA and the SRC should work to engage individuals at every stage of intake, service, and employment outcome in the Consumer Satisfaction Survey.

The DCRSA Quality Assurance Unit conducts regular surveys of consumer satisfaction at all levels of service, from intake through successful closure.

4. RSA should improve access to benefits counseling.

It is not clear what the basis for this recommendation is. DCRSA currently contracts with a number of providers that make benefits counseling available. The agency provides orientation to benefits counseling weekly. For consumers unable to attend this session, the agency has provided individual orientations.

5. RSA should take the necessary steps to meet all requirements of the Language Access Act.

DCRSA is fully compliant with the Language Access Act. The agency provided training for all staff on the requirements of the act in April, 2013. The agency has a number of staff who are fluent in other languages, but also uses the Language line when a consumer requires it. The agency is in the process of updating Spanish translations of all forms and letters in its system.

6. RSA should improve internal collaboration among the divisions serving individuals with specific disabilities.

It is not clear what the basis is for this recommendation. However, in October, 2013, DCRSA did some administrative restructuring of supervisory responsibilities so that all client services units report up to the VR Administrator. Over the past year, DCRSA has re-constituted its sensory impairment units, with specialized VR counselors in each. In addition, as part of the restructuring of supervision, all sensory units were placed administratively under the same administrator, who answers to the VR Administrator. This change was made to improve coordination of services for persons who are deaf and blind.

7. RSA should help raise its staff’s and the broader community’s expectations of where people with disabilities work and what tasks they can accomplish.

It is also unclear what the basis is for this recommendation. However, in FY 2014, DCRSA contracted with a public relations firm to address the issue of community education. The current plans are to develop materials, including brochures and posters, and to develop a plan for events during Disability Employment Awareness Month. DCRSA has developed a training schedule with the Region III TACE, which provides for training each month of the current fiscal year. The focus is increasing staff competencies in providing VR services. Part of this will certainly include the understanding of disability and expectations regarding persons with disabilities and their ability to engage in competitive employment.

8. RSA should improve outreach in the business community to ensure people with disabilities have opportunities to work any every sector represented in the local area.

DCRSA has a Business Relations Unit that develops and maintains relationships with employers in the Metropolitan DC area.

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2014 6:39PM by Andrew Reese

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Sep 17 2009 5:42PM by sadcwinfieldd

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

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

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

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

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 1:06PM by Andrew Reese

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

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

DCRSA and DCPS have had an agreement in place since 2011, which allows for sharing of information and establishes the referral process for youth in DCPS placements or youth in Dependent Public Charter Schools (these are Charter Schools that are part of the DCPS Local Education Agency). In August, 2013, DCRSA and OSSE established an MOA between their agencies that outlines the process by which all youth in public, public charter and non-public schools are identified and referred to DCRSA for consideration for eligibility for VR services. DCRSA currently has Transition Specialists assigned to provide outreach, education about VR services and accept applications at all schools in the DC Metropolitan area where DC youth are placed. DCRSA and DCPS meet monthly to review all referrals made and monitor the progress off applications for all youth in DC Public Schools, and Dependent Charter Schools that are under the authority of DCPS, as well as non-public schools where DCPS students are in attendance. DCRSA is now reaching out to Independent Charter Schools in order to establish the same kinds of agreements with each of these Local Education Agencies. There are currently seventeen Independent Public Charter high schools in the District. DCRSA has been working with the DC Charter School Board and the DC Special Education Cooperative for assistance in reaching out to the Independent Charter Schools. The goal is to establish agreements with all schools during the course of FY 2015.

DCRSA works with OSSE, DCPS, DBH, DYRS and DOES on the Secondary Transition Community of Practice. This group meets monthly to coordinate all services to District high school youth with disabilities. In FY 2013, a committee of the Secondary Transition Community of Practice developed a "Tool Kit" that includes comprehensive processes and procedures that effectively reach eligible secondary school youth with disabilities and their families in a timely and efficient manner that supports them as they transition from school to post-school activities. The agency is working with a private non-profit agency in the District, School Talk, Inc., to evaluate the effectiveness of the Tool Kit and make any necessary changes. The materials are currently being translated into Spanish and will be available, with any recommended revisions, in English and Spanish at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Services Division within DCRSA now has two (2) Youth and Transition Units, including two supervisors, twelve VR specialists and two Rehabilitation Assistants. There are also two transition specialists who work within the agency’s Intake and Outreach Unit, as their responsibilities in transition are education, outreach and processing applications. The transition specialists conduct outreach to secondary school youth with disabilities and their families through workshops and informational sessions; provide consultation and technical assistance to school staff regarding the DC/RSA processes; and assist the VR Specialists in collecting application and required documentation. The VR Specialists are assigned to schools within the DCPS as well as charter and non-public schools. They conduct intake and eligibility interviews at the schools. The VR Specialist determines a student’s eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, develops an approved Individualized Plan for Employment, and makes referrals for necessary transition services to assist the student to plan for and obtain successful post-school employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 1:07PM by Andrew Reese

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

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

The State Agency establishes its cooperative agreements with service providers according to District regulations. In order to add new vendors for client services. The State Agency follows the District Regulations, found at 27 DCMR 100 et seq., The District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) refers to the District Statues of the permanent rules and statements of general applicability and legal effect promulgated by executive departments and agencies and by independent entities of the Government of the District of Columbia. The code represents titles, of which Title 27 states the rules for contracts and procurements. Thereby, the establishment of cooperative agreements with service providers occurs through the Office of Contract and Procurement’s solicitation process using the 27 DCMR 100 et seq. .

There is a wide range of DDS /RSA services partnerships through the current thirty-six (36) Human Care Agreements (HCAs) and eleven (11) Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) that represent local private non-profit, community rehabilitation providers as indicated in the charts below:

HCA Provider’s NameDescriptionSpecialty
Anchor Mental HealthProvide Mental Health services and employmentEvidence Based Supported Employment
Art and Drama TherapyProvide day program and employmentJob Placement and Supported Employment
BizGov Solutions, LLCProvide employment servicesJob Placement
Capitol Hill Supportive ServicesProvide day program and employmentJob Placement
Center for Therapeutic ConceptsProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
Cognitive Solutions, LLCProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
Columbia Lighthouse Club for the BlindProvide services for Vocational Rehabilitation, Older Blind and Independent LivingBlind Services
Community ConnectionsProvide Mental Health services and employmentEvidence Based Supported Employment
Creative Option & EmploymentProvide day program and employmentJob Placement and Supported Employment
Davis Memorial GoodwillProvide employment servicesJob Placement, Project Search and Work Adjustment
Deaf Reach Inc.Provide services for Deaf and Hard of hearing ClientsEvidence Based Supported Employment and Supported Employment
Diana J. Wall, Psy.DProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
Dr. Donald DockettProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
Dr. Joseph GorinProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
Dr. Vincent GreenwoodProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
Full CircleProvide Benefit Counseling ServicesSocial Security Clients
Green Door, Inc.Provide Mental Health services and employmentEvidence Based Supported Employment and Benefit Counseling
Linden ResourceProvide employment servicesJob Placement and Supported Employment
Lt. Joseph Kennedy InstituteProvide day program and employmentSupported Employment and Work Adjustment
MBA Non-Profit SolutionProvide day program and employmentJob Placement and Supported Employment
MBI Health ServicesProvide employment servicesJob Placement
Metropolitan Therapeutic Services, Inc.Provide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
National Children CenterProvide day program and employmentJob Placement and Supported Employment
Pathways to Housing Inc.Provide Mental Health services and employmentEvidence Based Supported Employment
Pendergrast Alston Consulting ServicesProvide employment servicesJob Placement
Project ReDirect Inc.Provide day program and employmentJob Placement, Supported Employment, Work Adjustment and Trial Work
Psychiatric Center CharteredProvide Mental Health services and employmentEvidence Based Supported Employment
Psychological Group of WashingtonProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
RCM of WashingtonProvide employment servicesJob Placement and Supported Employment for VR and Deaf Clients
SEECProvide employment servicesProject Search
St. John’s Community ServicesProvide day program and employmentJob Placement and Supported Employment
The ARC of DCProvide employment servicesJob Placement and Supported Employment
Unlimited Opportunities Bourn Enterprises, LLCProvide employment servicesSupported Employment
Village Academy of Washington DCProvide employment servicesJob Placement and Benefit Counseling
Words of Life Development Center, LLCProvide Psychological servicesPsychological Evaluations
Work Opportunities UnlimitedProvide employment servicesJob Placement and Supported Employment
BPA Provider’s NameDescriptionSpecialty
ABACUS-N-BYTES (TCS0)ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND TRAININGAssistive Technology
ADAPTIVE Success LLCAssistive Technology and TrainingAssistive Technology
Deaf Access Solution, Inc.Interpreting ServiceInterpreting Service
Document Systems, Inc.Assistive Technology and TrainingAssistive Technology
Dupont ComputersElectronic TechnologyComputer devices
ENVISION TECHNOLOGIES, Inc.Assistive Technology and TrainingAssistive Technology
Freedom ScientificAssistive Technology and TrainingAssistive Technology
Integration Tech Group, Inc.Assistive Technology and TrainingAssistive Technology
Hanger Prosthetics and OrthotiProstheticPhysical Restoration
Phoenix Therapeutic ServicesAssistive Technology and TrainingAssistive Technology
Viscom Interpreting, Inc.Interpreting ServiceInterpreting Service

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 1:10PM by Andrew Reese

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services: The Administration’s Supported Employment program (SE) for persons with persistent mental illness utilizes an evidenced-based approach to help individuals with the most significant disabilities to secure, retain, or regain competitive employment in an integrated setting that pays minimum or better wages, and provides benefits. Supported Employment services are individualized and include, but are not limited to: • Counseling and guidance • Job coaching (on-the-job training) • Rapid job search and placement • Short-term training • Follow-along (unlimited supports) • Development of natural supports. The Administration coordinates its Supported Employment services through partnerships with DDS’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH). These partners have worked together to develop a cadre of community based providers with expertise in serving persons diagnosed with developmental disabilities and persons diagnosed with serious mental illness. DDS/RSA and DDA have continued to establish Human Care Agreements with additional supported employment providers who serve people with developmental disabilities. The Evidenced-Based Practice (EBP) in supported employment for persons with persistent mental illness is a model that emphasizes employment as an alternative to other models; it has been adopted by the Administration. The model allows the Administration to make supported employment services accessible to individuals with a lack of job readiness, chronic substance abuse, a history of violent behavior, minimal intellectual capacity and/ or symptoms of a mental illness. The Administration continues to improve and strengthen its partnerships with the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) to maximize the delivery of supported employment services for individuals with significant disabilities and to improve competitive employment outcomes for its shared consumers. The Administration’s supported employment staff continues to streamline the application process to ensure that notifications of appointments, eligibility determinations, and the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) are completed in accordance with federal requirements. Long term follow-along services for consumers are provided by DDA and DBH. DDS/DDA administers a Medicaid Home and Community Based waiver, which includes long term supports for consumers with developmental disabilities in Supported Employment as well as an array of other services, such as residential, transportation, and homemaker services that may be required to support an individual. DBH provides on-going support through its core mental health agencies. Six (6) private non-profit organizations (Anchor Mental Health; Community Connections, Inc.; Deaf-Reach, Inc.; Green Door; Pathways to Housing; and Psychiatric Center Chartered Inc.) are providing people with persistent mental illness with Evidenced Based Supported Employment. Twenty (20) providers (Goodwill of Greater Washington; Arc of DC, Inc.; Creative Options & Employment, Inc.; National Children’s Center, Inc.;; Project ReDirect, Inc.; St. John’s Community Services, Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute; RCM of Washington; Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind; Capitol Hill Supportive Services Programs, Inc.; Art & Drama Therapy Institute; MBI Health Services, LLC; SEEC; Linden Resource; Pendergrast Alston Consulting; Full Circle; Village Academy of Washington; BizGov; MBA Non-Profit Solutions; and Work Opportunities Unlimited), provide supported employment services that include, but are not limited to, work adjustment training, job coaching, and job placement services.

Plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds Number of Individuals with a Disability to be Served, Number to be Rehabilitated Supported Employment Model Projected, Funding Mental Illness 30 50% Job Coaching Evidenced-Based Model 150,000.00 Cognitive Disabilities 30 50% Job Coaching Supported Employment 150,000.00 TOTAL 60 100% $300,000.00

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 1:11PM by Andrew Reese

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Administration maintains annual employee profiles within the DDS Office of Human Capital. This office tracks and documents counselor completion of college course and in-service training credits needed to earn and/or maintain CRC certification. In addition, the Office of Human Capital provides information to supervisors, counselors and support staff on relevant training opportunities to enhance service delivery to our customers. The Administration is pursuing several means of ensuring staff are continuously informed of their current CRC status and remaining need, including but not limited to check-ins with the Office of Human Capital and Dashboarding software.

A. During FY13, DC RSA increased the emphasis on the recruitment and retention of qualified VR staff. The total number of personnel employed by the Administration in the provision of providing vocational rehabilitation service is. The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor is 37. The total number of support staff for VR counselors is 10. Total estimated population served to date in FY 2014 is approximately 7000 persons with disabilities. The current number of active cases is approximately 5500. The current average counselor/person ratio 1:148. However, the three existing vacancies are very recent (one retirement in May, 2014, and two VR Specialist who were promoted to supervisory positions in April, 2014). We anticipate filling the three vacancies fairly quickly, and will then have an overall average counselor/person ratio of 1:137. The caseload standards will be as follows: VR general caseloads - 125-150:1; Blind and Visually Impaired or Deaf and Hard of Hearing Caseloads - 75-100:1; Transition Caseloads - 150-175:1. The transition unit works with youth referred by schools, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services and the Child and Family Services Agency. There are additional transition age youth who apply directly to the agency for services, and are no longer in school. These youth are currently served by counselors in the General VR units. The agency currently has 8 Supervisors (including one who is a second level supervisor responsible for supervising three General VR units and the Intake and Outreach Unit) - this also includes 2 Transition Supervisors, 3 General VR supervisors, one supervisor for the unit serving persons who are blind or visually impaired, because of the size of the blind unit, this person also supervises blind services staff whose time is spent primarily providing independent living services, we anticipate the funds for this position will be charged only 50% to VR, and 50% to IL and ILOB); and one supervisor for the unit that serves people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing; this supervisor also serves as the State Coordinator for Services for the Deaf. There are currently six rehabilitation assistants and one administrative assistant supporting VR specialists in the Blind Services unit. There is currently one second level supervisory vacancy, for a supervisor to lead the units serving Blind, Deaf, IL services and Transition services. We anticipate recruiting for this position in early FY 2015. The responsibilities for supervising these units are currently shared by the VR Administrator and the one second level supervisor currently in place. During FY13 and 14, counselor and supervisor attrition were met with an aggressive hiring strategy. There are currently only three counselor vacancies and one supervisor vacancy. As there has been significant increases in outreach, resulting in increased referrals to the agency, we may need to evaluate whether to add additional VR specialist positions in FY 2015, in order to maintain average caseloads in all units under the levels identified above.

C. Projections of the number of personnel, by personnel category The estimate of the number of persons needed by the agency to provide VR services over the next five years is based on the estimate of the number of persons expected to retire or leave the agency with the next five years. Prior year attrition, which was high, factors into the projection. STAFF PROGRAM ATTRITION RETIREMENT At this time, there is one VR Specialist who retired in May, 2014; the Business Services Manager and one VR Supervisor are expected to retire in FY 2014 and the QA superviisor is expected to retire within the next five years. There are also two staff within Business services and three VR specialists who will be eligible for retirement within the next five years. DCRSA’s State Plan requires that all VR Specialists have a CRC by October 1, 2015. There are currently fifteen VR Specialists who have their CRC; seventeen are eligible to sit for the CRC examination; and are currently scheduled to take the examination; there are seven staff who still require additional course work to be eligible to sit for the examination. DCRSA pays the cost for a VR Specialist to take the examination one time. The agency also pays for staff to take any necessary course work to be eligible to sit for the examination .

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Specialist (including one VR Evaluator) 42 3 15
2 Business Relations/Job Placement 5 0 1
3 Rehabilitation Assistant 8 1 2
4 VR Supervisors (including Intake) 10 2 2
5 VR Administrator 1 1 0
6 Quality Assurance Manager 1 0 1
7 Business Services Manager 1 0 1
8 Operations Manager 1 0 0
9 Quality Assurance Staff 5 0 0
10 Business Services Staff 8 0 2

 

The State Agency Office of Human Capital maintains relationships with the local universities that have rehabilitation counseling programs. There are currently two programs in the District of Columbia, one at the University of the District of Columbia and one at George Washington University. During FY 2014, the agency had interns from both of these programs. The internship coordinator for the agency works closely with both institutions to coordinate internship opportunities. In addition to fostering this relationship as a means of recruiting new staff, the agency’s training coordinator works with these institutions to coordinate continuing education opportunities for staff, in order to help them maintain their CRC, or to identify appropriate classes for our staff who have outstanding course work in order to sit for the CRC exam. The agency remains committed to assisting all current staff to obtain their CRC by October, 2015, and continues to provide as part of this plan sufficient funds to pay for staff to take the CRC exam, and for staff with remaining course work, to take three credits per semester.

 

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

 

In FY 2012, the Administration began recruiting counselors at grade 12 pay level, the highest grade level for a rehabilitation specialist. Applicants at this level must have completed a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling with at least one year of experience and CRC. In FY 2012, the Administration formally established a recruitment plan to address the hiring of a sufficient number of vocational rehabilitation counselors within DDS/RSA. Although the administration expects to enter FY 2015 with no VR Specialist vacancies, it will continue efforts to recruit qualified VR specialists, in order to have a pool of qualified candidates as vacancies occur. These recruitment efforts include (1) posting vacancy announcements on the D.C. Office of Personnel website (at the time any vacancy occurs), and (2) posting vacancy announcements at community programs and through professional organizations, (3) visiting classrooms and faculty at universities, and (4) increasing its use of interns and volunteers. DCRSA hired 11 new counselors during FY13 to fill vacancies using this strategy, and this year had 3 interns from local universities, one of whom was recently hired as a VR Specialist upon graduating and passing his CRC examination. The recruitment plan consists of two major goals: Goal 1: Expand recruitment efforts Objective 1.1 Contact graduate school programs and develop relationships with the program chairs. Maintain appropriate contact information to mail notices of job openings. Objective 1.2 Schedule attendance at job fairs at colleges and universities Objective 1.3 Develop opportunities for paid and non-paid internships with colleges and universities Objective 1.4 Participate in research projects, classroom visits, and other activities to raise DCRSA’s profile with the above institutions and therefore increase access to potential counselors. Goal 2: Increase retention efforts Objective 2.1 Continue DDS/RSA new counselor orientation program Objective 2.2 Increase opportunities for professional growth through increased opportunities for continuous learning through in-service training and workshops Objective 2.3 Expand opportunities for employee recognition DCRSA has developed an formalized onboarding program with several weeks of prescribed activities to orient new staff to DDS/RSA as well as to provide the training needed to effectively utilize the case management system, understand the organizational structure, and develop an understanding of the DC population of job-seekers at large and the subpopulation of job-seekers with disabilities. This orientation is comprised of 7 modules. Informed Consent, Ethics (All staff receive 1 CRC credit), Overview of the VR Process, Intake & Eligibility, Comprehensive Assessment, IPE Development, Overview of Internal Database System, DC Policy Review (Review with Supervisor during initial week of employment) DCRSA is implementing a 12 session supervisor training “boot camp” in the summer of 2012 that will help supervisors support counselors and other staff through prevailing practices in management. This management training should help ease morale concerns amongst both supervisors and their subordinate staff and serve to attenuate counselor attrition. In addition, the “boot camp” will allow DDS to further discern the specific professional development needs that are particular to supervisors, and will provide training as appropriate and necessary. DDS provides an annual awards event that celebrates employee success. However, DCRSA will be expanding this recognition to monthly and quarterly events as well. Customer service, strong counseling, and teamwork will be emphasized during 2013. The Administration will also solicit bids from training firms both within the rehabilitation counseling community and with other training agencies that have been successful in training public employees. By “casting a wide net” for potential trainers, The Administration anticipates being able to provide a wider variety of necessary trainings as the data about training needs presents itself. For example, performance management training will be conducted for counselors if the principles and practices of performance management need to be inculcated in counselors to insure they adopt appropriate behaviors under this management philosophy. The Administration encompasses a uniquely diverse staff. Currently, it has 15 bilingual staff. We are continuing to expand our outreach to attract employees proficient in Spanish and ASL and all languages served by the District of Columbia and covered entities identified by the D.C. Office of Human Rights. Languages in which current staff is bilingual include French, Spanish, Ibo, American Sign Language (ASL), Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin. The administration has had success with recruiting new VR supervisory staff, including promoting staff from within the agency (4 in the past year) and hiring experienced VR personnel from other states (4 in the past year). There are some retention issues with staff hired from other states, as we have had three separations of staff who had been hired from other states in the past year. DCRSA is discussing this issue with DDS’s Office of Human Capital to identify whether it relates to the selection process or if additional supports are needed for new staff hired from out of state. The agency has employed two different recruitment firms to seek qualified VR supervisory staff. In addition, we have posted these positions on the CSAVR listserve.

 

(1) Standards consistent with nationally or state approved certification The Administration bases its personnel standards for VR Specialists on the degree needed to meet the national CRC requirements through CRCC. New hires as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist must have a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or Counseling. To-date, all of our counseling staff has master’s degrees in either Rehabilitation Counseling or one of the related areas identified under category R by the CRCC. Currently, 15 VR Specialists are certified. 17 are currently eligible to sit for the CRC. 7 Staff are not yet eligible, but all are taking certification courses.

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

 

(1) During FY2014, staff began participation in a comprehensive, year-long, program of core vocational rehabilitation trainings, often developed and presented in conjunction with the George Washington University (GWU) Region 3 Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) center. Training provided to all vocational rehabilitation specialists and supervisors during these trainings included Foundations of the Rehabilitation Act; Supported Employment Overview and Policy; Initial interviewing; Career Assessments; IPE Development; Case and Caseload Management; Job Development and Placement; and Motivational Interviewing. In 2015, DCRSA will continue to provide additional monthly trainings to all vocational rehabilitation specialists and supervisors. Trainings during the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 will include Working with Transition Students, Vocational Rehabilitation Ethics, and Financial Management / Fiscal Responsibility.

A comprehensive in-house training program for all new and currently employed vocational rehabilitation specialists with DC RSA will be developed and implemented in FY 2015. This program will incorporate classroom, small group, and direct consumer work over a multi-week period to ensure a complete understanding and thorough synthesis of both the vocational rehabilitation process and practice. Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists will receive training in the same areas as noted above in the fiscal year 2014 collaborative training with the Region 3 TACE at GWU, In addition, training topics will cover Psychosocial and Medical Aspects of Disability; Traumatic Brain Injuries; Mental Illness and Vocational Rehabilitation; Understanding Addiction; Resume Development; Intellectual Disabilities and Employment; and Cultural Awareness and Competence; and Internal Case Management Electronic Filing System. Additionally, staff will also have the opportunity to attend regional and national conferences and trainings, including the National Federation of the Blind BLAST Conference; Project Search National Conference; National Council on Independent Living Conference; National Federation of the Blind National Convention; National Rehabilitation Training Conference; the 7th Annual Summit on Vocational Rehabilitation and Program Evaluation, the Annual Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) national Conference; the National Convention for Rehabilitation Educators; the Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference; the Advancing Ethical Research Conference; and the YAI International Conference.

(2) Administrative staff within the Office of Human Capital are charged with the responsibility to seek out, plan and coordinate on-site and offsite training opportunities for staff on an on-going basis. Additionally, the agency continues outreach activities in vocational training programs and colleges and universities to attract young professionals interested in embarking in a career in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. DCRSA continues to improve coordination with the DC Assistive Technology Center in order to ensure that VR counselors are aware of services available there, and aware of AT services available for persons with disabilities, in order to know when a referral for an AT assessment is appropriate. The training institute in DDS keeps data on counselors who have attended trainings. Pre- and post-training evaluations and reports on trainings and conferences attended are being conducted. The Human Capital Administration training coordinator monitors conferences available around the county, and advises staff when relevant conferences or trainings are available. The agency supports staff in attending these conferences. Staff who attend outside conferences and trainings provide updates and trainings at all staff meetings upon their return, in order to ensure dissemination of knowledge learned.

 

The Administration will continue to employ personnel who are able to communicate in the native languages of applicants for services and clients who have limited English speaking ability. The Administration provides accommodations for special communication needs such as interpreters, specialized services and materials for individuals who are deaf, blind or deaf-blind. Sign language skills are considered a minimum qualification for positions providing services to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Administration’s services population continues to expand because of increased outreach efforts. The agency seeks to serve individuals with disabilities from the six languages identified by the D.C. Office of Human Rights. The languages include Spanish, Chinese, French, Vietnamese, Korean and Amharic. The agency will continue emphasize the bilingual capacity of staff in recruitment efforts. The Agency is in compliance with the Language Access Act. Staff from the DC Office of Human Rights provide training annually to all staff regarding the DC Language Access Act and provision of services to non-English and limited English proficient persons. The bilingual capacity of the DDS/RSA staff is as follows: Staff who speak Spanish: 4 VR Specialists, 1 Deputy Director, 1 Intake Specialist, 1 Sign Language Interpreter. Staff who are fluent in American Sign Language 1 ASL Interpreter, 2 Managers/Supervisory VR Staff; 3 VR Specialists, 1 Program Monitor, 1 Business Relations Specialist. Staff who speak French 2 VR Specialists. Staff who speak Ibo 1 VR Specialist 1 Clerical assistant. Within DDS, in the offices shared with RSA, there are additional staff who speak some of the languages above as well as staff who speak Haitian Creole, Telugu, Hindi, German, Japanese, Yoruba, Mandarin, Portuguese and Kru. In addition, the adminstration uses the Language Access Line to provide interpretation for consumers who are limited English proficient, or non-English proficient, when bilingual staff are unavailable. In FY 2014, the administration specifically recruited for a bilingual Intake Specialist. This has reduced the administration’s reliance on the Language Access Line, as this Intake Specialist is available to assist applicants.

 

The Administration staff receives training on a continuous basis. The Administration is fully committed to providing effective, coordinated transition services. The agency has created two Youth and Transition Units that currently employ two supervisors, twelve VR specialists and two rehabilitation assistants. In addition, in FY 2014, the administration hired a transition project manager. This person is responsible for managing the various transition projects, as well as, coordinating services with DCPS. He also attends the Annual National Community of Practices in Transition Conference in North Carolina. DCRSA staff participates actively on DC’s Community of Practice on Transition, coordinated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). DCRSA staff also remain active in Partners in Transition activities, which included on-going activities with DCPS, OSSE and other public and private partners who work with youth with disabilities in the District of Columbia. The transition project manager will work with DCPS to develop cross training for education and VR staff on VR and special education issues in transition.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 1:16PM by Andrew Reese

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

DCRSA, in coordination with the SRC contracted with San Diego State University (SDSU) to conduct a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA). This CSNA was supposed to be completed in 2011. The agency established the contract with SDSU to conduct this needs assessment in March 2013. This organization was selected through a competitive process. Proposals were evaluated by a team including representation from DCRSA and the SRC. SDSU had demonstrated experience with completing needs assessments for a number of other state rehabilitation programs across the country. In addition, this organization submitted a proposal that clearly identified strategies for completing the needs assessment within the very tight timeline required in order for the CSNA to inform the 2014 State Plan. Because the 2011-13 CSNA was not completed until the end of 2013, the agency is now due for its 2014-16 CSNA. DCRSA has contracted again with SDSU to conduct this needs assessment. This assessment will build on the findings of the previous assessment. The focus of the assessment has been expanded to thoroughly evaluate independent living services in the District, as well. The plans for this, and necessary funds were included in the State Plan for Independent Living for 2014-16. In addition, we will be ensuring that focus groups constituting people with disabilities who have not been served by the agency, as well as groups that include populations identified in the previous assessment as unserved or underserved. Lastly, DCRSA will work through its Business Relations Unit to obtain more input from employers. The following is excerpted from San Diego State University’s 2013 written report of their Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment of the District of Columbia, and is an overview of their main conclusions on the state of DCRSA services, which are based on the electronic surveys, focus groups, and key informant interviews SDSU conducted in April-May 2013. The needs assessment identified the following themes, and made the following recommendations for follow up:

I. Poor Customer Service o Unresponsive (via e-mail and telephone) and slow service; lack of on-going contact o Changes in leadership at RSA result in inconsistent agenda and priorities o Vacancies in supervisory positions o Intake process is cumbersome and can be an obstacle to people completing and following through with VR process o Need for consistent training program for staff o Staff perspective - need for: § Smaller caseloads § Less paperwork § More administrative support o Difficulty scheduling meetings with counselor

II. Services to Individuals with the most significant disabilities o IL Services - need for training for all staff on IL services; IL services need to be clearly linked to VR services o Supported Employment Services - RSA is not ensuring long-term follow up for SE; need for training for all staff on supported employment (including requirement that people be placed in integrated work setting, consistent with TAC dated 11/21/05); the 90 days and out mentality is inappropriate for SE; need for better coordination with DDA o Services to persons with sensory impairments § Need for more low vision evaluators § CRPs for job placement services for persons who are blind or deaf § Need for IL services for people who are blind § Need to communicate in accessible formats

III. Services to unserved and underserved populations o Hispanic and Asian - need for expanded outreach to the communities where individuals live. Need to hire more bilingual staff; use language line; do not rely on friend/relative of person being served o Ethiopians - DC has a large Ethiopian population that has not been accessing services o Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (according to key informants) o Older persons who are deaf-blind; limited services for this group § Other underserved groups by disability: · Older individuals with disabilities (including dementia) who need to keep working. There will be a concurrent growing need for personal attendant care for this group. The identification of this group was consistent across all groups. · Individuals with mental illness in that vendors are not trained to serve this group. · Individuals with traumatic brain injury, especially their need for employment services and job retention services. Washington, DC is ranked high in both the number of traumatic brain injuries and the number of traumatic brain injury deaths. · Individuals with autism spectrum disorders, especially those who are high-functioning, for whom employment is feasible. · Veterans: There is a need for much more outreach to this group. There needs to be more partnership between RSA and VA. The partnership is not consistent. o Recommendations: § DC-RSA needs to do targeted outreach to the Hispanic, Asian and Ethiopian populations in the District. Identify community programs that serve individuals with disabilities of these ethnic backgrounds and do on-site outreach, including intakes with them.

§ DC-RSA should identify organizations in Wards 7 and 8 where a DC-RSA counselor can be out-stationed to serve individuals in their communities. The movement of counselors out of the office and into the community has been growing, and DC-RSA is encouraged to continue to develop this practice.

§ Hire bilingual staff that speak Spanish.

§ In order to increase the numbers of individuals served that have significant physical disabilities, DC-RSA should outreach to organizations that serve this population such as United Cerebral Palsy, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and any spinal cord injury Rehabilitation hospitals or programs in the District.

§ Recruit a deaf-blind specialist to serve the growing number of individuals seeking services from DC-RSA with these disabilities.

IV. Coordination of services with DOES - persons with disabilities need to be served by One Stops, not just referred back to RSA. o Need for accessible technology for people who are blind or visually impaired; provide assistance to people who are unable to access information through computer o One Stops need information about benefits counseling - make referrals to RSA. o Provide services to transition age youth with disabilities o Need for training for One Stop staff on the rehabilitation process and working with people with disabilities

V. Transition - need to engage earlier with youth; get to know youth while they are still in school; provide training to families regarding transition/rehabilitation process; make AT assessments available to youth in school; IL services need to be available to transition age youth, and addressed in the transition plans

VI. Quality of CRPs o Delay in accessing job placement services? o Need to expand number of CRPs as it relates to persons with sensory impairments o Need for additional vocational evaluation services o Payment method is seen as a barrier to success - i.e., providers are paid whether person finds a job or not.

VII. Need to improve social security reimbursement rates o Benefits counseling should be provided at the beginning of VR process o Ticket to Work should be assigned to RSA.

VIII. Frequently cited lack of vocational/training/education programs in the District. o Recommendation - Create a coalition of government programs and service providers that work together in partnership to meet the needs of people with disabilities in the District. These organizations, with DC-RSA as the leader, can identify ways to streamline referral and share knowledge and resources.

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2014 6:30PM by Andrew Reese

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

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

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Title I Part B (Priority Category 1) Title I $8,617,650 4,125 $2,089
Title VI Part B Title VI $300,000 60 $5,000
Title I Part B (Priority Category 2) Title I $5,365,500 2625 $2,044
Title I Part B (Priority Category 3) Title I $871,128 750 $1,161
Totals   $15,154,278 7,560 $2,004

This screen was last updated on May 16 2014 4:45PM by Andrew Reese

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

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

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

The goals and priorities are based on the comprehensive statewide assessment, on requirements related to the performance standards and indicators, and on other information about the state agency. (See section 101(a)(15)(C) of the Act.) This attachment should be updated when there are material changes in the information that require the description to be amended. · Identify if the goals and priorities were jointly developed and agreed to by the state VR agency and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has a council. · Identify if the state VR agency and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has such a council, jointly reviewed the goals and priorities and jointly agreed to any revisions. · Identify the goals and priorities in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs. ·

Ensure that the goals and priorities are based on an analysis of the following areas: · 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 Goals and Priorities for Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Program Updated priorities of the vocational rehabilitation state agency and the state rehabilitation council. In Fiscal Year 2014, the District of Columbia State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) has scheduled six meetings. These sessions are public forums structured to gather information about the employment of persons with disabilities, and for the designated state unit to provide information about services provided. Every effort is made to provide a variety of avenues for public input whenever issues, concerns, or policy changes are considered. The SRC has an active policy committee that reviews and comments on proposed regulatory, policy and procedure changes. Meetings of the SRC are held at our District of Columbia State Rehabilitation Administration offices at 1125 15th Street, NW, Second Floor Conference Room, Washington, DC 20005. The public hearing on the District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration 2014 State Plan was held on June 20, 2014, .at the DC Housing Finance Agency at 815 Florida Avenue, NW, in the 1st floor Auditorium. A notice was published in the District Register, as required by law, and notice was placed on the Department on Disability Services (designated state agency) website, as well as at the Martin Luther King Public Library, which also had accessible copies of the draft state plan available, in Braille and large print. Goals and Priorities for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Program: The Goals and priorities for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported employment program are set annually and are in response to both National and State issues, as mandated by Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The focus of their goals and activities includes but are not limited to consumer satisfaction, statewide needs assessment, state plan and amendments, policy, extent/scope/effectiveness of services, interagency agreements, and District of Columbia employment programs. These goals were developed, reviewed, and approved by DC RSA and the SRC. Planned program goals to be accomplished by the DC Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration were based on agency performance on standards and indicators. Planned program objectives and initiatives to be accomplished by the DC Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration are: OBJECTIVE 1 - Increase both the quantity and quality of employment outcomes. DCRSA produced 620 successful closures in FY 2013. The agency is currently on track to surpass this number in FY 2014. On March 31, 2013, DCRSA had 224 successful closures; on March 31, 2014, the agency had 262 successful closures. DCRSA’s goal for 2014 is to meet the federal standard requiring the agency to have more closures in FY 2015 than it will have in FY 2014. Strategy: · RSA has continued to expand its outreach efforts in FY 2014 in order to ensure that services are widely available in the community. DCRSA is now strategically focusing its outreach efforts to expand to sites that serve populations identified as unserved and underserved in its Comprehensive State Needs Assessment completed in May, 2013. In addition, the agency plans to increase the number of days that counselors work at American Jobs Centers (One Stop Centers) from one day per week currently, up to four or five days per week in order to improve cooperation with the DC Office of Employment Services, and other providers at the American Jobs Centers. These efforts will assist in raising the number and quality of successful employment outcomes. Performance by September 30, 2015 · DCRSA will have agreements with government and community based agencies to provide VR intake services with at least 30 different locations throughout the city, focusing particularly on unserved and underserved areas (i.e., Wards 7 and 8; and areas where there is a high percentage of Spanish speaking and other limited English proficiency speakers, based on 2010 Census data and which has the highest density of people with disabilities in DC, and agencies that serve people who are blind or visually impaired), and will offer services at DC American Jobs Centers 4-5 days per week. Strategy: The agency is focusing on improving its customer service in order to ensure that its systems assist clients in accessing services. In order to ensure that high quality, consistent, professional services are provided by DCRSA staff, the agency will continue its staff development efforts, in cooperation with the DC Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center at GW University. In FY 2014, the agency has a training plan to provide all VR staff training in the following areas: Introduction to the Rehabilitation Act, Interviewing Skills, Supported Employment, Comprehensive Assessment, Development of Individualized Plans for Employment, Effective Case Management and Job Development. As soon as the TACE obtains its grants for FY 2015, the agency will work with the center to develop a monthly staff development training schedule. All trainings offered by TACE provide professional staff with continuing education credits. Performance by September 30, 2015 - There will be consistent, quality services provided by all VR counselors within DCRSA. The agency will maintain at least 90% compliance with requirements regarding timely determination of eligibility (within 60 days of application, unless applicant consents to extension when extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances, beyond the control of the agency prevent timely determination of eligibility), and timely development of an IPE (within 90 days of determination of eligibility). In addition, quality case reviews by supervisory staff and quality assurance will reflect completed quality comprehensive assessments in all cases, and clear case documentation reflecting consistent and quality case management services. Strategy: Ensure that services are accessible to clients with low literacy skills and focus services on improving literacy and basic educational skills for clients receiving VR services. Continue efforts to coordinate with the Office of the State Superintendent for Education and the Department of Employment Services, to ensure consistency of screening of all people served and availability of necessary adult education. Provide training for VR counselors on providing effective services for clients with low literacy skills. Performance by September 30, 2015 - Ensure that all clients are screened at intake for the need for literacy and adult basic education; and provide this service when appropriate and consistent with the individual’s employment goal. Strategy - Revise the payment structure in place for Community Rehabilitation Providers that provide Job Placement and Supported Employment Services in order to establish a system that provides for performance payments to providers, rewarding providers for timely job placement, assisting people to job stabilization more timely, and placement in higher quality jobs (i.e., including at least DC living wage or meeting or exceeding the standard established for DCRSA’s federal performance goal of 50% of the current average wage in the District). Performance - By September, 2015 the average entry level wages for people whose cases are closed successfully will increase to the DC living wage in effect at that time, and the percentage of individuals who are placed in jobs that include private health insurance will increase by 10% over FY 2014. Strategy - In FY 2013, DCRSA hired external program monitors in its Quality Assurance Unit. These monitors regularly visit contract service providers and local training providers that are approved for payment by DCRSA. The monitors compile information regarding agency performance and compliance. The information gathered will enable DCRSA agency to provide technical assistance and training to improve outcomes of partner agencies and will provide better information to consumers and counselors when selecting service providers. In addition, the agency will assign one staff person the responsibility of maintaining current information on all training and education providers approved for placements by DCRSA. This person will conduct initial reviews of the facilities to determine appropriateness of training facility, to ensure the safety and adequacy of the program, and will provide data to counselors and consumers about program requirements, description of services and outcomes. Performance by December 31, 2014 The agency will have printed resource guides regarding all available training programs and local colleges and universities. Performance by September 30, 2015 - the agency will have data on all service providers available on line, to assist consumers and counselors in selecting service providers. Strategy - In FY 2014, the agency worked with the SRC to finalize its Supported Employment Policies. Procedures will be completed by the end of FY 2014. In addition, the DCRSA developed internal Department on Disability Services protocols regarding coordination of services between RSA and DDA, in order to improve the coordination of services for people with intellectual disabilities being served by both administrations. Performance by September 30, 2015 All clients receiving supported employment services will be placed in jobs that pay at least the District minimum wage (currently $8.25 per hour) or for those who are placed in jobs paying less than this amount that a proper plan is put in place to ensure the individual receives this minimum wage. Strategy Provide benefits counseling as well as information about Ticket to Work and the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS Program) to clients. In order to ensure that VR counselors provide information appropriately to consumers, training will be provided to all staff on benefits counseling, ticket to work and PASS. Procedures for closing cases and letters sent to clients will include appropriate information about Ticket to Work support services that will be available after case closure, when appropriate (i.e., for every person who is an SSI or SSDI recipient whose case is successfully closed) Performance by September 30, 2014 Provide benefits orientation to at least 300 clients per quarter. Refer clients to individual agencies for benefits counseling. Objective 2: Improve the efficiency of RSA operations Strategy · DCRSA will use the automated case management system and regular supervisory case reviews to ensure that the agency complies with federal timeline requirements regarding determination of eligibility and development of IPEs and to ensure that quality services, provided in compliance with District and federal regulations. During FY 2015, DCRSA will fully implement its electronic case management system, including having fully electronic case records. Performance by September 30, 2015 DCRSA will maintain compliance with its District Performance goals related to timeliness of completing eligibility determinations and developing Individualized Plans for Employment. Goal - 90% of eligibility determinations (without waivers, obtained with the consent of the client) will be completed within 60 days of application for VR services. · 90 % of IPEs will be developed within 90 days of eligibility determination. Complete client case records will be available electronically. Strategy - The agency will continue to provide support to staff who have not yet obtained a CRC, supporting staff for up to three credits per semester toward classes necessary to obtain a CRC; and paying one time for the counselor to take the CRC exam. Performance by September 30, 2015 · All newly hired VR counselors will be either CRCs or eligible to take the CRC exam. All 39 VR counselors will have their CRC. Strategy - In FY 2014, DCRSA, in collaboration with the SRC, is undertaking a comprehensive review of all agency policies and procedures. In FY 2014, the agency updated its Order of Selection, and Supported Employment Policies and Post-Secondary Procedures, and plans to update its Supported Employment Procedures. During FY 2015, the agency will continuing working with the policy committee of the SRC to update policies and procedures identified during the comprehensive review of policies in FY 2014 as needing revision. Performance by September 30, 2015 - The agency will have revised all policies, as necessary, working collaboratively with the SRC, and all current policies and procedures will be available on-line, on the agency website. Strategy - DCRSA will undertake a review of all internal agency protocols, revise current protocols as necessary, and develop new protocols where appropriate. Upon completion, these protocols will be shared with the SRC practice committee. Performance by September 30, 2015 - All agency protocols will be available to all DCRSA staff on the internal agency intranet. Strategy - In order to improve coordination of services with Community Rehabilitation Providers, the agency is purchasing the necessary software for its case management system in order to allow access to the “CRP Module” of System 7. This will allow counselors to make referrals within System 7 to all Job Placement and Supported Employment providers, and will allow for status reports and billing to be filed directly within the system, providing for a more efficient process in collaboration with partner agencies providing Job Placement and Supported Employment Services. Performance by March 31, 2015 - the “CRP Module” will be fully operational and will include all agencies that provide Job Placement and Supported Employment Services. Strategy - During FY 2014, DCRSA is conducting a review of the outcomes for individuals for whom the agency provides support to attend colleges and universities. Initial results seem to show a very low rate of graduation from 2 or 4 year schools, and poor outcomes in terms of employment. In order to improve consumers awareness of supports that will be available to them when they attend college or university, DCRSA will host a college fair at the agency to provide information to interested consumers about local colleges and universities and the services available through their office of disability services or student services, in order to ensure that consumers are aware of locally available options for education and aware of support services that will be available if they attend college. Performance by September 30, 2015 -DCRSA will develop a performance report of the quality outcomes of consumers receiving post-secondary education services from various programs for future consumers to make informed choices. In future years, we anticipate an increase in the number of consumers successfully completing college and universities, which can lead to a rise in successful employment outcomes. Objective 3 - Transition - Expand and Improve the Quality of Transition Services and Improve Coordination with the state education agency, all local education agencies and other agencies serving transition age youth. Strategy - Continue efforts to engage youth earlier in the transition process in order for VR Counselors to be able to play a more active role in transition planning with the whole IEP team that is working with a youth in transition planning, including the youth, their family, schools staff and other government and community service providers working with the youth and his or her family. Performance by September 30, 2015 - Schools will provide referrals for youth in need of VR transition services by age 16. DCRSA will ensure that all referrals are handled timely, including timely eligibility determination and development of an IPE. The VR counselor will work with the IEP team to ensure that the transition goals in the IEP are consistent with the employment goals in the IPE, and attend all IEP meetings as appropriate. Strategy - DCRSA will develop and implement a comprehensive outreach plan. The agency has been working with a non-profit provider - School Talk, Inc., to develop outreach materials to provide information regarding the transition process to youth, their families and school staff. In FY 2014, the agency developed a transition tool kit, which will be translated into Spanish during FY 2014. In FY, 2014, the agency will work with School Talk to develop multi-media outreach materials, directed to youth and their families (e.g., video describing VR process and services). In addition, in FY 2014, the agency hired a transition project manager who will work with the transition specialists to develop a specific outreach plan, including a schedule of outreach and education events at schools and in the community for implementation during FY 2015. Performance by September 30, 2015 · Transition Specialists will provide information at morning collaborative and other staff meetings at all schools regarding availability of VR services and the intake process and will provide other community education consistent with the outreach plan. Strategy - During FY 2012, DCRSA finalized an MOA with DCPS, and during FY 2013 an MOA was finalized with OSSE, in order to improve coordination of services between DCRSA and the local education agencies. The coordination of DCPS has improved considerably. DCPS and DCRSA meet monthly to monitor the progress of all referrals and plan strategies for outreach and education to all DCPS schools and all dependent Charter schools. In FY 2014, DCRSA began working with the DC Charter School Board in an effort to develop the same kinds of systems with the Independent Charter Schools. In FY 2015, the agency will attempt to establish agreements regarding coordination of services with all Independent DC Public Charter Schools that serve transition age youth. Performance by September 30, 2015 - DCRSA will have Memoranda of Agreement with the 17 Independent Public Charter Schools that serve transition age youth. Objective 4 - implement the Self-Employment/Entrepreneurship Program - Strategy -In FY 2014, DCRSA, in coordination with the SRC, is developing Policies and Procedures governing the Entrepreneurship Program. Once the policies and procedure are complete, training will be provided to all staff on this service. Performance by September 30, 2015 - DCRSA will increase the number of successful closures in self-employment cases.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 4:02PM by Andrew Reese

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

Based on recommendations from the Administration’s monitoring review in FY 2013 and the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment completed in May, 2013, the Administration has made a number of changes that have resulted in significant increases in the number of  new referrals.  In August, 2013, the Administration finalized a Memorandum of Agreement with the State Education Agency (Office of the State Superintendent of Education) which clarifies the outreach and application processes in place with all schools that serve District youth, including public, public charter and non-public schools in the Washington Metropolitan area.  The changes in outreach and application processes resulted in a doubling of the number of transition referrals from FY 2012 to FY 2013, from 475 in FY 2012 to 889 in FY 2013.  The Administration anticipates approximately 1200 transition referrals in FY 2014.  

In addition, the Administration has engaged in outreach efforts in order to ensure that services are being offered to individuals and communities identified as unserved or underserved in the 2013 CSNA.  These populations include people who are Hispanic, Asian and Ethiopian; people who are Blind; and residents of Wards 7 and 8..  This outreach has been done primarily through agreements with other government agencies (including the workforce agency) and private service providers in the community, to accept applications and see clients in the partner agency locations.  These efforts have resulted in significant increases in the number of new referrals.  In FY 2013, there were on average approximately 260 new referrals per month.  To date, in FY 2014, there are approximately 355 referrals per month. 

The decision to close Priority Categories will be based on availability of funds, projected number and types of referrals; and, the number of eligible individuals and counselor case loads. If the Order of Selection is implemented, RSA will work with the SRC to develop an effective information and referral system to ensure that individuals with disabilities who do not meet the agency’s order of selection criteria have access to information, referrals, and guidance so that they can access other workforce development support.

 

 

Description of Priority categories

Priority Category I: An individual with a most significant disability is an individual who has a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits three or more functional capacities. (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time (3 months).

Priority Category II: an individual with a significant disability is an individual who has a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits one or more functional capacity. (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time (3 months).

Priority III: an individual with a physical or mental impairment no serious limits to functional capacity whose vocational rehabilitation is expected to require multiple services over an extended period of time ( 3 months)

 

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

The DDS/RSA established Order of Selection priority categories as follows: Depending upon agency resources, the categories are closed for services in order beginning with Priority III, then II and, finally Priority Category I. Categories may be closed based on the following circumstances Limitations of case service dollars or limitation in adequate staff to serve all eligible individuals.  At the present time,the agency does not have an order of selection.  The agency will continue current outreach efforts, particularly those aimed at communities that were identified in the 2013 CSNA as underserved or unserved, and will continue on-going efforts to coordinate services with the State Education Agency, and all Local Education Agencies, in order to conduct outreach and education for transition youth, their families, and school personnel regarding transition services. 

 

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

The agency has seen a significant increase in referrals, both to general VR, as well as transition services.  The increased number of transition youth in particular affects the cost per client because of the high current costs paid by the administration for post-secondary education and the number of transition applicants that require updated evaluations (changes to IDEA has resulted in schools in the District not being required to update evaluations for students with disabilities once they enter the special education system.  Therefore many referrals from the school system have evaluations that do not reflect the applicant’s current functioning).  In addition, the administration has seen a significant increase in the cost of providing assistive technology services, particularly to consumers who are blind.  Consistent with the recommendations from the CSNA completed in 2013, the administration has increased outreach and is providing more services to people who are blind.

Based on the increased outreach and increase in referrals in transition and general VR, DCRSA has seen a 25% increase in the number of new referrals in fiscal year 2014 over fiscal year 2103.  In FY 2103, DCRSA served 7150 people.  We anticipate serving approximately 8900 in FY 2015.  The following chart shows the estimated number of individuals to be served in the state fiscal year 2015 by priority category and the estimated number of successful employment outcomes (Status 26 closures).Number to be Served Employment Outcomes (Status 26 Closures) Projected Cost of ServicesTotal Costs  

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 4,895 370 285 10/1/14 - 09/30/15 $10,225,665
2 3,115 245 170 10/1/14 - 09/30/15 $6,367,060
3 890 60 20 10/1/14 - 09/30/15 $1,033,290

This screen was last updated on Jul 25 2014 4:32PM by Jim Doyle

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

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

4.11 (c) (4) -- Goals and plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds Attachment 4.11(c)4 Disability of Individuals Number to be Served The Administration plans to serve 30 persons with mental health disabilities, through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Mental Health, which provided Evidenced Based Supported Employment Services; as well as an additional 30 persons with intellectual disabilities, referred by the Developmental Disability Administration. These persons will receive assessment, job development and job placement, and job coaching services. These persons will receive assessment, job development and job placement, and job coaching services. Job coaching services may be provided for a significant period of time. DCRSA will continue to ensure the provision of necessary and appropriate extended services through available waivered funds, from available funding sources other than state and federal vocational rehabilitation funds, as well as from natural supports. Total served - 60. Goal 1: Provide continued support to six (6) mental health supported employment providers to increase successful employment outcomes for individuals with mental health disabilities The Administration will continue to support the Human Care Agreements with six (6) providers of mental health supported employment services to support staff at each site to assist in increased referrals to DDS/RSA and the development of placement and employment opportunities through supported employment. Goal 2: Implement improved procedures with DCDDA in order to ensure that more persons referred from DDA achieve a successful outcome. One VR counselor is being designated and assigned to work specifically with this population. This counselor will then develop relationships with DDA staff, in order to ensure an effective referral. In addition, this counselor will participate in all Employment First training, in order to be familiar with customized employment services available to DCRSA clients and participate in customized employment assessment and discovery training.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 2:37PM by Andrew Reese

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.

DCRSA completed its CSNA in May, 2013. Included in the findings of this needs assessment was an identification of unserved and underserved individuals and communities in the District. Unserved and underserved included people who are blind, people of Hispanic and Asian origin and Ethiopians. Responses also suggested that, while 45% of the agency’s current clients live in wards 7 and 8, these two wards are still perceived as being underserved. The administration is engaging in a number of strategies to address these issues. First, as indicted above, a number of new outreach sites have been established. These include agreements with Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, the Ethiopian Community Center and the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Island Affairs. In addition, services are provided in the American Jobs Center; located in the same building with the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs, and a new agreement was established in FY 2014, to locate a counselor at Unity Health Care, in Upper Cardozo. These outreach efforts provide easier access to applicants and clients to complete applications and see a VR counselor.

In addition, the administration is currently planning for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, in October, 2014. The agency has contracted with a public relations firm to assist in co-sponsoring a number of events during this month with community agencies that represent unserved and underserved populations in the District.

Although there are currently four Spanish speaking counselors on staff, the agency will recruit specifically for a bilingual VR Specialist. In FY 2014, the administration developed a new orientation video, which is available at orientation and on the agency’s website. This video was produced in English, Spanish, American Sign Language, and includes English and Spanish closed captioning. In addition, the administration has updated the translation of all forms and letters and will be making these available in the electronic case management system by the end of this fiscal year. All outreach materials produced are produced in English and Spanish. Limited numbers of materials will also be translated into French, Amharic, Tegrinha, Chinese and Vietnamese.

As the administration increases the numbers of outreach sites, it will closely monitor the number of individuals seen at each site to ensure that the most effective outreach sties are utilized, to ensure broad access to services across the city, particularly in wards 7 and 8, and to all populations in the city.

, to ensure broad access to services across the city, particularly in wards 7 and 8, and to all populations in the city.

 

Identify how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process; and describe how assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis.

 

In FY 2013, DCRSA hired an Assistive Technology Specialist. This individual is available to all staff to consult regarding AT questions. In addition, the agency is purchasing the necessary resources to allow the AT specialist to conduct AT assessments on-site at DCRSA’s office. In addition, to conducting assessments, the AT specialist also meets with individual clients when they have questions related to AT. Lastly, this individual serves as the DCRSA representative on the AT Community Advisory Board at ULS, the DC Assistive Technology grantee. DCRSA works closely with the AT Center at University Legal Services. In FY 2014, ULS provided a presentation at a DCRSA all staff meeting about the services provided by the AT Center. DCRSA intends to regularly invite ULS to All Staff Meetings to ensure that VR Specialists are aware of services offered at the center. Aside from having its own AT specialist on staff, DCRSA also maintains a human care agreement with a private community based provider that conducts AT assessments. 

 

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

During FY 2013, DCRSA began aggressive efforts to increase outreach to individuals with disabilities, attempting to focus on unserved and underserved communities. As indicated above, the agency has established agreements with other government agencies and community based, non-profit agencies that are in communities or serve clients identified in our 2008 needs assessment as unserved or underserved (i.e., Wards 7 and 8 and individuals who are non-English speaking or limited English speaking).. Currently, the administration has agreements with agencies and is conducting intake interviews and seeing clients in 31 different offices across the city. The administration has focused on identifying agencies that represent unserved and underserved in locating new partner agencies, including Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Ethiopian Community Center and various health and community centers in wards 7 and 8. The administration continues to see significant increases in the number of new referrals as a result of these outreach efforts. The number of referrals in the first half of FY 2013 was 1555, as compared with 2130 in the first half of FY 2014. Some of this increase has also been due to increased outreach to schools. As indicated above, DCRSA will track the referral numbers from each of the new referral sites in order to ensure that relationships are maintained with those sites that result in increased referrals to DCRSA.

 

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

The District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration continues to add new Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) that partner with us to provide an array of vocational rehabilitation services to consumers. The agency currently has agreements with 26 different community based providers. Additional services available to our consumer through the Human Care agreements include VR work adjustment services, trial work experiences, job placement and benefits analysis and planning. The human care providers are now working collaboratively with the agency’s Business Relations Unit to provide job readiness training and supports to our consumers, and to link consumers to potential employers. The Administration has two staff who work as provider relations specialists, who are responsible for supporting the network of approved CRPs. In addition, in FY 2013, the Administration added two additional staff who serve as quality assurance monitors to identify needs, and maintain and improve their quality. The Administration provides joint training with our Human Care Agreement CRP partners, to ensure that our collaboration yields the desired results in supported employment, job placement, and career assessment services and increased employment outcomes for consumers, particularly those with developmental disabilities and chronic mental illness. This happens, in part, through monthly meetings in addition to other training. Strategy 1: Use training and technical assistance to ensure that both DC RSA and CRP staff are knowledgeable of best practices and promising practices that increase the effectiveness of CRP providers and lead to employment outcomes. Encourage and promote increased collaboration of the CRP with the Administration in continuous job readiness activities. Strategy 2: Focus CRP-related process reforms on providing training to Administration staff on how counselors evaluate CRP information and provide that information to consumers so that they can exercise informed choice. Increasing counselors’ support to CRPs, assessment of CRP services, and ability to maintain constant contact with CRP providers regarding referred consumers will, the Administration believes, increase CRP effectiveness. Strategy 3 - Work collaboratively with CRP staff to implement concepts from Employment First, to increase employment outcomes for the most significantly disabled persons. Ensure that all DCRSA VR Specialists have training on Employment First and customized employment, to ensure that they are able to refer clients to appropriate agencies for specialized support. Strategy 4 - Participate, along with CRPs in Employment First Community of Practice in order to fully integrate Employment First concepts into supported employment services provided to persons with the most significant disabilities, in order to improve employment outcomes for these individuals. Strategy 5 - In FY 2014, the administration is exploring ways to modify its payment structure for CRPs to provide for performance based payments, to reward timely placement in employment and to reward placement in higher quality jobs.

 

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

Standard I

Indicator 1.1 Annual Change in Employment Outcomes: the difference in the number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period as compared to the previous performance period. Strategy 1: Increase counselor and client participation in activities sponsored by DCRSA’s Business Relations Unit including: · Monthly Job Readiness Workshops · Monthly Employer/Industry Spotlights · Quarterly Career Fairs · Strategy 2: Strengthen collaboration with the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), expand the number of days that a VR specialist is located at American Jobs Center sites. Require all VR applicants to register with American Jobs Centers at time of VR application. Develop and implement consistent assessment measures, including literacy screening at intake, and assessment of job readiness. Strategy 3: Continue to expand the number and types of employers participating in the Project Search program, enabling transition-aged students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while receiving on-the-job support. Strategy 4: Increase the number of SSI/DI recipients referred for Benefits Counseling; Strategy 5: Coordinate with the Department on Disability Services Ticket to Work program to ensure that eligible ticket holders are referred to ticket agencies for post-closure follow on support services. Indicator 1.2 Percent of Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals exiting the program who have achieved an employment outcome after receiving services. Strategy 1: Adopt and implement an enhanced communication policy ensuring counselors: · Communicate at least monthly with service providers ensuring services are delivered in accordance with established contract/agreement; · Monitor to ensure that counselors are maintaining regular contact directly with clients to monitor progress. Conduct periodic site visits to CRPs and other training programs Strategy 2: Host quarterly Provider Fairs to provide counselors and clients the opportunity to meet and “interview” providers face to face; Strategy 3: Ensure that Vendor Profiles, summarizing standard information about each provider including provider’s outcome statistics is complete and available on-line by December 31, 2014 . Indicator 1.3 Competitive Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals who exit the VR program in employment in integrated settings with hourly rate of earnings equivalent to at least the federal or state minimum wage rate, whichever is higher. Strategy 1: Continue quarterly CRP meetings to provide a forum for discussions and to ensure all providers are aware of the agency’s policies, regulations and expectations governing the provision of services. Strategy 2: Continue to develop the agency’s Employment First initiative, a concept designed to facilitate the full inclusion of people with the most significant disabilities in the workplace and community. Indicator 1.4 Significance of Disability: reflects the significance of disability served by the VR agency and is the percentage of those identified in Indicator 1.3 who have significant disabilities. Strategy 1: continue to identify new programs and services to ensure persons with most significant disabilities receive appropriate and quality services leading to successful employment outcomes. In FY 2014, DCRSA and DCDDA developed a protocol for coordination of services for persons supported by both administrations (i.e., people with intellectual disabiliities who are interested in seeking employment), continue implementation of this protocol and increase the number of persons with intellectual disabilities services by the administration and successfully placed in employment. Indicator 1.5 Earnings Ratio: indicates that VR consumers who achieved competitive outcomes are earning, on the average, at least 52 cents for every dollar earned hourly by all employed individuals in the state; and Strategy 1: Provide job seekers with up-to-date information on employment trends in the District; Strategy 2: Connect with local colleges and universities to disseminate to students with disabilities information related to the agency’s services; Strategy 3: Encourage enrollment in short-term training/certificate Workforce Development programs offered by community colleges the DC metropolitan area; Strategy 4: Ensure counselors serving transition-aged youth provide timely services to help students develop career goals, and achieve employment and self-sufficiency; Develop incentives in contracts with CRPs to reward placement in jobs that meet this standard. Indicator 1.6: Self-Support: for those identified in Indicator 1.3, the difference in the percentage of individuals who at program entry reported their income as the largest single source of support, and the percentage that reported their personal income as the largest single source of support at program exit. Strategy 1: Increase the number of SSI/DI recipients referred for Benefits Counseling; Strategy 2: Encourage enrollment in short-term training/certificate Workforce Development programs offered by community colleges the DC metropolitan area. Strategy 3: Continue to develop the agency’s Employment First initiative, a concept designed to facilitate the full inclusion of people with the most significant disabilities in the workplace and community. Strategy 4: Increase the use of Customized Employment enabling persons with significant disabilities the opportunity to achieve successful employment outcomes.

 

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

The Deputy Director for the Department on Disability Services - Rehabilitation Services Administration represents the agency on the Workforce Investment Council. In this capacity, he serves on two work groups that seek to improve the coordination and quality of services provided through the workforce investment system. The two work groups include one that is working on reviewing the certification process for the American Jobs Centers in the District, and another that is examining issues related to individuals experiencing long-term, chronic unemployment in the District. The District has four American Jobs Centers. The facility located in Southeast Washington, serving wards 7 and 8, is the first one going through the certification process. All agencies that provide services through this center are members of this work group. Some of the strategies that will be implemented in FY 2015 include increasing the number of days each week that DCRSA provides services at the American Jobs Center, from one day per week to four to five days per week; all partner agencies plan to begin using the same screening tools regarding applicants’ literacy and numeracy levels at intake; the Department of Employment Services will provide DCRSA training on enrolling in American Jobs Centers, and all new VR applicants will be required to register with the American Jobs Center at application; the American Jobs Center partner agencies will share tools used to determine "job readiness" to ensure that all agencies use the same definition, and do not require clients to be assessed by more than one agency.

 

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

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

DCRSA is currently utilizing the findings and recommendations of San Diego State University’s Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment for Fiscal Year 2011 (but conducted with a final report issued in May 2013). Additionally, DCRSA is utilizing the Fiscal Year 2013 Monitoring Report on the District of Columbia Vocational Rehabilitation Program by the U.S. Department of Education, RSA, May 3, 2013. Both note that the Administration faces enormous but surmountable challenges as it seeks to improve VR services individuals with disabilities in the District. These goals and priorities were developed, reviewed, and approved by DC RSA and the SRC. Planned program objectives and initiatives to be accomplished by the DC Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration were based on agency performance on standards and indicators. Goal 1 (Increase both the quantity and quality of employment outcomes): DCRSA is projected to surpass its number of FY 2013 successful employment outcomes in FY 2014, and plans to improve this number further through expanded outreach, increased efforts to serve people in community settings, and agreements with government and community-based agencies to provide VR intake services citywide that focus on underserved areas such as Wards 7 and 8. Additionally, DCRSA is developing materials for clients that will be available both in the agency and at partner agencies in the community (e.g., client handbook explaining services and provided forms, including application form, and DVD providing orientation to DCRSA services). Implement training program developed with the GW Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center to improve consistency and quality of services provided. External monitors will continue to monitor quality of services provided by all contracted service providers and provide technical assistance to improve quality and compliance, as needed. Fully implement the Standard Operating Protocol developed between DDA and RSA regarding coordination of services for persons with intellectual disabilities supported by both administations. Goal 2 (Improve the efficiency of RSA operations): DCRSA will use its automated case management system, System 7, and regular supervisory case reviews to ensure eligibility determination and IPE development timeliness guidelines are met, and to ensure that quality services are provided in compliance with District and federal regulations. Additionally, VR supervisors will conduct random case reviews of all counselors’ cases each month to ensure quality practice, consistent with federal and District regulations. Also, DCRSA will develop contract provider evaluations and make the results available on the state agency’s website, to assist clients in exercising informed choice of service providers. Additionally, The Quality Assurance unit will continue regular quality case reviews and administer customer satisfaction surveys. From an IT perspective, DCRSA will continue to work with Libera, the case management software vendor, on refining System 7 to ensure the reported on and returned by the system is tailored to the specific needs of the District’s VR system. The administration, along with the Policy Committee of the SRC will continue the comprehensive review of all agency policies and procedures; update policies and procedures as necessary, and provide training to all staff on any newly developed policies and procedures. Ensure that all administration protocols are available for all staff the agency intranet. Integrate the CRPs into the electronic case management system to improve the efficiency of referrals for services, monitoring of client progress and consistent and timely submission of invoices. Goal 3 (Expand and improve the quality of transition services and improve coordination with the state education agency and all local education agencies): DCRSA has committed itself to specific initiatives aimed at improving transition services and outcomes for transition age youth. Specifically, in FY 2014, DCRSA worked with SchoolTalk, an area nonprofit organization, to develop a Transition Toolkit for transition age youth, their parents, and school personnel. The Toolkit’s aim is to provide information about VR services and the VR process. The toolkit provides support for the referral process, intake and eligibility, IEPs, transition plans, and IPEs. Along with SchoolTalk and DCRSA, the Toolkit was a collaborative effort with the DC Public Schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the Department of Mental Health, and other District agencies. During FY 2014, School Talk has held a number of focus groups to evaluate the effectiveness of the Tool Kit. Based on the information obtained in these meetings, the Took Kit will be revised in FY 2015. The full Tool Kit will be available in Spanish by the beginning of FY 2015. DCRSA will develop agreements with all independent Public Charter Schools in FY 2015, to ensure that the same process for referral, intake and tracking of student progress in the VR process in available to all DC students, whether attending DCPS or a public charter school. DCRSA will engage in outreach at the middle schools that serve youth with sensory disabilities to provide information to the students and their families about VR services so that these youth can be engaged in VR services at the start of their high school career. Goal 4 (Implement Self Employment Policy and Procedure) - During FY 2014, DCRSA developed policies and procedures for the self-employment program. The administration will develop protocols and provide training to all VR specialists on this new program to ensure full implementation of the self-employment program during FY 2015.

Support innovation and expansion - The administration is developing a client handbook, which will be available in English and Spanish. This will provide information about available services and the VR process. These handbooks will be available at DCRSA, as well as at partner agency sites in order to increase community awareness of VR services and how to access them. The administration will modify its existing agreements with community rehabilitation programs to a more performance based contracting system in order to improve outcomes in quantity and quality of job placements. The administration will explore creating a human care agreement to provide specifically for supported employment services for people with traumatic brain injury. The adminstation will ensure that all documents are available in Spanish and will develop materials in languages of other major ethnic groups represented in the District.

Overcome identifed 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 - Since FY 2013, DCRSA has been working on improving outreach in order to overcome barriers to access to VR services. The administration increased from 4 to 27 outreach sites in FY 2013, and further increased to 31 in FY 2014. The administration is now ensuring that it targets these outreach efforts to reach populations identified in the FY 2013 CSNA as unserved or underserved in the District. In addition, the administration is using its electronic case management system to monitor the number of people seen at each outreach site to ensure that the administration’s resources are being used efficiently. In FY 2014, the administration developed new Supported Employment policies and procedures. The administration will implement these new policies and procedures at the beginning of FY 2015. The new policies were developed to ensure that the administration’s practices are consistent with federal regulations governing the provision of supported employment services. In addition, the administration is coordinating closely with the DC Developmental Disabilities Administration and the Department of Behavioral Health to improve coordination of supported employment services to people with intellectual disabilities and people with mental health disabilities.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 2:41PM by Andrew Reese

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

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

Goal 1: Increase the quantity and quality of employment outcomes

DCRSA was successful in increasing the number of employment outcomes. However, the administration did not meet its goal in improving the quality of those outcomes. In FY 2012, there were 501 successful closures. This increased 24% in FY 2013, to 620 successful closures. However, the average wages of people whose cases were successfully closed in FY 2013 was slightly lower than it had been in 2012, it decreased from 12.61 per hour to 12.50 per hour. A number of strategies contributed to the adminstration’s success in increasing the number of successful closures. The administration signficantly expanded its outreach efforts, expanding to provide services at 27 different locations across the city. In addition, changes were made to the administration’s intake process to minimize barriers to applicants entering the VR process. The administration expanded it Business Relations Unit, and refocused its efforts on supporting job placement.. Lastly, the administration hired external monitors, who provide monitoring and technical assistance to contract provider agencies. In FY 2014, the administration is focusing more on quality, developing a training schedule with the GW Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center, to improve the quality and consistency of services provided. The administration has also been reviewing and beginning to revise all policies and procedures, and providing training to staff on any changes, to ensure that services are consistent with District and federal regulations

Goal 2: Improve the efficiency of RSA operations. The Administration has completed the implementation of the new case management system, which enables efficient tracking of cases throughout the VR process to improve timeliness of services. The implementation of the Quality Assurance component of DCRSA has enabled the state vocational rehabilitation Administration to effectively monitor case compliance to federal performance indicators. The Administration will implement a vendor report card process to provide information and support to RSA customers in exercising informed choice when selecting vendors and providers for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the Authority of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as Amended in 1998; CFR Section 361.52. Over the past two years, the administration has made significant progress in improving the efficiency of operations in terms of compliance with federal standards related to timeliness of determining eligibility and developing Individualized Plans for Employment. In FY 2013, the administration determined eligibility within sixty days 83% of the time, increased from 68% in FY 2012; and timely developed IPEs 92% of the time, compared with 80% of the time in FY 2012. To ensure continuous improvement, the DCRSA Office of Quality Assurance and Federal Compliance conducted quarterly caseload reviews on active (St.10-18) and closed (St. 26 and 28) cases. Unit supervisors conducted monthly reviews on randomly selected cases. The administration also made considerable progress in addressing issues related to attrition of VR counselors and supervisors. At the beginning of FY 2013, there were 8 counselor vacancies and 6 supervisory vacancies. Through a recruitment plan developed by DDS, the agency was able to recruit qualified VR counselors and supervisors. At the end of 2013, there was one supervisory vacancy and no counselor vacancies. All new hires were individuals who were qualified to sit for the CRC examination. DCRSA had intended to implement vendor report cards. Additional montioring staff had been hired in FY 2013, responsible for monitoring of contract service providers. The administration hoped that these monitors would be able to monitor and provide information about the quality of the contract service providers. The monitors have been able to begin working with all community rehabilitation providers. However, the administration does still not have the level of data we had hoped for to allow consumers access through the agency website to quality data about the services available. The expectation is that this will be complete by December 2014.

Goal 3: Transition - Expand and improve the quality of transition services and improve coordination with the state education agency and all local education agencies. DCRSA was very successful with this goal. It accomplished many of its objectives through implementing a number of strategies. In August, 2013, with technical assistance from the Department of Education, DCRSA finalized a Memorandum of Agreement with the state education agency (the Office of the State Superintendent for Education, OSSE). This MOA defines how outreach and intakes will be conducted; and describes how DCRSA will coordinate with all local education agencies. DCRSA has developed a very good working relationship with DCPS. This is part of a Memorandum of Agreement that was developed in 2011. Through this partnership, DCRSA and DCPS meet monthly to plan outreach activities, monitor referrals and the status of all referrals made by all schools that are part of the DCPS local education agency. This includes all DC public schools, and all Charter Schools that choose to be part of the DCPS LEA. This coordination has led to an increase in the number of referrals of transition youth, and improvements in the timely processing of applications and development of IPEs for transition age youth. During FY 2013, DCRSA also worked closely with School Talk, Inc. a local private non-profit education advocacy group. School Talk helped to facilitate interagency coordination of transition services, and helped DCRSA to develop outreach materials, including a Transition Tool Kit and outreach and orientation materials for transition specialists to use with school staff, youth and their families.

Goal 4: Develop a Self-Employment/Entrepreneurship Program - DCRSA developed policies and procedures for the self-employment program. The administration is working with the SRC to finalize the policies and procedures. One issue that the administration is working on is ensuring that the policies and procedures account for ensuring that supports are in place for individuals with the most significant disabilities to be able to have a self-employment goal, when appropriate. Once these policies and procedures are finalized, the administration will develop protocols for implementation of the program. The administration will then provide training for all staff on the policies, procedures and protocols, and will fully implement the program by FY 2015.

The major factor impeding the achievement of the goals and priorities was issues related to attrition. As indicated above, the agency started the fiscal year with a number of vacancies for both VR counselors and supervisors. Over the course of the year, through a concerted effort by the agency’s human capital administration, a successful recruitment strategy was developed. The agency had only one VR supervisory vacancy at the end of the fiscal year. Given the high number of new staff, and the number of changes in the past couple of years, the administration worked with the TACE this fiscal year to develop a training plan to improve the quality and consistency of services being provided by the administration.

 

Goal 1: Provide continued support to six mental health supported employment service providers to increase successful outcomes for individuals with mental health disabilities.

The Administration developed Human Care Agreements with six (6) providers of mental health supported employment services to hire additional staff at each site to assist in increased referrals to DCRSA and develop placement and employment opportunities through supported employment. The administration worked with the Department of Behavioral Health to improve coordination of services between the two agencies in providing services to this population. The administration continues to struggle, however, and the outcomes in this project have been very poor. In FY 2014, the administration made some changes to case assignment and program management. DBH has also made some program management changes. In addition, DBH has added two new provider agencies. Our expectation is that we will see improvement in services in FY 2015. To date, the outcomes for this population have been poor in the District, and have not been consistent with what was seen in the original population studied as part of this evidenced based service.

Goal 2: Improve coordination between DCDDA and DCRSA to ensure that more people referred from DCDDA have successful outcomes. The Administration has had success with the strategies employed to achieve this goal. In FY 2014, a Standard Operating Protocol was finalized describing both the referral processes between the two administrations and the protocol for coordination of services in circumstances where a person is receiving services from both DDA and RSA. During FY 2013, DCRSA supported 62 people with intellectual disabilities whose cases were closed successfully. These individuals found employment in which they were working on average 35 hours per week and earning an average annual salary of $19,800.

 

In FY 2013, DCRSA exceeded all RSA requirements on standards and indicators except indicator 1.5, which continues to be a particularly difficult standard for the District to achieve, due to the relatively high average wages in the area. Standard I: VR’s Impact on Employment 1.1 Annual Change in Employment Outcomes: the difference in the number of individuals exiting the VR program who acheived an employment outcome during the current performance period as compared to the previous performance period. FY 2013 Target: >501 Results: 620 Closures - Passed -Through expanded outreach throughout FY 2013, the administration saw a significant increase in the number of referrals and number of people served. This also resulted in a significant increase (24%) in the number of successful closures. 1.2 Percent of Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals exiting the program who have achieved an employ employment outcome after receiving services. FY 2013 Target: >55.8% Result: 57.0% - Passed. During FY 2013, the administration established a new protocol requiring counselors to have supervisory approval prior to closing a case unsuccessfully. Upon a request for case closure, both the first and second line supervisor review the case to assess whether there may be additional services or outreach provided to assist the client in achieving a successful outcome. This protocol resulted in a significant reduction in unsuccessful case closures in the fiscal year. 1.3 Competitive Employment Outcomes: the percentage of individuals who exit the VR program in employment in integrated settings with hourly earnings equivalent to at least the federal or state minimum wage rate, whichever is higher. FY 2013 Target: >72.6 Result: 96.3% - Passed.1.4 Significance of Disability: reflects the significance of disability served by the VR agency and is the percentage of those identified in Indicator 1.3 who have significant disabilities. FY 2013 Target: >62.4% Result: 87.6% - Passed. 1.5 Earnings Ratio: indicates that VR consumers who achieved competitive outcomes are earning, on the average, at least 52 cents for every dollar earned hourly by all employed individuals in the state. FY 2012 Target:> $19.46. Result: $12.50 - Failed. This continues to be a very difficult indicator for the District to achieve as the average earnings of all employed individuals in the state are high compared with other states in the country. 1.6 Self-Support: for those identified in Indicator 1.3, the difference in the percentage of individuals who are program entry reported their income as the largest single source of support, and the percentage that reported their personal income as the largest single source of support at program exit. FY 2012 Target: > 53. Result: 63.5. Passed. Standard 2: Minority Background Service Rate: The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program who received VR services. FY 2012 Target: > .80. Result: .81 - Passed

 

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

Develop an assortment of marketing materials in (English Spanish, and French), including tabletop displays, brochures, pamphlets, and flyers to market the RSA employment services to businesses, referral sources, potential consumers, and their families. Materials can be translated into other languages upon request. The administration had some success with this goal. Materials were developed, including an orientation video (in English and Spanish) a transition Tool Kit (in English, currently being translated into Spanish) and outreach materials for transition.

Use I&E funds to sponsor Transition workshops intended to target rehabilitation counselors, educators, high school personnel, and community rehabilitation providers working with youth and parents. The administration used funds to support work by School Talk, Inc. who assisted in facilitating coordination of services and provided outreach to youth and schools. School Talk assisted in the development of materials and worked with focus groups of consumers to evaluate the effectiveness of these materials.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 2:46PM by Andrew Reese

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

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

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

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 2:56PM by Andrew Reese