ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

Published September 4, 2014.   Print   Print preview   Export to MS Word   Export to Excel  

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Kentucky Office for the Blind State Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 (submitted FY 2013)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The The Kentucky Office for the Blind 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 The Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment [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

State Treasurer

... 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

Executive Director

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAllison Flanagan

Title of SignatoryExecutive Director

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

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2014Yes

Comments:

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAllison Flanagan

Title of SignatoryExecutive Director

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

* 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
The Kentucky Office for the Blind

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.

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

The agency’s State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is established under the Kentucky Revised Statutes 163.470 and meets the requirements of 34 CFR 361.29. The SRC is a valued partner with the Office for the Blind (OFB) participating in the administration of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Council meets quarterly to review policies, program information, and other pertinent issues.

As a part of the agency’s commitment, the Office for the Blind provides funding support for the SRC to be used in reimbursement of expenses to Council members, publication of the SRC Annual Report and conducting the Satisfaction Survey through the University of Kentucky. In FY 2012, funding was in the amount of $31,208, in FY 2013 the budget is $47,800, and for FY 2014, the projected budget is $47,800.

The Office for the Blind works with the SRC and makes every effort to seek input for needed improvements and recommendations. This occurs through formal and informal communication, as well as the committee work of the SRC members. OFB works in partnership with the SRC in ensuring that individuals served receive the needed services and supports to gain independence through employment and increased skills acquisition.

The State Rehabilitation Council and its subcommittees guide OFB operations. Staff was supportive of the Council and its decision to look at the committee structure and consider if it could be revised to be more effective. OFB staff worked with the Council in researching the committee structure of SRCs in other states. The Council’s bylaws were changed and unanimously approved at the May 18, 2012 meeting to include the revised committee structure. The new committees are: Executive, Bylaws and Nominating, Business and Employment Opportunities, Legislative, Government and Public Relations, Planning and Consumer Services.

OFB staff gave performance and program operation updates at each SRC quarterly meeting in FY 2012. The Kentucky Office for the Blind (OFB) reported its performance measures on the standards and indicators, satisfaction surveys, numbers served and outcomes for the various programs offered to consumers for 2012 at the October 12, 2012 quarterly meeting. The University of Kentucky Research Program and the Human Development Institute conducted the 2011 Satisfaction Survey and the results of that survey were presented by Christina Espinosa at the May 18, 2012 meeting.

This attachment is Kentucky’s State Rehabilitation Council’s input to the State Plan. A copy of the 2014 State Plan attachments in draft form was distributed to the SRC for review and approval.

Input was received and recorded in the written minutes of the Committee Reports and of the Council that met on November 18, 2011, February 18, 2012, May 18, 2012, October 12, 2012, and January 25, 2013. There was no meeting in August due to the lack of a quorum. The Council decided to change its quarterly meeting dates to January, April, July and October to coincide with the federal reporting quarters. This ensures that they get the most current reporting information at each meeting.

The Kentucky Office for the Blind did not reject any recommendations from the SRC during the past year. Summaries of the Council’s activities and recommendations, as well as OFB responses, are listed below.

SRC Recommendations for Gaining Input for Policy Changes and Order of Selection

Information on changes to the policies on payment for cataract surgery, tuition assistance and the potential closing of additional categories under Order of Selection was sent out to Council members in advance of the May 18, 2012 quarterly meeting. The policy changes and upcoming public hearings were discussed at the meeting and input was gained from the members. Council members were invited to attend the public hearings. A statewide press release notified the public of the hearings noting the times and locations. The four hearings were held in May across the state in Lexington, Ashland, Louisville and Owensboro. Implementation took place June 1, 2012 for the Tuition Policy and Cataract Surgery policy changes were implemented on July 1, 2012.

Based on the information from the FFY 2013 State Plan, the decision was made not to change the categories for Order of Selection (OOS). Categories one, two and three will remain open and category 4 will remain closed for the FFY 2012. The full council was informed of the results of the review and consulted regarding the decision. In 2012, agency staff and the SRC reviewed, on a quarterly basis, data on numbers served, number placed on a waiting list, and agency fiscal resources to determine the need to open or close categories.

In April 2013, based on fiscal resources, the decision was made to close additional categories. During FFY 2013, budgets and fiscal resources were reviewed monthly by agency management. Information was presented to the State Rehabilitation Council at each quarterly meeting. The Office for the Blind continued to endure fiscal deficits that resulted in cuts to all aspects, including administration. While efforts in reduction of expenses created some savings it was not enough to offset the deficit. Additionally the next federal fiscal year will continue with a larger deficit based on the agencies current spending and revenue.

Unfortunately, the loss of state funds the past five years has resulted in the agency being unable to match $4,481,801 of federal funds, therefore, leaving those federal dollars for other states to utilize. The current agency deficit of $1.2 million would require $255,600 in state funds to draw over $944,400 of available federal funds for this current federal fiscal year. The continued failure to meet the federal match is estimated to have an overall negative state fiscal impact of $5,436,425.

During the month of February of 2013, five public hearings were held across the state to solicit input from our consumers, staff, and advocates to share comments regarding the annual revisions to the State Plan FFY 2014 and the decision to close priority Categories Two and Three with an effective date of April 1, 2013. Five public hearings were held across the state in Lexington, Florence, Louisville, Hazard and Paducah.

OFB Response: The OFB Executive Director and leadership were transparent in communicating the agency’s financial status to the Council and advocacy organizations’ leadership who were supportive of the decision to close categories. Based on a thorough analysis of OFB’s budget, through an administrative cost review by the Executive Director, Executive Leadership Team, and the State Rehabilitation Council, as well as public input from the public hearings, priority categories two and three were closed on April 1, 2013.

SRC Recommendations for the State Plan Goals and Priorities

As reported in this attachment for last year’s State Plan, the full Council discussed the methods for obtaining input for the 2012 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. Information gained from the assessment was used for the planning and formulating of goals and strategies submitted in the 2013 State Plan. See Attachment 4.11 (a) for the complete report and a summary of findings and recommendations. A survey was conducted to gain additional input regarding the setting of goals and strategies in February and March of 2012. A link was sent to the SRC members and placed on the website for the public, staff, and consumers to gain input. This survey obtained information regarding the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for the agency (SWOT analysis). The results were summarized and sent to the SRC via email. Included were the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board WorkSmart Plan goals, and Dr. Flower’s findings through the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. At the February 17, 2012 meeting, the summary was discussed and the full Council was asked to again review the summary document in preparation for the May 2012 SRC meeting. At that meeting, the Council formulated goals for submission in the 2013 State Plan and voted on their acceptance.

The Special Projects Committee reviewed the input received for the 2013 State Plan in relation to the five goals, strategies and innovation and expansion activities existing in the plan at the February 17, 2012 and May 18, 2012 meetings. At the May 18, 2012 meeting, the committee made a recommendation to the full Council to accept the following proposed goals for the FFY 2013 State Plan. The motion was passed by the full Council. At the October 12, 2012 meeting, the Planning Committee discussed the State Plan, the Satisfaction Survey and the 2015 Needs Assessment. The Council discussed the fact that, due to budget constraints, the Needs Assessment will be conducted in-house.

At the recommendation of RSA, one additional goal was added to directly address the federal standards and indicators. The Council was notified of the addition and the information was distributed to them for approval in August 2012.

Based on the input received, there were six concise and measurable goal areas set. These goals were based on the 2012 Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment, the 107 Monitoring Report, the federal Standards and Performance Indicators, real time data through the Case Management System, strategic planning and other sources of information. The State Rehabilitation Council and the Kentucky Office for the Blind have established the following Goals for FFY 2013-2015.

1. OFB will exceed or meet the federal Standards and Performance Indicators annually.

2. Increase opportunities for independent living and improve the quality of vocational rehabilitation services for Kentuckians with visual disabilities in order for them to prepare for, obtain, maintain, or regain competitive employment.

3. Use resources effectively and efficiently in order to maximize funds in serving individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired in the Commonwealth.

4. Provide full-time employment and career opportunities for Kentuckians who are legally blind, while providing quality vending and food services for government and business through Kentucky Business Enterprises.

5. Develop, design and implement a professional development leadership program for the agency rehabilitation staff for effective succession planning.

6. Enhance and build Office for the Blind internal and external collaborative relationships and Partnerships to advance opportunities for individuals to progress toward independence and employment.

OFB Response: OFB followed all of the above recommendations for gaining input for the State Plan. As specified by the guidelines of the assessment project plan submitted by Dr. Flowers, a number of data sources were used for this report. Dr. Flowers utilized the survey the SRC had developed in 2009 as a basis for the 2012 needs assessment.

Other sources were utilized as well. See Attachment 4.11 (a) for the complete report. The SRC members were fully engaged in the needs assessment process and as time and scheduling allowed, some were able to participate in the focus groups and phone interviews. The Office for the Blind requested and accepted their input and recommendations for the setting of goals and priorities from the 2012 needs assessment.

As stated, during February 2013, five public hearings were held across the state to solicit input from consumers, staff, and advocates and to share comments regarding the annual revisions to the State Plan FFY 2014. There were no changes or edits recommended by the SRC to these set goals. The full Council voted and approved the goals at the January 2013 quarterly meeting for the FFY 2014 State Plan.

SRC Recommendations for the Satisfaction Survey Process

A copy of the 2011 Satisfaction Survey Executive Summary was distributed to SRC members prior to the meeting, via email, in May 2012. The full survey was distributed at the May 18, 2012 meeting where Christina Espinosa, from the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute, delivered a presentation for the Council on the Survey. Ms. Espinosa’s handouts covered data which she also delivered through a PowerPoint presentation. She reported a total of 234 participants responding which was a 91.8% response rate. Overall, the results of the study indicate that consumers expressed high degrees of satisfaction with their experiences. She reported that 88% of all participating consumers rated services they received through OFB as a 1 or 2, on a five point scale where 1 = “excellent” and 5 = “poor”. Generally, participants had positive regard for their counselors and other OFB staff. Satisfaction with specific services (McDowell Center, assistive technology, orientation and mobility, computer training and career development) was also high. In addition, for those with a case closed successfully, 94.1% indicated that their needs were met through the services received, by responding with a 1 or 2.

At the May 18, 2012 meeting, the Planning Committee reported they had discussed and were in favor of renewing the contract with the University of Kentucky for the Consumer Satisfaction Survey.

SRC Recommendations by the Bylaws Committee

At the May 20, 2011 meeting, discussion occurred regarding a request by SRC member Adam Ruschival, requesting a change in the bylaws to consider the addition of a new standing committee to be titled the “Program Review Committee”. This committee would look at programs and initiatives at the McDowell Center as well as other parts of OFB. Mr. Ruschival further explained that currently there is a McDowell Advisory Group that meets and discusses issues; however, the advisory group does not operate in an “official capacity” the way it would if it was a committee of the SRC. The McDowell Advisory Group is an unofficial board it receives no funding. It was felt that by establishing a committee would improve communications and would reduce the redundancy that occurs with some members serving on both the advisory group and the SRC. The Council moved to table the motion in order to allow the SRC members more time to think about the motion and be better informed. Further discussion occurred on the current committee structure and the relevance of each. No further action on this motion occurred at the August 19, 2011 meeting.

At the Nov. 18, 2011 meeting, the Bylaws Committee Chair, Bill Deatherage, reported that they had discussed looking at the committee structure of the Council to see if it could be revised to be more effective. He said that a motion had been tabled at the May 2011 meeting about adding a Program Review Committee and the Bylaws Committee did not want to act on that until all areas of the committee structure was reviewed. At the February 17, 2012 meeting, Mr. Deatherage read what the committee recommended the new committees to be: Executive, Bylaws and Nominating, Business and Employment Opportunities, Legislative, Government and Public Relations, Planning and Consumer Services. He also presented the Bylaws Committee’s recommendation of the wording for a new Article, Article III Section 6 Removal. “The Council may vote to recommend removal of a member if that member’s action negatively affects the Council or the representative agency in providing positive outcomes in which the Council or representative agency is deemed to serve. The recommendation shall be made to the appointing authority who shall make the final determination pursuant to law. Such recommendation requires a two-thirds vote by eligible Council members.” The committee also recommended Article IV Section 1 Chairperson, be changed to read, “It is the Council’s preference to select a Chairperson that is blind or visually impaired.” In Article IV Section 2 Vice Chairperson, a second sentence would be added that would read, “It is the Council’s preference to select a Vice Chairperson that is blind or visually impaired.” The motion for a vote to approve the changes was tabled to the next meeting. At the May 18, 2012 meeting, the Bylaws Committee Chair asked for a motion to bring back the tabled motion to vote on the new bylaws. A vote was taken and the motion carried. The newly revised bylaws, including committee restructuring, were approved by a unanimous vote.

OFB Response: Staff was supportive of the Council and its decision to look at the committee structure and bylaws revisions to consider if they could be revised to be more effective. OFB staff worked with the Council in researching the committee structure of SRCs in other states, and on May 18, 2012, the bylaw revisions were unanimously approved, including the revised committee structure.

SRC Recommendations by the Legislative Committee

At the Nov. 18, 2011 meeting, the Legislative Committee reported that cuts in state funding, would impact the amount of funding received by the federal government. To that effect, they recommended that the legislature, governor and the budget office be informed by the SRC, as a whole, on how the state cuts affect the total agency budget allocations and that they should keep up the state funding so that OFB did not lose even more match funds. The committee recommended that the Council draft a letter to the state legislative Appropriation and Revenue Committee to inform them about the impact on the federal funds that the state cuts would have. The committee said that the letter should ask for funding to be kept at the current level and that OFB funding be restored in order to collect all of the federal funds. A vote was taken by the Council and the motion passed. Sharon Fields of the Legislative Committee drafted the letter on behalf of the Council. It was approved by the Executive Committee and signed by the SRC Chair. Ms. Fields sent a courtesy copy to all members and asked that they individually write similar letters and send them to the legislative Appropriation and Revenue Committee, the governor and the budget office, along with their individual legislators. At the May 18, 2012 meeting, the Public Relations Committee reported that they had discussed that $50,500 was added to the OFB budget by the legislators and that $40,000 of that money was designated to the Accessible Electronic Information Services Act.

OFB Response: The agency was very supportive and appreciative of the SRC’s initiative to advocate for more funding for OFB. At the February 17, 2012 meeting, the Executive Director urged members to talk to their legislators about the impact of the cuts requesting that they contact him with any questions and concerns. A fact sheet of budget information was sent to the SRC to use when writing to their legislators. At the May 18, 2012 meeting, the Executive Director thanked the Council for their efforts in contacting their legislators during the legislative session and asked them to continue their advocacy efforts for the future needs of the agency.

SRC Recommendations in the Area of Public Relations

The Government and Public Relations Committee gave input in 2012 on the Annual Report and on marketing events where the agency was represented. At the February 17, 2012 meeting, the Committee reported that staff had provided in-depth information on the 2012 Annual Report and the Committee had given their input. The Committee decided that the theme for the Annual Report should be the same theme as that of the AT Expo, “A New Vision”, utilizing the same cover used for the Expo program. At the May 18, 2012 meeting, the Committee reported that the Annual Report had been distributed and was on the OFB website. Additionally, this Committee requests quarterly updates on marketing and outreach events by OFB staff.

The 2012 SRC Annual Report contained facts that informed the public about the Office for the Blind and its Council, such as: OFB 2012 program statistics, agency budget update, 2013 State Plan Goals and Priorities, the 2012 Satisfaction Survey results, AT Expo and Conference report, consumer success stories, and contact information for the agency. It also included a letter from the SRC Chair, a list of all 23 Council members, and the SRC bylaws and committee structure changes.

The Government and Public Relations Committee also provided input and assistance in putting on the OFB AT Expo and Conference which was held in September 18 and 19, 2012 in Louisville. In addition to vendor exhibits, there was an opening session and breakouts sessions on Employment, Independent Living, AT Funding, Transition, Recreation, a Deaf/Blind track as well as a closing luncheon with a nationally known speaker. Members were asked to volunteer to work the Expo and help publicize the event. There were 248 attendees at the Expo. Commissioner Beth Brinly presented a proclamation to the agency, on behalf of the Governor, declaring September Assistive Technology Awareness Month in Kentucky. The proclamation was accepted on behalf of the agency by SRC Vice-Chair Michael Freholm.

As part of the soft drink contract, the Office for the Blind receives $20,000 year to use for scholarships. The Council was asked for volunteers to be part of a committee to work on awarding those scholarships. SRC member George Stokes became part of the Scholarship Awards team and was integral in selecting the 16 individuals who would receive scholarships. A ceremony was held in August to present the Coca-Cola Scholarships to the winners. At the October 12, 2012 meeting, the Government and Public Relations Committee Chair reported that Kentucky Business Enterprises had secured the Coca-Cola contract and had arranged for continued scholarship funds in the contract. He announced that the agency was getting ready to ask for applications for the 2013 scholarships.

OFB Response: OFB accepted the recommended theme for the 2012 SRC Annual Report and worked with the Council Members on compiling the report. OFB staff report quarterly the number, scope and type of events staff attend such as job fairs, health fairs, One-Stop presentations, eye physicians, events at hospitals, nursing homes and transition fairs. The agency expressed appreciation for the Council’s involvement and support of the Scholarship Awards. In 2012 staff participated in 311 events statewide.

SRC Input into CSPD

The Council had the opportunity to review and comment on the development of plans, policies and procedures for CSPD. There were no changes to the current policies and procedures for CSPD. The CSPD attachment to the 2014 State Plan was sent to them for review and comments in June 2013.

SRC New Member Orientation

The Council strongly encourages new and existing members to participate in the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Online Training Series, developed by the Rehabilitation Services Administration in cooperation with the National Rehabilitation Continuing Education Programs. Two new Council members completed the SRC Online training series in 2012. A tour of the McDowell Rehabilitation Center preceding the quarterly meeting was held in May of 2012 that allowed new members to receive an overview of the Center and OFB services.

Commissioner’s Report to the SRC

Commissioner Beth Brinly addressed the Council at the Nov. 18, 2011 meeting thanking them for their service and dedication. The Commissioner reported to the Council that the agency was committed to the service of the blind. This is evident in the support of the Executive and Consumer Services Director’s participation in the National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute, sensitivity training for staff specific to blindness and vision impairments, OFB newsletter space set aside for consumer organizations to submit information and events, and presentations by consumer organization staff at the McDowell Rehabilitation Center for consumers in classes. Input from the SCR and the advocacy organizations is welcomed as the agency looks at ways to strengthen the core courses and curriculum at the McDowell Center. The Commissioner emphasized the need for the agency and SRC to continue to seek out partnerships that would assist the office in maintaining and increasing services to consumers.

Executive Director’s Fiscal Report to the SRC

At the February 17, 2012 meeting, the Executive Director reported that the budget outlook was bleak, reporting that OFB was $475,220 short in general funds and $1.4 million behind for fiscal year 2012. The agency went through an administrative cost review and came up with $314,000 in savings but there is still a $1,400,000 shortfall remaining. The agency will continue to make cuts where it is feasible and generate revenue through grants, maximizing Social Security reimbursements, establishing and increasing partnerships with the general agency and other partners tapping into additional resources. The Executive Director said that it was anticipated that there would be an additional proposal for an additional 4.2% reduction in general funds in the budget for the next state fiscal year with all the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet agencies being included. As a result, the agency would have a $1.4 million shortfall this fiscal year and, based on the 4.2% cuts would be under match by $520,000 in general fund dollars next year. The Executive Director urged members to talk to their legislators about the impact of the cuts. At the May 18, 2012 meeting, the Executive Director reported that the agency is facing a budget deficit of over $900,000 but are anticipating a saving of $314,000 from cost-cutting measures from 2012 to 2013. OFB did receive an additional $50,500 in funding. The Council was informed that one option being explored would be for the agency to expend funds allocated for next year, this fiscal year, which would have an effect on the drawdown for the next federal fiscal year. At the October 12, 2012 meeting, the new Acting Executive Director, reported that last fiscal year the agency spent $9.5 million, which was 13% higher than budgeted and had to use $280,000 of the 2013 state funds and was budgeted $1.1 million less for fiscal year 2013. The new Consumer Services policy changes have yielded a cost savings of over $500,000. The Council was informed that $9.5 million, the proposed budget for 2014, includes all funding, including the IL/OIB funds, Training Grants and Supported Employment Grants. On a positive note, the Acting Executive Director reported that Kentucky Business Enterprises revenues and Social Security reimbursements have increased; however not enough to offset rising expenses.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 10:33AM by Cora Mcnabb

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen has never been updated.

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 agency will assure that the Governor of the State, in consultation with other appropriate agencies, will have in place interagency agreements or other mechanisms for interagency coordination between any appropriate public entity including the state Medicaid Program, public institutions of higher education and a component of the statewide workforce investment system. This will ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services described in subparagraph (A) other than those specified in paragraph (5) (D), and in paragraph (1) through (4) and (14) of Section 103 (a) of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, including the provision of such vocational rehabilitation services during the duration of any dispute. Such agreements shall include the following:

(i) A description of a method for defining the financial responsibility of a public entity for providing such services, and a provision stating the financial responsibility of such public entity for providing such services.

(ii) Information specifying the conditions, terms, and procedures under which the office shall be reimbursed by other public entities for providing such services.

(iii) Information specifying procedures for resolving interagency disputes under the agreement.

(iv) Information specifying policies and procedures for public entities to determine and identify the interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity to promote the coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services (except those services specified in paragraph (5)(D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of Section 103 (a) of the Act.

Responsibilities of Other Public Entities

If any public entity other than the office is obligated under Federal or State law, or assigned responsibility under State policy or under regulations set forth in the 1998 Amendments to the Act, to provide or pay for any services that are also considered to be vocational rehabilitation services (other than those specified in paragraph (5) (D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of Section 103 (a), such public entity shall fulfill that obligation or responsibility, either directly or by contract or other arrangement.

1. If a public entity other than the office fails to provide or pay for the services for an eligible individual, the office shall provide or pay for such services to the individual. The office may claim reimbursement for the services from the public entity that failed to provide or pay for such services. Such public entity shall reimburse the office pursuant to the terms of the interagency agreement or other mechanism described in the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, according to the procedures established in such agreement or mechanism pursuant to the established conditions, terms and procedures of reimbursement.

2. Signed agreements between respective officials of the public entities that outline and identify the responsibilities of each public entity relating to the provision of services shall be in place.

The Office for the Blind has developed collaborative relationships with several agencies and entities within and without the statewide workforce investment system both private and public agencies and programs. OFB works cooperatively with the following agencies to avoid the duplication of services and enhance the service delivery process for consumers who are blind and visually impaired.

• 174 school districts statewide consisting of 1,233 schools inclusive of 564 Visually Impaired Students and 18 Deaf Blind ages 3-21.

• Nine special education cooperative networks across the state created to enhance educational opportunities for Kentucky’s children providing technical assistance, training; professional development, specialized services and research.

• Department of Behavioral Health, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through their fourteen (14) Community Mental Health Centers for supported employment.

• The Correctional System in assisting consumers with visual disabilities who are offenders.

• The Kentucky Business Leadership Network, which is affiliated with the U. S. Business Leadership Network, is to promote enduring partnerships between business and industry and agencies that provide vocational support services for Kentuckians with disabilities (currently inactive but plans are place to reestablish the network).

• Community rehabilitation providers in the provision of employment services.

• Kentucky Association of Persons in Supported Employment whose mission is to “promote the improvement of Supported Employment services for persons with significant disabilities experiencing barriers to employment through education, advocacy, collaboration, policy change, elimination of barriers, empowerment and community participation”. OFB has a staff person serving on the State APSE board.

• Department of Medicaid Services

• Department of Community Based Services-Public Assistance Programs

• Local Ophthalmologists and Optometrists and their respective professional associations in accessing needed services for consumers. These are key collaborative relationships that OFB has established. Staff attend state conferences, distribute marketing materials and maintain working relationships with local offices and the area ophthalmologists and optometrists (patient referral and services).

• American Printing House for the Blind, the world’s largest source for adapted educational and daily living products.

• Kentucky School for the Blind, K-12 public school serving Kentucky students who are blind and visually impaired; Short Course program (1-12 weeks) of specialized instructional is also available to students throughout the school year;

• Kentucky Federation of the Blind an advocacy organization that improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. OFB is involved through representation at their state and national conventions and representation of this advocacy organization sit on the State Rehabilitation Council.

• Kentucky American Council of the Blind strives to improve the well being of all blind and visually impaired people by serving as a representative national organization of blind people. OFB is involved through representation at their state and national conventions and representation of this advocacy organization sit on the State Rehabilitation Council.

• Local Chambers of Commerce –OFB staff represent the agency across the state on local chamber organizations

• International Centers specializing in advocacy and services to the foreign born and serve refugees, asylees, and immigrants (Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green).

• The Veterans Administration- OFB works collaboratively with the VA in planning for needed services due to an increase in visual impairments as a result of injuries associated with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Area Employers in the development of working relationships increasing the number of successful employment outcomes for consumers

• University of Kentucky Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute is a University Center of Excellence established by federal legislation to promote team-based approaches to provide services for individuals with disabilities and their families.

• Other community based organizations such as Health clinics, HUD, Diabetes Foundation, The Lions Club and other community resources for consumers

• The Kentucky Assistive Technology Service (KATS) is a statewide network of organizations and individuals connecting to enhance the availability of assistive technology devices and services to improve the productivity and quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

• Visually Impaired Preschool Services offering service to infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers who are visually impaired; and to maximize each child’s developmental potential through direct services, advocacy, and community education

• Kentucky Outreach and Information Network (KOIN)- Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services/Department of Public Health planning committee for communication and message distribution to special populations during a public health emergency or other disastrous event.

• The Kentucky Functional Needs Collaborative (KFNC) is a project of the Kentucky Department of Public Health. Their goal is to ensure an effective public health emergency response system in Kentucky for populations with functional and access needs.

In 2012, the USDA Rural Development invested more than $727 million in rural Kentucky communities across the Commonwealth for the areas of Community Facilities, Housing, Water and Environmental, Business Cooperative Programs. Agency staff are aware of these programs and provide information and referral to consumers for these programs to meet their individual needs.

OFB staff are integral members of many statewide councils and their respective subcommittees such as the SILC, Developmental Disabilities Council, Transition and the Interagency Council.

Coordination with the Statewide Independent Living Council and Independent Living Centers

The Office works in coordination with the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). A member from SILC sits on the Agency State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. The Office for the Blind Independent Living Program Manager represents the Agency on the SILC. As outlined in the SILC state plan OFB provides monies for costs associated with salary for a part-time shared staff for the statewide independent living council. OFB staff work collaboratively with the Independent Living Centers across the state in the service delivery process for consumers with visual impairments.

State Use Contracting

Under the state procurement code, administered by the Finance and Administration Cabinet, there are preferences to be given by governmental entities and political subdivisions in purchasing commodities or services from specified entities. Specifically, first preference is given to the products made by the Department of Corrections and Division of Prison Industries. Second preference shall be given either to: (1) the Kentucky Industries for the Blind or any other nonprofit corporation with which the Office for the Blind contracts to further its statutory purposes; or (2) qualified nonprofit agencies for individuals with severe disabilities i.e., Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRP). This means that state and local governmental agencies are to purchase directly from Correctional Industries or an Industries contracted with by OFB and/or a CRP without having to utilize the competitive procurement processes. The Finance and Administration Cabinet is to publicize/distribute a list of those products and services. OFB confers its statutory state use preference upon LC Industries to afford them the preferential procurement opportunities for their products and services, which may expand employment opportunities for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

Requirements related to the Statewide Workforce Investment System

As a partner of the One-Stop Career Center service delivery system the office shall carry out the following functions consistent with the Act, Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the regulations in 20 CFR part 662:

1) Make available to participants through the One-Stop service delivery system the core services (as described in 20 CFR 662.240) that are applicable to the program administered by the office under this part;

2) Use a portion of funds made available to the program administered by the office under this part, consistent with the Act and this part, to:

i) Create and maintain the One-Stop service delivery system; and

ii) Provide core services (as described in 20 CFR 662.240)

3) Enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Local Workforce Investment Board under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 relating to the operation of the One-Stop service delivery system that meets the requirements of section 121c) of the Workforce Investment Act and 20 CFR 662.300, including a description of services, how the cost of the identified services and operating costs of the system will be funded, and methods for referrals.

4) Participate in the operation of the One-Stop service delivery system consistent with the terms of the MOU and the requirements of the Act and this part.

5) Provide representation on the Local Workforce Investment Board under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

Cooperation and Collaboration within The Workforce Investment System

Governor Steve Beshear envisions a workforce system in the Commonwealth of Kentucky that breaks down the silos that have dominated the landscape of workforce development for many years. The new system will fully integrate state and local resources to create a seamless system to serve the employer community, as well as the individuals who will use the system.

In the summer of 2009, the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board began a process to develop a strategic plan to transform Kentucky’s workforce development system to meet the challenges of a changing global economy and address the most immediate concerns of the current financial crisis. With a great deal of input, the business and industry-led committees developed a vision statement to serve as the guide for the development of goals. The Vision Statement is that Kentucky will transform the workforce development

system through innovative practices which enhance sustainable economic and job growth to improve the lives of Kentuckians.

The goals of the plan are as follows:

• Align the Commonwealth’s workforce development system with Kentucky’s education objectives

• Align the Commonwealth’s workforce development system with economic

development strategies

• Simplify the workforce development service delivery system

• Improve service to achieve a customer-centered delivery system

Kentucky’s transformational objectives include 25 initiatives designed to form a user friendly, customer-centric system that brings alignment to education, economic development and workforce activities. The WorkSmart Kentucky Plan lays out the foundation to improve operational collaboration at both the state and local levels. Currently, the plan is under review for updates. The decision was made by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board to review and update the plan earlier than originally anticipated due to the fact that a large number of strategic initiatives had been or were being implemented. Workforce Staff from the Office of Employment and Training, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Office for the Blind are involved in the committees and implementation activities of the initiatives. OFB Blind is an integral partner involved in the work of several initiatives. The following is a list of some of the initiatives of the WorkSmart Plan that:

• Branding and Identity: This is an initiative to infuse a cultural shift in the

delivery of services offered to our employer and job seeking customers, as well as

instill credibility within the economic development community. Our priority is to

promote a consistent message that will infuse continuity in the delivery of all

services offered within the Commonwealth’s workforce system. In addition, the

goals for the system branding are to create a sense of value and promote a

heightened level of professionalism and customer service.

• One-Stop Certification Process: This initiative is designed to build continuity

and consistency in the delivery of services in the one-stop career centers.

Partnerships, common forms, and a truly integrated approach to serving.

• Partner for Success: This initiative brings together management and front-line

staff from within and throughout the workforce development system. This

strategy brings a holistic approach to services through an integrated method

toward trainings, networking opportunities and nurturing an awareness of the

array of services that partner agencies offer. This initiative also identifies gaps in

service and duplications of system offerings.

• Workforce Academy: This “train the trainer” approach to workforce activities

will promote a consistent training atmosphere that will increase knowledge

throughout the workforce system and across partner agencies. Online trainings

and a certification process will instill value in the work that is done to serve

employers and job seeking customers. One of the key topic areas that will further

our interest of integration is cross-functional supervision of our systems multiple

agencies.

• Sector Strategies: This initiative helped develop state and regional,

employer-driven partnerships of industry, education and training, and other stakeholders focusing on the workforce needs of key industries. The partnerships coordinate information and resources to develop and implement effective, coordinated responses to workforce challenges that are common across industries.

• Business Services Redesign: This effort will create a proactive, solutions-based

approach to the services offered to the business community. This initiative will

promote a coordinated effort toward service delivery in a strategic manner. The

objective is to maximize business services resources by aligning them with

economic development goals around business development.

All Office for the Blind staff will participate in Workforce Academy in the upcoming 2013 FFY. This first phase of Workforce Academy “Foundations for the Future: Building Kentucky’s 21st Century Workforce System consists of Four Modules that will occur weekly across the state in each of the Workforce Regions. Staff will be assigned by cohorts with other workforce staff from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Office of Employment and Training, WIA, and other partner staff. The Modules are: 1) Building a Foundation for Transformation, 2) Building a Future for Kentucky’s Workforce System, 3) Setting the Standard and 4) Putting It Altogether My Local Plan of Action.

Since the implementation of the WorkSmart Kentucky Strategic Plan, a priority has been developing unified and collaborative approach to service delivery in our business services model. It is critical that all the government agencies working to meet the employment needs of business and industry work together taking a solutions-based approach to meeting their needs. This is being done through regional Business Services Teams. The Kentucky Office for the Blind has been selected to participate in the 2013-2014 Learning Collaborative on Vocational Rehabilitation Management through UMass Boston/Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI)/ Research and Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) on VR Program Management. Under this project, the goal is for OFB to build the partnership with the WIA partners as well as the employers and transform the Business Service Teams to fit the need of all customers, especially those who are blind and visually impaired.

Internal launch of the new marketing brand occurred in 2012 with events occurring across the state making Central Office and field staff on the Career Centers aware of the new brand and the brand promise. The Brand: Kentucky Career Center. The Brand Promise:

As a team of experts, we are dedicated to providing Kentucky employers with a

qualified, skilled workforce and the people of Kentucky with career, job training and

educational opportunities. With the unique ability to connect employees and employers through the combined efforts of state and local partners, we will become a valuable, competitive and best in-class asset in the growth of our regional and national economy.

By guiding, empowering and inspiring our customers, we will continue our mission to

create success stories across the Commonwealth.

The Partner for Success initiative brought together all the partners in the Department of Workforce Investment to develop a unified approach to delivering holistic services. The goal of these institutes was to create networking opportunities, create awareness of the services each partnering agency delivers and assemble the full array of services delivered to our customers in a manner that is efficient, effective and holistic. Partner for Success has undertaken two regional training efforts as well as begun collaborative policy development. Currently, a confidentiality policy for all of the Workforce programs was developed assuring uniform practices and will be implemented once staff receive training.

The one-stop Certification team is made up of all partners representing one-stop services.

The Core Team completed Standards for Employer Services, Jobseeker Services, Management Standards and Affiliate Center Standards that were approved by the KWIB and are being implemented.

Reciprocal referral services with the Office of Employment and Training and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation: The Office for the Blind, Office of Employment and Training and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation have established reciprocal referral services which allow for more efficient services to individuals with disabilities. OFB and OVR have a memorandum of agreement and jointly plan activities to improve services in the state for individuals with multiple impairments, including individuals with dual sensory loss. The Central Office administrative functions for these three workforce programs are centrally located in Frankfort to assure collaboration among the workforce partners.

The office enters into agreements with other entities that are a component of the statewide workforce investment system and replicates those agreements at the local level between the individual offices of the agency and the local entities carrying out the One-Stop service delivery system. These agreements may provide for the provision of inter-component staff training and technical assistance that may include, but is not limited to the following areas:

i. the availability of benefits of and information on eligibility standards for vocational rehabilitation services; and

ii. the promotion of equal, effective, and meaningful participation by individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities in the State through the promotion of program accessibility, the use of nondiscriminatory policies and procedures, and the provision of reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services and rehabilitation technology for individuals with disabilities.

Said agreement may also provide for:

? The use of information and financial management systems that link all components of the statewide workforce investment system, that link the components to other electronic networks, including non-visual electronic networks, and that relate to such subjects as employment statistics and information on job vacancies, career planning, and workforce investment activities.

? The use of customer service features such as common intake and referral procedures, customer databases, resource information and human service hotlines.

? The establishment of cooperative efforts with employers to:

• Facilitate job placement; and

• Carry out any other activity that the Office and the employers determine to be appropriate.

? The identification of staff roles, responsibilities, and available resources, and specification of the financial responsibility of each component of the statewide workforce investment system with regard to paying for necessary services (consistent with State law and Federal requirements); and

? Specification of procedures for resolving disputes among such components.

Since the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act, the office continues its collaboration, cooperation and commitment to these centers and the other partners. The office has established relationships with other entities within the Workforce Investment System and works jointly in the service delivery process.

The office secures yearly a grant through the Office of Adult Education that provides testing and other educational opportunities for adults at the Charles McDowell Center.

The office participates in the ten Workforce Investment Act System local boards throughout the state as well as serving on different committees of those boards.

The office has access to job orders through an agreement with the Office of Employment and Training. Counselors can access job orders from their computers through EKOS. In 2011, the Commonwealth undertook a major project for the enhancement of EKOS, known as America’s one-stop Operating System (AOSOS). Through an RFP process, the

Commonwealth selected Focus Suite software from a vendor, Burning Glass Inc., in Boston, Mass. Focus/Career has replaced both the Commonwealth’s self registration for job seekers and e3.Ky.gov employer portal at no cost to job seekers or employers. Focus/Talent is utilized by employers who prefer to enter their company information and job posts, which are automatically processed into the EKOS database and viewable to job seekers in the EKOS Self Service Module on America’s Job Exchange (AJE) and Job Central (JC). These enhancements have streamlined the process and are assisting job seekers in maintaining and updating resumes as additional training is received. Office for the Blind VR Counseling Staff participated in Burning Glass training so they are knowledgeable of the system.

Through existing partnerships and new partnerships created for serving businesses while continuing to serve individuals, Kentucky has developed a network that provides placement and assessment of jobs and individuals to meet the employment needs of a

community. The Kentucky Workforce Investment Board’s WORKSmart Kentucky is a plan that includes cross agency and business sector statewide initiatives.

The Office for the Blind works with the local offices in obtaining vocational training for consumers eligible under the Dislocated Workers program. OFB provides informational materials to the one stop Career Centers as to services the agency provides allowing for self-referral of customers. OFB assists the local one-stop Career Centers with orientation and information sharing with potential customers,

The office will identify and delineate staff roles, responsibilities and available resources and specification of the financial responsibility of each component of the statewide workforce investment system with regard to paying for the necessary services that are consistent with State law and Federal requirements. Regional and local office managers work with partner agencies to determine most convenient office hours to serve customers. The office will specify procedures for resolving disputes among such components.

The office shall provide for the development of Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) at local levels between the office and local entities carrying out activities through the statewide Workforce Investment System.

Information and Referral Assurance

The office has implemented an information and referral system to ensure that individuals who have visual disabilities will be provided accurate vocational rehabilitation information and guidance using appropriate modes of communication, to assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment. The office assures the referral of these individuals to other appropriate Federal and State programs if it is unable to serve them.

Appropriate referrals made through the system shall:

(i) be to the Federal, State or local programs, including programs carried out by other components of the statewide workforce investment system in Kentucky that is best suited to address the specific employment needs of an individual with a disability; and

(ii) include, for each of these programs, provision to the individual:

(I) a notice of the referral by the designated State agency to the agency carrying out the program;

(II) information identifying a specific point of contact within the agency carrying out the program; and

(III) information and advice regarding the most suitable services to assist the individual to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

All applicants and eligible individuals or, as appropriate, the applicants’ representatives or individuals’ representatives, will be provided information and support services to assist the applicants and individuals in exercising informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process, consistent with Section 102 (d) of the Rehabilitation Act Amendment of 1998. The Client Assistance Program is available for additional assistance and advocacy during the entire rehabilitation process.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 10:42AM by Cora Mcnabb

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.

Coordination with Education Officials and Outreach Activities

The Kentucky Transition Collaborative is an interagency collaborative effort between 21 different state agencies. OFB participates with OVR, The Department of Education and other state agencies in this federally funded, collaborative effort to provide training and sub-grant assistance to school districts. The mission of the Kentucky Transition Collaborative is to assist students with disabilities and their families in making a successful transition from school to adult life.

The Office participates with the Department of Education and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Community Based Work Transition Program. The program is administered by individual school districts that hire employment specialists to provide students with community-based evaluation, work experience and job placement during the final two years of high school.

The Office participates with the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) to provide transition services to students attending KSB. The Office monitors progress of the program and students through attending regularly established IEP and ARC meetings. OFB Charles W. McDowell Rehabilitation Center provides vocational assessments and career exploration activities for students statewide and those attending KSB during the summer between their junior and senior year in high. The OFB Transition Coordinator works directly with Kentucky School for the Blind staff responsible for implementation of this program. A collaborative effort is made to assist in Community Based Work Transition Program, vocational assessments, and annual Individual Employment Plans and Individualized Graduation Plan. A KSB coordinator is designated to work with individual OFB Counselors, students and families. KSB provides an outreach teacher consultant to each of the nine (9) ) Special Education Cooperatives. KSB consultants coordinate and provide training and professional collaboration for co-op faculty. KSB publishes a quarterly newsletter, “Parent to Parent Newsletter” of which OFB distributes to staff.

The Office participates with the Kentucky Deaf-Blind Transition Project, which helps promote cooperative transition services for youth who are deaf-blind, and who are students at the Kentucky School for the Blind, the Kentucky School for the Deaf, or any other school the student may be attending. The Office has a DeafBlind Coordinator who is responsible for helping to facilitate these services for youth.

Workforce Investment Boards: OFB VR counselors actively participate on local WIA Board’s Youth and One Stop committees to enhance and make accessible programs and services for youth in transition.

KY AHEAD is a professional organization whose purpose is to promote communication among professionals in post-secondary education in order to improve the development and implementation of services for persons with disabilities. On campus disability centers are an essential resource for students with disabilities attending post-secondary educational institutions. VR counselors are encouraged to develop relationships with disability center staff and should strongly encourage college students to utilize the services available at the centers. Every effort is made to arrange for a student to meet with staff at the disability center prior to entry into a post secondary program in assuring a smooth transition for the individuals.

Kentucky Special Education Cooperative Network: The Kentucky Special Education Cooperative Network consists of nine (9) special education cooperatives located across the state. These cooperatives were formed to better meet the needs of the multiple school systems across Kentucky’s 120 counties. All 176 local school districts, and the Kentucky Schools for the Blind and Deaf are members of a special education cooperative. Each cooperative has VI teachers and an AT specialist to assist students with visual needs and they the school districts employ other specialty service providers such as Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Physical Therapist, and Speech Therapists. OFB works collaboratively with each cooperative network across the state in the provision of information and referral for students of all ages. OFB works with others in assuring that every resource is available to students in their formative years in order for them to access needed services and acquire needed skills preparing them for the world of work.

INSIGHT – Post-secondary Preparation Week for Students Who Are Blind or Significantly Visually Impaired is a collaborative project between the Big East Educational Cooperative, Kentucky School for the Blind, Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation, Kentucky Office for the Blind, and Morehead State University. INSIGHT is a unique program designed to provide college bound students an opportunity to experience some of the challenges encountered when entering a university or community college. Participants gain an increased awareness of the educational, recreational, and social challenges of the post secondary environment.

The Office’s Executive Director, Director of Consumer Services and Transition Coordinator work directly when needed, with the Department of Education official serving as chairman of the Kentucky Interagency Executive Transition Council. These involvements help facilitate the Department of Education’s understanding of the unique transition needs of students with visual impairments and assists in understanding the educational process of Public Schools in the State.

The Office provides Orientation and Mobility, Assistive Technology and Independent Living Services to school systems on a cost reimbursement basis when staff time is available.

Information on Formal Interagency Agreement

The Agency in conjunction with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has agreements with all public institutions of higher learning in the state to meet the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act) 29 W.S.C. Section 721 (a) (*) (B), to develop agreements between the state vocational rehabilitation agencies and public institutions of higher education who serve mutual individuals with disabilities.

The Office participates with the Kentucky Department of Education and 21 other state agencies on the Kentucky Interagency Executive Transition Council. This Council’s agreement, entitled “The Kentucky Interagency Agreement on Transition Services” provides for a statewide system of coordination among agencies in the delivery of transition services.

These agreements are designed to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in school, to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services and including provisions for:

(i) consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including vocational rehabilitation services;

(ii) transition planning by Office staff and staff from the educational institution for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs.

(iii) the roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities of each agency, and including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and

(iv) procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need the transition services.

Provision for Development and Approval of Individuals Plans for Employment

Under IDEA, schools are responsible for initiating transition planning at the age of 16 for each student identified with a disability. Since school faculty and staff are academic specialists, it is very important for the VR counselor to have early influence on the student’s vocational future helping to avoid weak or unrealistic vocational training. The VR counselor acts as a vocational specialist forging the educational and future vocational needs of the child realistically together. The VR counselor is educated on the federal and state laws associated with transition and acts as an advocate for the student and parents. VR counselors may attend transition related meetings as early as age 14 and act as a consultant in the student’s IEP. Early contact and intervention not only saves the VR counselor considerable time and effort, it allows the student and parents the opportunity to plan a realistic vocational path that will lead them to the vocational goal of their choice.

OFB maintains agreements with other agencies and schools to provide for mutual collaboration in the development of an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) for each student. Transition planning begins in the IEP meetings in the school setting. Participants should include the student, parents or guardians of the student, appropriate school officials, an OFB VR counselor or designee, appropriate professionals from other agencies and other interested parties.

VR counselors should attend student IEP meetings during the 8th through the 12th grades and take an application no later than the beginning of their junior year. The VR counselor will be responsible to use their professional judgment to determine the appropriate time. The school system will continue to have the primary responsibility for accommodations and student’s educational needs. Once the student graduates OFB will become the primary agent. It is mandatory that the IPE be developed with the student prior to graduation.

Prior to graduation, an IEP is developed for each student determined eligible and meets the current order of selection for vocational rehabilitation services. The IEP should address the student’s transition service needs, as applicable, in the areas of instruction, related services, daily living, community, work experience, and/or assessment. Prior to the student’s graduation, an Individual Graduation Plan should be developed that outlines the student’s projected course of study and the responsibilities of the school and each participating agency.

OFB recognizes that it is the primary responsibility of Kentucky schools to coordinate and provide transition planning and services for students with disabilities. The VR counselor will provide consultation and technical assistance to assist the school. If a school is unable or unwilling to provide essential transition services, OFB may become actively involved to ensure responsible educational planning for the student. Under certain conditions, with the approval of the Regional Manager, the VR counselor may directly assist schools in their responsibilities. OFB developed an agreement for the provision of specialized equipment for students. The agreement allows for that equipment to remain with the student upon graduation when an assessment determines this is in the best interest of the individual. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and AT staff determine the students postsecondary needs upon graduation taking into consideration technology changes and the need for upgraded or more advanced technology.

Post-secondary transition is driven by the student’s vocational goal. The student should go to work or attend advanced education to prepare to go to work. During high school transition the VR counselor should consider the post-secondary vocational goal and proactively encourage activities for the student that will promote a smooth transition to work. Such activities should be considered an investment in the student’s future:

A. High school classes that directly or indirectly supports the student’s vocational goal;

B. Work transition or summer employment related to the

student’s vocational goal;

C. Prep programs that help the student gain insight into work or

the post-secondary educational environment.

OFB recognizes that transition planning is an ongoing process and that a student may choose to go in a different direction requiring a change in their vocational goal. Ongoing evaluations, vocational interest inventories and counseling will be provided to assist students in the dec

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 10:45AM by Cora Mcnabb

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

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

ATTACHMENT 4.8 (b)(3): Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers

The Office for the Blind works collaboratively with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in maintaining agreements with providers of private, non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers to support achievement of successful competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

The Office works with Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) through a vendor application process to ensure quality services to Office consumers. The Community Rehabilitation Provider must submit a Vendor Application form. All vendor applications forms are submitted to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for review and approval of the agency as a provider. The process for approval of a vendor as a supported employment provider is more involved and is outlined below:

• Vendor requests or obtains an application from OVR or OFB

• Upon completion of the application it is returned to the OVR branch

• OVR Branch staff review the application and obtain needed clarification if needed. Staff may meet with the provider for further technical assistance

• Application is approved and vendorship is established

• OVR Branch assists the provider with training and other information

• All vendors are required to participate in the Supported Employment training provided through the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute.

• Monitoring occurs for all vendors during the year by OVR Branch staff

• All vendorships are reviewed for continuation yearly

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2012 4:31PM by Cora Mcnabb

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

ATTACHMENT 4.8(b)(4): Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities: Evidence of Collaboration Regarding Supported Employment Services and Extended Services

The Office for the Blind has collaborative relationships with other state agencies in the provision of supported employment and extended services for individual with the most significant disabilities.

The agency participates with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Interagency Council, the Kentucky Interagency Transition Council, Kentucky Association for Persons in Supported Employment, the University of Kentucky Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute and the Office of Special Instructional Services in the Department of Education, the Center for Independent Living and other public and private not for profit agencies, to provide a network of supported employment service providers. Major objectives of this collaboration, are to promote best practices in supported employment, to expand the number of qualified supported employment service providers in various regions of the state where services are few, and to expand and enhance extended services which follow the termination of supported employment services provided by the two State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies.

The Office for the Blind works collaboratively with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in maintaining agreements with providers of private, non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers through a vendor application process for supported employment services.

The agency participates with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the University of Kentucky Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute and the Department of Education in the Community Based Work Transition Program (CBWTP). The student considered appropriate for this program will be a consumer that is considered to have a Most Significant Disability and require the unique services of a job trainer in order to obtain and maintain employment. The goal of this program is for each student to be job placed in the most integrated setting prior to graduation, with necessary supports in place to maintain that employment. In this program each participating school district employs a student employment coordinator who supports students in determining appropriate types of work, securing desired positions, learning the job, and maintaining employment. The employment coordinator works closely with students and their families/guardians, teachers, VR counselors, adult service providers, and other interested parties.

EXTENDED SERVICES

Extended services are available throughout the Commonwealth from the 14 Regional Mental Health/Mental Retardation Boards that operate with funds provided by the Department Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Individuals with visual disabilities who have developmental disabilities and who also have mental disabilities may meet the criteria for extended services funding from the centers. Extended services are also available from providers of supported employment services who receive funding from organizations such as Easter Seals and United Way. Extended services may also be arranged through systems of natural supports whereby employers, volunteers, and family members and friends of individuals with disabilities may provide supports for the duration of employment of these individuals. Documentation is required in the Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE) when this occurs. Extended services are arranged for each individual in supported employment at the time of the development of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The type and source of extended service depends on the needs of the individual. In order to be approved to be a supported employment vendor for the agency, the supported employment agency must make extended services available using a funding source other than the agency. Kentucky like other states faces the challenge of securing adequate funding for ongoing extended support services. The Office for the Blind along with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and several other state and public agencies are working in cooperation with the Kentucky Association for Persons in Supported Employment (KY APSE) in order to locate further funding sources for extended services and to expand supported employment services to areas of the state in which these services are lacking.

ASSURANCE OF CONFIDENTIALITY The Office for the Blind assures that information submitted in reports will include a complete count, except as provided in subparagraph (E) of Section 103, of the applicants and eligible individual, in a manner permitting the greatest possible cross-clarification of data and that the identity of each individual for which information is supplied to other agencies of public entities will be kept confidential.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 4:01PM by Cora Mcnabb

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Data System

The Kentucky Office for the Blind maintains a system to collect and analyze on an annual basis data on qualified personnel needs and personnel development. Information is analyzed on an annual basis for the number of personnel employed in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for the blind and visually impaired. This ensures that the provision of quality services is consistent throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, the number of personnel, category, and qualifications of personnel needed by OFB, and a projection of the numbers of personnel that will be needed in five years are calculated. These calculations are based on projections of the number of individuals to be served. Personnel training files are maintained that contains records of each individual’s training activities. Assessments are conducted annually and utilized in the development and maintenance of their official career development plans as well as training, certification and educational activities.

OFB has developed and maintains a system for review of all staff assignments, based on demographic data such as population, geographic area, caseload sizes and labor market analyses. In addition, the office solicits input from field management staff in identifying areas of understaffing, or of specific need.

Seven individuals or 8% left the agency during FFY 2012 (a 4% decrease over the prior year) with only two of these seven staff lost to retirements (3%). Six of the seven staff leaving employment with OFB were with the agency five years or less. There were four new hires or 5% during the 2012 fiscal federal year. The following table denotes the length of experience of existing staff current at the submission of the plan for the agency.

Years of Service 2012 2013

20 Years Or Higher 12% 17%

15 – 19 Years 13% 7%

10 – 14 Years 9% 18%

5 – 9 Years 23% 24%

4 Years or Less 43% 3%

Currently 63% of Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling staff has been in their position ten (10) years or less. 37% have been with the agency 11 years or longer. 50% have been with the agency 5 -10 years and 13% under 5 years. The Agency places an emphasis on the professional development, educational advancement and skills acquisition for all OFB staff.

OFB must work within the constraints of a state personnel cap. Currently the personnel cap is set at 98 full-time.

As reported in last year’s State Plan, effective October 1, 2012 KATS was moved under the General Agency Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for a more effective use of state resources.

The current total number of personnel is 89 with five vacancies. All five open positions are critical to services and will be filled with the most qualified candidates following all established procedures as soon as candidates can be recruited, hired and approved by the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and State Office of Personnel. All attempts will be made to employ rehabilitation professionals certified in their areas of expertise.

Currently, there are positions that were not filled based on a thorough budget analysis, demographic data such as population, geographic area, caseload sizes and labor market analyses. In addition, the office solicits input from field management staff in identifying areas of understaffing, or of specific needs.

In 2012 Central Office staffing was reduced by one position. One member of the fiscal unit resigned taking a promotional position in State government. The decision was made not to replace that individual and existing fiscal staff absorbed those duties. Currently, the Executive Staff Advisor lead fiscal position is vacant. The decision was made that our agency and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will combine our fiscal operations. The collaboration of the fiscal operations will provide a more efficient approach and consistency for the two agencies under the same funding umbrella. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will be posting and hiring an individual for their fiscal unit that will be assigned to OFB. That individual will be a member of our Executive Leadership Team (ELT). The decision was made by the ELT to hire an Assistant Director for the Consumer Services Unit.

There was only one vacancy in the VR field staff area that was not filled. Upon a review of the resources of the office, where staff are located in a Career Center (one stop) the decision was made not to fill that administrative assistant position.

The largest change in staffing is for the area of the Kentucky Business Enterprises program. As positions became vacant the ELT discussed the needs of the program looking at the numbers served in correlation with the number of staff, workload and agency resources. Currently, as outlined in the grid the number of staff was reduced from eleven to seven. The Director of the program retired in April of the current fiscal year and that position will not be filled. The Assistant Director will absorb the duties of the director. Two vending repair technicians left the agency in 2012 and their positions were not filled. The fourth position is a Central Office fiscal staff that is targeted to retire in July of the current fiscal year. The administrative assistant for this unit will absorb the duties of this position.

The Charles McDowell Rehabilitation Center staffing was reduced by two. Upon the retirement of the maintenance staff the decision was to change this position to a part-time temporary staff. The other position that was not filled was that of a recreation therapist. The duties of that position were absorbed by staff in the home management unit and the evening and weekend rehabilitation aides.

The following tables show the number of personnel, categories, vacancies, and projected personnel needs for the Administrative and Program Staff, Business Enterprises, IL/OIB and the Charles W. McDowell Center.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Central Office Administrative Staff 10 2 3
2 Vocational Rehabilitation Program Staff 45 3 9
3 Independent Living Older Blind Staff 10 0 0
4 Business Enterprises Staff 7 0 3
5 Rehabilitation Center Staff 23 1 10
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

Institutions of Higher Education

The University of Kentucky is the only institution in the state that offers a Master’s of Rehabilitation Counseling (MRC) program. This is a comprehensive accredited graduate program in rehabilitation counseling. The on line Accelerated Distance Learning Masters program can be completed in sixteen months without on-campus attendance and at in-state tuition rates. Participants in the program are eligible to test for rehabilitation counselor certification after completing 75% of their course work in their final semester. A compressed video site is located at the Kentucky School for the Blind in Louisville. OFB partners with this agency so that a large number of individuals throughout the state have direct access to rehabilitation courses. This provides the opportunity for staff to fulfill their Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) requirements and move up in the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor series. When individuals enroll in other masters level programs out of state, those programs are evaluated to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor examination prior to being approved for tuition assistance. Two out of state distance learning programs OFB considers for staff are Auburn and Wisconsin Stout.

OFB staff participates on the University of Kentucky Advisory Council. One OFB staff attended the annual Advisory council meeting held December 2012. Dr. Ralph Crystal PHD., CRC Program Coordinator presided over the meeting. The role of the advisory board members was reviewed along with program activities. This included an overview and discussion of program activities, faculty research and projects, updates from the field and future directions of the program. UK implemented the Certificate Program for students who meet the requirements for the Category R in 2012.

OFB obtains information from The University of Kentucky annually regarding the number of students enrolled and the number graduating from the program with certification or licensure and /or with credentials to qualify for certification or licensure. The following information was obtained regarding the number of students enrolled in the MRC through the University of Kentucky. Two (2) OFB staff completed the UK MRC program in 2012. One of the individuals took the CRC exam but did not pass it. The other individual is preparing to take the exam this summer.

There is no change in the status of the Orientation and Mobility program through the University of Louisville. The University of Kentucky is in process of developing a Master’s Level Orientation and Mobility (O & M) and Visual Impairments Program under the Special Education Department. The targeted start date for the VI Teacher Program is this fall (2013) and for the O & M program it is the fall of 2014 or 2015.

In 2012, the agency had three (1) O & M practicum/internship students fulfilling their required hours with the agency.

Currently, there are four orientation and mobility instructors on staff. Seventy-five percent of O & M staff (3/4) is certified. In 2013 OFB will continue to support staff as needed to pursue this field of study in keeping with its staff/consumer ratios and the personnel cap.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 University of Kentucky 260 51 18 53
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

The Kentucky Office for The Blind shall aggressively recruit, equip, train and work to retain qualified professionals through coordination with institutions of higher education, professional and paraprofessional associations including personnel from minority backgrounds and individuals with disabilities. OFB recognizes our staff as our greatest resource and is committed to the provision of training state personnel in assuring the provision of quality services to individuals resulting in positive employment outcomes. OFB will remain current on rehabilitation trends and best practices in the field for the purpose of developing and maintaining its internal training program and securing external training opportunities for its personnel.

OFB utilizes the state of Kentucky’s Personnel Career Opportunities System (COS) an on-line recruitment system in recruitment efforts. OFB strives to achieve a more diverse workforce by recruiting and hiring individuals from protected classes. Recruitment of individuals with disabilities and those from minority backgrounds enables the agency to have highly competent individuals from all segments of society to accomplish its mission. The University of Kentucky’s Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Counseling has partnered with Kentucky State University (a historically black liberal studies public institution) and the two state rehabilitation agencies to create an endorsement curriculum at Kentucky State to recruit students into the field of rehabilitation counseling. UK has a “University Scholars Program” with Kentucky State University (KSU). There were no students from KSU in 2012 that stated an interest in participating in an internship with the Kentucky Office for the Blind. Potential applicants are identified through recruitment, posting, and advertising according to the cultural diversity initiative and the agency’s Affirmative Action goals. When applicants are needed, OFB must request applications from Kentucky Department of Personnel registers. Individuals must be on the register identifying as qualifying for the position. OFB works to leverage its successful performance in recruiting individuals who are minorities or with disabilities in the following ways:

? Work closely with consumer groups, attending local chapter meetings, national meetings.

? Hires the most qualified individual realizing that as an agency OFB strives to promote cultural diversity in recruiting disabled or minority candidates inclusive of bilingual candidates.

? Encourage existing minority staff to play an active role in policy and program

development, service delivery and program monitoring activities.

? Ensure that programs are accessible to minorities.

? Follow EEO guidelines and Affirmative Action Procedures.

? Utilize Division of Consumer Services demographic and population data

to determine the number of minorities and individuals with disabilities in regions,

and develop strategies to increase recruitment from these regions.

? Encourage minorities and individuals with disabilities to play an active role in the

Office for the Blind’s State Rehabilitation Council, participate in forums and

provide input into policy and procedures.

OFB acknowledges the difficulty of recruiting and hiring individuals who are Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. In this narrow occupational field of qualified individuals who hold their certification there is a shortage and competitive salary expectations of graduates usually exceeds salary constraints of the OFB. Additionally, OFB has found it difficult to hire and maintain staff in the rural areas throughout the state because candidates from outside these areas are often unwilling or unable to acclimate to the cultural differences.

The Kentucky Office for the Blind has a personnel classification system in place that enables salary competitiveness with other states. States surrounding the northern and western borders of Kentucky offer higher entry-level salaries based on state demographics and wage studies. There are certain expectations for Masters Level, Masters with Certification, and a Masters Certification with Limited Managerial Responsibilities for existing staff. The system allows for higher entry-level wages for new hires based on their education, certification and experience levels. OFB works with the University of Kentucky in providing student’s of the MRC program opportunities to complete their practicum and internship hours with the agency. This is a benefit to the student giving them hands on field experience as well as a potential recruitment tool for OFB. In 2012, the agency had one University of Louisville Masters in Social Work internship student and nine UK/MRC (9) practicum/internship students fulfilling their required hours with the agency.

The Office of Diversity & Equality (ODE) in collaboration with Governmental Services Center (GSC) has a Minority Management Trainee Program (GMMTP). This is a recruitment and development tool to increase the representation of minority managers in state government. This program offers an experience that enables participants to cultivate the skills needed to serve Kentucky’s citizens in an effective and responsive manner. Participants receive in-depth, practical training through classroom instruction, on-the-job experience and special projects. Individuals must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the program: 1) be an ethnic minority, 2) Have one (1) year of state government service, 3) Qualify for a grade 10 or higher job classification and 4) Aspire to be a manager and demonstrate exceptional management potential.

The Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment produces typically holds a statewide conference annually and OFB staff attend this conference.

OFB offers financial incentives to encourage staff retention and promote the achievement of CSPD requirements M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling and or C.R.C. as well as other professional disciplines such as Orientation and Mobility and Assistive Technology. The office offers educational tuition assistance, payment of initial certification and maintenance fees, study time allowance per week for staff enrolled in school, alternate hours access to distance learning through state buildings, technology upgrades across the state to allow access to distance learning and training opportunities for maintaining certification requirements through training seminars and professional development conferences.

 

The Office for the Blind is committed to improving the qualifications of its staff and achieving higher standards in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services. The office is committed to achieving 100% qualified rehabilitation staff by 2016, taking into consideration vacancies created by turnover, retirements and upward mobility of staff.

OFB has set standards that are consistent with the highest entry-level academic degree needed for any national or state approved or recognized certification, licensing or registration requirements. In the absence of these requirements, other comparable requirements (including state personnel requirements) that apply to the profession or discipline will be considered.

Those certifications currently utilized are in the disciplines of:

Certified Vocational Evaluation Specialist (CRCC/CVE)

Certified Work Adjustment Specialist (CRCC/CWA)

Certified Career Assessment Associate (CRCC/CCAA)

Certified Rehabilitation Counseling (CRCC/CRC)

Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (ACVREP/CVRT)

Certified Low Vision Therapist (ACVREP/CLVT),

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (ACVREP/COMS),

Assistive Technology Professional (ATP/RESNA),

Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP/CSUN)

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS),

Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (ADED/CDRS)

Certified in Literary Braille (NCLB/NBPCB)

The agency shall pay initial certification and maintenance fees for employees and will provide opportunities for continuing education courses in areas required for employees to maintain appropriate professional certification. OFB will take steps to re-train and hire personnel to ensure that such personnel meet appropriate professional standards in the state. Immediately following the passage of the 1992 Rehabilitation Act Amendments the state agency informally implemented hiring policies that provide a preference to individuals with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, or individuals who are eligible to hold a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Status. This procedure was formalized with the enactment of the federal standards for the Comprehensive System for Personnel Development in 1997.

Currently OFB has eighteen (18) rehabilitation counselor positions and with two vacancies at this time. Two counseling staff resigned during the month of May 2013 to take positions out of state within the field of rehabilitation. These resignations were not anticipated. Both of the counseling staff had been in their position less than three years. OFB tries to utilize best practices promoting retention among direct support professionals applied across an intergenerational workforce recognizing the differences in baby boomers and generation X’s and Y’s. For these two staff, systems level practices that could have fostered better retention would be improving wages and benefits. Both took positions that allowed for upward mobility and higher wages. In 2012, eighty-nine percent (89%) of Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling staff meet CSPD holding their MRC (16/18). Seventy-three percent (73%) held their MRC/CRC (13/18). Currently, with two vacancies 15/16 meet CSPD (94%) holding their MRC and 12/16 (75%) hold their MRC/CRC.

In 2012, the Director of Consumer Services assumed the role of Executive Director. Currently this individual who holds an MRC/CRC is fulfilling both roles. An Assistant Director position has been posted and will be filled as reported earlier in the section regarding personnel changes within the agency. There are two Regional VR Administrators of which both hold their MRC/CRC. There are two (2) central office administrators and 1 of 2 or 50% holds a Masters/CRC.

2012 Counselor and Administrator Statistics

VR Counselor- 16/18 filled with two vacancies

MRC/CRC - 12

Non CRC - 3

Other Masters Degree/Non CRC - 1

Field Administrators

MRC/CRC 2

Central Office Administrators

MRC/CRC - 1

Other masters Degree/CRC -1

1 Bachelor/Non CRC -1

Within the Office for the Blind, other employees hold a Doctorate, Master’s Degrees, Bachelors, or are currently enrolled in a Masters Program or hold other certifications. There is diversity in the type and scope of educational levels and experience of the OFB personnel. Seventy percent(70%) hold a bachelors degree, fifty-seven percent (57%) hold a master’s degree and thirty-eight percent (38%) of the staff hold a certification in a specialized area (CRC, CDRS, RESNA, LSW, COMS). The following table shows the different degrees and numbers of personnel for the OFB.

Doctorate - 1

Masters - 50

Bachelors -62

Associate or Coursework Toward a Degree - 10

Enrolled or Planned Enrollment- 5

Certification (O & M, CVE, AT, CDRS CRC) - 33 of which 26 holds CRC

75% of Orientation and Mobility Staff hold Certification (4) four hold a Masters

75% of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors hold MRC/CRC and 94% hold MRC meeting CSPD (two vacancies)

100% Deaf Blind Coordinator holds a MRC and CRC

100% of Bioptic Instructors also hold MRC and CRC, one (1) or 50% CDRS and the other instructor is preparing to take the exam in August.

80% Vocational Rehabilitation Administrators hold MRC/CRC and 80% hold a Masters

60% of IL Counselors holds a Masters and 30% hold MRC/CRC

Two (2) certified CVE on Staff & one (1) holds CRC as well as a doctorate in Psychology (licensed)

100% of AT staff have a Masters Degree with three (3) MRC (one vacancy)

100% Rehabilitation Instructors have a Masters Degree (one vacancy).

30% of staff in the agency hold their CRC.

Fifty percent (50%) (1/2) of bioptic driving staff hold a CDRS with zero turnover in their positions. This statistic stayed the same in 2012 with one bioptic driving staff taking the CDRS but did not receive a high enough score to pass. That individual will concentrate on study materials in preparation for retaking the test in 2014.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of O & M staff (3/4) is certified. The one staff who is not certified was enrolled in 2012 in the University of Arkansas O & M distance learning program.

In 2012, sixteen percent (16%) or (1/6) Assistive Technology Specialist holds a RESNA Certification with 50% holding an MRC/CRC. One hundred percent (100%) of AT staff hold a Masters; however, increasing the certification levels of AT staff is a challenge for OFB. One AT staff that held the ATP certification through RESNA recently took early retirement. There is a vacancy at this time and that position has been posted. One of the AT Specialist holds the AT Applications Certificate through CSUN. Two AT staff are studying and preparing for the RESNA ATP exam. Although OFB assistive technology staff was accepted and enrolled in CSUN for 2012 they were not able to complete the program due to the decision by CSUN not to offer the program in this calendar year. As reported last year, staff in agencies that serve the blind report that the requirements under RESNA do not have enough of an emphasis on the blind and visually impaired needed AT applications. Staff perceives that their knowledge base is narrow and specific to AT applications for the blind and visually impaired and they do not take into account secondary disabilities. Co-occurring disabilities are more prevalent among consumers referred to OFB. As a result staff is not so narrowly focused on assistive technology applications for the blind and visually impaired but realizes they need to broaden their knowledge base to include other disability populations.

Six of ten (6/10) of Il/OIB Counselors or 60% hold masters in a related discipline area (3 MRC), 1/10 or 10% hold their social work certification and 4/10 or 40% hold a bachelors degree. None of the IL/OIB or rehabilitation center staff are certified through ACVREP. This was not an area of concentration for staff although their discipline is certainly supported through the Association of Educators for the Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) and the certifying body ACVREP. OFB is working with staff to make them aware of their options for continuing education giving them the option to secure additional coursework to prepare and qualify for certification through ACVREP. Often staff in the IL/OIB counselor positions already has a master’s degree or a bachelor in a related field. Some staff chooses the option to obtain their masters in rehabilitation counseling with a long term goal for upward movement into a vocational rehabilitation counseling position.

In 2012, one hundred percent (100%) or 5/5 of the Rehabilitation Center instructional Staff held a Masters degree, 1/5 or 20% hold their social work certification. The Braille instructor holds a masters in rehabilitation and is concentrating on gaining more field experience prior to retaking the exam for her discipline area. The project director is currently working with Rehabilitation Center staff to make them aware of their options for continuing education allowing them the coursework to prepare for certification through ACVREP as well. Staff already holding a masters degree in a related field may not have an interest in additional coursework or certification through ACVREP or see the value of it. Some staff in the instructional area also chooses the option to obtain masters in rehabilitation counseling through the University of Kentucky.

STRATEGIES FOR ATTAINING AND MAINTAINING THE HIGHEST ENTRY LEVEL STANDARDS; TIME FRAMES

To ensure that professionals providing services are appropriately and adequately trained and prepared in accordance with standards that are consistent with national certification standards that apply to the profession or discipline in which staff are employed, or standards sufficient to ensure the provision of quality vocational rehabilitation services, the Office for the Blind has established standards and objectives for each personnel classification and makes every attempt to provide activities to attain and maintain these standards. The OFB shall not discriminate on the basis of disability with regard to training and hiring. Based on the Rehabilitation Act Amendment of 1998 recommendations and the professionalism valued by the Office for the Blind, the agency has set the following standards for hiring Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists and training current Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists. These standards are in agreement with Kentucky’s statutes and regulations.

A. Hiring New Employees. OFB will hire the best possible candidate based on the following priority list:

1) Master’s Degree in appropriate discipline (Rehabilitation

Counseling, Orientation and Mobility, Education) with national certification from the appropriate Certification Commission.

2) Currently enrolled in an accredited Master’s Degree program in

Rehabilitation Counseling, have successfully completed 40 graduate

program hours, and will be eligible to hold CRC certification within two

years of hire.

3) Master’s Degree from an accredited college or University in a related

field and will be eligible to hold CRC certification within three years of

the date of hire.

4) Bachelors Degree in a qualifying acceptable discipline that would allow

acceptance into the graduate program and a commitment that they will

enroll within one year of their initial probationary period.

Preference in hiring and promotion will be given to those individuals who are the most qualified candidates meeting national certification standards from minority backgrounds or individuals with disabilities. There are cases in which the state agency is unable to recruit individuals who meet the national standard. In those instances, the positions will be filled with an individual who has a Bachelor’s Degree, and the new employee is expected to meet the national standard within three years of the date of hire. OFB financially assists with the provision of training for those individuals who are current employees working toward obtaining a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and provides other benefits such as time to attend class or work on assignments. OFB offers opportunities for maintaining certification requirements through training seminars and professional development conferences.

B. Advancement of Current Office for the Blind Employees. OFB promotes acceptable candidates who are current employees when they are the best-qualified applicants for the position. OFB has established a career ladder that is based on the achievement of a Master’s Degree with certification as the highest level on the ladder.

1) Current employees with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation or appropriate area of discipline with certification supplemented by six (6) years of experience in counseling, assessment, employer relations or rehabilitation technology.

2) Current employees with a Master’s Degree in appropriate area of discipline supplemented by two (2) years of professional experience in rehabilitation counseling, assessment, employer relations or rehabilitation technology. Certification will be required within three (3) years.

3) Current employees with a Bachelor’s Degree in appropriate area of discipline supplemented by two (2) years experience in a state vocational rehabilitation agency and the completion of a rehabilitation core curriculum met through in-service training or other strategies. Certification appropriate to the job will be required within six (6) years.

Employees will be required to obtain a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation or the appropriate discipline and obtain certification with the highest level of any national or State approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the area in which they are providing vocational rehabilitation services.

The following professional personnel classifications are included in the above standards:

1. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

2. Independent Living Counselor

3. Rehabilitation Instructor

4. Vocational Evaluator

5. Assistive Technology Specialist

6. Orientation and Mobility Specialist

 

OFB shall ensure that personnel in all classes of positions are adequately trained and prepared through a system of individual Career Development Plans. Personnel are referred to available on-line approved training programs through Universities, TACE and other training sources. Rehabilitation technology and significant research and information from studies of consumer needs and satisfaction surveys shall be emphasized in individual plans and in training programs. Funding for all training for human resource development activities including tuition, books, in-service training programs and individual career development plans is supported from the money received for the agency In-Service training grant. The funding for FFY 2012 is $17,791 under the basic award and $85,000 under the quality award.

Staff Development

The HRD components of training, organizational development and career development form the basis of the Human Resource Development Plan. Staff career development is a combination of education, training and experience related to their specific professional disciples. In order to adequately meet HRD needs of staff, OFB utilizes a variety of training resources and opportunities throughout the Region. OFB works with the general agency OVR and the Southeast TACE for our region identifying available resources to meet the training needs of staff.

Through a system of Individual Human Resource Development (HRD) OFB has developed procedures and activities to ensure that all employed personnel are appropriately and adequately trained and prepared. This includes standards that are consistent with national or state approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration or other comparable requirements that apply to the area in which such personnel are providing vocational rehabilitation services.

OFB utilizes internal and external resources for training. Numerous specialized training seminars and programs are available throughout the state. When it is cost effective, the agency participates in national training opportunities. Employees participate in training, based on individual needs and career development plans. Employees then are asked to share the information with others as appropriate. OFB continues to provide training on the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 as well as training on the ADA, Workforce Investment Act and the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA).

Central office and other support staff as well as members of the State Rehabilitation Council will be included in all appropriate HRD activities. OFB is vested in using technology and is actively identifying potential web-based training programs that will allow staff the opportunity to utilize these alternative training methods for increased professional development. The agency is in the process of the design and implementation of an infrastructure for the provision of on-line learning (see section below on elearning). Currently, OFB staff access elearning through webinars and courses through outside educational and training sources. Information is circulated to staff from Region IV Southeast TACE Serving Individuals with Most Significant Disabilities Network News Flash (MSD Network News Flash) publication, Calendar Updates through RSA’s Community for Technical Assistance Network and other list serves.

Implementation, planning and coordination of HRD training activities are the responsibility of the HRD Unit. Currently, upon approval tuition assistance is available for all OFB staff if the course of study is directly related to their position. Priority is given to staff in crucial CSPD positions that are eligible for scholarship opportunities enabling them to work toward their Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling or other specialty areas such as Orientation and Mobility and Assistive Technology. In addition, The University of Kentucky has available RSA-CSPD Training Scholarships to employed state rehabilitation counselors to pursue a masters’ degree. The agency does give staff information and opportunities to utilize other university programs.

Career development allows employees the opportunity to develop and expand their career goals. At the new employee orientation, a training track on career development is conducted stressing that a career is a combination of education, training and experience related to a specific occupation. Staff is apprised that career development is the responsibility of each employee and his/her immediate supervisor and that career planning is managed and addressed in conjunction with the employee evaluation system. Individual career plans are developed for employees in conjunction with their initial performance plan that will provide opportunities for OFB personnel to upgrade their skills and qualifications and to advance within the agency to higher level paying positions. Career Plans are reviewed at the annual performance review in January and revised as needed.

The Office for the Blind conducts an annual training needs assessment used to provide appropriate in-service training programs; as well as provide information to update individual career development plans to meet identified needs. In 2010, a thorough assessment occurred for the purposes of submitting grant applications for the Basic and Quality Grant Awards. The following resources and data sets were utilized to identify the individual training needs of staff to formulate the project design. Surveys were developed and conducted specific to the following target audiences to assess the training needs of staff across the agency: 1) agency leadership, 2) agency staff, 3) consumers of services and advocacy organizations for the blind and visually impaired and 4) the State Rehabilitation Council. By surveying different target populations the agency was able to obtain information on training needs from different viewpoints across varying aspects. Training plans are based upon: (1) the findings of the needs assessment; (2) the agency’s specific goals and directions, and its continuous improvement initiatives; (3) training updates on the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998; (4) staff input regarding OFB issues; (5) State Rehabilitation Council and consumer input; (6) Federal priorities and (7) the Workforce Investment Act. In 2012, a needs assessment of staff was conducted and current needs are in keeping with the goals and objectives of the each of the training grants.

OFB is supportive of staff in keeping current with up to date best practices and makes sure that staff receive current research and practices. This is done through shared information through workshops, conferences, presentations, publications (Braille Monitor, Council of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind’s Journal of Vision Impairment and Blindness, and National Federation of the Blind, Reflections) as well as internet site resources.

Leadership Development/Capacity Building

The loss of veteran staff to retirements has leveled off and OFB is positioned at this time with a young workforce. For 2012 and year to date for 2013 there has been progress in the area of leadership program development for the agency rehabilitation staff for effective succession planning. There are four training objectives to accomplish under the basic training grant from FFY 2011 – 2015. In 2012, OFB worked with TACE on a customized approach for this objective to include: identification of leadership core competencies (management processes and leadership behaviors). Core Competencies were identified. Office for the Blind and Office of Vocational Rehabilitation training HRD staff worked jointly in the development of a leadership program that would cross both agencies and pool resources. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation had in place an existing leadership program. The program was revamped to include the core competencies identified. The Academy of Leadership Exploration and Preparedness program ALEAP I was launched in January of 2013. The program is aligned with both agencies with some differences given the scope of work of each. The program is designed to provide staff with opportunities to learn about and develop foundational skills. Nine Office for the Blind Staff completed the application process and have been accepted into ALEAP I. Staff first must participate in the prerequisite required courses (online and classroom setting) through the State Personnel Governmental Services Center. A total of eleven courses are required requiring 50 -60 hours of instruction. Upon satisfying ALEAP I set requirements staff are eligible to make application to ALEAP II.

OFB staff worked directly with Southeast TACE, Chip Kenny, and Director on the identification of technical assistance for the specific area of supervision recognizing a need for both the General and Blind Agencies. Subcontractors of TACE Sally Siewert and Anita Hope submitted a proposal for the supervisory series based on the needs of leadership. The training will take place in the FFY’s 2013 and 2014. Session 1 (3 days submitted needs assessment. ) The Art and Science of Supervision will be held the week of June 24 and Session 2 Performance Management – Process for Achieving Goals (4 days will be held the week of August 12). OFB has ten individuals enrolled in this activity.

In order to disseminate information on rehabilitation best practices, research and the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the Office for the Blind staff received and participated in the following trainings for 2012.

Assessment, Vocational Counseling and Job Placement

Dr. Wolffe, a TACE subcontractor was the trainer for a three (3) day workshop held March 27, 28 and 29 in 2012. There was 89 staff (85% of OFB staff) in attendance. The training objectives were: develop strategies for working with the most challenging individuals who present for rehabilitation services (for example, people with personality disorders, traumatic brain injury, dual disabilities, and so forth); learn how to effectively assess, instruct, and monitor application of skills when consumers are engaged in rehabilitation services; learn how center-based and field staff can team in the delivery of an employability skills training program using a structured learning approach and learn how best to work effectively with employers in job development, placement, and retention. All VR field and Rehabilitation staff participated jointly in the training to enhance teamwork. A committee of staff cohorts was formed to look at the design and implementation of an employability skills program made up of agency field and center staff.

Rehabilitation Technology

OFB will continue to support and provide training relevant to rehabilitation technology. Assistive Technology staff attended the University of Kentucky 9th Annual Institute in Assistive Technology in June of 2012. The agency hosted an assistive technology conference in 2012. The theme was “2012 AT Odyssey A New Vision” and the two day event was held at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky on September 18 and 19. The purpose of the statewide Expo was to increase awareness and provide current information on assistive technology specific to the needs of individuals who are blind and visually impaired. The in-service training grant funding allowed us to obtain nationally known speakers knowledgeable in the field of assistive technology. The Expo demonstrated a variety of technology applications and featured exhibitors from the field of visual impairment. The response from the public, consumers, community rehabilitation providers and area employers participating in this event was larger than anticipated. There were 248 individuals attending the conference (staff, consumers, vendors, school VI teachers, state rehabilitation council members, general agency staff, and university staff). Of those 248 attendees 93 were Office for the Blind Staff. The expo provided staff the opportunity to view a wide range of adaptive products that are both high and low tech including communication devices, computer access products, aids for daily living and devices for people who are blind or have hearing loss. The AT Expo was free and open to the public. The response was overwhelming validating that through this objective a huge need for this specialized area was met. The conference offered attendees different workshops for the area of Assistive Technology and employment, recreation and transition for the blind and visually impaired and deaf blind. CEU’s were awarded to attendees for the areas of: CRC, RESNA and ACVREP. The conference overall received stellar ratings. The main question that OFB now must answer is how we sustain this activity in the upcoming years. The positive response to the event was overwhelming. Many states hold an annual technology expo sponsored by the State Assistive Technology Network. For Kentucky, this was a unique EXPO sponsored by the State agency that serves the blind and visually impaired. The specific focus on assistive technology applications for the blind and visually impaired had a direct impact on the professional development of staff.

Dissemination of Knowledge from Research and Other Sources

Current information and research in the field of rehabilitation received by the Office for the Blind is distributed to staff statewide or if applicable posted on our website as a document or as a link to obtain pertinent information. IRI journals, The Braille Monitor, The Braille Forum, Future Reflections, the Journal of Vision Impairments, and other journals and publications specific to the field are distributed to staff. Staff can make specific requests for information and research is done in the area for specific needed information to determine the need to subscribe to a publication or purchase books or materials for the staff. Information on Webinars are distributed to all staff via email on a weekly if not daily basis.

OFB has representation on the Region IV Employment Partner’s Team. This allows state agency personnel from the Southeast and across the Nation to enhance their skills and share resources. OFB is able to leverage regional employer relationships and enhance our strategies for achieving successful employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

National and Regional Training

OFB makes every effort to have representation at and participate in national and regional training events. In 2012 OFB staff attended the following: 1) the Fifth Annual Program Evaluation: Quality Assurance in September of 2012, Texas; 2) the 51th Annual American Council of the Blind Conference in July in Louisville, KY 3) OFB Executive Director and Administration staff represented the agency at CSAVR/NCSAB Fall and Spring Conference; 4) one staff attended the National Transition Conference in May in Washington D.C. 5) Two Bioptic Driving Staff attended the 36th Annual ADED Conference and Exhibits, “Making a Difference in Kansas City in July of 2012; 6) One staff attended the Employment Conference in Arlington, VA and 7) the Deaf Blind Coordinator attended the South east Regional Institute on Deafness in Chattanooga, TN.

New Employee Orientation

In FFY 2012, based on staffing patterns, orientation for new employees was held November 14 – 17. There was 11 staff in attendance. Participant evaluation forms yielded a rating of 2 or above for an above average rating for 100% of staff. 11/11 or 100% of new hires has retained their employment. All the required federal, state and agency components were covered. New employee orientation gives a comprehensive overview of the agency history and current organization, with modules on agency structure, cultural diversity, rehabilitation and blindness, informed choice, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and amendments, Workforce Investment Act, State Plan, consumer services, The ADA, disability awareness, sexual harassment, and workplace violence, eye diseases and terminology, assistive technology and low vision devices, the vending program, deaf blindness, standards and indicators, career development, marketing, confidentiality and the Client Assistance Program. New Employee Orientation will be held in the fall and spring of each federal calendar year based on staff hiring patterns.

In House and State Sponsored Training Events

In 2012, staff participated in several in house and other state trainings offered. OFB staff attended the following state conferences: 1) Kentucky 2012 APSE held in Louisville. 2) Kentucky Association of Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (KAER) in March of 2012 3) Kentucky Rehabilitation Association (KRA) 2012 Conference in September in Louisville 4) KY National Federation for the Blind State Conference in September in Louisville 5) KY American Council for the Blind State Conference in November in Louisville , 6) 9th Annual Summer Institute in Assistive Technology in June 7) the Kentucky Association on Higher Education and Disability ( KYAHEAD) Conference in May, Cadiz, KY and 8) IL staff participated in the 29th Annual Summer Series on Aging in Lexington hosted by the University of Kentucky. Staff participated in teleconferences, webinars and online trainings through the New England ADA Center “Overview of Disability Rights Laws”, and TACE webinars (mental illness, working with offenders, negotiating with employers, vocational planning, asset building, transition, financial stability and employment, traumatic brain injury and career development). Staff participated in other trainings and seminars such as, “Cultivating a Diverse Mindset in the Workplace”, “Offender Employment Specialist: Building Bridges”, and “Defusing the Angry Customer”. Staff participated in trainings provided through the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Office for Employee and Organizational Development at Kentucky State University (State Government Ethics, Anti-Harassment and Work Place Violence, Facilitation Skills, Personal and Shared Accountability, Performance Evaluations, Hiring & Selection Process, Conflict Management, Valuing Employee Input and Foundations of Leadership). Staff participated in training through the KY Finance and Administration Cabinet and Training at the Tower (Outlook). At the Charles W. McDowell Center monthly mini trainings were held for staff on a variety of topics identified through a needs assessment. The training topics covered were: “OFB Policies and Procedures”, “The Impact of Intellectual Disability”, “Basic Nutrition and Diabetes”, “Deaf/Blind Resources” “The ADA”, “Personal Accountability”, and Shared Accountability”. VR field (counselors, assistants and other support staff) received in house training on the following: 1) Case Management System/Coding, 2) Case Reviews, 3) Case Statuses, 4) Teamwork, and 5) Policies and Procedures (post secondary training and cataract).

CRC credits were awarded to certified counselors attending trainings for approved for content area.

Ticket to Work/Benefits Planning

In 2012, one OFB staff VR Counselor participated in the WIPA CWIC training and through the VCU Work Incentive Planning and Assistance National Training Center. This individual received full certification. The staff that has oversight of the coordination of the case management system and social security participates in monthly Ticket to Work teleconferences through the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Effective Practices Webinar Series and Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE). This individual also participated in Ticket-to-Work training through SSA. Staff is knowledgeable regarding work incentive resources that are available on line and at no cost. As of June of 2013 the staff (VR Counselor) that received certification is no longer with the agency. Staff were trained and are knowledgeable of the process to obtain Benefits Analysis services through a BIN Liaison or a certified a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC).

On-line/ Elearning

Under the Quality In-Service Training Grant the target goal for this objective is the development and implementation of an online training program with 50 participants. There was moderate progress for this objective the first year of the grant. A memorandum of understanding is in place covering 50 Angel seats, elearning development, training, server streaming and instructional design support between the Office for the Blind and Postsecondary Education. There were several barriers during the first grant cycle year of 2010. In 2012 the project director and administrative staff assigned to the online course development met with Kentucky Virtual staff and an instructional design consultant. Currently three courses are in the design stage. They are Career Development, Documentation, and Confidentiality. In February staff again met with Kentucky Virtual for a two hour training on editing of the set courses. Administrative Staff are enrolled and participating in an online ANGEL Administrator Fundamentals Course. Curriculum design framework is completed for the New Employee Orientation. The elearning program modules are not ready for implementation. Given the volume of learning of staff and the design of the curriculum in ANGEL, progress has been slower than anticipated. This has proved to be the most challenging under the grant project as staff were not knowledgeable and did not possess a skill set for online course development or design.

Another project continued into 2012 was increasing the competency and effectiveness of Older Independent (age 55 and older) Blind and Independent Living (under 55) staff through distance learning. OFB purchased three site licenses from the American Foundation for the Blind for Bowling Green, Louisville, and Lexington for staff to access the elearning statewide. The training addresses the many aspects, implications, and far-reaching effects that vision loss has on an individual, the family, and society containing Four Modules with multiple sessions under each. All IL/OIB staff continued their participation for the elearning series in 2012 with a target date of completion for all staff in 2013. The elearning series is open to all employees of the agency. Under this site license staff also have opportunities to participate in elearning webinars through the American Foundation for the Blind on pertinent topics such as “Contrast and Lighting”, “Reading without Seeing” and “Glaucoma”. CRC and ACVREP ceu’s are awarded per courses under each module.

Department of Workforce Development Cabinet Training: Workforce Academy

Kentucky’s transformational objectives include 25 initiatives designed to form a user friendly, customer-centric system that brings alignment to education, economic development and workforce activities. The WorkSmart Kentucky Plan lays out the foundation to improve operational collaboration at both the state and local levels. Workforce Staff are involved in the committees and activities of the initiatives. The initiatives are focused on systems change. One initiative, Workforce Academy will provide training for all partners at every level of the system to be demand-driven and solutions based. An outside contractor, Maher & Maher worked with the State on the development of Workforce Academy. In 2012, a Needs Assessment was completed along with the identification of competencies. Upon review of the Needs Analysis Repot the design and development of a training curriculum occurred. Training on the core curriculum overview was held and an Instructor Led Training Trainer’s Guide was developed. An initial train the-trainer program was conducted in June of 2012 and instructions were delivered on establishing a regional training plan. Two webinars were held for updates to leadership and a second train-the-trainer session was completed. Four out of ten state regional training plans were submitted and approved by September. Workforce Academy is a statewide training required for all Department of Workforce Staff. All Office for the Blind staff will participate in Workforce Academy in the upcoming 2013 FFY. This first phase of Workforce Academy “Foundations for the Future: Building Kentucky’s 21st Century Workforce System consists of Four Modules that will occur weekly across the state in each of the Workforce Regions. Staff will be assigned by cohorts with other workforce staff from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Office of Employment and Training, WIA, and other partner staff. The Modules are: 1) Building a Foundation for Transformation, 2) Building a Future for Kentucky’s Workforce System, 3) Setting the Standard and 4) Putting It Altogether My Local Plan of Action.

 

Communication with Diverse Populations

OFB staff works with the Assistive Technology Unit and the Accessible Textbook Services to ensure that all materials are presented in the most accessible mode of communication that the consumer requires. The Accessible Textbook Unit also assists with producing training manuals and other job related information (personnel manuals, safety information) for consumers and their employers. All agency counselors are involved in an inter-agency project with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) for Deaf-Blind intervention and receive extensive training in techniques for working with individuals who are Deaf-Blind. OFB has one individual designated to function as the Deaf-Blind Coordinator who has her MRC and is a CRC that works with the OVR in this area. The Deaf-Blind Coordinator provides training at the annual regional staff meetings to VR field staff. On-going training opportunities ensure that skill levels are maintained or increased.

OFB utilizes a Williams Sound FM system for consumer and staff usage. The system will accommodate ten (10) individuals who are hard of hearing. The FM system is utilized for consumer meetings, trainings, conferences, counseling and other service activities. The FM system works for one speaker and several listeners. Counselors have access to Pocket Talkers utilized for conversing one on one with individuals who are hard of hearing. In order to accommodate consumers with different levels of hearing loss, OFB has a variety of headphones for use such as head earphones, mon/bi/ in the ear, and neck loops for hearing aids that work with the FM system and Pocket Talker.

ASL and Foreign Language Interpreters are contracted as necessary to ensure that individuals who are deaf or who are from diverse cultural backgrounds and need interpreters to access services will be able to communicate in their native languages. Certified interpreters shall provide interpreter services for the deaf. Voice Description is provided for any videos and classroom teaching techniques. All materials utilized and distributed by the OFB are available in an accessible format, including large print, cassette tape, CD ROM, disc, audio recordings, Spanish or Braille with respect to the individual’s informed choice. In an effort to assist staff with communication in a foreign language with consumers as needed Language Line is available as a resource.

 

Coordination Of Comprehensive System Of Personnel Development Under The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

OFB shall coordinate its CSPD plans within the Kentucky Personnel System, to match the standards and qualifications of our personnel with personnel development under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, and the standards under the Rehabilitation Act, as amended.

The Kentucky Interagency Transition Council meets on a quarterly basis to address continued fulfillment of the Kentucky Interagency Agreement on Transition Services for Youth With Disabilities. The Office for the Blind, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Education are three of the twelve state agencies that are parties to the agreement. One of the provisions of this agreement is cooperative training and staff development concerning transition issues. OFB staff attend Community Based Work Transition training offered by the University of Kentucky‘s Institute for Human Development (HDI). In addition, staff attend the statewide annual Kentucky Association of Blind Educators Conference each year receiving valuable training and resources.

Rehabilitation counselors work collaboratively with the special education cooperatives, high school education teachers, local directors of special education, and job coaches for students transitioning from high school into employment. OFB Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors attend IEP and ARC meetings working with the team in establishing a vocational goal. This assures the development of the students IPE in conjunction with the vocational rehabilitation IEP. OFB provides support to teaching instructors, school staff and job coaches regarding blindness issues and other areas of expertise such as Orientation and Mobility and Assistive Technology to ensure successful placements. Often rural schools do not have the needed resources; therefore OFB staff offer their expertise based on the individual needs of the student working closely with all staff involved with IDEA.

The State Rehabilitation Council

Members of the State Rehabilitation Council participate in planning and implementation of HRD activities, marketing and public relations, satisfaction of services annual reporting and they are involved in professional development conferences as part of the planning process and as participants. The State Rehabilitation Council had the opportunity to give input, review and comment on the development of the plan and related policies and procedures at the quarterly meetings held in October, February, May and November of 2012. The Council’s Special Projects Committee works directly with the agency for this purpose as well as the Business Opportunities and Public Relations committees.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 10:28AM by Cora Mcnabb

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.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2012 3:43PM by Cora Mcnabb

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

Kentucky’s population based on U.S. Census 2012 estimated data is 4,380, 415. In 2011, the prevalence of disability in Kentucky was 17.1% are reported to have a disability with 3.0% reporting a visual disability and the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities was 31.3 percent. (2011 Disability Status Report, Employment and Disability Institute at the Cornell University ILR School). Prevent Blindness America reports that of that population 3,046,951 aged 18 years and older have vision impairments or an age-related eye disease. There are 16,802 individuals aged 40 and older who are blind and 37,503 who have low vision or 2.6% of the population. This does not include counts of individuals under the age of 40. Prevent Blindness reports that “If appropriate preventive steps are not taken, costs will burgeon as the population of Kentucky ages and life expectancy increases. The number of Kentucky residents with impaired vision, including blindness, could more than double over the next three decades”. For FFY 2014 the Kentucky Office for the Blind will have one category out of four open in Order of Selection.

The following charts give data that represents estimated performance for FY 2014 under this State Plan based on historical data from prior years. The estimated service and category numbers are reflective of the average number of new applicants that we expect to receive in 2013 and it is inclusive of the carryover of consumers from the prior year. The costs are reflective of the actual direct service cost to consumers for the current year to date 2013 and the prior service costs for 2012.

They are not inclusive of indirect costs associated with those services. These goals are reflective of rising cost in tuition (3% across the state), medical care, and additional state funding cuts. According to an April 18, 2013 press release through The Council on Postsecondary Education tuition rate increase were approved at a 3 percent ceiling for the coming academic year for in-state undergraduate students at Kentucky’s public colleges and universities. This represents the smallest average tuition increase for Kentucky public institutions in 15 years.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there is an uninsured population of 15 percent (659,900) in the Commonwealth. Diabetes, a leading cause of eye problems in Kentucky population rates are currently at 10% compared to US rates of 8.7%. Again, Kentucky is ranked number one in the nation for the percentage of Blind & Disabled SSI recipients currently at 4 % of the state population.

Kentucky’s workforce is one of the nation’s least healthy, and the state has a disproportionate number of working-age people who are not in the workforce because of health problems. The state ranks first in smoking, cancer deaths and preventable hospitalizations; second in heart disease and poor physical-health days; third in heart attacks and poor mental-health days; and in the top 10 in diabetes, cholesterol and sedentary lifestyles.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate rose to 8 percent in March from 7.9 percent in February 2013, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary March 2013 jobless rate was .2 percentage points below the 8.2 percent rate recorded for the state in March 2012. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased to 7.6 percent in March 2013 from 7.7 percent in February 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

This grid reflects the estimated numbers taking into consideration that as of April 1, 2013 Category One is the only category open for the 6 months remaining in FFY 2013 and that for FY 2014 year it takes into account that Categories Two and Three are closed. However, included in the estimated amounts are services needed by any eligible individuals in Categories Two and Three who began to receive services under an individualized plan for employment prior to the effective date of the order of selection closing of additional categories (April 1, 2013), irrespective of the severity of the eligible individual’s disability; and individuals requiring post employment services.

2014 Estimated Outcome Goals and Timeframes 10/1/2013 through 9/30/2014

Category One

Estimate to be Served - 1,020

Estimated of Employment Outcomes- 240

Estimated Average Costs Per person - $1,520

Estimated Associated Costs per Category - $1,550,000

Category Two

Although this category is closed numbers are associated with those individuals who began to receive services under an individualized plan for employment prior to the effective date of the order of selection closing of additional categories.

Estimated to be served -175

Estimated of Employment Outcomes- 75

Estimated Average Costs Per Person - $1,571

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category - $275,000

Category Three

Although this category is closed numbers are associated with those individuals who began to receive services under an individualized plan for employment prior to the effective date of the order of selection closing of additional categories.

Estimated to be Served - 18

Estimated of Employment Outcomes - 8

Estimated Average Costs Per person - $1,667

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category - $30,000

Category Four

None

Total Associated Estimates for 2014

Total Estimate to be Served - 1,213

Total Estimated of Employment Outcomes - 323

Total Average Costs Per Person - $1,586

Total Estimated Costs Per Category - $1,855,000

Projected performance for FFY 2014 under Title VI, Part B

Estimate of to be served - 35

Total Associated Costs - $62,000

Average Estimated Costs per person-$1,771.43

Employment Outcomes Estimated - 5

*Expenditures exceeding the Title VI-B 2011 allotment will be covered with funds from the 110 program.

CATEGORY DEFINITIONS:

Priority Categories means the following rank of categories of eligible individuals to be followed in the order of selection:

A. Priority Category One Eligible individuals with the most significant disability whose severe impairment seriously limits three (3) or more functional capacities in terms of employment outcome; and whose rehabilitation requires two (2) or more services over an extended period of time.

B. Priority Category Two - Eligible individuals with a significant disability whose severe impairment limits two (2) functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and whose rehabilitation requires two (2) or more services over an extended period of time. (This category is closed effective April 1, 2013)

C. Priority Category Three - Eligible individuals with a non-significant disability whose impairment seriously limits one (1) functional capacity in terms of an employment outcome and whose rehabilitation requires two (2) or more services over a period of time. (This category is closed effective April 1, 2013).

D. Priority Category Four – All other individuals. (This category is closed

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
One Title I $1,550,000 1,020 $1,519
Two Title I $275,000 175 $1,571
Three Title I $30,000 18 $1,666
Totals   $1,855,000 1,213 $1,529

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 4:59PM by Cora Mcnabb

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.

ATTACHMENT 4.11 (c)(1): State’s Goals and Priorities

The Kentucky Office for the Blind’s mission is: To provide opportunities for employment and independence to individuals with visual disabilities. This attachment identifies the goals and priorities of the State in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs. Identified in this section are the revisions in the goals and priorities for FFY 2013-2015 developed collaboratively with the State Rehabilitation Council based on the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment.

The Special Projects Committee reviewed the input received for the 2014 State Plan in relation to the five goals, strategies and innovation and expansion activities existing in the plan at the Janauary 25, 2013 meeting. At the meeting the committee made a recommendation to the full Council to accept the following proposed goals for the 2014 State Plan. The motion was passed by the full Council.

Based on the input received there are six concise and measurable goal areas set based on the 2012 Statewide Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, an analysis of the Agency’s performance on the federal Standards and Indicators, real time data from the case management system, the results of the satisfaction survey and the strategic planning process as well as the findings and recommendations from monitoring activities conducted under section 107.

1. OFB will exceed or meet the federal Standards and Indicators annually.

2. To increase opportunities for independent living and improve the quality of vocational rehabilitation services for Kentuckians with visual disabilities in order for them to prepare for, obtain, maintain, or regain competitive employment.

3. Use resources effectively and efficiently in order to maximize funds in serving individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired in the Commonwealth.

4. KBE will provide full-time employment and career opportunities for Kentuckians who are legally blind, while providing quality vending and food services for government and business.

5. To develop, design and implement a professional development leadership program for the agency rehabilitation staff for effective succession planning.

6. Enhance and build Office for the Blind internal and external collaborative relationships and Partnerships to advance opportunities for individuals to progress toward independence and employment.

The following Priorities were established:

• Increase supported employment outcomes and other supports to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with most significant disabilities.

• Develop and implement a statewide model for more effectively serving the transition population

EVALUATION ASSURANCE

The Agency in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council shall conduct an annual evaluation to determine the extent to which these priorities have been achieved, and if not achieved, the reasons that they were not achieved, and a description of alternative approaches that will be taken. The annual evaluation shall be conducted at such time as to permit the consideration of findings in the development of the State Plan and its annual updates.

If the annual evaluation determines that specific goals have not been achieved, alternative plans shall be developed, with the advice of the State Rehabilitation Council and from findings of the evaluation, focus group surveys, consumer satisfaction surveys, public forums and consumer planning workshops.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2013 1:16PM by Cora Mcnabb

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

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires an Order of Selection of individuals to be served, ensuring that individuals who have the most significant disabilities will be given first priority whenever all eligible individuals who apply cannot be served. The State Rehabilitation Council will be consulted regarding the need to establish the priority categories and the administration of Order of Selection consistent with 34 CFR 361.36. OFB monitors services and expenditures on an ongoing basis to determine the need to open or close categories.

The following list includes factors that are considered in making the determination for changes to or the continuation of Order of Selection:

1) Availability of state general funds to match available federal VR funds

2) All Fiscal Resources carryover funding, program income, ARRA funds

3) Annual imposed state fiscal budget cuts

4) Staff capacity in relation to the set personnel cap

5) Application, referral and caseload trends including I & R and the Waiting List

6) Costs associated with the purchase of services (tuition, medical restoration)

7) Estimated costs of services identified in the individual plan for employment

8) SRC, Consumer and Stakeholder Input

The order of selection gives first priority to those individuals with the most significant disabilities as defined by the OFB. The criterion to determine individuals with the most significant disabilities and the subsequent order of categories to be followed in selection of individuals to be provided services, is based on a refinement of the criteria set forth in the definition of individual with a significant disability, specifically, the degree by which an individual’s impairment seriously limits his or her functional capacities and the number of rehabilitation services needed by an individual.

Justification of Order of Selection

The Kentucky Office for the Blind is operating under a statewide Order of Selection due to budget constraints and a significant decrease in state funding.

The initial date for implementation of Order of Selection was January 1, 1995. There were Five Priority Categories with only eligible individuals in Priority Categories One through Four being served. The effective date was May 4, 2007 for additional changes to Order of Selection. During the 2003 site monitoring with RSA, OFB staff consulted with RSA representatives on the Order of Selection and the need for regulatory changes. Category Five was removed and definition changes were made to Categories One through Four refining the criteria to be closely aligned with the federal policy.

FFY 2012 Review

During FFY 2012 budgets and fiscal resources were reviewed monthly by agency management. Information was presented to the State Rehabilitation Council at each quarterly meeting. The enacted General Fund appropriation for FY 2013 in the amount of $1,203,100 will continue to prevent OFB from meeting the required match to draw down all available federal Basic Support funds. In fact, it will take an additional $469,900 above the proposed appropriation in order to fully meet match for FFY 2013. Since FY 2009, OFB has seen dramatic reductions in its matching sources. The General Fund has been reduced by 12% or $134,000, while the other sources of match from the Business Enterprises Program (BE) and the McDowell Rehabilitation Center (MRC) bond interest/depreciation have been reduced by 44% or $466,000. The effects of this loss have been delayed for the past two years by the addition of over $1.8M in federal stimulus funds. However, in FFY 2012 OFB is faced with a 20% reduction in revenue, or $2 M less than received in FFY 2011 discounting stimulus funds.

Based on a thorough analysis of OFB’s entire budget through an administrative cost review by the Executive Director, Director of Consumer Services, Regional Managers, and Fiscal staff a cost savings plan was developed and implemented on February 7, 2012.

The decision was made to implement changes to the Cataract and Training Policies. Draft policies were submitted to RSA staff and the State Rehabilitation Council for input and feedback. Four public hearings across the state were scheduled to give consumers and other interested individuals an opportunity to comment on proposed changes to OFB policies. The three areas under consideration for changes are the training assistance policy, cataract surgery policy and order of selection. Based on input from the State Rehabilitation Council, the public hearings and RSA staff revisions were made to the draft policies. The revised draft policies are pending review with RSA. Potential cutbacks in operations at the McDowell Center Rehabilitation Center were covered as well. Currently the Center shuts down four weeks out of the year and there is consideration to potentially increasing the closure to eight weeks and on weekends. Individuals unable to attend a forum may send comments in any format (written, phone call, in person, etc.) through May 31, 2012. Draft policies were posted at http://blind.ky.gov for review prior to the hearings. Alternative formats of draft policies were available upon request.

At the submission of the 2013 State Plan, based on the information the decision was made not to make any changes to the categories for OOS. Categories one, two and three will remain open and Category 4 will remain closed for the FFY 2012. The full council was informed of the results of the review and consulted regarding the decision. The timeline for this will be a year, unless the agency’s financial situation changes as a result of increased referrals or there is an additional loss of funds utilized to serve these individuals. In 2012, agency staff and the SRC will review on a quarterly basis data on numbers served, the number placed on a waiting list, and agency fiscal resources to determine the need to open or close categories. There is a strong possibility that the decision may occur based on fiscal resources to close additional categories in 2013.

• In FFY 2012 there were four cases closed in Out of Selection (2PC4 and 2 PC3). Six were placed on a waiting list remaining at the end of the year.

• Year to date for FFY 2013 there are a total of 32 consumers determined eligible for services in Priority Categories 2, 3 and 4.

• Administrative expenses in 2012 were lower; however not enough to cover the expenses .

• Given the inability of the agency to match federal funds due to state general fund cuts the carry forward of dollars into 2013 as reported on the RSA-2 was $113,492.

• Revenues were higher in FFY 2012 and year to date 2013 with an overall increase in program income; however not enough to cover the expenses.

• Current average year to date for 2012 caseload size is 78.

FFY 2013 Review

As reported in last year’s State Plan, agency staff and the SRC reviewed on a quarterly basis data on numbers served, the number placed on a waiting list, and agency fiscal resources to determine the need to open or close categories. The decision was made based on fiscal resources to close additional categories in April of 2013. During FFY 2013 budgets and fiscal resources were reviewed monthly by agency management. Information was presented to the State Rehabilitation Council at each quarterly meeting. The Office for the Blind continued to endure fiscal deficits that resulted in cuts from all aspects including administration. While efforts in reduction of expenses created some savings it was not enough to offset the deficit. Additionally the next federal fiscal year will continue with a larger deficit based on the agency’s current spending and revenue.

Unfortunately, the loss of state funds the past five years has resulted in the agency unable to match $4,481,801 of federal funds therefore leaving those federal dollars for other states to utilize. The current agency deficit of $1.2 million would require $255,600 in state funds to draw over $944,400 of available federal funds for this current federal fiscal year. The continued failure to meet the federal match is estimated to have an overall negative state fiscal impact of $5,436,425.

During the month of February, public hearings were held across the state to solicit input from our consumers, staff, and advocates to share comments regarding the annual revisions to the State Plan and the decision to close priority categories two and three with an effective date of April 1, 2013. Five public hearings were held across the state in Lexington, Florence, Louisville, Hazard and Paducah.

Given that the Executive Director and agency leadership were transparent in their communications regarding the financial status of OFB with the State Rehabilitation Council and the leadership of the advocacy organizations they were supportive of the decision to close categories. Based on a thorough analysis of OFB’s entire budget through an administrative cost review by the Executive Director, Executive Leadership Team, and the State Rehabilitation Council priority categories two and three were closed on April 1, 2013.

• In FFY 2013 year to date there are 32 consumers determined eligible for services and placed on a waiting list. They are as follows: 21 PC2, 2 PC3 and 8PC4.

• Year to date for FFY 2013 there was 1 consumers determined eligible for services in PC3 that made the decision not to be placed on a waiting list and requested that their case be closed.

• Year to date Administrative expenses in 2013 are lower with cost effective measures that were implemented.

• Given the inability of the agency to match federal funds due to state general fund cuts it is anticipated that there will be no carry forward of dollars into 2014.

• Current average year to date for 2013 caseload size is 79 which is a decrease of around 11% from 2011 ( 89).

 

Description of Priority categories

Order of Selection Priority Categories

Currently the agency has four priority categories with Priority Category One, Two and Three Open and Priority Category Four Closed. They are as follows:

A. Priority Category One Eligible individuals with the most significant disability whose severe impairment seriously limits three (3) or more functional capacity in terms of employment outcome; and whose rehabilitation requires two (2) or more services over an extended period of time. (Open)

B. Priority Category Two - Eligible individuals with a significant disability whose severe impairment limits two (2) functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and whose rehabilitation requires two (2) or more services over an extended period of time. (This category is closed)

C. Priority Category Three - Eligible individuals with a non- significant disability whose impairment seriously limits one (1) functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and whose rehabilitation requires two (2) or more services over a period of time. (This category is closed)

D. Priority Category Four – All other individuals. (This category is closed).

DEFINITIONS

1. Applicant means an individual who has submitted an application for vocational rehabilitation services. An individual is considered to have submitted an application when the individual, or the individual’s representative, as appropriate, has filled out and signed an agency application form or has otherwise submitted a signed written request for services, and the individual is available for an assessment to determine eligibility and priority for services.

2. Legally Blind, as defined in Kentucky Revised Statutes 163.460 (2), means a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.

3. Visually Impaired, as defined in Kentucky Revised Statutes 163.460 (3), means a condition of the eye with correction, which constitutes or progressively results for the individual in a substantial disability to employment.

4. Eligible Individual means an individual with a primary impairment of blindness or another visual impairment, who the Office for the Blind (OFB) has determined is an individual with a disability who requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in, retain or advance in employment.

5. Functional Capacities means the following:

A. Orientation and Mobility: The ability to travel independently to and from destinations in the community;

B. Self-Care: means the ability to engage in activities of daily living including: personal grooming; home management; health and safety needs;

C. Communication: The ability to comprehend, respond, and exchange information through: spoken words; written words, sign language, Braille, concepts, gestures or another means;

D. Work Skills: The ability to do specific tasks required for a particular job;

E. Work Tolerance: The ability to sustain required levels of functioning in work related activities with or without accommodations;

F. Interpersonal Skills: The ability to make and maintain personal, family and community relationships; and

G. Self-Direction: The ability to independently plan, initiate, problem solve, organize and carry out goal-directed activities.

6. Individual With a Significant Disability, as defined in Section 7 (21) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, means:

A. An individual with a disability as defined under Section 7 (20) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998;

B. Who has a significant physical or mental impairment, which for such individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and seriously limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome;

C. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and

D. Who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disabilities, end stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitations.

7. Individual With The Most Significant Disability means an eligible individual with a significant disability whose severe impairment seriously limits three (3) or more functional capacities in terms of employment outcome; and whose rehabilitation requires two (2) or more services over an extended period of time.

8. Presumption of Eligibility for Social Security Recipients and Beneficiaries means that an individual who has been determined eligible under Title I or Title XVI of the Social Security Act is:

• Considered to be an individual with a significant disability; and

• Presumed to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under Title I (provided the individual intends to achieve an employment outcome consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual) unless the office can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that such individual is incapable of benefiting from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of employment outcome due to the severity of the disability of the individual.

9. Order Of Selection means the order to be followed in determining which priority categories of eligible individuals shall be provided vocational rehabilitation services when the Office for the Blind does not have funds to provide such services to all eligible individuals ensuring that first priority for services is given to those individuals who have the most significant disabilities.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

ORDER OF SELECTION SERVICE

DETERMINATION AND ADMINISTRATION

1. If the Executive Director and State Rehabilitation Council determine that the agency lacks available funds to serve all consumers, the office shall follow an order of selection to give priority for services according to a ranking of categories of consumers based on the severity of the disability. The Executive Director of the Office for the Blind shall direct the order of selection by designating in written memorandum, the priority categories to be served.

2. Order of Selection will not use any of the following factors in determining eligible individuals:

• Residency duration,

• type of disability; age, gender, race, color, or national origin,

source of referral,

• type of expected employment outcome,

• need for specific services or anticipated cost of services,

• or the income level of the individual or its family.

3. The order of selection shall be implemented on a statewide basis.

4. The order of selection shall be implemented to assure that eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities are provided services before other eligible individuals.

5. The order of selection shall not affect:

a) The acceptance of referrals and applicants;

b) the provision of assessment services to determine whether an

individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, and

the individual’s priority under the order of selection;

c) services needed by any eligible individual who has begun to

receive services under an individualized plan for employment

prior to the effective date of the order of selection, rrespective

of the severity of the eligible individual’s disability; and

d) individuals requiring post employment services.

6. The office will ensure that all funding arrangements for providing services under the State plan, including third-party arrangements and awards under the establishment authority, are consistent with the order of selection.

7. An eligible individual shall be immediately reclassified into a higher priority category whenever appropriate justification exists in the case record of the individual.

8. The office shall conduct an assessment to determine whether an individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and the individual’s priority under the order of selection. The VR Counselor determines the eligibility of the individual and their priority category based on a review of the data from the assessment which may include but is not inclusive of:

a) Ophthalmology and Optometrist vision reports

b) Functional Limitations Checklist

c) Medical and Psychological Reports

d) Educational Background

e) Work History

f) Other pertinent information

9. In the order of selection each eligible individual within a closed priority category shall be placed on a waiting list until such time as the priority category is opened. The process for the waiting list is as follows:

a) Once an individual has been determined eligible within a closed priority category by the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor the individual will receive notification through the counselor in writing of:

1) Their assignment to a particular category;

2) the priority categories currently being served;

3) their right to appeal their category assignment and the

availability of the Client Assistance Program (CAP);

4) information and referral services; and

5) they are given the option to be placed on a waiting list by

date of application until such a time the priority category

can be opened and the individual employment plan can be

developed and initiated.

b) The waiting list will be maintained by the Director of Consumer Services.

c) The waiting list will be reviewed quarterly by the Director of Consumer Services and Regional Managers.

d) Consumers will be contacted annually to inform them the status of Order of Selection and their specific priority category. Additional information (I & R) will be given. The consumer will be asked regarding their preference for remaining on the waiting list.

e) At the time when funds become adequate and a priority category will be opened the following sequence of action will occur for those individuals in a closed category:

1) Priority Category Two, will be opened first and then sequentially Category Three and Four and individuals on the waiting list will be served by date of application based on availability of funding.

10. The office will assure that eligible individuals, who do not meet the order of selection criteria for the priority categories, shall have access to services provided through the information and referral system in accordance to the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. These services will include referral to other Federal and State programs including the statewide workforce investment programs. The process for this is as follows:

a) The agency will provide the individual with a notice of referral;

b) the notice will contain a point of contact for the program or service; an individual is being referred to and;

c) any relevant information regarding services for the individual

relating to the preparation, securing, obtaining or retaining of

employment; and d) documentation of the nature and scope of information and referral services provided will be included in the individual service record and entered in the Case Management System (CMS).

11. Individuals who are presumed to be significantly disabled because they receive SSA benefits will be further assessed to determine if they meet the agency’s criteria for “individual with a most significant disability.”

12. Consumers making the decision not to be placed on a waiting list after they receive notification of their priority category will be closed. They will receive notification from their VR Counselor that their case will close and of their right to appeal the agency’s decision, including information on how to contact CAP. The notification will include information on how they may reapply for services in the future if their circumstances change or if the agency makes changes to order of selection.

Notification and Appeal

When a request for services by an eligible individual is affected by the order of selection, the individual shall be immediately notified of such in writing, and provided with information on procedures for individual rights for appeal, and how the Client Assistance Program may provide help in the process.

Changes in Order of Selection Priority Categories

Annually, prior to the beginning of each fiscal year the Executive Director, State Rehabilitation Council and Management Staff will reevaluate the agency circumstances to determine whether or not the agency’s resources are sufficient in serving all individuals or there is a need to implement, establish or make changes in order of Selection. At such time that the agency finds that it is able to serve those individuals in any closed priority category, that category will be re-opened. If the Agency finds that they have the resources to serve some individuals but not all individuals in a priority category the date of application will be utilized as a criterion for ranking individuals within a priority category. The timeline for this would be a year, unless the agency’s financial situation should change drastically. Circumstances that would allow this to occur include a decrease in the number of referrals or other sources that would result in additional funds, which could be utilized to serve these individuals.

When a priority category is to be opened for services, the Executive Director shall issue an implementing memorandum to staff, with instructions that appropriate services delayed under the order of selection may be provided.

 

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

Annual Outcomes and Costs

The grids below outline the current service population numbers and costs. Actual numbers served and the costs associated with them are listed for 2012. Service Numbers and costs for 2013 and 2014 are estimated based on current numbers year to date from queries run in the Case Management System (CMS).

________________________________________

2012 YEAR END ACTUAL OUTCOMES AND COSTS

10/1/11 THROUGH 9/30/12

Category One

Active Cases -1111

Employment Outcomes -215

Actual Associated Costs Per Closure - $307,401.43

Actual Associated Costs Per Category - $1,104,327.63

Category Two

Active Cases -445

Employment Outcomes -143

Actual Associated Costs Per Closure -$286,104.15

Actual Associated Costs Per Category - $668,350.90

Category Three

Active Cases -50

Employment Outcomes -10

Actual Associated Costs Per Closrue - $26,313.85

Actual Associated Costs Per Category -$ 63,748.35

Category Four

Closed

Total of Active Cases -1,606

Total of Employment Outcomes -368

Total Actual Associated costs per closure - $619,819.43Total Actual Associated costs per category - $2,137,426.88

The actual total costs of services and administration for 2012 was: $ 9,337.822.

2013 ESTIMATED OUTCOME GOALS AND TIMEFRAMES

Time Frame

10/1/12 through 9/30/13

Category One

Estimated to be served -1,114

Estiamted of Employment Outcomes - 240

Estimated Associated Costs per Category - $1,500,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs per Person - $1,347.00

Category Two

Estimated to be served - 318

Estimated of Employment Outcomes -118

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category - $500,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs Per Person - $1,572.00

Category Three

Estimated to be served - -32

Estimated of Employment Outcomes - 10

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category - $50,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs Per Person - $1563.00

Category Four

Closed

Total Estimate to be Served-1,464

Total Estimated of Employment Outcomes - 368

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category -$2,055,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs Per Person - $1,494.00

The above estimated numbers for the FY 2013 year takes into account that Categories Two and Three were closed effective April 1, 2013. Included in the estimated amounts are services needed by any eligible individual who began to receive services under an individualized plan for employment prior to the effective date of the order of selection, irrespective of the severity of the eligible individual’s disability; and individuals requiring post employment services.

* Year to date for FFY 2013 there are a total of 32 consumers determined eligible for services in Priority Category 2, 3 and 4. All consumers were given information and referral to meet their individual needs.

A. of individuals entering services in 2013 with individualized plans for employment=1,006

Estimated Total Costs: $7,016,749

B. Estimated determined eligible entering services in 2013= 350

Estimated Total Costs: $2,250,754

C. Total Projected Services and Administrative Costs inclusive of facilities, salaries, benefits, outreach activities, and required statewide studies: $9,267,503

D. Projected revenues and projected number of qualified personnel for the program. Revenues are projected at a minimal growth and the number of personnel will not increase with a state imposed cap. This will allow the Kentucky Office for the Blind adequate revenue and personnel (98) to cover the costs identified in A, B & C and to ensure the provision of the full range of services to individuals selected for services under the order of selection for the 2013 calendar year.

2014 ESTIMATED OUTCOME GOALS AND TIMEFRAMES

Time Frame

10/1/13 through 9/30/14

Category One

Estimated to be served -1,120

Estiamted of Employment Outcomes - 240

Estimated Associated Costs per Category - $1,550,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs per Person - $1,520.00

Category Two

Estimated to be served - 175

Estimated of Employment Outcomes -75

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category - $275,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs Per Person - $1,572.00

Category Three

Estimated to be served - 18

Estimated of Employment Outcomes - 8

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category - $30,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs Per Person - $1,667.00

Category Four

Closed

Total Estimate to be Served-1,213

Total Estimated of Employment Outcomes - 323

Estimated Associated Costs Per Category -$1,855,000.00

Estimated Associated Costs Per Person - $1,586.00

*The above grid estimated numbers for the FY 2014 year takes into account that Categories Two and Three are closed. Included in the estimated amounts are services needed by any eligible individuals in Categories Two and Three who began to receive services under an individualized plan for employment prior to the effective date of the order of selection closing of additional categories (April 1, 2013), irrespective of the severity of the eligible individual’s disability; and individuals requiring post employment services.

A. Estimated of individuals entering services in 2014 with individualized plans for employment = 925

Total Estimated Costs: $6,451,783

B. Estimated determined eligible entering services in 2014 = 275

Total Estimated Costs: $ 2,197,451

C. Total Projected Services and Administrative Costs inclusive of facilities, salaries, benefits, outreach activities, and required statewide studies: $8,649,233.50

D. Projected revenues and projected number of qualified personnel for the program. Revenues are projected at a minimal growth and the number of personnel will not increase with a state imposed cap. This will allow the Kentucky Office for the Blind adequate revenue and personnel (98) to cover the costs identified in A, B & C and to ensure the provision of the full range of services to individuals selected for services under the order of selection in 2014.

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 1,114 240 75 10/01/2013 - 9/30/2014 $1,500,000
2 318 118 17 10/01/2013 - 9/30/2014 $500,000
3 32 10 6 10/01/2013 - 9/30/2014 $50,000

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2013 1:26PM by Cora Mcnabb

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.

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

During FY 2012 the amount of Title VI, Part B funds spent was $44,841. There were 44,841 carry-forward monies from 2011. The FY 2012 allotment was 44,800. The Office for the Blind will allocate funding from Title VI, Part B to ensure that individuals with the most significant disabilities have access to the provision of supported employment services on a statewide basis. These funds are only a supplement to the funds provided under Title I of the Act. Title VI, Part B funds will only be used in the provision of Supported Employment services to those individuals determined eligible through comprehensive assessments determining that it is an appropriate objective. These monies allocated will be fully expended with no more than five percent for administrative costs. Expenditures exceeding the Title VI-B allotment will be covered with funds from the 110 program. OFB served 49 consumers through supported employment in 2012 with 1 successful closures. Of note in 2012 overall more individuals were served; however successful closures were very low. The goal for fiscal year 2013 will increase to serving 35 consumers through Supported Employment with four (5) successful outcomes.

Supported Employment is competitive work (for the maximum hours possible) in an integrated work setting for individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred. Services will be outlined for consumers with the most significant disabilities in the individualized plan for employment based on his/her informed choice, individual strengths, resources, capabilities, needs, abilities and preferences. Job skills’ training when needed is provided on-site. All services provided under the individualized plan for employment will be coordinated with other Federal or State program plans.

The Office for the Blind is committed to the principle that individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD), including those who have not traditionally experienced competitive work, are capable of engaging in employment in integrated settings. The agency and State Rehabilitation Council have agreed upon the goals and priorities in this attachment for Supported Employment. The goals and priorities in this attachment reflect the commitment of OFB to increase employment outcomes for individuals who are blind through supported employment. Transition is included as an area of focus specifically addressing increased collaboration with the Kentucky School for the Blind.

The main issue in Kentucky for Supported Employment is the lack of consistent available funding for extended services as well as a limited number of service providers statewide. Area providers are not experienced or well trained in the provision of supported employment services and placement best practices for the blind and visually impaired population. This is a specialty area of expertise that many providers do not have and are unwilling to expend time, monies and resources to training staff in this area. Additionally, OFB consumers typically do not fit the set criteria set by the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities making them eligible for the provision of ongoing supports.

OFB continues to place an emphasis on growth and expansion for the area of supported employment for 2013 – 2015. Over the past three years there has been some progress noted with the initiatives occurring.

Based on the information gathered and analyzed from the comprehensive statewide needs assessment conducted in FFY 2012, the Agency’s performance on the federal Standards and Indicators, the 107 monitoring report, real time data from the case management system, the Strategic Planning process and other sources of information the following goals for the distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds were set for the FFY 2013- 2015. A review of the set goals and priorities will occur annually for any needed revisions for the State Plan.

The Kentucky Office for the Blind set the following goals for the distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds.

Goal 1: Increase supported employment outcomes and other supports to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with most significant disabilities.

Strategy 1: Develop a work plan for the recruitment and training of CRP’s

Measure: Development of a work plan and trainings held

Target: Implementation of training plan

Strategy 2: VR Counseling Staff will collaborate with Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRP’s) to maximize resources and ensure quality services.

Measure: CRP Expenditures and of referrals

Target: Increase in CRP expenditures from the prior year

Increase the of consumers referred from the prior year

Strategy 3: Leadership will continue to participate in statewide training meetings with CRP Directors and their staff to identify and resolve issues and share best practices to improve services for individuals who are blind and visually impaired including the most significant disabilities.

Measure: of Supported Employment PEO’s

Target: Increase in the of consumers placed from the prior year.

Goal 2: Develop and implement a statewide model for more effectively serving the transition population

Strategy 1: The Office for the Blind State Transition Coordinator will collaborate with special education and other public and private, non-profit partners to enhance VR transition Services.

Measure:

of individuals participating in the Community Based Work Transition Program.

of Transition presentations

Target:

Increase in the number of students participating in the Community Based work transition program.

Increase in the number of presentations from the prior year.

Strategy 2: Statewide Transition Coordinator will facilitate the development and establishment of collaborative partnerships with VR Counseling Staff and VI teachers statewide.

Measure: of positive employment outcomes

Target: Increase in the number of successful rehabilitations for transition students from the prior year.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2013 1:39PM by Cora Mcnabb

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.

ATTACHMENT 4.11(d): State’s Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

To Address Needs Identified in the Comprehensive Assessment and to Achieve Identified Goals and Priorities

The Kentucky Office for the Blind’s mission is: To provide opportunities for employment and independence to individuals with visual disabilities.

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

To accomplish this mission, the strategies included in this section were developed for the established goals and priorities outlined in Attachment 4.11 (c) (1). Each goal is assigned to an OFB staff person or work group to assure that each strategy action step is carried out and goals are met. The designated staff person or work group will report quarterly on a grid for each goal strategy. A quarterly report will be compiled of the results of the steps taken in meeting the set goals and reviewed by the OFB steering committee and State Rehabilitation Council. The Council and Steering Committee will quarterly review the summarized reports monitoring the agencies performance in meeting the State Plan Goals and Priorities.

Additionally, through quality assurance processes OFB provides internal and external methods and examinations to identify areas where improvement and training are needed. Internal and external methods utilized are WEBI (real time data reporting through CMS), the Agency’s performance on the federal Standards and Indicators, Group Review, findings and recommendations of the 107 monitoring review, Satisfaction Surveys, Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and the Strategic Planning Process.

Data is pulled and evaluated from the Web Intelligence system (WEBI) monthly or as needed (daily, weekly). The data is reviewed for positive or negative issues and trends in services, data integrity, and standards and indicators. OFB Staff receive monthly tips regarding data put into the case management system to ensure that information is input correctly. Any issues that arise are addressed with staff as soon as possible.

OFB utilizes a case review process titled Group Review to Improve Professional Skills (G.R.I.P.S). This system evaluates counselors and assistants case review results as a team. Regional managers review one case per VR counselor during designated months. Specialized topics will be selected to identify specific trends or policy needs such as deaf/blind, closures, post secondary training, transition and secondary impairment of brain injury or stroke. Annually, a group case review is conducted with all of the counselors reviewing the same case. This provides the opportunity for discussion of strengths and weaknesses related to case management, documentation, service provision, and data input. Case Review Form will be reviewed annually in December for any additions which will allow for consistency of the same review form throughout the calendar year. A database will be maintained in central office to collect information.

Satisfaction Survey Process

Consumer satisfaction is considered an important component of service quality. The Kentucky Office for the Blind (OFB) seeks to determine the satisfaction level of people who have received services as an ongoing tool to improve performance. At the request of the State Rehabilitation Council to the Kentucky Office for the Blind, the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky coordinates a telephone survey with the Survey Research Center. The purpose of the study is to assess customer satisfaction of all consumers who receive services from the Office for the Blind and whose cases are closed successful and unsuccessful during the federal fiscal year.

Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Every three years the Office for the Blind jointly with the state rehabilitation council conducts a statewide comprehensive needs assessment in order to satisfy requirements in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The assessment identifies additional VR service needs, such as an emerging disability groups, or needs resulting from changes in the state populations. Under this project the Office works with the state rehabilitation council in the development of goals for the assessment, develops a plan for the assessment, conducts the assessment, gathers information, analyzes the results, develops findings, develop conclusions and potential action strategies to form state plan goals, priorities, and strategies.

Strategic Planning

These are the specific activities that each State must undertake to ensure its effectively implementing rehabilitation programs and services. These strategies promote expansion and improvement. Through the strategic planning process OFB sets goals in order to accomplish its mission and address major issues facing the organization. Every three years the Office sets realistic goals and objectives developed from a SWOT analysis. This process allows us to build on identified strengths; shore up your weaknesses; capitalize on opportunities; and recognize any threats the Office is facing. Input for strategic planning is gathered from staff, consumers, the public at large and the State Rehabilitation Council. That information is summarized and used along with satisfaction survey results, the comprehensive statewide needs assessment and other internal data through CMS and used to formulate a three year-strategic plan.

Monitoring Reports

Section 107 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act), requires the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to conduct annual reviews and periodic on-site monitoring of programs authorized under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act to determine whether a state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency is complying substantially with the provisions of its State Plan under section 101 of the Rehabilitation Act and with the evaluation standards and performance indicators established under Section 106. In addition, the commissioner must assess the degree to which VR agencies are complying with the assurances made in the State Plan Supplement for Supported Employment (SE) Services under Title VI, part B, of the Rehabilitation Act. OFB takes into account all the findings and recommendations of the monitoring report in its planning, identifying service trends and making needed improvements to program operations. The monitoring report was utilized in the setting of goals and priorities for the 2013 State Plan.

 

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.

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

The Kentucky Office for the Blind provides a wide range of assistive technology devices and subsequent support for individuals who are blind or visually impaired statewide for the vocational rehabilitation and the independent living/older blind programs. First for individuals who are working or are pursuing a career OFB’s trained assistive technology specialist conduct a comprehensive evaluation to ensure that the correct products are selected so that they meet the individual’s needs. AT staff members fully train consumers to use the devices and work with employers to ensure that proper ongoing support is in place.

Assistive technology specialist also provides service to consumers enrolled in OFB’s Independent Living and Older Blind program. Similar to the services above, products are demonstrated that may enhance a person’s quality of life. If the consumer chooses to purchase a device, training and support will be provided if necessary. OFB’s Assistive Technology services are provided on a state-wide basis. Each regional office has a minimum of one AT Specialist so that residents of each county have a relatively close service provider.

The agency also operates a residential training facility, the Charles McDowell Center that consumers can benefit from when more long term training and support is necessary. There are two assistive technology specialist staff housed at the center. At application, through the assessment process the vocational rehabilitation counselor identifies issues surrounding employment specifically related to job tasks.

Once an individual is determined eligible a referral is made to assistive technology services. The VR Counselor provides information through the referral inclusive of but not limited to: vision reports and a description of work related job tasks specifically any the individual is experiencing difficulty performing. Assistive technology staff reviews the referral information from the counselor and perform an initial assessment of the individual in their applicable environment (employment, home or academic).

The process is individualized for each consumer based on their needs. At any point while the case is open or when post employment services are appropriate the vocational rehabilitation counselor will refer the individual for assistive technology services. This may be due as a result of increased job duties for the individual or perhaps there is the need for current or updated technology on the job.

For transition students, the vocational rehabilitation counselor provides information in the referral sheet to the assistive technologist regarding any technology that the student used while in high school and home environment, post secondary information and the vocational goal.

If an individual needs in depth training, then the assistive technology specialist makes a recommendation to the vocational rehabilitation counselor for a referral for training at the Charles W. McDowell Rehabilitation Center. The vocational rehabilitation counselor coordinates services with the consumer regarding more comprehensive long term training at the residential center. Once the individual completes their training and returns home, the Assistive technology specialist will follow-up by phone or a home visit.

OFB provides consultation services to business partners related to job accommodations with a goal developing, establishing and maintaining employer relationships. This allows OFB to determine if a particular job is an overall good match for our consumer base (blind and visually impaired). Recommendations are then made to the employer regarding reasonable accommodations. Additionally, accessibility testing is provided based upon need. An example, would be consulting with a company that was upgrading to a soft phone environment. OFB assistive technology staff role in the process is to be a bridge between the employer interests and the consumer’s opportunity for employment. This gives the employer security that an agency is behind them increasing their interest in the working partnership. This consultation service also gives the employer a place to return to in the future to meet their ongoing needs. Employers may contact OFB in instances when an existing employee is interested in applying for promotional opportunities within the company.

OFB will make referral and access additional resources through the Kentucky Assistive Technology Network (KATS) and the Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation (KATLC) for individuals. The KATS Network, the Kentucky Assistive Technology Act Program, serves Kentucky residents of all ages with disabilities of all types, their families, employers and employment service providers, educators, health care and social service providers, and others seeking information about assistive technology (AT) and accessible information technology. KATLC is a program funded by both private and public money to help Kentuckians with disabilities obtain assistive technology to improve their independence or quality of life.

 

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.

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.

Individuals who are minorities have equal access to vocational rehabilitation services. OFB is committed in its effort to build the capacity to effectively serve individuals with most significant disabilities who are minorities. OFB will provide vocational rehabilitation services to all individuals who have visual disabilities who are eligible for services regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion, color, disability or age.

The Agency assures the provision of services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the state to the same extent as it provides services to other significant populations or individuals residing in the state.

Management and staff shall focus on the agency mission, which is employment, in assignment of tasks, planning and utilization of work time, initiation of self-directed work teams, and innovative projects. This includes expanding the diversity of the Agency in terms of employment outcomes to individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities Staff shall ensure that persons with the most significant disabilities who are minorities will receive the same employment related services that non-minority and individuals with disabilities receive.

OFB works to develop outreach activities to minorities to facilitate increased consumer referrals to the Agency. OFB encourages staff to get to know key community leaders and minority organizations to facilitate outreach. The Office follows Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines and Affirmative Action Procedures. The Office encourages existing minority staff to play an active role in policy and program development, service delivery and program monitoring activities.

The Office provides cultural diversity training to staff in order to develop a better understanding of different cultures and value systems. Staff participates in the Governor’s Equal Employment Opportunity Conference and Minority Empowerment Conferences.

Service demographic and population data is utilized to determine the number of minorities in regions and develop strategies to increase percentages. OFB will utilize different methods and channels of communication in targeting minority populations. This will include usage of the "Language Line" that will enable our staff to communicate with non-English speaking applicants in their native language.

The following goal and objectives listed below align with this section:

Goal 1: OFB will exceed or meet the federal Standards and Performance Indicators annually

Objective 1.7: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA Standard for service rates for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities

Indicator: Minority Service Rate will meet or exceed the RSA Standard of 80.00 ratio.

 

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

If applicable, identify plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the state. OFB identified the following two priorities in this attachment that align with this area. They are as follows: 1) Increase supported employment outcomes and other supports to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with most significant disabilities; and 2) Develop and implement a statewide model for more effectively serving the transition population These two priorities are fully outlined in the Goals, Strategies and priorities section of this attachment.

 

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

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

The employee performance evaluation system includes all the federal Standards and Indicator for each vocational rehabilitation counselor and manager performance evaluations. Standards and indicators data is reviewed on a quarterly basis for all caseloads (18). The case management system provides real time data on the status of the Standards and Indicators and a variety of other reports.

The following goals and objectives listed below align with this section:

Goal 1: OFB will exceed or meet the federal Standards and Performance Indicators annually.

Objective 1.1 Increase in the number of positive employment outcomes.

(RSA Performance Indicator 1.1)

Indicator: OFB will meet or exceed by one the number of employment outcomes (354) achieved for FY 2011.

Objective 1.2: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA standard for the percentage of cases with employment outcomes (RSA Performance Indicator 1.2).

Indicator: Percentage of cases with employment outcomes at our above the RSA standard of 68.9%.

Objective 1.3: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA standard for the percentage of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome who exited the OFB program into competitive, self, or KBE employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. (RSA Performance Indicator 1.3)

Indicator: Percentage of individuals achieving and employment outcome at or above the RSA Standard of 35.4%

Objective 1.4: OFB will continue to meet or exceed the RSA standard for the percentage of individuals with significant disabilities of all individuals who exit the VR program into competitive, self, or KBE employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. (RSA Performance Indicator 1.4)

Indicator: Percentage of individuals with significant disabilities exiting the VR program at or above the RSA standard of 89%

Objective 1.5 OFB will continue to meet or exceed the RSA standard for the average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the OFB program in competitive, self, or KBE employment with earning levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to Kentucky’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the state who are employed. (RSA Performance Indicator 1.5)

Indicator: The ratio to the average Kentucky hourly wage for all categories at or above the RSA standard at 59.54%.

Objective 1.6: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA standard for self-sufficiency resulting from employment based on the percentage of change between application and closure. (RSA Standard 1.6).

Indicator: Percentage of change between application and closure at or above 31.47%.

Objective 1.7: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA Standard for service rates for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities

Indicator: Minority Service Rate will meet or exceed the RSA Standard of 80.00 ratio.

Goal 2: To increase opportunities for independent living and improve the quality of vocational rehabilitation services for Kentuckians with visual disabilities in order for them to prepare for, obtain, maintain, or regain competitive employment

Objective 2.1: Increase the number of individuals with successful employment and/or independent living outcomes.

Goal 6: Enhance and build Office for the Blind internal and external collaborative relationships and partnerships to advance opportunities for individuals to progress toward independence and employment.

Objective 6.1: Develop new collaborative relationships with employers, community organizations & government agencies to promote employment opportunities.

 

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

As detailed in ATTACHMENT 4.8 (b)(1): Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities: Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System and with Other Entities the Office for the Blind is involved in several organizations and identifies resources available for consumers.

Kentucky’s transformational objectives include 25 initiatives designed to form a user friendly, customer-centric system that brings alignment to education, economic development and workforce activities. The WorkSmart Kentucky Plan lays out the foundation to improve operational collaboration at both the state and local levels. Currently the plan is under review for updates. Two of the initiatives that will have a major focus under the updated plan are the Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeship Initiatives. Workforce Staff are involved in the committees and implementation activities of the initiatives. The Kentucky Office for the Blind is an integral partner involved in the initiatives. The following is a list of some of the initiatives of the WorkSmart Plan:

• Branding and Identity: This is an initiative to infuse a cultural shift in the

delivery of services offered to our employer and job seeking customers, as well as

I instill credibility within the economic development community. Our priority is to

promote a consistent message that will infuse continuity in the delivery of all

services offered within the Commonwealth’s workforce system. In addition, the

goals for the system branding are to create a sense of value and promote a

heightened level of professionalism and customer service.

• One-Stop Certification Process: This initiative is designed to build continuity

and consistency in the delivery of services in the one-stop career centers.

Partnerships, common forms, and a truly integrated approach to serving.

• Sector Strategies: This initiative helped develop state and regional,

employer-driven partnerships of industry, education and training, and other stakeholders focusing on the workforce needs of key industries. The partnerships coordinate information and resources to develop and implement effective, coordinated responses to workforce challenges that are common across industries.

• Partner for Success: This initiative brings together management and front-line

staff from within and throughout the workforce development system. This

strategy brings a holistic approach to services through an integrated method

toward trainings, networking opportunities and nurturing an awareness of the

array of services that partner agencies offer. This initiative also identifies gaps in

service and duplications of system offerings.

• Workforce Academy: This “train the trainer” approach to workforce activities

will promote a consistent training atmosphere that will increase knowledge

throughout the workforce system and across partner agencies. Online trainings

and a certification process will instill value in the work that is done to serve

employers and job seeking customers. One of the key topic areas that will further

our interest of integration is cross-functional supervision of our systems multiple

agencies.

• Business Services Redesign: This effort will create a proactive, solutions-based

approach to the services offered to the business community. This initiative will

promote a coordinated effort toward service delivery in a strategic manner. The

objective is to maximize business services resources by aligning them with

economic development goals around business development.

• Entrepreneurship Support Model: Develop a culture of entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. While there are numerous initiatives and programs in operation throughout the commonwealth, there is a need to better coordinate activities and create a support system that maximizes collaboration and the ability for individuals to access services. With the decline and reinvention of industries such as manufacturing, communities particularly those in rural parts of Kentucky, are in need of supportive networks that can grow businesses.

• Apprenticeship: Develop the partnerships to market the benefits of registered apprenticeships (union and non-union) to Kentucky business. This “earn while you learn” approach to skills development for a wide variety of occupations in Kentucky has not come near reaching its potential as a tool for building a highly skilled workforce, helping business and industry increase their competitiveness, and providing sustainable wages for Kentuckians willing to work hard to raise their standard of living.

The following goals and strategies listed below align with this section:

Goal 5: Enhance and build Office for the Blind internal and external collaborative relationships and Partnerships to advance opportunities for individuals to progress toward independence and employment.

Objective 5.1: Develop new collaborative relationships with employers, community organizations & government agencies to promote employment opportunities.

 

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.

Based on the identified needs through the FFY 2012 comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, the 107 monitoring report, the Agency’s performance on the Federal Standards and Indicators, real time data through the case management system, strategic planning and other sources of information the State Rehabilitation Council and the Kentucky Office for the Blind have established the following Goals and Priorities and Strategies for FFY 2013- 2015. Every year there will be a formal review of the Goals and Priorities and Strategies to determine the need for any revisions assuring their revelance for the agency. These goals, priorities and strategies align with the required areas above.

Priorities

• Increase supported employment outcomes and other supports to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with most significant disabilities.

• Develop and implement a statewide model for more effectively serving the transition population

Goals and Strategies

Goal 1: OFB will exceed or meet the federal Standards and Indicators annually.

Objective 1.1 Increase in the number of positive employment outcomes. (RSA Performance Indicator 1.1)

Strategies:

1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services staff will develop relationships with employers and their professional organizations in order to educate them about hiring individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

2. Recruit and retain quality rehabilitation services staff assuring the provision of quality services that will result in positive employment outcomes for consumers.

3. Provide training for all new and existing staff that will increase their skills and abilities in providing quality services and supports that move consumers into successful employment.

Indicator: OFB will meet or exceed by one the number of employment outcomes annually.

Objective 1.2: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA standard for the percentage of cases with employment outcomes (RSA Performance Indicator 1.2).

Strategies:

1. OFB VR Counselors will provide benefit planning and referral information to consumers

2. OFB will utilize its’ case review process “Group Review to Improve Professional Skills (GRIPS)”. The GRIPS will provide an opportunity for advanced skill development and improved quality assurance through group review of case files to strengthen its quality assurance processes in order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of services.

3. Vocational Rehabilitation Services staff will work with the business services teams in the Kentucky Career Centers in making linkages, avoiding duplication in making contacts with employers, and maximizing employment opportunities for consumers.

Indicator: Percentage of cases with employment outcomes at our above the RSA standard of 68.9%.

Objective 1.3: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA standard for the percentage of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome who exited the OFB program into competitive, self, or KBE employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. (RSA Performance Indicator 1.3)

Strategies:

1. Ensure proper coding of consumers employment wages through case reviews.

2. Increase collaboration and partnerships with other agencies in order to maximize opportunities and resources for consumers.

3. Increase follow up and on site contacts and/or meetings between VR field staff and employers in order to discuss issues, concerns, provide technical assistance, training, and to ensure job retention and upward movement for consumers

Indicator: Percentage of individuals achieving and employment outcome at or above the RSA Standard of 35.4%

Objective 1.4: OFB will continue to meet or exceed the RSA standard for the percentage of individuals with significant disabilities of all individuals who exit the VR program into competitive, self, or KBE employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. (RSA Performance Indicator 1.4)

Strategies:

1. Continued development of relationships with community rehabilitation providers in order to assist individuals that are underserved with the most significant disabilities through supported employment.

2. Review unsuccessful closures across the life of the case identifying trends, issues needing addressed and areas of improvement to in order to increase the number of individual with significant disabilities entering employment.

3. Develop and maintain close working relationships with state and local partners (e.g. ILC’s, Medicaid Waiver, CRP’s, etc.) to maximize resources and develop appropriate support systems.

Indicator: Percentage of individuals with significant disabilities exiting the VR program at or above the RSA standard of 89%

Objective 1.5 OFB will continue to meet or exceed the RSA standard for the average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the OFB program in competitive, self, or KBE employment with earning levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to Kentucky’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the state who are employed. (RSA Performance Indicator 1.5)

Strategies:

1. Increase employer relationships so that there will

be opportunities for upward movement and higher salaries for consumers.

2. Work collaboratively with the Kentucky Business Enterprises program to increase the number of licensed blind vendors.

3. Implement Quality Assurance procedures to assure proper coding of consumers’ employment wages in the case management system.

Indicator: The ratio to the average Kentucky hourly wage for all categories at or above the RSA standard at 59.54%.

Objective 1.6: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA standard for self-sufficiency resulting from employment based on the percentage of change between application and closure. (RSA Standard 1.6).

Strategies:

1. OFB will place a greater emphasis on jobs with higher wages through job clubs and career exploration.

2. Vocational counseling and guidance will have a focus on self-sufficiency.

3. Determine the need for further services and make appropriate referral to other state and federal programs to assure the needs of consumers are met.

4. Referral to benefits planning services and supports necessary for consumers to obtain and utilize those public benefits and work incentives needed to achieve their desired employment outcomes

Indicator: Percentage of change between application and closure at or above 31.47%.

Objective 1.7: OFB will meet or exceed the RSA Standard for service rates for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities

Strategies:

1. OFB will continue its recruitment efforts among minority students, including students with disabilities through the provision of internships with Kentucky State and the University of Kentucky.

2. OFB will continue to explore innovative approaches to increase and expand program services to Kentucky’s minority populations, including Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native American, and African American persons.

3. Collaborate with community leader contacts through religious and civic organizations and non-profit organizations that are close to the pulse of the minority community.

Indicator: Minority Service Rate will meet or exceed the RSA Standard of 80.00 ratio.

Goal 2: To increase opportunities for independent living and improve the quality of vocational rehabilitation services for Kentuckians with visual disabilities in order for them to prepare for, obtain, maintain, or regain competitive employment.

Objective 2.1: Increase the number of individuals with successful employment and/or independent living outcomes.

Strategies

1. Cultivate relationships with area employers (includes the Employment Initiative) Indicator: Employment Initiative Reports, Performance S & I

2. Provide quality training statewide that is job specific and targeted to address any deficiencies identified in quality assurance reviews, federal performance indicators results or training needs assessments.

Indicator: and scope of trainings

3. Benefits planning occurs that supports individuals to set goals for increasing self-sufficiency

Indicator: served identified through CMS

4. Identify new and strengthen current relationships with potential referral sources of persons needing independent living services, especially n geographic areas or among populations identified as underserved.

Indicator: served IL/OIB programs

Goal 3: Use resources effectively and efficiently in order to maximize funds in serving individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired in the Commonwealth.

Objective 3.1: Diminish internal administrative costs in an effort to maximize consumer service funds.

Strategies:

1. Reduce administrative overhead costs while preserving quality service delivery

Indicator: % of administrative cost reductions from prior year

Objective 3.2: Assure an efficient and effective service delivery system within an available budget.

Strategies:

1. Office leadership will analyze counselor caseloads and staff allocations and reallocate positions Indicator: Analysis of caseloads and position reallocation

2. onduct cases reviews and provide technical assistance to improve efficiency and effectiveness in order to maximize services and employment outcomes within the available budget. Indicator: % reduction of errors

Objective 3.3: Improve the efficient and effective processing and payment of authorizations and invoices for services so that the system will provide the support needed for the field staff.

Strategies:

1. Office leadership will continue to work to improve the management information systems by identifying and correcting coding issues.

Indicator: number of trainings

2. Identify high service costs areas and evaluate the need to implement policy changes

Indicator: Analysis of expenditures completed annually

Objective 3.4: Maximize federal match dollars for the Vocational Rehabilitation program.

Strategies:

1. Research and explore all available options and opportunities.

Indicator: Reporting of Federal money drawn down

Goal 4: KBE will provide full-time employment and career opportunities for Kentuckians who are legally blind, while providing quality vending and food services for government and business.

Objective 4.1: Maximize training opportunities for vendors and KBE staff

Strategies:

1. Offer and conduct annual vendor training for potential licensees

Indicator: of trainings

2. Offer and conduct annual upward mobility training for current vendors

Indicator: number of trainings

3. Offer and conduct training for KBE staff

Indicator: number of trainings

Objective 4.2: Provide New Vending Opportunities

Strategies:

1. Communicate with federal and state agencies to acquire new locations

Indicator: number of new locations

2. Work with the State Blind Vendor committee to seek out possible opportunities

Indicator: quarterly meetings

3. Survey at least one potential location each month

Indicator: new locations secured

Objective 4.3: Improve existing vending locations

Strategies:

1. Actively seek potential satellite locations

Indicator: of potential satellite locations identified

2. Utilize management resources to improve profit percentages

Indicator: Increase in profit %

3. Offer training and services to improve business practices

Indicator: number of trainings occurring

Goal 5: To develop, design and implement a professional development leadership program for the agency rehabilitation staff for effective succession planning.

Objective 5.1: Provide critical leadership skills training to increase competency of executive leadership maximizing the effective management of the VR program.

Strategies:

1. Develop and deliver training on management (processes) and leadership (behaviors) skills both of which are essential to the agency.

Indicator: number of trainings completed

2. Develop and deliver training on building effective teams, managing unsatisfactory performance and progressive discipline, consistency and fairness, productivity, effective hiring practices, personnel regulations, and employee performance reviews.

Indicator: number of trainings completed

Objective 5.2: Develop and implement a leadership preparation program for staff identified as potential future leadership.

Strategies

1. Develop the framework for curriculum development through an assessment and evaluation of needs.

Indicator: Assessment of needs completed

2. Develop training that will increase the knowledge, skills, and abilities of identified staff preparing them or advancement or promotion into more challenging roles.

Indicator: Full implementation of leadership development program

Objective 5.3: Recruit, employ, retain and train the most qualified and highly skilled rehabilitation staff.

Strategies:

1. Maximize training funds to support staff in professional training and development activities.

Indicator: 100% draw down of training funds annually

2. Host a two-day AT Expo and Conference event designed to increase knowledge and promote skills acquisition by providing current information and training on assistive technology.

Indicator: of staff participating in AT Expo

3. Development and implementation of in house online learning modules.

Indicator: Online modules development and implementation

Goal 6: Enhance and build Office for the Blind internal and external collaborative relationships and Partnerships to advance opportunities for individuals to progress toward independence and employment.

Objective 6.1: Develop new collaborative relationships with employers, community organizations & government agencies to promote employment opportunities.

Strategies:

1. Collaborate with key partners (SRC, CRP’s and Workforce Development Partners) to enhance connections with the employer community.

Indicator: Performance of S & I

2. Collaborate with the Career Center Business Services Team to expand relationships, avoid duplication of contacts with employers, and maximize employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Indicator: Level of involvement in Business Services Team

3. Expand relationships with the State and Local Workforce Investment Boards and Workforce Development Partner agencies in order to accomplish the initiatives described under the KWIB strategic plan

Indicator: of committees and initiatives staff attend

Objective 6.2: Develop a marketing approach and plan to guide OFB’s partnership efforts with eye physicians.

Strategies:

1. Identify through WEBI existing eye physicians that serve as a regular referral source to each caseload.

Indicator: WEBI report

2. Identify caseloads that do not have a regular referral flow from an eye physician.

Indicator: List of caseloads low on referrals from eye physicians

3. Develop and implement a marketing plan to address the identified gaps in referrals and caseloads.

Indicator: Development and implementation of a plan addressing gaps

Objective 6.3: Increase available resources & seek to leverage funding, staff resources, in-kind and programmatic support & other forms of assistance from partners

Strategies:

1. OFB collaborates with other statewide partners increasing their capacity to serve individuals with disabilities, and refers eligible individuals who can benefit from the resources and services available at no cost.

Indicator: of referrals to other sources, scope and type increases over the prior year (I & R)

2. Complete an assessment to identify existing resources and identify where gaps exists.

Indicator: Assessment of needs and available resources

3. Develop electronic tools to assist staff, partners, and consumer’s access information about available services and benefits

Indicator: Development and implementation of tools

Objective 6.4: Enhance working relationships with consumer advocacy organizations.

Strategies:

1. Advocacy organizations will present at new employee orientation.

Indicator: of presentations

2. Advocacy organizations members will present at the McDowell Center Classes.

Indicator: presentations

3. Quarterly meetings will be held with advocacy organization leadership

Indicator: number of presentations

Objective 6.5: Increase effective communication with consumers & staff regarding mission, goals, priorities & program outcomes.

Strategies:

1. Develop methods of effective communication to directly engage, inform and update partners, staff, consumers, stakeholders and other entities (newsletter, presentations, training, exhibits).

Indicator: distribution of newsletter

2. Make formal and informal presentations, at functions and activities of other groups and organizations.

Indicator: number of marketing events and of state/national conferences attended

Innovation and Expansion Activities

Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities will be used to increase and enhance employment opportunities for individuals who have the most significant disabilities and support of the Statewide Rehabilitation Council. The areas of focus for Innovation and Expansion Activities are as follows:

1) Annual Support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council

2) Increase supported employment outcomes and other supports to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with most significant disabilities.

3) Develop and implement a statewide model for more effectively serving the transition population

Annual Support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council

The Office for the Blind will continue to provide annual support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council through administrative support and direct expenses necessary to operate the State Rehabilitation Council. There is a projected budget of $47,800 for FFY 2013. Fiscal tracking mechanisms are in place in order to capture annual support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council. In FFY 2013 the Office will spend Innovation and Expansion funding in the support of the SRC for reimbursement of expenses and personnel costs for the agency designated liaison for the SRC. This includes:

• SRC Annual Report Publication,

• the SRC Consumer Satisfaction Survey of all closed cases contracted through the University of Kentucky.

• Reimbursement of expenses in accordance with Section 105 (g) of the Act.

OFB provides basic support dollars to the Statewide Independent Living Council. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Office for the Blind share costs for a part time coordinator position for Statewide Independent Living Council. Funds for the split position come from the Independent Living Part B funds.

Increase supported employment outcomes and other supports to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with most significant disabilities.

Strategy 1: Develop a work plan for the recruitment and training of CRP’s

Measure: Development of a work plan and trainings held

Indicator: Implementation of training plan

Strategy 2: VR Counseling Staff will collaborate with Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRP’s) to maximize resources and ensure quality services.

Measure: CRP Expenditures and of referrals

Indicator: Increase in CRP expenditures from the prior year

Increase the of consumers referred from the prior year

Strategy 3: Leadership will continue to participate in statewide training meetings with CRP Directors and their staff to identify and resolve issues and share best practices to improve services for individuals who are blind and visually impaired including the most significant disabilities.

Measure: of Supported Employment PEO’s

Indicator: Increase in the of consumers placed from the prior year.

Develop and implement a statewide model for more effectively serving the transition population

Strategy 1: The Office for the Blind State Transition Coordinator will collaborate with special education and other public and private, non-profit partners to enhance VR transition Services.

Measure: number of individuals participating in the Community Based Work Transition Program. of Transition presentations

Indicator: Increase in the number of students participating in the Community Based work transition program.

Increase in the number of presentations from the prior year.

Strategy 2: Statewide Transition Coordinator will facilitate the development and establishment of collaborative partnerships with VR Counseling Staff and VI teachers statewide.

Measure: number of positive employment outcomes

Indicator: Increase in the number of successful rehabilitations for transition students from the prior year.

Equitable access to and participation of Individuals with Disabilities State Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Service Program

OFB will take the necessary steps to ensure that there is equity of access and participation programs regardless of gender, race, national origin, color, disability or age. OFB has addressed barriers that may occur for equitable access through Goal 1 Objective 2 and through the Innovation and Expansion activities that are set as priorities.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2013 1:44PM by Cora Mcnabb

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

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

ATTACHMENT 4.11(e) (2): Evaluation and Report of Progress in

Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and Use Of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

The goals and priorities for the Kentucky Office for the Blind for the FFY 2013 State Plan for the time period of 2013 - 2015 were developed in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council and input from consumers and other stakeholders. They are based on the comprehensive statewide assessment conducted in FFY 2012, the Agency’s performance on the federal Standards and Indicators, the 107 monitoring report, real time data from the case management system, the Strategic Planning process and other sources of information.

.

They are as follows:

1. OFB will exceed or meet the federal Standards and Indicators annually.

2. To increase opportunities for independent living and improve the quality of vocational rehabilitation services for Kentuckians with visual disabilities in order for them to prepare for, obtain, maintain, or regain competitive employment.

3. Use resources effectively and efficiently in order to maximize funds in serving individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired in the Commonwealth.

4. KBE will provide full-time employment and career opportunities for Kentuckians who are legally blind, while providing quality vending and food services for government and business.

5. To develop, design and implement a professional development leadership program for the agency rehabilitation staff for effective succession planning.

6. Enhance and build Office for the Blind internal and external collaborative relationships and Partnerships to advance opportunities for individuals to progress toward independence and employment.

This attachment contains the reporting of Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities for FFY 2012 calendar year. These goals were established from the 2009 Statewide Needs Assessment for the reporting time period of FFY 2010 through FFY 2012, the Agency’s performance on the federal Standards and Indicators, the 107 monitoring report, real time data from the case management system, the Strategic Planning process and other sources of information. This is the last year for reporting on these goals and strategies.

Identified Goals, Priorities and Strategies for Achievement

The following goals were identified as priority areas for OFB:

• Increase the number of quality employment outcomes;

• Maximize consumer access to affordable assistive technology and

• Expand and increase services for transition age youth.

The following outlines the established Goals and Strategies and contains a reporting of their progress.

Goal 1: Increase the number of quality employment outcomes by providing services to ensure that individuals who are blind and visually impaired secure employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Objective: The number of consumers obtaining employment by September 30, 2010 will increase over the prior year (Baseline -348 for 2009). In 2010 OFB had 351 PEO’s an increase of 1%. In 2011 OFB had 354 PEO’s an increase of 1% over the prior year. Overall this is a 2% increase over the past two years. In 2012 OFB had 368 PEO’s an increase of 3% over the prior year. Overall this is a 4% increase over the past three years.

Met at goal 100%

Strategy 1.1

Expand and strengthen employer relationships marketing the benefits of employing individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

Measures:

Increase in the number of new employer initiatives

Baseline: 3 (2009 data)

Progress: Met in full 100 %

This goal was met in 2010 with 4 new employer initiatives and an increase in 25% over 2009. In 2011 two new initiatives occurred. There were 3 initiatives in 2009 (YUM Foods, CITI & 2 hires under the federal selective placement initiative). 4 new initiatives in 2010 were: Wal-Mart (retail), Goodwill (professional), Best Buy and the Census Bureau. In 2011 there were two new employment initiatives. A pilot project began between Humana and National Industries for the Blind (NIB) to employ blind and visually impaired individuals to process Tri-Care insurance claims in a call center environment. This was a labor intensive initiative due to the volume of training associated with call center duties. Individuals are making around $18 an hour. At the option of the company, they may drop them from the pilot program after two months and make them full-time employees. Once they become full-time employees, the company will need more people to move into the pilot program. Year to date since the start of this initiative a total of ten (10) individuals have secured employment.

The second employment initiative was Best Buy that began in early 2010 but fully developed this past year when they opened the new warehouse acility in Shepherdsville at $13 an hour (with a second individual placed in 2012). They are working on transportation and Ticket to Ride.

In 2012 private partnerships were developed with JLodge Corporation and Pearl Interactive Network, LLC. Pearl Interactive network, LLC Outcomes: 5 interviews and 1 employment outcome.

Strategy 1.2

Increase the number of Community Rehabilitation Providers utilized by OFB

Measure

Increase the number of new CRP providers

Baseline: 7 SE providers (2009 data)

Progress: Met in Full 100%

In 2010 there were 4 new providers or a 43% increase over 2009 bringing the total number of providers to 11. This number remained the same in 2011. In 2012, there were 16 providers total with 7 new ones. For the goal reporting timeframe there were 11 new providers.

Strategy 1.3

Develop and increase outreach activities to minority groups and community based organizations serving them.

Measures: Increase in the number of consumers served from minority backgrounds from the prior year.

Baseline: Minority Service Rate Prior Year

Progress: Met in Full 100%

In 2009 the minority ratio was .93 and there were fewer than 100 (53) minorities exiting. In 2010 the ratio was .87 and there were fewer than 100 (66) minorities exiting. In 2011 the minority ratio was .91 and there were fewer than 100 minorities exiting (68). In 2012 the minority ratio was 90.5 and there were fewer than 100 minorities exiting (60). For 2010 – 2011 the number of minorities served has increased with an overall 23% gain over the three year period. In 2012 there was a decrease; however looking at the overall numbers there was an 11% increase from the baseline number of 53 in 2009. Independent Living and Older Blind Staff in their outreach efforts attended around 212 events including diabetes and aging coalitions, health fairs, libraries, health departments, mental health agencies, churches and eye physicians’ offices in order to reach minority groups through these organizations. Vocational Rehabilitation staff in their outreach efforts attended 99 events (transition fairs, job fairs (veterans), health fair and other community based organization meetings.

Strategy 1.4

Continue participation in the Employers Partner Team

Measure: Number of conference calls and meeting attended

Progress: Met in full 100%

OFB staff participate on quarterly conference calls with the VR Net. (additional calls are setup if necessary). OFB staff identifies consumers that are in work ready status and sends job leads directly to them. Additionally job leads are shared with the SRC.

Strategy 1.5

Increase participation with the One Stop Service Delivery System.

Measrue: The development and provision of training and technical support to partners in the One Stop System.

Progress: Met in Full 100%

As reported for this goal area last year in May of 2010, the Kentucky KWIB Strategic Plan, “WorkSmart Kentucky” was implemented. There are five action areas: System Transformation, Education Alignment, Economic Development Alignment, System Simplification, and Customer Service. The Workforce Development Programs including the Office of Employment and Training, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Office for the Blind Staff are involved on teams and work groups for each of these five action areas. Additionally all the One Stop partner program staffs is a part of the collaborative work teams and committees. This has brought the entire partner program staffs of One Stop Service Delivery System together sharing in the roles and responsibilities of implementation. In 2011 the action steps for each area were implemented and training in multiple areas for all staff occurred. The two main areas addressing this objective are “Partner for Success and Workforce Academy” For example; Partner for Success is an internal effort of the Department of Workforce Investment focused on integrated service delivery including the business community. Workforce Academy will provide training for all partners at every level of the system to be demand-driven and solutions based. For 2012 summary refer to ATTACHMENT 4.8 (b)(1): Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities: Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System and with Other Entities

Strategy 1.6

Improve working relationship with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to improve the coordination of services for individuals seeking self-employment.

Measure: Established working relationship with the Small Business Administration

Progress: Met in full 100% in 2010.

OFB staff met with OVR, our sister agency staff to discuss their provision of services on February 12, 2010. On February 16, 2010 a meeting occurred with Cabinet for Economic Development, Small Business Services Division staff to discuss in depth all aspects involved in developing a small business enterprise. On February 23, OFB staff met with the SRC Business Opportunities Committee chairperson, Charles Allen on this subject. At the May 21, 2010 meeting of the SRC, OFB reported that in 2009 13 OFB consumers inquired about self employment. Those individuals were referred by the vocational rehabilitation counselor to the Self-Employment Business Development Center (KSBDC). At that time 7/10 or 70% of those individuals had not followed through with KSBDC. In 2010, 4 consumers inquired about self employment and they were referred to KSBDA and 0/3 followed through with the referral. The agency developed a brochure specific to self – employment. The KSBDC handbook is available in alternate formats for consumers.

Goal 2: Expand and increase services for transition age youth.

Objective: The number of transition youth receiving services by September 30, 2010 will increase over the prior year.

Strategy 1.1

Increased collaboration with statewide special education, VI teachers, KATS, students and other pertinent staff in order to facilitate the transition process.

Measure a. Increase in the number of transition age youth served from the prior year.

Progress: Met in Full at 100%

Baseline established in 2009 (Transition Age of 14 – 24) served 281. The number served in 2010 was 333. This was an increase in 52 over the prior year or a 16% increase. In 2011 the number served was 310 a decrease of 7%. In 2012 the number served was 441. Of note, changes were made in the CMS system for tracking of transition students to get a more accurate count. This increase is a direct result of that change yielding a more accurate count. Overall this is a 34% increase over a four year period.

Measure b. Increase in the number of students participating in the Community Based Work Transition Program from the prior year

Progress: Met in Full at 100%

Baseline established in 2009 was 1 CBWTP participant. There were 2 CBWTP participants in 2010 an increase of 50% over the prior year. In 2011 there were 2 CBWTP participants with the number remaining the same. In 2012 there are 4 participants a 50% increase. Overall for the three year period this is a 75% increase.

Measure c. Increase in the percentage of transition age youth obtaining employment from the prior year.

Progress: Met in Full at 100%

Baseline established of 3 for 2009. In 2010 there were 14 positive employment outcomes. This is an increase of 79%. In 2011 there were 24 positive employment outcomes. This is an increase of 42% over the prior year. The overall increase for the two years combined has been. 89%. In 2012 there were 32 positive employment outcomes which is a 25% increase over the prior year. For the three year time period this is a 90% gain.

Stragety 1.2

Expansion and increased participation in INSIGHT

Measure a. Increase in the number of students attending Insight

Progress: Met in full 100%

Baseline was established in 2009 with 10 individuals attending INSIGHT. 6 individuals attended INSIGHT in 2010. This was a 40% decrease over the prior year. In 2011, 17 individuals attended INSIGHT. This is a 59% increase in attendance over the prior year. In 2012, 15 individuals participated in insight. This is a slight decrease from 2011. Overall for the three year time period this is a 33% gain.

Measure b. Increase the number of consumers obtaining a post secondary degree participating in INSIGHT.

Baseline: 2011 Baseline is 3/12 or 25%.

Progress: Met in full 100%

There are a total of 70 participants in INSIGHT from 2006 – 2013. Since the inception of the program in 2006, 35 of the 70 participants or 50% have enrolled in a post secondary education program. 16/70 have attended INSIGHT more than once. 57/70 have graduated high school or 82%. 35 of the 57 graduates are enrolled in college. This translates of an overall 62% participation rate in a postsecondary setting. Three students have graduated from college with one in graduate school and the other two employed.

Strategy 1.3

Increase staff involvement and presentations in events regarding

transition.

Measure: 100% involvement of staff in presentations and events (transition fairs, school staff).

Progress: Not Met

In 2009 72% or 13/18 Counseling Staff made presentations, 50% or 9/18 Counseling Staff made presentations in 2010. For 2011, 10/18 or 67% of Counseling Staff made presentations. In 2012 there was 11/18 or 62% of staff that made presentations. Counseling staff took advantage of opportunities to make presentations; however in some rural areas those events were not held. Given that OFB established a central office administrator overseeing transition statewide contacts are being made with the visible presence of this individual in FFY 2013 (specifically a focus on development solid relationships with the VI teachers across the state).

Strategy 1.4

Provision of training and outreach on benefits planning and work incentives for students and their families. Development and distribution of materials to students and families

Progress: Not Met

Activities have occurred for staff that have indirectly impacted students and families. One OFB staff has been dedicated to developing an expertise for this area. In 2011, staff participated in several trainings regarding work incentives for recipients of public benefits. These benefits include social security disability, SNAP, housing assistance, and TANF. In April of 2011, the individual began training with a state initiative geared towards the development of a network of individuals knowledgeable in areas of federal benefits. They successfully completed the training receiving the state recognized Benefits Information Network (BIN) Liaison credential. In 2012 this individual participated in the nationally recognized Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) Certification Training and successfully obtained the CWIC Certification. Given this individuals training consumers have benefited from their expertise and are able to pursue employment having a full understanding of their work incentives. Unfortunately in FFY 2013 this individual left their employment with OFB. The office is committed to sending additional staff for training in FFY 2013 -2014 to fill this void. Given budget constraints there was not money available to produce materials specific to this goal area. However; staff are knowledgeable and have access to a wide variety of materials and resources to distribute to consumers.

Goal 3 Maximize consumer access to affordable assistive technology to increase their independence in their homes, schools, and communities and remove barriers to employment

Objective: The agency will meet or exceed the number of individuals receiving technology services from the prior year.

*AT goals were set keeping in mind that due to ARRA funding there was an increase in services numbers for the area of AT in 2010 & 2011. Based on these numbers it appears that the baselines established were too high for staff. However; given this objective, a tracking system is in place and more concrete measures can be applied. In 2011 338 individuals were served in AT services which are a gain of two over 336 served in 2010. In 2012, the AT staff served 261 consumers. For this goal area although the objective was met overall with an increase of 1% in the number served from the prior year; the measures set were not effective. As mentioned it was difficult to set an accurate baseline with the increased numbers from stimulus activities. Tracking is difficult given the individualized services delivered. OFB leadership has identified areas of weakness through this process and is committed to working on resolving some of those issues such as: 1) inconsistency among AT staff for the areas tracked; and 2) no real time data available through CMS. As a result of this AT staff are meeting regularly and there is evidence of quality service delivery and high consumer satisfaction. An effective method for tracking data and outcomes from the AT program was developed and implemented in 2012 allowing for more accurate reporting in FFY 2013. Although OFB did not make a lot of progress in the this area due to tracking mechanisms in place of note was the Assistive Technology Expo that was held in 2012. More information regarding this event can be found in the CSPD attachment. The Expo certainly had a major impact on consumers, employers, university staff and OFB employees.

Strategy 1.1

OFB staff will work on increasing employers’ knowledge and awareness of assistive technology and its use in the workplace

Measrues: of employer contacts/AT initiatives (baseline 8)

Progress: Not MET

The average of the AT staff for this measure was 5 each falling below the goal of 8 (63%).

Strategy 1.2

OFB AT staff will provide training for VR staff and partners on the availability and uses of AT devices to accommodate consumers’ needs in employment settings.

Measure: of trainings that occur (baseline 2)

Progress: Met at goal 100%

Average of the AT staff is 3.

Strategy 1.3

OFB will provide appropriate assistive technology devices support, and training for consumers.

Measures: AT assessments occurring (baseline of 50)

Progress: Not Met

Average of the AT staff for this measure was 40 just falling 10 under the set goal.

Measure: of consumers receiving AT devices (baseline of 40)

Progress: Not Met

There was not an accurate method of reporting for this measure. Given that AT may be purchased for an individual by a VR or IL Counselor under $500 that is not currently tracked by the AT Staff or through the case management system this could not be accessed.

Measure: of consumers receiving training. (baseline of 40)

Progress: Not Met

The average of the AT staff for this measure was 27.

Strategy 1.4

OFB will develop resources for consumers to access the AT devices and services they need for work, school, and community living.

Measure a: The development of marketing materials and website visibility for AT services.

Progress: Not Met

Website development in 2010 included a section for AT. No progress for the area of printed marketing materials specific to AT.

Strategy 1.5

OFB will maximize its linkage with KATS

Measure: Development and usage of the OFB/KATS AT Demo/Device Loan Lab and Program

Progress: Met in full 100% in 2010.

Demonstrations and Short-Term Loans continued throughout FY2010. KATS consulted with OFB AT staff regarding purchase of additional equipment for the lab and developed a tentative list of equipment to upgrade/purchase. Presentation made to DeafBlind support group to promote KATS Network and the Demo/loan lab. KATS continues to post links to B/VI related AT resources on their website as they become available.

Goal 4: Maximize the operational management of programs

Objective: To ensure efficiency and effectiveness of agency processes.

Strategy 1.1

Maximize usage of the case management system to enhance program services and quality assurance measures to support the agency programs.

Measures: Development of additional modules in CMS for the McDowell Center, Social Security, AT and Bioptic Driving.

Identify crystal reports needed for administration and evaluation of program operations

Progress: Moderate

In 2011, OFB staff worked on a module for the McDowell Center. Tried to utilize an existing program that KYVC uses for their online classes. Spent quite a bit of time trying to make it work for our needs before determining that it was not compatible. At this time funding is an issue, so that project has been put on hold.

The Social Security module was developed and implemented. It is a definite benefit for record keeping and the tracking of possible reimbursement claims. Use of this module has streamlined our process for tracking. The system in place will provide accuracy in tracking potential claims and promote assuring claims are filled in a timely manner.

The Independent Living module in CMS was updated assuring that all the needed data is captured to improve on the programs reporting abilities.

Crystal Reports are user friendly for District and Central Office Management reports. All reports in the system have been renamed, grouped and organized. Reports are added as needed.

Activities module was developed and implemented in 2012 to track agency community outreach.

No progress with the AT or Bioptic Driving modules.

Strategy 1.2

Professional Development will occur for all staff in their specific positions agency wide.

Measure: Provision of training to all field staff on coding and the usage of CMS. Staff will receive training, continuing education and professional development specific to their assigned position.

Progress: Met in Full 100%

In 2012, staff attended 16 national or regional conferences held out of state and in state specific to their discipline area (Orientation and Mobility, Deaf-Blind). Dissemination of Knowledge from Research and Other Sources is circulated on a weekly basis from a variety of sources. In 2012, a refresher trainings occurred for all VR Counselors and Assistants covering CMS coding and Crystal Reports. Through case reviews in 2012 it was noted that staff were not coding information properly in CMS for supported employment cases. There also appeared to be some confusion regarding when to use supported employment and the needed services on a supported employment plan. This was addressed in training in November of 2012. Other coding issues identified dealt with coding and addressing secondary disabilities on the IPE. This was addressed during the case group review in June 2012.

Strategy 1.3

OFB will continue its succession planning efforts targeting training for needed areas.

Measure: The design and development of a systematic quality assurance and review process

Progress: Met in Full 100%.

The loss of veteran staff to retirements has leveled off and OFB is positioned at this time with a young workforce. For 2012 and year to date for 2013 there has been progress in the area of leadership program development for the agency rehabilitation staff for effective succession planning. There are four training objectives to accomplish under the basic training grant from FFY 2011 – 2015. In 2012, OFB worked with TACE on a customized approach for this objective to include: identification of leadership core competencies (management processes and leadership behaviors). Core Competencies were identified. Office for the Blind and Office of Vocational Rehabilitation training HRD staff worked jointly in the development of a leadership program that would cross both agencies and pool resources. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation had in place an existing leadership program. The program was revamped to include the core competencies identified. The Academy of Leadership Exploration and Preparedness program ALEAP I was launched in January of 2013. The program is aligned with both agencies with some differences given the scope of work of each. The program is designed to provide staff with opportunities to learn about and develop foundational skills. Nine Office for the Blind Staff completed the application process and have been accepted into ALEAP I. Staff first must participate in the prerequisite required courses (online and classroom setting) through the State Personnel Governmental Services Center. A total of eleven courses are required requiring 50 -60 hours of instruction. Upon satisfying ALEAP I set requirements staff are eligible to make application to ALEAP II.

OFB staff worked directly with Southeast TACE, Chip Kenny, and Director on the identification of technical assistance for the specific area of supervision recognizing a need for both the General and Blind Agencies. Subcontractors of TACE Sally Siewert and Anita Hope submitted a proposal for the supervisory series based on the needs of leadership. The training will take place in the FFY’s 2013 and 2014. Session 1 (3 days submitted needs assessment. ) The Art and Science of Supervision will be held the week of June 24 and Session 2 Performance Management – Process for Achieving Goals (4 days will be held the week of August 12). OFB has ten individuals enrolled in this activity.

Strategy 1.4

Review Agency procedures and practices to ensure compliance with federal and state law and effectiveness of operations.

Measures: Completion of formal review and revision of Agency procedures and practices.

Progress: Met in Full 100%.

In 2012, OFB administrative staff completed a review and began revision revisions of the Counselor Manual and two agency consumer procedures for Training/post secondary and Cataracts. In addition the McDowell Center management staff completed the process of strategic planning specific to center based operations and services. In 2012 work was completed on the review and updating of the OFB strategic plan, state regulations and statues.

Goal 5: Maximize the delivery of Independent Living Services (IL) and Services for Older Individuals (OIB) who are blind.

Objective: Increase the number of individuals who are blind and visually impaired that live independently, work competitively, and are active in their community from the prior year.

Strategy 1.1

Maximize consumer’s knowledge of the availability of IL and OIB Services

Measures a: Increase in the number of consumers served from the prior year.

Baseline: OIB 655 IL 175 (2009)

Progress: Moderate

In 2010 there was a 16 % increase OIB/777 and a 4% decrease IL/169. In 2011 there were 767 served in OIB (1 % decrease) and 166 in IL (2% decrease). In 2012 there were OIB/731served and 167 in IL. For the three year period the number served in OIB was above the set baseline of 655. However, the number served in IL was below the set baseline of 175 for all three years. Given the trend that over a three year period the number served in this area was lower remaining around the same it is anticipated that the number served will be reflective of an average of around 167.

Measure b. Services will be delivered to consumers in all 120 counties throughout the state

Progress: Moderate (missing the set goal by one)

In 2009 IL/OIB staff served 108/120 counties or 90%. In 2010 IL/OIB staff served 113/120 or 94%. This was a 4% increase over the prior year. In 2011 IL/OIB staff served 107 counties. FFY 2012, 99% of counties were served (119/120).

Strategy 1.2 Develop a resource guide for consumers regarding providers, services and programs available both regional and statewide (medical, mental health, housing)

Measure: Development and availability of a resource guide for each field office.

Progress: Met in full 100% (2010)

The Special Projects Committee of the State Rehabilitation Council worked with OFB staff on a resource guide for this strategy area in 2010. The guide was completed and is available on the website and in alternate formats upon request.

Strategy 1.3 Increase marketing and outreach for IL and OIB Services.

Measure: The development of marketing materials and website visibility for IL and OIB services.

Progress: Met in full 100% (2010)

An additional OIB counselor was hired with ARRA money in the Northern KY region and one additional Counselor (IL/OIB) was added to the Elizabethtown field office to increase visibility and availability of services. The Northern Kentucky Position was added as a full-time permanent position.

The new website was released containing a section devoted to IL/OIB.

 

Reporting of Supported Employment Program Goals

The Kentucky Office for the Blind set the following goals for the distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds.

Goal 1: Increase the number served and the number of positive employment SE outcomes.

Strategy 1: Provide new staff with training or referral information as to Personal Futures Planning, natural supports, benefits planning and the use of other service providers or techniques to maximize employment opportunities for persons who require supported employment services.

Measure: Increase in served and the placed

Target: 10% increase over the prior year

Progress: Moderate

In 2011, there was a 26% increase in the number served and a 25% increase in the number placed over the prior year. In 2012, there was a 38% increase in the number served; however there was a decrease of 75% in the number placed. There has been progress in the area of serving more individuals eligible for Supported Employment and the VR counseling staff are utilizing more community rehabilitation providers in this process. However improvement still needs to occur in the area of positive employment outcomes.

OFB served 21 consumers through supported employment in 2009 with 10 closures. Four (4) of the ten (10) or 40% were successful outcomes. OFB served 23 consumers through supported employment in 2010 with 3 closures. One (1) of the three (3) or 33% were successful outcomes. In 2011 OFB implemented an initiative for the area of Supported Employment. There were 30 individuals served through supported employment with 4 successful closures. In 2012, OFB served 49 individuals through Supported Employment with 7 closures (one successful, six unsuccessful).

Strategy 2: Utilize the technical assistance of the University of Kentucky Human Interdisciplinary Institute and The Association of Persons in Supported Employment and other service providers who provide specialty employment training services for persons working with individuals with the most significant disabilities. All new counseling staff will attend training through the University.

Measure: new counseling staff participating in training

Target: 100%

Progress: Met in full 100%

In 2011 one (1) new counselor was added on staff and they attended the required training. In 2012, no new counseling staff attended; however year to date in 2013 two are registered to attend.

Strategy 3: Develop working relationships with supported employment providers in order to increase acceptance of OFB consumers in their programs.

Measure: of new working relationships with SE providers

Target: 10% increase of number of working relationships

Baseline: 7 SE providers (2009 data)

Progress: Met in full 100%

In 2010 there were 4 new providers or a 43% increase over 2009. This was met above the goal of 10% at 43%. In 2011 there was no change in the number of new providers with the total remaining the same. In 2012 there were 7 new providers a 50% increase.

Strategy 4: Provide training and technical support to area providers of supported employment in order to increase their skills, experience and expertise in working with the blind and visually impaired.

Measure: of trainings that occur for SE providers.

Target: The agency will provide a training track specific to vision impairments at the KY 2010 APSE.

Progress: Met in full 100% in 2011

There were three training provided in addition to APSE.

A training session for professionals in the field of Supported Employment was conducted at the 2011 Kentucky APSE annual conference. Approximately 25 individuals attended a training covering the area of Deaf/Blind presented by OFB staff. Three trainings were held as a part of an initiative titled “Supported Employment Providers Partnering for Success” In November, March and July of FFY 2011. In November the training was held in Bowling Green with approximately 25 in attendance. OFB staff covered accommodations, sighted guide and “vision 101”. The training in Louisville was held in March covering the same topics with around 12 in attendance. In July approximately 15 CRP staff attended a training in Lexington. OFB staff presented training on vision impairments covering visual acuity, visual fields and functional vision.

Goal 2: Increase linkages and program operations for Transition by working directly with the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) staff and school systems statewide in planning transition services and IPE development for students that require supported employment services.

Strategy 1: OFB will increase their collaborative partnerships through the Interagency Transition Council and its work group the Transition Core Team (TCT). The TCT is comprised of representatives from Kentucky’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (KOVR), Office for the Blind, Department of Education/Division of Exceptional Children (KDE/DECS) and Division of Career and Technical Education (DCTE); Kentucky Department Behavioral Health, Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities; the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs; Kentucky’s Deaf-Blind Intervention Project; and parent organizations.

Measure: of TCT meetings attended by OFB staff.

Target: 4 per quarter or 100%

Progress: Met in full at 100% of the goal.

Staff over statewide transition attended three of three (only three were scheduled and held in 2012) meetings or 100%

Strategy 2: OFB staff will increase their collaborative partnerships through the Regional Interagency Transition Team (RITT). The Regional Interagency Transition Teams (RITT) are aligned with the eleven Special Education Cooperatives in the state. The teams meet at least quarterly and are very active in their respective regions.

Measure: Number of staff attending all eleven RITTS across the state.

Target: 100% of the 11 RITTS (staff will represent agency in all cooperatives)

Progress: Moderate

In 2012 there was a reorganization of the RITS. There are now 9 RITTS to match the nine Special Education Cooperatives in the state. Due to this there was not as much activity to report in 2012.

Strategy 3: Increase the number of individuals participating in the Community Based Transition Program (CBWTP).

Measure: Number of individuals participating in CBWTP

Target: 10% increase over the prior year

Progress: Met in full at 100%

In 2009 there was 1 individual participating in CBWTP. In 2010 there were two individuals that participating in CBWTP an increase of 50%. In 2011 there were 2 CBWTP participants with the number remaining the same. In 2012 there are 4 participants. This is a 75% increase over the three year period. Certainly there is progress in this area; however there is still the need for overall improvement in this area.

 

Reporting Requirements/Standards And Indicators

Number of Applicants Determined Eligible Receiving Services

During FY 2012, there were 1,681 active cases in the vocational rehabilitation program. There were 368 individuals who had employment outcomes all of whom (100%) were significantly disabled. Of those individuals who achieved employment outcomes as a result of vocational rehabilitation services, 305 have incomes above minimum wage.

1998 REHABILITATION ACT STANDARDS AND INDICATORS

OFB is committed to providing the highest quality services to persons with blindness or visual impairments and to the development of and adherence to a full system of accountability. The office recognizes the following standards of excellence that include evaluation standards and performance indicators. These Vocational Rehabilitation standards comply with all requirements of the Workforce Investment Act, The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 as well as the goals listed under the strategic plan for the U.S. Department of Education.

Pursuant to section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the office will assess its performance on these standards and indicators and the state performance measures established under section 136 (b) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to the extent the measures are applicable to individuals with disabilities. The Office for the Blind will report these results on an annual basis.

Evaluation Standard One: Employment Outcomes

Performance Indicator 1.1: The number of employment outcomes;

This performance indicator was met

The number of employment outcomes for 2011 was 354. The number of employment outcomes for FY 2012 was 368. This is an increase in 16 or 3% over the prior year.

Given the small increase for 2011the two year average is a positive number totaling 6. Overall the agency was still able to place a number of individuals into SGA that are receiving SSI or SSDI. Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached a three-year low of 8.8 percent in January 2012. Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate rose to 8 percent in March from 7.9 percent in February 2013, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary March 2013 jobless rate was .2 percentage points below the 8.2 percent rate recorded for the state in March 2012. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased to 7.6 percent in March 2013 from 7.7 percent in February 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Although Kentucky has seen an upturn in unemployment rates, as in other states given the economic downturn competition in the job market remains high. Individuals who are blind must complete with high numbers of individuals on the unemployment rolls seeking employment. Open positions draw a large pool of highly qualified individuals with diverse skills and abilities. This increases the competitiveness of the pool of candidates and narrows an individual’s opportunity for successful employment.

The agency continues to address this area through:

• increased staff training

• involvement in job fairs

• training and educational opportunities for consumers that will increase their

competitiveness in the job market

• aligning resources with other state agencies

• tapping into all the available resources for consumers.

RSA Standard: equal or exceed previous year

Performance Indicator 1.2: The percentage of cases with employment outcomes; RSA Standard: 68.9%

The percentage of cases with employment outcomes for FY 2012 of the total number of cases was 76.35%. This indicator was met.

Primary Indicator One (Performance Indicator 1.3): Percentage of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome who exited the OFB program into competitive, self, or KBE employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. RSA Standard: 35.4%

For FY 2012 this indicator was met with a percentage of 91.30%

Primary Indicator Two (Performance Indicator 1.4): Percentage of individuals with significant disabilities as a percentage of all individuals who exit the VR program into competitive, self, or KBE employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. RSA Standard: 89%

For FY 2012 this indicator was met with the percentage at 100%

Primary Indicator Three (Performance Indicator 1.5): The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the OFB program in competitive, self, or KBE employment with earning levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to Kentucky’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the state who are employed. RSA Standard: .59

For FY 2012 this indicator was met with the ratio to the average Kentucky hourly wage for all categories at 59.48%.

Performance Indicator 1.6: Self-sufficiency resulting from employment;

RSA Standard: 30.4 mathematical difference

For FY 2012 this indicator was met with the percentage change between application and closure at 30.65%.

Evaluation Standard Two: Minority Access

Performance Indicator 2.1: Service rates for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities for FY 2012 was 90.49%. RSA Standard: 80.00 ratio

This performance indicator was met. The agency has a plan in place for minority outreach. Individuals who are minorities have equal access to vocational rehabilitation services. OFB is committed in its effort to build the capacity to effectively service individuals with most significant disabilities who are minorities. OFB will provide vocational rehabilitation services to all individuals who have visual disabilities who are eligible for services regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion, color, disability or age. The Agency assures the provision of services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the state to the same extent as it provides services to other significant populations or individuals residing in the state.

 

INNOVATION AND EXPANSION ACTIVITIES

During FY 2012, the State Rehabilitation Council had a budget of $48,500.00. These dollars came from Title I funds. The projected budget for FY 2013 is $48,500 and for 2014 is $48,500.

OFB provides basic support dollars to the Statewide Independent Living Council. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Office for the Blind share costs for a part time coordinator position for Statewide Independent Living Council. Funds for the split position come from the Independent Living Part B funds.

For the FFY 2014 State Plan Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities will be used to

increase and enhance employment opportunities for individuals who have the most significant

disabilities and support of the Statewide Rehabilitation Council. The areas of focus for

Innovation and Expansion Activities are as follows:

1) Annual Support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council

2) Increase supported employment outcomes and other supports to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with most significant disabilities.

3) Develop and implement a statewide model for more effectively serving the transition population

During FFY 2012 a total of $31,208 including staff expenses in Title I Funds were spent for innovation and expansion activities. The following is a summary of how these funds were expended:

Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities will be used to increase and enhance

employment opportunities for individuals who have the most significant disabilities. The

areas of focus for Innovation and Expansion Activities are as follows:

Training for staff specific to Categorized Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Annual Support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council

Development of a work adjustment program specific to underserved populations.

Training for staff specific to Categorized Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Training will occur for staff on essential areas of blindness and vision impairments assuring that qualified and well trained personnel are available to effectively serve our consumers. As reported in the CSPD attachment 72% of counseling staff have been in their position ten (10) years or less. Only 28 percent (28%) have been with the agency 11 years or longer. The loss of veteran staff to retirements has leveled off as most individuals needing to retire within the necessary timeframe in order to maximize their benefits have already left the agency. Given the agency has a young workforce professional development, educational advancement and skills acquisition is an area of focus for the agency over the next few years.

Training specific to specialty areas such as Orientation and Mobility, Assistive Technology are typically costly and requires out of state travel that is often cost prohibitive for staff. Training that is specific to Instructional staff at the Charles W. McDowell Center for the area of blindness skills is another high area of need. The agency will work with the TACE Center on this initiative.

Progress: In 2010 the agency submitted a Basic and Quality Grant award that contained goals and objectives addressing this area. Both grants were awarded to the Office for the Blind and these training activities are now covered under these awards. Prior to this timeframe, OFB only had a Basic Quality Award in the amount of $18,883 a year. With the addition of the Quality Award with an annual amount of $85,000 annual for a five year period the opportunity for training for specialized staff is at a maximum. Under this Basic In-Service Training Grant the scope of work of the project will be divided into the following two goal areas: Goal 1 is to increase the competence of agency rehabilitation staff in providing vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind and visually impaired through specialized training containing eight training objectives. Under this Quality In-Service Training Grant the scope of work of the project will be divided into the following three goal areas: Goal 1- To increase the competence of agency rehabilitation staff through training and certification with four objectives, Goal 2 - To develop, design and implement elearning for the agency with one objective and Goal 3 - To provide distance learning opportunities for staff increasing competencies through education and training with three objectives. No money was expended for Innovation and Expansion in 2012 for this area.

Work Adjustment

The agency will research potential collaborative partnerships in order to increase return to work efforts for consumers with brain injuries and developmental disabilities who are blind and visually impaired. There is a need for the development of a work adjustment program specific to this underserved population. The agency will collaborate with OVR on their existing programs; examine the feasibility of developing this service at our training facility and work with community rehabilitation providers on this initiative.

Progress: Some

In 2009 – 2010 FFY contact was made with OVR regarding setting a meeting to discuss a partnership involving the Perkins Center. Staff identified the necessary training needed for skills enhancement for the provision of services specific to the blind and visually impaired. Agency staff identified two local programs through existing Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRP’s). Two common issues were identified and they were the lack of basic knowledge in serving the blind and visually impaired of CRP staff and dealing with behavioral issues was sometimes problematic. Discussion involved the development and provision of training to CRP staff for this area.

In FFY 2011, after some preliminary discussions regarding curriculum changes at the Charles McDowell Rehabilitation Center and the feasibility of implementing a work adjustment program in house the decision was made to proceed in this direction. Vacant space in our McDowell Training Center has presented the opportunity to develop a work simulation environment. It is our goal to utilize this program to better prepare those with co occurring disabilities in their transition to the work force. This will provide those needing work adjustment services the opportunity to practice real-life work skills while in a rehabilitation setting. Year to date no money has been expended for this project. This project will teach basic job skills for consumers interested in janitorial services, receptionist work, or customer service using a behaviorally anchored assessment tool that will document progress toward employability. Enrollment for this work adjustment program will begin in 2012.

In 2012, after there were some curriculum changes at the Charles W. McDowell Rehabilitation Center and the implementation of a new model, this space is being directed to be utilized as a Resource Center where consumers can come to work independently or with minimal supervision to look for employment or research community services. The space will provide a means for providing additional training in such areas as social media, college media such as “Blackboard”, and other services to enhance the objectives and goals of consumers who have cases open with OFB but may not be obtaining training currently at the McDowell Center.

Annual Support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council

The Office for the Blind will continue to provide annual support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council through administrative support and direct expenses necessary to operate the State Rehabilitation Council. Funding will be provided for payment for contractual services to complete the annual client satisfaction survey, reimbursement of expenses and personnel costs and all costs associated with the publishing of the SRC Annual Report. These funding arrangements are consistent with 34 CFR 361.35. For FFY 2012 there was a budget of $47,800 with a projected budget of $47,800 for FFY 2013 and 201

Progress:

Fiscal Tracking mechanisms were put in place in order to capture FFY 2012 annual support for the Statewide Rehabilitation Council. This year the agency spent $31,208 in Innovation and Expansion funding in the support of the SRC for reimbursement of expenses and personnel costs for the agency designated liaison for the SRC. This includes:

SRC Annual Report Publication,

The SRC Consumer Satisfaction Survey of all closed cased contracted through the University of Kentucky.

Reimbursement of expenses in accordance with Section 105 (g) of the Act.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2013 1:55PM by Cora Mcnabb

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

PRINCIPLES

Supported Employment is paid competitive work that offers ongoing support services in integrated settings for individuals with the most significant disabilities. Supported employment is intended for individuals for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a most significant disability, and who need ongoing supports to maintain their employment. This includes transitional employment for individuals with the most severe disabilities due to mental illness. This employment outcome is obtained by providing intensive service and is maintained through the provision of extended service. The level of employment participation may be full-or part-time based on the interests and abilities of the individual. Individuals will be compensated at or above minimum wage, but not less than the customary or usual wage paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who are not disabled.

The Office for the Blind is committed to the principle that individuals with the most significant disabilities, including those who have not traditionally experienced competitive work, are capable of engaging in employment in integrated settings. Supported Employment services provide for a system of intensive, life-long work and community and natural supports, allowing individuals needing these services the tools to perform competitive work in an integrated setting. The Office for the Blind is committed to the principle that there is no disability too significant, which would impede an individual’s ability to work.

PROCEDURES

The Office for the Blind established written procedures in the OFB Counselor Manual whereby all rehabilitation counselors may provide supported employment services to those individuals who have the most significant disabilities and who qualify for services under the definition of supported employment. These procedures contained in the Counselor Manual include competitive work, integrated work setting, on-going support services, transition services, transitional employment, eligibility requirements, funding, vendors, referral, individual plan for employment, outreach, application, assessment, job development, job placement, on the job skills training with job coaches or employment specialists, community supports, post-employment services and extended services for the duration of the individual’s current employment or future employment.

The Office for the Blind uses the same process as our sister agency Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) in establishing vendors and payment schedules. The Agency coordinates with OVR supported employment efforts, which include developing agreements with supported employment vendors. The Agency partners with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, consulting with vocational rehabilitation counselors and supported employment vendors concerning program issues, tracking supported employment caseloads, and advising necessary staff concerning training activities and program changes.

COLLABORATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES

The Office for the Blind participates with other state agencies, including the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Interagency Council, the Kentucky Interagency Transition Council and the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute with the purpose to collaborate in the provision of supported employment services. The Agency collaborates with the Community Based Work Transition Program in identifying and providing financial support for those high school students who qualify for supported employment services and who are eligible for Office for the Blind services.

PROGRAM PROVIDERS OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT

There are 72 not for profit community programs statewide providing supported employment services. These services include personal futures planning, job development, job site training, job coaching and counseling.

QUALITY OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

Organizational systems, which help to assure the quality and effectiveness of supported employment, are in place. The Office for Vocational Rehabilitation has an established program, which provides technical assistance and training to service providers and monitors quality assurance. The Office for the Blind assists these same providers through staff training and consultation to ensure that the unique needs of individuals who are blind are met.

Supported Employment services are supplemented with unique services, which may be necessary for individuals who are blind. These services include rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology, orientation and mobility, Braille, daily living skills, communication skills, advocacy and independent living skills.

Consumer waiting lists in the Commonwealth are lengthy. This is due to the number of supported employment providers and the lack of adequate funding and the set criteria for accessing that funding for extended services. This is further complicated by the lack of knowledge of area providers regarding the blind and visually impaired. Counselors offer to partner with provider staff assisting them with job placement in order to address specific needs issues surrounding blindness that present a major challenge. The Office for the Blind follows the rates of payment process and agreements; however, efforts are made to work individually with all providers advocating for our consumer base.

TIME LIMITED SUPPORT SERVICES

Supported employment services provided by the agency are time limited. During the initial phase of SE, a comprehensive assessment is imperative. There is collaboration between Office for the Blind and provider staffs in the development of the IPE in order to further define services with the consumer. A fee schedule is set for reimbursement of these initial services. Job Placement and Retention payment points are outcomes based.

Ongoing support services can be provided for a time not to exceed 18 months unless special circumstances are noted in the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) and the vocational rehabilitation counselor, the consumer, and the supported employment provider are in agreement that further time is needed to reach the vocational goals of the consumer. The employment goal of the individual shall be consistent with these criteria: the maximum numbers of hours per week in employment possible in an integrated setting, based on the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual.

TIMING OF TRANSITION FROM SUPPORT SERVICES TO EXTENDED SERVICES

The time limited supports must be identified as to OFB involvement and the service provider must be in agreement that they will provide these supports or identify another agency or program in agreement to provide extended services of support to the individual for the duration of employment. On-going support services identified by the agency will be specified in an Individualized Plan for Employment. At a minimum, these extended services shall include twice monthly monitoring at the work site. If the IPE provides for off-site monitoring, it must, at a minimum consist of two face-to-face meetings with the Supported Employment consumer and at least one contact with the employer each month.

OFB will continue to provide short-term blindness specific skills, such as Orientation and Mobility in the case when there are substantial changes involving the consumer’s employment or status of their job. This option for supportive services alleviates some of the fears of providers in accepting referrals from OFB.

EXTENDED SERVICES

Extended Services are ongoing support, follow-up services, and other appropriate services that are needed to support and maintain a consumer in supported employment after the consumer is no longer being funded and/or supported by the agency. In order to be approved to be a supported employment vendor for the agency, the supported employment agency must make extended services available using a funding source other than the agency. This will typically begin after the 18-month period in which the consumer has been receiving services funded by the agency and after the consumer has successfully transitioned into work. Examples of follow-up services include facilitation of natural supports on the work site and regular contact with the employer, the consumer, family members or advocates of the consumer, and/or other suitable informed advisors. This follow-up is intended to reinforce and stabilize successful employment. Systems of natural supports, including agreements with community service organizations and employers, may be initiated to provide extended supports for the duration of the employment of the individual. Office for the Blind staff is called upon to consult as needed.

TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO EMPLOYMENT

The Office for the Blind may also provide supported employment services for youth in transition from school to employment. These services are a coordinated set of activities for a student designed within an outcome-oriented process that promotes movement from school to post-school activities. They must promote or facilitate the achievement of the employment outcome identified in the student’s IEP and IPE developed prior to graduation. OFB has a cooperative agreement with the Kentucky School for the Blind and its outreach program for a comprehensive assessment to occur the summer between the student’s junior and senior year. This is often conducted at the agency’s rehabilitation facility at the Charles W. McDowell Center. This includes all students encompassing those referred for supported employment as well as those entering the post secondary education system. The assessment provides the counselor information to assist with the development of the IPE and the identification of needed services. The Office participates with twenty other state agencies in the Kentucky Interagency Transition Council. The purpose of this organization is to provide a system of collaboration among agencies and schools in a shared responsibility for the education and employment of youth with disabilities. Through an Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) for each individual, the IPE is coordinated with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and if appropriate, the Individualized Developmental Disabilities Plan (IDDP).

OFB staff serves in a consultative and technical assistance role to educational agencies in transition planning for students at the seventh and eighth grade level. The agency provides information and referrals to needed services to schools for all age levels as a proactive preventive measure in offsetting challenges or issues for this population before they occur.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 4:08PM by Cora Mcnabb

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:06/28/2013 1:57 PM

Last updated by:sakybmcnabbc

Completed on: 06/28/2013 1:57 PM

Completed by: sakybmcnabbc

Approved on: 09/04/2013 1:12 PM

Approved by: rsahoosierz