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
Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 (submitted FY 2013)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services 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 Maryland State Department of Education [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

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

Assistant State Superintendent in Rehabilitation Services

... 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 SignatorySuzanne Page

Title of SignatoryAssistant State Superintendent, Division of Rehabilitation Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/13/2013

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2014No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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.

Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations

Introduction

The Maryland State Rehabilitation Council (MSRC) was established under the 1992 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act. The Council reviews, analyzes and advises the Division of Rehabilitation Services about issues such as service provision, eligibility, strategic planning, and consumer satisfaction. MSRC members meet quarterly, perform extensive committee work and help with informal consultation.   During FY2013, MSRC played an active role in many activities with and in support of DORS.

These included:

Advocating for increased awareness of public vocational rehabilitation programs, including educating stakeholders about the impact of DORS waiting list on people with significant disabilities

Facilitating statewide public meetings

Providing consultation and review for consumer satisfaction surveys

Providing review and analysis of Client Assistance Program (CAP) outcomes and issues

Reviewing and analyzing DORS employment and retention study

Making personal office visits with members of Maryland’s General Assembly regarding the need to maintain state funding to address the needs of underserved populations and DORS staff vacancy rates, and to thank them for their continuing support of the public vocational rehabilitation program

A letter was issued to the Maryland General Assembly in support of extension of the Tax Credit for Qualifying Employees with Disabilities

Actively participating in DORS strategic planning process, including planning meetings

The Council was active in the Region 3 SRC Community of Practice, the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind (NCSAB), and the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils.

Summary of Input

The MSRC provides year-round formal and informal consultation to DORS, particularly at scheduled quarterly full Council meetings, at committee meetings and during an annual DORS/MSRC executive planning meeting. Meeting minutes document discussions and recommendations.

In addition, DORS provided members of the Policy and Planning Committee with documents so that the committee could offer formal recommendations for the agency’s strategic planning needs.

These were:

-SRC FY 2012 Annual Report

-DORS FY 2012 Outcomes

-FY 2012 Standards & Indicators

-Consumer satisfaction survey results from the Office of Field Services and the Office for Blindness & Vision Services

-DORS/SRC 2013 Public Meetings report

Recommendations from the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council

1. The Council supports DORS efforts to enhance its quality assurance system and recommends that the agency address the methodology of consumer satisfaction surveys and explore web-based surveys. Consider strategies to expand sample size, reach underrepresented groups, and preserve anonymity.  Explore Web-based surveys, follow-up phone calls, and other response methods

DORS Response: DORS looks forward to the opportunity to focus on quality measures to further assure that individuals with disabilities receive high quality services leading to employment. We welcome participation of the Council as we enhance the agency QA system.

2.  The Council recommends that DORS continue to emphasize the Counselor’s role in providing career counseling to assist consumers with developing appropriate and achievable vocational goals.

DORS Response: DORS agrees that career counseling is critical in assisting individuals with disabilities to achieve employment. The agency has begun a statewide focus on training counselors in career counseling, with consultation and training provided by the TACE Center.

3.  The Council recommends that DORS continue collaboration with local providers, the Maryland Department of Disabilities, and the Developmental Disabilities Administration at the State and local levels, as related to the Employment First initiative. This should include an exploration of programmatic barriers to success and cross-agency training needs.

DORS Response: DORS looks forward to continuing to collaborate with other agencies regarding Employment First, an initiative that assures that employment is considered first for individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities. Collaboration on updating the DORS-Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration Cooperative Agreement on Employment Services is nearing completion.

4. The Council recommends that DORS continue to look at innovative transportation options. DORS staff should be reminded of the available transportation options and resources and these statewide resources will continue to be posted on InDORS and on the public website.

DORS Response: DORS appreciates and shares the Council’s concern about transportation options for individuals with disabilities because of its impact on employment. DORS will continue efforts to work with other entities on transportation issues and to share information with all staff about transportation resources.

5.  The Council recommends that DORS continue to explore, identify, and implement innovative practices in job development and placement, including evaluating the effectiveness of the new business services representatives.

DORS Response: DORS appreciates the Council’s support in obtaining contractual positions for the business services representatives and will work closely with these new staff in developing innovative practices to assist individuals with significant disabilities in achieving employment.

6. The Council appreciates the expansion of services at the Workforce & Technology Center for consumers who are deaf/hard-of-hearing, blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind and on the Autism spectrum, and recommends that WTC/DORS provide periodic updates to the Council on the effectiveness of these expanded services.

DORS Response: DORS will be glad to include WTC staff on the agenda of FY 2014 SRC committee and full council meetings to update the membership on these innovative and effective practices.

7.  The Council recommends that DORS review the Agency’s website and social media strategy to continue to improve its effectiveness in providing consumer information, public education, outreach, and as a means of allowing stakeholders to provide feedback to the Agency.

DORS Response: DORS is hopeful that the Agency website will be updated during FY 2014 and is working with MSDE and the Maryland Department of Information Technology toward that end. Once the updated website is available, we will have the infrastructure to expand public and consumer information, education and outreach and determine if there are ways the new infrastructure can support feedback from stakeholders.

8.  The Council is supportive of the Agency’s efforts toward developing a three-year strategic plan.

DORS Response: DORS is working closely with the TACE Center and in looking forward to a number of activities over the next year to develop a 3-year Strategic Plan. We welcome Council participation in those activities and development of the 3-year plan.

DORS supports these recommendations and continues to be very appreciative of the expertise of the individuals who comprise the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council. Their passion for and commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities is without equal. DORS values their contributions of time and knowledge.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 4:58PM by Polly Huston

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2009 10:12AM by Polly Huston

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

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

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

Attachment 4.8 (b) (1) Cooperation with Agencies Not Carrying Out Activities under the Statewide Workforce Investment System

Cooperation with private and non-profit service agencies, related government agencies and other professional organizations has long been a cornerstone of public vocational rehabilitation in Maryland. Such collaborations help to overcome the complex and multiple barriers that confront people with disabilities who want to work or stay independent in their communities.    The Division maintains cooperative agreements, memoranda of understanding and membership on Interagency Councils and Local Committees and other collaborative initiatives and projects with agencies and organizations outside the workforce investment system.  

A. Cooperative Agreements

1. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH): 

a. Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) – This cooperative agreement, most recently updated effective December 2011, addresses referrals between agencies and specifies shared responsibilities for funding of supported employment, as well as cross-training for staff.  

b. Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) – Maryland State Department  of Education, DORS, and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Developmental Disabilities Administration updated and approved the Cooperative Agreement, Employment Services in December 2006. It addresses referral between agencies and specifies shared responsibilities for funding of supported employment. It also describes cross-training activities. A Priority Initiative Addendum has been signed that identifies target populations for DORS services, consistent with the DORS Order of Selection, among individuals with developmental disabilities who 1) are receiving Individualized Support Services (ISS); 2) those leaving secondary school prior to age 21; and 3) individuals in day activity programs.

DORS is represented on a number of DDA workgroups with a goal of implementation of Employment First in Maryland. DORS anticipates updating the DORS-DDA Cooperative Agreement within the next year.

2.   Maryland Association of Student and Financial Aid Administrators

This cooperative agreement specifies the process for defining unmet financial need for  higher education and the requirements for PELL Grant and scholarship applications. It  also outlines the process for sharing information to determine the amount of assistance DORS can provide to a student for tuition and other educational costs.  

3. Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC)

This agreement describes the referral process and the procedure for submitting rehabilitation plans to the Commission to determine if costs will be covered by an insurer.           

4. Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

The Intra-agency Cooperative Agreement on Transitioning specifies areas of cooperation among the Divisions of Student, Family and School Support Services, Special Education/ Early Intervention Services, Career and College Readiness, and Rehabilitation Services specific to transitioning youth. (See Attachment 4.8(b) (2).)  

B. Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)

1. MOUs with each of these agencies authorize them to issue vouchers for the Maryland Disability Employment Tax Credit: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Mental           Hygiene Administration (MHA), and Developmental Disabilities Administration    (DDA).  

2. An MOU with the Maryland State Department of Budget and Management, Office of Personnel Services and Benefits outlines service provision for state employees with disabilities. This includes career assessment, worksite analysis and rehabilitation technology assessment for provision of reasonable accommodations. It also describes a referral process for state employees who are unable to do their job because of           disability as well as what assistance is available for eligible employees in obtaining a new job within or outside of State government.

C. Interagency Councils and Local Committees

DORS maintains an active presence on numerous statewide interagency councils. DORS regional and field offices, the Workforce & Technology Center (WTC) and the Office for      Blindness and Vision Services (OBVS) also maintain active working relationships with many local committees and initiatives.

Statewide:<:

a. Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)  

b. Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council(DDC)  

c. Maryland Mental Health Advisory Board (DHMH, MHA)

d. Local Coordinating Councils

e. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Committee

f. Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities Under Executive Order 01.01.2007.13 (Interagency State Plan for Transitioning Students with Disabilities)  

g. The Maryland Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation (MCCHST)  

h. DHMH/DDA, Maryland Department of Disabilities Employment First

i. The Maryland Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped Advisory Board    

D. Other Collaborative Initiatives and Projects

DORS collaborates with the Department of Disabilities, a cabinet level agency. DORS is represented on the following committees/workgroups:  

1.     “Specialistern” – model for employment of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome

2.     SUCCESS - post-secondary education for individuals with intellectual disabilities

3.     The ADA Celebration committee

4.     Quarterly meetings between MDOD Secretary and DORS Director to discuss state and national disability topics, project updates, etc.

5.     DORS supports/collaborates with DOD during legislative session on issues of importance to the disability community.   All committees bring together a variety of Maryland agencies that supply programs and services to individuals with disabilities.  

There are also agreements with the Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) and the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD), covering referral procedures, evaluation, individualized planning and follow-up. The Office for Blindness & Vision Services (OBVS) sponsors summer programs with MSB at the Workforce & Technology Center.  

Other collaborations are:

1. Supported Business Enterprise-- DORS works with the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) to assure that self-employment is a viable career option for individuals with cognitive and psychiatric disabilities. Supported Business Enterprise is a form of self-employment for individuals who, because of their disability, require supports to operate their business. While the consumer must perform a core function of the business, extended service providers support certain activities and related functions to assure successful operation. All businesses operate within an integrated employment setting.

2. Blind Industries & Services of Maryland (BISM) - DORS provides state-aided grants support services to individuals with vision loss, including rehabilitation teachers, aids and devices and Braille production. 

3. Community Colleges—DORS has an agreement with the Community College of Baltimore County to work collaboratively on their 3 campuses with the college Disability Support Services staff to provide supports required by students with Autism spectrum disabilities. The Division’s Workforce & Technology Center has designated a staff person to work directly with students, college staff and faculty to assure student success at the community college and facilitate development of compensatory skills to continue to a four year institution of higher education or begin employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 5:15PM by Polly Huston

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.

Plans, Policies and Coordination with Educational Officials 

The Division considers service provision to high school students with disabilities and their families a high priority. The agency coordinates services with local educational agencies in order to identify diploma & certificate students who will need services in order to move into the world of work. These activities are coordinated both at the statewide level as well by regional directors and supervisors on a local level.

Coordination with Educational Officials.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services is an organizational unit of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). DORS, therefore, is a signatory and partner in implementation of the Maryland Intra-agency Cooperative Planning Agreement for Secondary Students with Disabilities. This is an agreement with three other cooperating Divisions within MSDE: the Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services; the Division of Career Technology; and the Division of Student, Family, and School Services. The agreement identifies the roles and responsibilities of the cooperating Divisions at the state and local level, including the process for technical assistance and training to schools; assurances for the development and completion of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is coordinated with the development of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) prior to school exit; financial responsibilities and methods to resolve disputes; and referrals, including those students with disabilities at risk of dropping out, having been suspended or expelled. Students who remain in school are referred during the Fall semester of their next to last year in secondary school. The provision of in-school rehabilitation services was included to enhance earlier DORS involvement in career and employment services while the youth was still in school. The agreement is based on federal and state legislation, as well as policies consistent with transition evidence based practices.

Local Agreements.

Using the Maryland Intra-agency Cooperative Planning Agreement for Secondary Students with Disabilitiesas a basis and model, DORS and local education agency staff have developed MOUs to clarify roles and responsibilities at the local level. DORS also maintains local cooperative agreements with the Maryland School for the Blind and the Maryland School for the Deaf regarding appropriate transition services for these under served student populations.

State Law – Counselor Assignment to Secondary Schools; Completion of the IPE.

Maryland State Law requires that DORS assign a counselor to each public secondary school in the state to promote effective transition. It also requires that DORS complete the IPE for eligible students with disabilities who can be served under the order of selection prior to school exit.

The Governor’s Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities.

By state law, DORS is a permanent member of the Governor’s Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities, recently reissued as Executive Order 01.01.2007.13. DORS collaborates with 26 other Council members, including state agencies (Health and Mental Hygiene, Labor and Licensing, Maryland Technology, Higher Education Commission, Workforce Investment Board), representatives of schools, disability advocacy groups, and individuals with disabilities and their families. The purpose of the Council is to promote effective transition services for students with disabilities throughout Maryland. This includes outreach to students and referral to DORS and other agencies that can be of assistance.

DORS Staff Specialist for Transition.

DORS maintains a Staff Specialist position to:

a. Coordinate all transition activities and projects with other state agencies, community organizations, public and private facilities, local DORS field offices, and employers.

b. Collaborate with the DORS Grants Administrator in responding to federal and state transition requests for proposals and in implementing cooperative agreements.

c. Develop, update and monitor transition documents.  

d. Provide program information to state level transition personnel and to the local education agencies through in-service training and publications.

e.Serve as consultative staff for the Governor’s Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities.

f. Facilitate an intra-agency transition group for counselors who provide transitioning services for the purpose of information sharing and ongoing training.

State-of-the-Art Transitioning. DORS will:

a. Facilitate activities to bring state-of-the-art transitioning services to Maryland’s students and families, consistent with the guideposts of evidence-based practice in transitioning program development: Preparatory Experiences, Connecting Activities, Work-based Experiences and Youth Development and Leadership.  

b.  Continue to explore, develop and expand new initiatives and methodologies that promote the successful post-school outcomes of: employment, post-secondary education and training and community participation, independent living and healthy lifestyles. This may be accomplished through cooperative agreements, cooperative funding agreements, special grants or other innovative means.

c.  Work with local businesses and agencies as needed to expand opportunities for internships, mentoring, and summer employment experiences as a way to prepare students for viable careers.

d.  Continue to administer and evaluate the Governor’s Transition Youth Initiative, a program designed for transitioning students with the most significant disabilities, exiting school at age 21 and who can benefit from supported employment services.

e.  Identify opportunities to provide information and outreach materials for transitioning students and their families.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 2:47PM by Kimberlee Schultz

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

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

The Division utilizes community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) to the maximum extent feasible to provide a wide range of highly skilled vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities around the state. DORS continually assesses the needs of individuals with disabilities and recruits new organizations and expands services with existing ones in order to meet those needs. 

DORS Accreditations

Accreditation of CRPs is an important factor in the operation of the state vocational rehabilitation program in Maryland.  The purpose of these reviews and accreditations is as follows:

To improve the quality of services delivered to individuals with disabilities

To assist the governing board of the community rehabilitation program and other interested groups in the community to better understand what is required for a sound program

To serve as a means for self-evaluation by the board, administrator and staff.

The Accreditation Process

DORS purchases services from CRPs that are accredited and operate in compliance with federal regulations and operate in compliance with the regulations for Title I, Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program implementing the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992, Section 361.51.

These CRPs must hold accreditations from national organizations such as CARF or The Joint Commission, formerly JCAHO.  They may also be in “deemed” status, having been accredited by other Maryland government agencies such as the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. 

Otherwise, the DORS staff specialist for community rehabilitation programs will perform onsite accreditations every three years. The specialist, along with a local DORS staff person, advises the CRPs what is required and then conducts an onsite review to examine all resource documents, consumer files and details about programs. As appropriate, CRP staff may attend the overview and exit conferences.

If the program demonstrates its ability to serve DORS consumers, a cooperative agreement is drafted for approval and signature. The agreement outlines roles, responsibilities and fees.

Services Purchased by DORS

DORS purchases a wide variety of services that assist people with disabilities to reach

independence and employment. These may include career assessment services, assistive

technology services, employee development services, non-supported employment job

coaching, skills training and specialized services such as those for individuals with acquired

Brain injuries.  

DORS may also purchase job-coaching services from CRPs that have supported employment

programs approved by the Mental Health Administration  (MHA) and the Developmental

Disabilities Administration.

DORS will also purchase community based assessment services provided by private vendors

who are certified vocational evaluators. 

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 5:18PM by Polly Huston

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.

1. DORS has implemented a Milestone Payment system for psychiatric rehabilitation programs offering Evidence-Based Supported Employment services. The Milestone Payment system significantly streamlines provision of services for DORS and provider staff by substantially reducing preparation of authorizations and invoices, tracking of hours of services, and simplifying reporting.

2. Employment First.

DORS is a partner with other State agencies and community rehabilitation programs in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure that individuals with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities consider employment on a preferred basis in planning for their lives.  Employment First is consistent with our agency’s belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can work in meaningful positions in integrated settings when provided with adequate, appropriate supports. Supported employment is appropriate for individuals in Employment First and is the means to assure the best chance for success in employment. Community rehabilitation programs are enhancing “discovery” services aimed at assisting individuals with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities to determine what they would like to do with their lives, including their work life.  They are also developing “customized employment” services where a job can be tailored specifically for an individual to meet his/her needs and aspirations. Benefits planning is also an important part of services for individuals served through Employment First.

3. Governor’s Employment Program for Persons with Acquired Brain Injury

The Governor’s Employment Program for Persons with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI Project) provides intensive vocational rehabilitation and long-term supports to individuals with acquired brain injuries. This often includes needed neuropsychological and other assessments, training and supported employment services and long-term job coaching.

Individuals with ABI often do not qualify for long-term supports offered through the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) for people with chronic mental illness or the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) for individuals with developmental disabilities.

This program includes periodic meetings of DORS staff assigned ABI cases, DORS managers and staff of CRPs serving individuals with ABI and includes a training component.

The ABI Program allows DORS to identify and serve 50 individuals annually with traumatic brain injuries with intensive and continuous service delivery with community partnerships. DORS is working with community rehabilitation programs and other organizations to provide the necessary services, including job coaching, to eligible individuals.

A unique aspect of this program is that DORS provides the funding for the long-term job coaching support as part of post- employment services for individuals.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 2:51PM by Kimberlee Schultz

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) has established policies and procedures for a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) which ensures that all personnel:

• are well qualified

• regularly take part in staff development

• participate in performance-based evaluation systems

• meet required licensing/certification standards

Training, education and developmental activities ensure appropriately skilled staff, with special emphasis given to rehabilitation technology, employer services, transitioning and disability-specific (e.g., blindness) skills. This system strives to fill vacancies with well-qualified and culturally diverse applicants.

As part of the Maryland State Department of Education, DORS is required to adhere to personnel development policies and procedures contained in 34 CFR 300.15, 34 CFR 300-383, 20. U.S.C. 1413 (A) (3) and in the Code of Maryland Regulations 13 A., 05.01.03G.

1. Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development. DORS has a data system to annually obtain information on personnel and personnel development, as follows:

a. The number of personnel who are employed by the state agency in the provision of VR services in relation to the number of individuals served, broken down by personnel category.

By December 31 of each year DORS will:

1. Use the RSA A2 Report of September 30 to determine the number of DORS positions in provision of VR services (total number of DORS positions minus total number of DDS positions).

2. Determine the number of positions in the following categories:

a. Rehabilitation Counselors

b. Administrative Staff

c. Staff Supporting Counselor Activities

d. Other

3. Determine the number of individuals served effective September 30 from the AWARE case management system.

b. The number of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide VR services, broken down by personnel category.

1. Using the MSDE Personnel Report of September 30, analyze DORS vacancy rate and vacancies in the specific categories. Also consider total number of staff needed based on waiting list and other factors.

c. Projections of vacancies in personnel, broken down by personnel category, needed by the state agency to provide VR services in the state in 5 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.Ascertain turn over rate for most recent federal fiscal year.

2. Project vacancies over the next five years in light of current staffing and turn-over rate and other relevant factors.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Rehabilitation Counselors 192 10 67
2 Administrative Staff 63 4 22
3 Staff Supporting Counselor Activities 149 9 52
4 Other 8 2 3
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

DORS system for collecting and analyzing on an annual basis data on personnel development. Following is a description of DORS system for collecting and analyzing data on personnel development on an annual basis:

a. Annually, compile a list of the institutions of higher education in the state that are preparing VR professionals, by type of program.

A list will be compiled of programs in Maryland preparing VR staff at the bachelor’s, master’s and certificate level.

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

c. The number of students who graduated during the prior year from each institution 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.

At the conclusion of each academic year, DORS will contact coordinators of programs at Maryland institutions of higher education to obtain information about:

The number of students enrolled in each type of program

The number of employees sponsored by DORS or RSA

The number of employees sponsored by DORS or RSA who have graduated

The number who have graduated

The number who have graduated with certification or licensure or credentials required to achieve certification/licensure.

DORS staff will then determine personnel category of graduates who have certification, licensure or credentials to achieve certification/licensure.

ANNUAL ANALYSIS/REPORT

1. Compile data.

2. Analyze information compared to previous years; determine trends.

3. Based on data and trends, determine implications for rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities in Maryland.

4. No later than December 31, prepare a report of findings; include recommendations in Division planning and other activities, as appropriate.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Coppin State University 178 1 0 35
2 The George Washington University 139 28 8 71
3 University of the District of Columbia 10 0 0 11
4 University of Maryland College Park 10 1 11 10
5 University of Maryland 264 0 0 20

 

DORS Plan for Recruitment, Preparation and Retention of Qualified Personnel

a. Annually take the information and recommendations from the Data System described above regarding current and projected needs for personnel.

b. Based on findings, design a recruitment plan for the upcoming year in collaboration with colleges and universities, the Maryland Rehabilitation Association (MRA) and the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center at the George Washington University.

Colleges/Universities in Maryland with Rehabilitation Counseling Programs:

Institution: Coppin State University (Historically Black Institution)

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Programs: Undergraduate and Masters degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling; Certificate Program in Assistive Technology

Institution: The George Washington University

Location: Washington, DC

Programs: Masters degree in rehabilitation counseling (on-line & on-site), Vocational Evaluation, and Transition Services; Certificate programs in Job Development and Job Placement, and Brain Injury

Institution: The University of the District of Columbia

Location: Washington, DC

Program: Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (new program)

Institution: University of Maryland College Park

Location: College Park, Maryland

Programs: Certificate program in Job/Development/Placement for Transitioning Youth

Institution: University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Location: Princess Anne, Maryland

Programs: Masters and undergraduate degrees in rehabilitation counseling

The plan may include:

• Active membership on advisory boards of colleges/universities with programs in Rehabilitation Counseling

• Provision of job shadowing opportunities for Masters level students in their first year

• Provision of internship opportunities in the comprehensive rehabilitation facility and field offices

• Staff presentations to students and classes about the public rehabilitation program

• Collaboration with the MRA training committee to provide on-going in-service training opportunities to current and prospective staff

• Maintain effective partnership with historically black institutions to assure sufficient number of applicants for state agency job vacancies so that the workforce reflects the composition of the state

• To support retention of staff and succession planning, collaborate with university, professional association and TACE partners to provide on-going mentoring and leadership activities

c. Update the Plan on an annual basis, as needed.

 

Personnel Standards. DORS has policies and procedures in place related to personnel standards to ensure that designated state unit professional and paraprofessional personnel are adequately trained and prepared, including:

a. Standards for hiring vocational rehabilitation specialists/rehabilitation counselors are consistent with standards in Maryland law, Labor and Employment Article which specify that rehabilitation counselors “have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in rehabilitation counseling, human services, psychology, or a related field with at least 1 year of work experience in a human services occupation.” §9-6A-09. DORS considers related fields to include rehabilitation – career assessment, rehabilitation – employer services, education, deaf education, social work, psychology, human services, blind and vision services, employment/career counseling, and community counseling.

Specific time period by which all state unit personnel will meet the CSPD standards. For 2012, 99% of DORS VR specialists/rehabilitation counselors met the CSPD standard of a bachelor’s degree and a year of experience. No one is hired for such positions with less than a bachelor’s degree. Only 1 Rehabilitation Specialist did not meet the standard because they had less than 1 year of related experience. This rehabilitation counselor will therefore meet the standard within one year of employment as he/she will then have had at least one year of work experience in addition to their bachelor’s degree.

b. Standards for achievement of journeyman counselor status include a master’s degree. DORS requires that vocational rehabilitation specialists considered for promotion to rehabilitation technical specialist (the highest level of rehabilitation counseling) have a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a closely related field, which may include rehabilitation – career assessment, rehabilitation – employer services, education, deaf education, social work, psychology, human services, blind and vision services, employment/career counseling, and community counseling. DORS provides technical assistance in career development for staff, and facilitates staff application for RSA scholarships and also provides tuition reimbursement to support staff in achieving required credentials.

c. DORS encourages and supports through reimbursement of initial certification fees, achievement of CRC certification, but does not require it.

d. Paraprofessional personnel must meet standards of their specific position in the classified service according to position descriptions developed and updated by the Maryland State Department of Education Personnel Office and the Maryland Department of Personnel.

 

1. DORS System of Staff Development. The Division maintains a system of staff development for staff professionals and paraprofessionals that includes (A) identification of training needs, (B) policies and procedures and (C) training activities.

A. Training needs are identified based upon results of a variety of assessment instruments and methods which include: (1) the organizational Planning Process in which training areas are determined by the initiatives identified in the Division’s Strategic Plan and Annual Program Plan; (2) DORS Performance Appraisal which allows each professional employee and the employee’s supervisor to identify on a semi-annual basis training needs and develop a plan to assist the employee to meet the essential functions of their position as reflected in their position description. These needs are shared with the Staff Development Specialist and training needs are prioritized, developed, implemented and/or coordinated based on the results of the information; (3) Program Evaluation: Areas of need are identified by the DORS program evaluator, through the case review process and the RSA 107 review; (4) The triennial comprehensive assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities, included as Attachment 4.11 (a); (5) Division’s Policy Review Committee, the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), and annual public meetings provide feedback and a continuous evaluation component identifying needs which can be addressed and/or alleviated by training which are submitted to the Staff Development Office for appropriate action; (6) Individual Staff Training Needs Survey: A training needs assessment questionnaire is distributed to all staff annually. The results are tabulated and categorized to prepare for individual and/or group training programs.

B. Policies and Procedures for staff development activities are maintained in the Divisions Rehabilitation Services Manual I, Administrative Manual, section 700, as well as the Staff Development Site on InDORS, the Division’s intranet which allows staff to access information on policies and procedures for in-service training opportunities, tuition reimbursement, reimbursement for fees related to initial achievement of CRC credentials, mentoring and leadership activities, and provides a training calendar with links to brochures and registration information.

C. Training Activities: The Staff Development program identifies training needs from surveys and sources noted above and develops and provides training to professional and paraprofessional staff through quarterly, annual, and customized training activities which include:

(1) Orientation and training on fundamental rehabilitation process and procedures is provided to all new staff through Getting Connected, the Supervisor’s Guide to training new staff through the Divisions Quality Rehabilitation Training program provided to all new staff,

(2) Training for special populations is provided including blindness and vision services, deaf and hard of hearing services, services for individuals with acquired brain injury, individuals on the autism spectrum, transitioning youth, and psychiatric rehabilitation throughout the year,

(3) Training in career assessment services is offered semi annually,

(4) Rehabilitation technology training is offered throughout the year on a variety of assistive technology and worksite accommodation issues,

(5) Statewide prescriptive training on a variety of topics is delivered to all counselors, including career counseling, employer services, ethics, job placement, case note/case documentation training, ADA training, autism spectrum disorders,

(6) Staff participate in the annual statewide training conference sponsored by the DORS and the Maryland Rehabilitation Association (MRA),

(7) New supervisors training and ongoing training activities for supervisors and Division administrators are provided during semi-annual statewide supervisors meetings. Staff managers participate in management and leadership training through vendors and the Regional TACE Center.

(8) Paraprofessionals participate in statewide prescriptive training throughout the year with their units, as well as an annual training activity customized to meet the needs of staff and address agency priorities.

The Staff Development office maintains a data base of all training activities attended by Division professional and paraprofessional staff, according to the individual staff member, unit and Office.

2. Acquisition and Dissemination of Knowledge. The Division ensures that professional and paraprofessional staff receive significant knowledge from research and other sources by keeping abreast of the latest information on disability issues, legislation, and current topics and training on rehabilitation. Information is disseminated to staff in a variety of ways including:

a. Posting information to staff on the Division’s InDORS intranet and public website www.dors.state.md.us

b. Disseminating email and agency program directives, administrative instructions, and information bulletins

c. Developing agency policy and procedures based on federal and state law and regulation, as needed

d. Revising agency policy and procedures manuals, as needed

e. Providing staff training on new policy and policy and procedural updates

f. Providing staff training on a variety of current topics

g. Attending meetings, conferences, and workshops.

h. Posting training resources and archive presentations on the DORS website and intranet.

 

a. Meeting the needs of individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf/blind. DORS has personnel skilled in sign language who are assigned to provide services to consumers who are deaf and hard of hearing and deaf/blind who require such communication. DORS has video phones within the office locations of our rehabilitation counselors for the deaf (RCDs). DORS has a Staff Specialist for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and a Staff Specialist for Deaf-Blind, assuring appropriate service provision for those populations. DORS hires approved interpreters as needed to assure that consumers have access to the full range of rehabilitation services they may need. DORS supports attendance of consumers at institutions specializing in services for the deaf, as appropriate.

b. Meeting the needs of individuals who are blind or vision impaired. DORS has a dedicated office, the Office for Blindness & Vision Services, which has counselors who have specialized caseloads working with individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or deaf blind. These staff participate in at least quarterly training on topics specific to blindness and vision services, assistive technology, job development, career counseling, and participate in other Division sponsored training with all staff. DORS collaborates with its partners in the provision of training including the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), and Helen Keller National Center (HKNC). DORS provides assistive technology, as appropriate and required, for individuals who are blind or vision impaired. DORS provides all information for consumers in the requested alternate format of the individual. DORS website and intranet are fully accessible to users of screen readers.

c. Meeting the needs of individual with limited English. DORS provides interpreter and translation services to consumers through the state contract for such services and through staff with skills in languages other than English. A DORS workgroup addresses a multicultural initiative which includes identification of staff with language skills in addition to English, enhancing cultural competencies of staff, identification of community resources, and provision of public information and agency forms in alternate languages. The Division includes periodic in-service training opportunities on cultural proficiency.

 

The Division has personnel who have specialized caseloads serving transitioning youth. These staff participate in quarterly training activities on current transition topics. Staff are also encouraged to participate in ongoing professional development through participation in a variety of workshops, conferences, and in service training opportunities that are disseminated via email to all staff and posted on the Divisions InDORS intranet. The Division also co- sponsors and coordinates an annual transition conference that is attended by over 300 staff, education partners, stakeholders, parents, and consumers. Staff are also encouraged to participate in training activities such as the University of Maryland College Park certificate program in Job Development/Placement for Transitioning Youth.

Examples of cross-training with secondary school personnel include:

• Training on the DORS Transition Pilot for LEA staff, DORS staff, and CRPs with training assistance provided by Transcen Inc.

• Training and presentations on blindness and vision services with LEA and itinerate teachers and DORS staff are held on a regular basis.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 3:13PM by Kimberlee Schultz

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.

2013 COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT of the REHABILITATION and CAREER NEEDS of INDIVIDUALS with DISABILITIES

Impact of Federal funding and staff capacity. Emphasized in the previous two Needs Assessments, DORS waiting list and delays in service provision remain a prominent concern and constitute the most significant need for individuals with significant disabilities in Maryland. As of the completion of this Needs Assessment, over 3000 eligible individuals with significant disabilities are placed on a waiting list for vocational rehabilitation services lasting up to 18 months. Clearly, individuals on the waiting list are the most seriously un-served of populations. These are individuals who have come to the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services requesting services to become/remain employed and have been determined eligible for such services but cannot be served. In September 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report to Congress (GAO-09-798) that makes clear that Maryland has the third most poorly-funded state VR program due to inherent inequities in the formula used to allocate federal dollars between states. Without an act of Congress to change the formula, Maryland’s federal funding may not be sufficient to prevent a substantial increase in the waiting list over time.

In addition to federal funding inequities, the recession over the last years and its impact on state governments has resulted in a hiring freeze affecting vocational rehabilitation specialists/counselors as well as most other agency staff, with extended periods of vacancies for staff who have left DORS. This has become another significant factor in the agency’s ability to shorten the waiting list and provide services to individuals with significant disabilities on a more timely basis. During fiscal year 2012 DORS has received approval for six additional contractual positions from the state which are expected to somewhat reduce the waiting list.

Recommendation related to Federal funding and staff capacity. The overriding vocational rehabilitation services need of individuals with disabilities residing in Maryland is equitable distribution of federal VR funds, and timely filling of counselor positions. While other recommendations in this attachment address ways to incrementally improve VR services to individuals with disabilities, continuation of historical underfunding of Maryland VR in relation to other states and continuation of extended periods of vacancy for front line staff will make it very difficult to implement changes that could result in many more individuals with disabilities achieving employment.

A. Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation and Career Needs of Individuals with Disabilities.

INDIVIDUALS WITH MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES, INCLUDING THEIR NEED FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES.

I. BLIND/VISION IMPAIRED/DEAF-BLIND.

As discussed in the 2010 State Plan Needs Assessment attachment, the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services operates the Office for Blindness & Vision Services (OBVS) to assure provision of specialized, quality services to individuals who are blind, vision impaired and deaf-blind. The Blindness & Vision Services committee of the State Rehabilitation Council plays a critical role in establishment and operation of OBVS. The Office for Blindness and Vision Services (OBVS) includes the following DORS programs and services:

1. Rehabilitation counselors in DORS field offices throughout Maryland who are specialists in employment and independent living issues for people who are blind. They provide technical support to counselors for the deaf who work with deaf-blind individuals whose primary communication is American Sign Language (ASL) or Tactical sign.

2. Rehabilitation teachers across the state who deliver community-based services such as mobility training, household management skills and communication device training. These teachers also provide independent living training to individuals who have vision impairment, are age 55 and over and not seeking employment.

3. The Maryland Business Enterprise Program for the Blind (MDBEP), which provides opportunities for individuals who are legally blind to operate vending, gift or food service businesses in public and private facilities.

4. Programs for individuals who are blind located at the Division’s Workforce and Technology Center (WTC). These programs include assessment, training and support groups.

5. The newly hired Deaf-Blind Specialist will provide technical assistance and support to all staff on issues pertaining to Deaf-Blindness. One of the major goals of this position is to develop and implement SSP services for the Division.

While we continue to implement the recommendations from the 2010 needs assessment, the 2013 Needs Assessment birthed some new ideas on the aforementioned topics. Although Deaf-Blindness is considered a low incidence disability, the cost of services, technical skills and specific knowledge required to impact change are significant.

Prevalence. According to the National Center for Health Statistics as of March 2013, it is estimated that as many as 10 million Americans are blind or visually impaired, and each year 75,000 more people in the US will become blind or visually impaired. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions (NARUC) estimates that 70,000 – 100,000 people living in the US are deaf-blind. This means that the individuals identified have some significant level of both vision and hearing loss. Based on the reported statistics, it is critical that rehabilitation agencies maintain quality services to assist these individuals with their independent living and employment needs.

Methodology. To ascertain the needs of individuals who are blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind, DORS requested and received feedback from consumers, stakeholders, and staff through (1) stakeholder focus groups (blindness), (2) an online survey (deaf-blindness). Similar methodologies were used in the 2010 Needs Assessment and some comments were similar, but new issues were introduced. The valuable feedback received from the focus groups has already prompted some change in our policies and procedures as it relates to funding college books and supplies.

NFB and ACB Focus Groups. In November 2012, separate focus groups at the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind state conventions, were convened to elicit feedback from attendees about the unmet needs and recommendations to address those unmet needs. Approximately 10 individuals from each convention participated and the responses are summarized below.

Needs/concerns:

1. Enhance job placement methods to ensure individuals, especially those who complete training, receive continuous assistance and have access to job leads through various mediums.

2. Review and update on an annual basis agencies policies and procedures as they relate to procurement of goods and services for consumers.

3. Increase outreach to prospective consumers using marketing strategies to target more businesses, community organizations (e.g., American Diabetes Association, Department of Veterans Affairs), doctors, churches, neighborhood associations, etc. to increase the visibility of the agency. This could include billboards, large signage in high traffic area (i.e. Inner Harbor) and mailing our literature out to the community. Try to reach individuals before they are in “disaster mode” when they are losing their homes and jobs.

4. Enhance and emphasize counselor role in (1) advising consumers about the full scope of services, the rehabilitation team and process, (2) focusing on capabilities and individualized needs and learning styles, (3) facilitating access to assistive technology (4) minimizing gaps in the provision of services and (5) increasing timeliness of the services provided.

5. Address concerns related to technology, including initial access and follow-up training, lack of usage after provision, role of consumer in identifying needed technology, response to technical concerns, access to accessible textbooks.

Survey: Deaf-blind Services. A survey regarding Deaf-Blind (DB) services was emailed to stakeholders, consumers, community partners, caregivers and DORS staff to solicit feedback about the unmet needs of individuals who are deaf-blind. We received 22 returned surveys via mail, email and fax. Although deaf-blindness is considered a low incidence disability, it is noted that providing services to deaf-blind individuals is particularly challenging because of the complex needs and cost of ongoing supports.

As in the previous Needs Assessment survey, there were universal themes of transportation, communication, and support services as major unmet needs of individuals who are Deaf-blind. Below are the summarized responses:

Needs/Concerns:

1. Increase flexibility and consider supporting and funding “unconventional” VR services that may be exclusive to this disability, in light of their unique needs and complexities.

2. Enhance career services for the Deaf-Blind consumers. Employ the assistance of experts to assist with navigating the complexities associated with job development and placement. This includes services such as Orientation and Mobility, Rehabilitation Teaching, and Assistive Technology.

3. Expand staff and advocate for community resources to provide a full range of independent living and employment services to deaf-blind, including older deaf-blind, within DORS and community programs/providers (qualified interpreters, technologists, teachers, counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and other professionals).

4. Explore means of increasing access to transportation; limitations are primarily due to the communication barrier.

5. Continue to work closely with grassroots organizations, community partners, advocacy groups and HKNC to ensure that Deaf-Blindness remains a priority for the agency.

6. Develop an agency-funded Support Service Provider (SSP) program to provide necessary support services and visual information to deaf-blind for daily living and employment skill development.

II. DEAF, HARD OF HEARING and LATE DEAFENED.

As discussed in the 2010 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, DORS had established a workgroup to assess VR services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or late deafened. The group included representatives from the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council, the Assistant Superintendent from the Maryland School for the Deaf, lead Transition Services staff from Maryland Public Schools, Maryland Department of Disabilities staff, Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) staff, as well as a variety of Division staff from the Office of Field Services and the Workforce and Technology Center (WTC). Using the “Model State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation Services to Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened”- University of Arkansas RRTC 2008 as a guide, the workgroup reviewed current services and statewide challenges, and developed collective plans and goals to enhance services in Maryland.

As a result of this work, progress was made in many aspects of service delivery and program growth. Plans for improved recruitment and on-going support of the most qualified Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf (RCD’s) throughout the state were developed. Plans also focused on the need to develop additional CRP services; implement a plan to provide support for consumers starting new employment; improve transitioning youth services, especially for non-college bound students; and improve the transition process for mainstreamed students to DORS services. DORS staff began developing new partnerships and began serving on several committees to help accomplish these goals. In addition, the ideas for enhanced services at WTC, especially in the areas of training, job placement and technology were implemented.

Prevalence. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss; and about 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard of hearing. Estimates from the Hearing Health Foundation are that 20% of the U.S. population aged 12 years and older has hearing difficulties severe enough to impact communication. In terms of late deafened individuals, NIDCD reports approximately 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness occur each year in the U.S. The Hearing Health Foundation reports that about 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises at work or in leisure activities. In addition, about 60% of deployed military service men and women have noise induced hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), or other hearing injuries. Impairment of auditory acuity and tinnitus are more likely to occur in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans than post-traumatic stress syndrome. Lastly, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association reports that based on data gleaned from Federal surveys, the number of Americans with a hearing loss has essentially doubled during the past 30 years.

Methodology.

1. Review of Data. Data and statistics were reviewed regarding census and location of this disability population statewide; overall numbers of consumers served; average caseload size; distribution of consumers served by county; numbers of consumers served in this population, grouped by type/degree of hearing loss; employment/other outcome data for the last three years; number and location of staff compared to distribution and number of consumers served by county/region; and number, location and capacity of CRP’s serving this population compared to number and distribution of staff and consumers utilizing these services.

Needs/concerns:

• There is a steady increase in the number of consumers being served and a limited and/or decreased number of staff and CRP’s directly serving this population statewide.

• There are a large number of individuals who fall under Category II of the DORS Order of Selection who are placed on the waiting list and who are in need of assistance for job retention.

• Need to further analyze the distribution of consumers to staff by county/region; consider the need to add an additional RCD position to balance some caseloads and reduce overall caseload size; analyze the employment outcomes compared to proximity of staff/consumers to existing CRP’s and WTC, to assist in planning for program development.

2. Focus Groups. Starting in January 2013, information was gathered from staff groups and consumer groups to discuss the quality and effectiveness of services currently being provided; and to solicit feedback from attendees about any unmet needs. Responses and recommendations for improvements were compiled and shared with appropriate Division staff for further consideration. Additional areas of concern and unmet needs are summarized below.

Needs/concerns:

• Transitioning students need to have more opportunities for basic work experiences and exposure to role models to develop an understanding of employer expectations and to develop a strong work ethic rather than being satisfied with remaining on government assistance.

• One-Stop centers are not adequately serving deaf and hard of hearing individuals who are not DORS consumers. In general, there seems to be a lack of any training or specialized staff there; and many referrals made to DORS do not qualify for services.

• There has been a significant increase in foreign born deaf consumers. They often have extensive needs and are not successful at receiving services such as ABE, GED or other training from other agencies.

• Veterans returning from service with hearing loss often receive limited assistance from other agencies and are facing great difficulty adjusting to their disability.

• Many employers still seem reluctant to hire deaf and hard of hearing individuals due to concerns over paying for interpreting services or other accommodations.

3. Key Informant Interviews. Interviews were conducted with key informants to gather information and input based on their role in the Division, and it also included information from their committee work and other networking activities. An interview was conducted with Hank Passi, DORS Staff Specialist III for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, who serves as the State Coordinator for the Deaf (SCD) in Maryland. Mr. Passi serves as a committee member for the SCD National Training Forum; he is a representative to the National Summit on Deaf Education; and also served on MSDE’s focus group for Deaf and Hard of Hearing services. An interview was also conducted with Mrs. Kathy Schwabeland, former WTC Staff Specialist III for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Interview information is summarized below and additional information is available for further consideration.

Needs/concerns:

1. Additional focus is needed on outreach to transition coordinators and students who graduate or leave from regular public schools and who are not referred to DORS in advance of graduation or not referred at all. This may include students with an IEP or 504 plans.

2. DORS may be able to collaborate with community colleges statewide to encourage and support degree and certificate programs that are more accessible and “deaf friendly” for students.

3. Concerns exist regarding the impact of the upcoming change in procurement practices for sign language interpreting.

4. An increasing number of students are being identified as non-college bound and are not earning diplomas. Many are deaf plus they have additional disabilities. They may also lack hands-on work experiences. The need for additional focus on this population is critical.

5. The need for specialized training programs and employment opportunities for the deaf is an issue. Consideration of DORS and WTC focusing efforts on the development of programs in cooperation with local community colleges, technical trade schools, or apprenticeship programs in the building trades would be very beneficial.

6. Expanding the use of On-The-Job Training to customize employment opportunities with Maryland businesses would help increase employment outcomes. This approach has been successfully used by WTC and other Division staff.

Suggested Strategies for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late deafened.

1. Establish a workgroup to develop a strategic plan for working with CRP’s to expand services for this population.

2. Further analyze staffing needs and resources based on caseload size, distribution of consumers by region, and availability of CRP and WTC services.

3. Form a committee to develop plans related to full implementation of the Rehabilitation Communication Specialist (RCS) model, and how RCD’s and RCS’s can work in cooperation with the new Business Services Representatives in each region to increase On-The-Job Trainings for this population.

4. Convene a workgroup of DORS, WTC, college and trade school representatives and other community partners to work on development of specialized training programs for full access to a broader range of employment options. Create a model that can be duplicated for other targeted populations.

5. Create a resource guide for staff working with special populations including foreign born deaf individuals, transitioning youth and people who are hard of hearing/late deafened.

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES WHO ARE MINORITIES.

The Maryland 2010 Comprehensive Assessment of the Needs of Individuals with Disabilities identified a need for DORS to enhance services to minority individuals with disabilities, focusing on those from the Hispanic community.

Prevalence. According to the US Census 2010 for Maryland:

1. 8.2% of the population is identified as Hispanic (2007: 6.7%).

2. 5.5% is identified as Asian (2007: 5.1%).

As indicated in the chart below, DORS has seen a modest increase in individuals served from both Hispanic and Asian backgrounds:

Hispanic:

FY 10 numbers served: 599

FY 10 Percentage of Total Served: 2.5%

FY 11 numbers served: 639

FY 11 Percentage of Total Served: 2.5%

FY 12 numbers served: 647

FY 12 Percentage of Total Served: 2.6%

Asian:

FY 10 numbers served: 472

FY 10 Percentage of Total Served: 1.9%

FY 11 numbers served: 506

FY 11 Percentage of Total Served: 2.0%

FY 12 numbers served: 542

FY 12 Percentage of Total Served: 2.1%

Needs/concerns: The agency needs to continue outreach efforts and increase the numbers of minorities provided VR services, with emphasis on Hispanic and Asian individuals with disabilities.

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES WHO HAVE BEEN UNSERVED OR UNDERSERVED BY THE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM.

I. AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS (ASD).

To analyze needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, members of the needs assessment committee reviewed available data regarding the incidence of autism, and then supplemented this information with an online survey, interviews of key informants, and a focus group. In review of the 2010 DORS Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Career Needs of Individuals with Disabilities, specifically those individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), data continues to reveal an increase in the prevalence of ASD in the United States.

Prevalence. Based on the Maryland Commission on Autism report dated September 2012, it was noted that nationally, the prevalence of ASD among children increased by 78% from 6.6 per 1000 children in 2002 to 11.3 per 1000 children in 2008 or one in eighty-eight. In Maryland, according to the Maryland Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Project (MD-ADDM) the total prevalence of ASD is 12.4 per 1000 or one in eighty.

Method/Discussion. To analyze the needs of individuals with ASD, members of the needs assessment committee reviewed data regarding the number of individuals being served by DORS with ASD listed as a cause of disability and the Regions in which they are being served. When reviewing the data regarding numbers of individuals served within DORS by Region, the data revealed an increase in numbers served when comparing FY 2010, FY 2011, and FY 2012.

Total number of Individuals Served by DORS during FY 2010 = 893

• Region I (Allegany, Garrett and Washington Counties) – 169

• Region II (Anne Arundel, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties) – 190

• Region III (Baltimore City) – 46

• Region IV (Caroline, Kent, Cecil, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Worcester, Somerset, and Wicomico Counties) – 58

• Region V (Baltimore, Harford and Howard Counties)– 257

• Region VI (Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties)– 173

Total number of Individuals Served during FY 2011 = 1218

• Region I – 231

• Region II – 239

• Region III – 45

• Region IV – 83

• Region V – 350

• Region VI – 270

Total number of Individuals Served during FY 2012 = 1391

• Region I – 241

• Region II – 270

• Region III – 47

• Region IV – 94

• Region V – 400

• Region VI – 339

Method/Discussion.

The committee also conducted an on-line survey of DORS approved community rehabilitation providers to determine the availability of services within the Regions that serve the highest number of individuals with ASD. Of the 233 surveys sent to individuals employed in DORS approved community rehabilitation programs, 63 individuals responded from 51 of different providers. Of the 51 providers, 30 providers indicated that they provide services to individuals with ASD. The data also revealed that there are certain providers who indicated they serve multiple Regions. Further analysis by Region revealed the following:

The number of providers per Region who reported they provide services to individuals with ASD

• Region I – 11

• Region II – 9

• Region III – 11

• Region IV – 9

• Region V – 13

• Region VI – 6

Needs/concerns:

1. While the number of individuals with ASD accessing DORS services has increased over the past 3 fiscal years, it does not appear that the number of DORS approved providers is sufficient to meet the needs of these consumers.

2. In comparing the data across regions and providers, Region VI has the second highest prevalence of ASD consumers with the least number of providers who indicate they work with consumers with ASD.

3. Further training of adult service providers related to programming and services for individuals with ASD should be considered to increase the availability of services for this population.

4. The 2010 Needs Assessment Report identified the expansion of the Division’s Pathways Program beyond its current availability at the Community Colleges of Baltimore County. Based on data available, expansion should be considered in Region VI (Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties).

II. TRANSITIONING YOUTH WITH DEVELOPMENTAL/ INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES.

Background. The seamless transition from the school system into adult employment services is a major component in the successful rehabilitation process for transitioning youth with developmental/intellectual disabilities.

Governor’s Transitioning Youth Initiative. Established in 1989, the Governor’s Transitioning Youth Initiative (GTYI) is a partnership between the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) consistent with the belief that all students with disabilities can work and contribute to Maryland’s future after leaving school. This partnership was designed to ensure a smooth transition from school-based employment/training to short-term services funded by DORS and then to long-term services funded by DDA. It enables students with disabilities to achieve employment toward the end of secondary school and then retain and maintain employment following their exit from school.

Decrease in number of transitioning youth with developmental/intellectual disabilities served by DORS. While historically DORS served many transitioning youth with developmental/intellectual disabilities, over the years there has been a significant reduction in the numbers served by DORS and in collaborative relationships with DDA-approved providers. This has been attributed to (1) DORS paying less for employment services than DDA, (2) DORS requiring monthly reporting of services and DDA not having this requirement and (3) experiences in the past with providers being cited for “double-dipping” for accepting payment for DORS employment services at the same time as DDA employment services.

Employment First. Over the last several years, Maryland has embraced the concept of Employment First, which assures that employment is considered by individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities and their families rather than assuming that non-integrated day services are the best or only option. While the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration and the Maryland Department of Disabilities all have declared support for Employment First, actual implementation has been limited to several DDA providers with support of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. While these providers have demonstrated the success of the Employment First approach, they have been focused on individuals currently in day programs who are interested in employment services, rather than on transitioning students.

DORS and DDA Cooperative Agreement. DORS and DDA have a cooperative agreement for employment services dated 2006. Over the last year both agencies, along with the Maryland Department of Disabilities, have been working on updating the agreement, hoping to address the issues that have impeded the full implementation of the GTYI, including addressing the long-term issue of double dipping. Along with developing the updated Agreement, DDA is revising state regulations which should also clarify the ways that DORS and DDA providers work collaboratively, with braided funding to assure that transitioning students with disabilities have every opportunity to pursue employment, consistent with the concepts of Employment First.

Method/Discussion.

Data was collected from the AWARE case management system utilized by DORS, and reviewed to determine the total number of GTYI consumers served by DORS during fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012 in comparison to the number of GTYI consumers who achieved successful employment during the same 3 years. The data collected confirmed that there has been a decrease over the last 3 years in the number of GTYI consumers achieving successful employment. In FY 2010, 141 GTYI consumers achieved successful employment. In FY 2011, 108 GTYI consumers achieved successful employment. In FY 2012, 103 GTYI consumers achieved successful employment.

Method/Discussion. To further explore the decrease in the number of DORS successful outcomes for transitioning youth with developmental/intellectual disabilities, 48 DORS transition counselors and supervisors were surveyed. Of the 18 responses received, the following possible reasons for this decrease were expressed by both DORS transition counselors and supervisors:

1. As noted in several responses, some providers do not appear to have a strong vocational component, including sufficient job coaches, that would enable consumers to achieve competitive outcomes but rather focus on DDA funded Day Habilitation Services.

2. It appears that some providers may have a lack of understanding as to the role of DORS in providing short-term funding for GTYI focusing on employment and instead, utilize DDA funds by-passing DORS.

3. Several respondents noted that providers choose to receive monies from DDA rather than access DORS funding as the DORS fees paid for employment services are less than those of DDA.

4. Communication between providers and DORS appears to be an issue in some instances.

5. Families are sometimes delaying their selection of long-term adult service providers which affects how quickly a provider can begin working with an individual.

6. It is perceived that agencies fear the appearance of double-dipping, receiving funding for the same services from both DORS and DDA.

Needs/concerns:

1. Continue efforts at updating of the DORS-DDA Cooperative Agreement, focusing on clarifying the role of Employment First for transitioning students with developmental/intellectual disabilities, discussing the ways DORS and DDA can work effectively using braided funding, and spelling out procedures for providers to access DORS short-term funding and DDA long-term funding without the perception of double dipping.

2. Once the DORS-DDA Cooperative Agreement is completed, training should be provided to DORS and DDA provider staff on the Agreement and ways to effectively implement it locally.

3. Enhance lines of communication between DORS and approved DDA providers and emphasize the importance of communication to better coordinate the short-term services and achievement of employment by the transitioning youth; provide cross-training opportunities.

4. Utilize DORS and DDA data collection systems to track anticipated increases in transitioning youth served through GTYI and their outcomes.

III. DISTRIBUTION OF AGENCY STAFF RESOURCES

Background. DORS sought to ascertain if individuals with disabilities in certain areas of Maryland were underserved due to having relatively fewer DORS rehabilitation counselors available to provide services as compared to other areas of Maryland.

Methodology. The number of DORS Office of Field Services counselors was determined, along with the percentage assigned to each region. Comparisons were made by region with three sources of data: US Census; Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income; and Special Education Students.

1. US Census

Source: US Census: Population and Housing Narrative Profile: 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

Region 1

Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington Counties

80,080 individuals with disabilities

13.18% of state total of individuals with disabilities

18% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 1

Region 2

Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties

78,670 individuals with disabilities

12.95% of state total of individuals with disabilities

14% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 2

Region 3

Baltimore City

99,040 individuals with disabilities

16.30% of state total of individuals with disabilities

18% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 3

Region 4

Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties

58,740 individuals with disabilities

9.67% of state total of individuals with disabilities

9% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 4

Region 5

Baltimore, Harford and Howard Counties

142,310 individuals with disabilities

23.42% of state total of individuals with disabilities

20% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 5

Region 6

Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties

148,880 individuals with disabilities

24.50% of state total of individuals with disabilities

22% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 6

Discussion. Assignment of DORS OFS Counselors by region is fairly consistent with the percentage of individuals with disabilities in each region per census data.

2. Numbers of Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Source: 2011 SSI/DI Recipients, ages 18-65.

Region 1

Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington Counties

11.9% of State total of SSI/DI recipients, ages 18-65

18% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 1

Region 2

Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties

12.8% of State total of SSI/DI recipients, ages 18-65

14% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 2

Region 3

Baltimore City

24.4% of State total of SSI/DI recipients, ages 18-65

18% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 3

Region 4

Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties

8% of State total of SSI/DI recipients, ages 18-65

9% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 4

Region 5

Baltimore, Harford and Howard Counties

23.6% of State total of SSI/DI recipients, ages 18-65

20% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 5

Region 6

Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties

19.3% of State total of SSI/DI recipients, ages 18-65

22% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 6

Discussion: This data suggests that Western Maryland may have an oversupply of OFS counselors compared to Baltimore City and Central Maryland.

3. Students in Special Education

Source: Maryland State Department of Education 2011 Student Census, grades 7-12

http://mdideareport.org/SupportingDocuments/MDSpecialEducationEarlyInterventionCensusDataRelatedTables.pdf

Region 1

Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington Counties

865 Students in Special Education

11.3% of State total of Special Education Students

18% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 1

Region 2

Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties

1,031 Students in Special Education

13.4% of State total of Special Education Students

14% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 2

Region 3

Baltimore City

1,042 Students in Special Education

13.6% of State total of Special Education Students

18% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 3

Region 4

Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties

588 Students in Special Education

7.7% of State total of Special Education Students

9% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 4

Region 5

Baltimore, Harford and Howard Counties

1,721 Students in Special Education

22.4% of State total of Special Education Students

20% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 5

Region 6

Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties

2,375 Students in Special Education

31% of state total of Special Education Students

22% of DORS OFS counselors assigned to Region 6

Discussion: This data suggest that Western Maryland may have somewhat of an oversupply of OFS counselors compared to Central Maryland and the DC suburbs.

Needs Concerns. At least annually, and when vacancies in rehabilitation counselors occur, consider redeployment to assure that there are sufficient numbers of counselors to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in each region, consistent with the proportion of individuals with disabilities, SSA disability recipients and special education students, by region. Current data suggest that consideration be given that a vacancy in Western Maryland be reassigned to Central Maryland or the Washington DC Suburbs, Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties. This distribution should also be taken into account in program development, e.g., in implementing transitioning programs in areas with greatest need.

IV. Utilization of Mental Health Supported Employment Services

Background.

DORS sought to ascertain the current utilization of mental health supported employment programs by county to examine the need for further program development, and staff and provider training needs. Individuals with psychiatric disabilities is the largest disability population served by DORS, and access to supported employment services is important for success.

Methodology. Data was obtained from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) regarding the number of individuals served in mental health supported employment programs in Maryland by county and compared that to the number of individuals served overall psychiatric rehabilitation services for FY 2012. The following results were obtained regarding the percentage of individuals enrolled in psychiatric rehabilitation services utilizing supported employment services, by county, during FY 2012.

Alleghany: 6.9%

Anne Arundel: 34%

Baltimore City: 11%

Baltimore: 15%

Calvert: 57%

Caroline: 15%

Carroll: 75%

Cecil: 32%

Charles: 67%

Dorchester: 19%

Frederick: 56%

Garrett: 22%

Harford: 11%

Howard: 71%

Kent: 39%

Montgomery: 59%

Out of State: 33%

Prince George’s: 14%

Queen Anne’s: 48%

Somerset: 7%

St. Mary’s: 100%

Talbot: 26%

Washington: 51%

Wicomico: 14%

Worcester: 6%

Statewide: 25%

Discussion. Utilization of mental health supported employment services varies significantly by county.

Needs/Concerns: DORS should examine longitudinal data trends of this same nature, and use this information to inform program development, and staff and provider training needs.

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INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES SERVED THROUGH OTHER COMPONENTS OF THE STATEWIDE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT SYSTEM.

The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services Comprehensive Needs Assessment committee, including members of the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council, identified community colleges and one stop career centers as focus areas because of their importance as resources for individuals with significant disabilities seeking employment.

I. COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Community colleges remain a major component of Maryland’s Workforce Investment System as well as a primary training provider to DORS consumers for both credit and noncredit workforce certificate training. According to the 2012 Data Book of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, a total of 6,492 individuals with disabilities were attending the 16 Maryland community colleges in 2011. The reported enrollment of students with disabilities attending these colleges has increased every year since 2005 which had a reported enrollment of 3,530 students with disabilities.

Methodology. A student survey and survey of disability support services professionals were developed to assess the unmet needs of students with disabilities.

Students with Disabilities Survey. Surveys were sent to 357 consumers that had been identified as receiving some level of financial support to attend a community college during the 2012 calendar year. An online survey using Survey Gizmo was used for the 55% (197) of the consumers who had an email on file and the U.S postal service was used to distribute paper surveys (with return postage paid envelops) to the 45% (160) who did not have an email on file. Eleven emails and 8 mailed surveys were returned as non-deliverable.

DORS received 58 survey responses (24% return rate) from consumers living in 16 of Maryland’s 24 counties and Baltimore City. Twenty-six percent of the respondents indicated being part of a racial or ethnic minority. Fifty-five percent of the respondents indicated they lived in the suburbs, 24% indicated they lived in an urban area and 21% indicated they lived in a rural locale. Based on the reported demographics, the sample is a good statewide representation. In addition, the reported county demographic indicates that respondents likely attended all of the community colleges with the exception of one (Harford Community).

The following general disability categories were self-reported by the respondents: psychosocial (bi-polar, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia) 29%; cognitive (learning disability, ADHD) 22%; blindness/other visual impairment 15%; mobility (multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, brain injury) 14%; general physical (kidney transplant, bone marrow disorder, back/neck injury) 10%; deaf/hard of hearing 10%; deaf-blind 1%.

Needs/Concerns: When asked to identify unmet needs, 67% of the respondents indicated they had no unmet needs or that their accommodation needs were met. The following issues represent needs that students identified as unresolved issues:

1. Better note takers

2. Better tutors

3. Better Case Management and Access (DORS and Disability Services)

4. Improve Instructor Disability Awareness

Disability Support Services Professionals Survey. An online survey using Survey Gizmo was sent to the 16 Maryland community college disability support offices. Three (19%) responses were received. In addition, a telephone interview was conducted with a disability support services professional to gain insights not sought in the online survey.

Needs/Concerns: When asked about the unmet needs of community college students with disabilities, the 3 respondents provided the following responses:

• Lack of mental health care for students who do not have insurance

• “Specialized” tutoring – e.g. beyond what the college provides for all students – this could be one-on-one tutoring by staff with specific expertise in working with students with learning disabilities

• Develop more viable employment options for individuals with borderline intellectual disabilities and provide training for transition from high school to college

• Other one-on-one personal services such as those required by students with autism spectrum disorders who could benefit from in-class assistance to maintain focus and attention or be reminded of classroom behaviors

• Collaboration with Community and Continuing Education (CCE) to develop training and skills to facilitate employability

• Continue to support students when they enroll part-time – it’s often the best way for them to manage their college classes

• Provide funds for tutoring resources for individuals taking credit courses

• Provide assistive technology and training prior to attending college

• Funding for CCE courses leading to obtaining job skills

• Expand the Pathways program to other community colleges

• Role of parents

Discussion. Twenty-nine of the 58 student respondents indicated they applied for services through the disability support services office. Of the 29 who applied, 24 (83%) reported the accommodations requested allowed them to successfully complete their course work. The 5 individuals who reported that their accommodations were not successful indicated that better note takers, professional tutoring, instructors with better disability awareness, and better DORS support would have been helpful.

Fifteen (52%) of the 29 students who did not apply for accommodations indicated they did not need them. Four of the students who didn’t apply cited an interest in non-disclosure and 7 of the students lacked knowledge about the disability support services program. Other reasons for not applying included the amount of time to apply for services and the belief that there were no accommodations for their particular needs.

Based on the student survey results, it appears that a large percentage of students’ accommodation needs were successfully met. The “unmet” needs identified in the student survey are mostly related to service coordination rather than an actual unmet accommodation need required for successful college participation. Such issues as transportation, payment timeliness, career guidance, medical services and tuition funding are services provided by DORS and not considered accommodations.

The disability support services survey identified the need for mental health services for those students without insurance and tutoring by staff with specific expertise in working with students with disabilities. These needs seem to be consistent with the fact that 32% of the student respondents identified a mental health disability and that another unmet need identified by the students was for more experienced tutors. Other recommendations include supporting students enrolled part-time and to provide assistive technology and training prior to attending college. There are policy provisions for part-time enrollment and efforts continue to streamline assistive technology services to insure timely provision of technology and training prior to college admission. The final recommendation by two disability support services surveys was related to serving those students who are on the autism spectrum. It was recommended that DORS expand their Pathways project to other community colleges beyond the Baltimore County Community College campus. The enhanced case management of this program, including in-class personal assistance, was viewed as a good accommodation for the autism spectrum population. The Pathways program has proven to be successful and efforts to serve individuals through the Baltimore County campus continues to be the most cost effective means to serve this college bound population.

It is noteworthy that none of the survey respondents reported an unmet need for the provision of assistive technology or computer provision in general. One possible reason for this was the agency response to a recommendation in the last statewide needs assessment to explore a policy change regarding the provision of computers for college students. A policy change has made it easier to purchase a non-adaptive computer for college students. In addition, resources have been developed to purchase refurbished computers.

Suggested Strategies.

1. Continue to strengthen the relationship between DORS and the college disability support services offices. This could be accomplished by increasing the coordination between DORS counselors and disability support services professionals when coordinating individualized accommodations and support planning for students with disabilities as they plan for transitioning into college. This would also likely help address the lack of awareness of disability support services noted by several student respondents. The need to enhance this relationship was also a recommendation in the previous statewide needs assessment.

2. DORS counselors should insure the readiness of students for the demands associated with college and make sure appropriate supports are in place. A number of student survey respondents had issues associated with what they perceived as unrealistic instructor expectations and some expressed their frustration with the administrative demands of attending college. Parental involvement should be a significant consideration during the college transitioning planning for high school students.

3. Assess the utilization and effectiveness of DORS funded tutoring for community college students. Both the student survey and the disability support services survey results indicate the need for specialized tutoring beyond what is normally provided by colleges. DORS policy allows for tutoring in specific situations, however, additional resource development is likely needed in rural areas to insure successful tutoring outcomes.

II. One-Stop Career Centers.

Workforce Investment Act System—Maryland One-Stop Career Centers

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) brought various federal job training and employment programs together, to create one comprehensive service system. Job seekers, including individuals with disabilities can access this system through a network of One-Stop Career Centers. Services are developed and implemented by a number of mandated and non-mandated partners.

The public Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency is one of the mandated partners and the only one that focuses on disability. Its involvement is interactive in nature with VR referring individuals to other partners in the network of One-Stop, and conversely partners doing likewise. As an update from the 2007 Needs Assessment, there are no longer disability navigators at the One-Stops. It seems even more important for DORS and staff of the One-Stops to work collaboratively so that individuals with disabilities can benefits from this statewide resource.

To assess the needs of individuals with disabilities served at One-Stops in Maryland within the period in review, methods employed embraced three components: (a) survey of One-Stop staff (b) survey of DORS business liaisons. Information from two key informant interviews was included in the discussion and recommendation. Four surveys were returned from each group.

Discussion: Workforce Investment Survey – One-Stop Staff Survey Results

1. Staff indicated that the most beneficial service provided to individuals with disabilities at the One-Stop Career Centers is the available access to assistive technology.

2. Staff reported that it is very helpful when DORS counselors share career assessments, as available, with One-Stop staff assisting individuals with disabilities.

3. Staff find that those individuals with disabilities who are not adequately prepared for work have unrealistic expectations as to the services the One-Stop staff can provide.

4. Staff are frustrated when they refer individuals to DORS for formal assessments (which the One-Stop is not able to provide), and the individuals are placed on the DORS wait list or determined not eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

5. Staff are concerned that neither the One-Stop nor DORS have enough staff and resources to effectively assist individuals with disabilities.

6. One-Stop staff would like to receive additional training in the following areas:

a. Reasonable Accommodations;

b. Functional limitations and their impact on employment;

c. Disability-specific information;

d. Assistive Technology;

e. Available funding options individuals with disabilities beyond SSI and SSDI.

Discussion: One-Stop Career Centers Survey for DORS Business Liaisons Survey Results

1. Not all DORS Business Liaisons collaborate with One-Stop Centers; those that do collaborate are either co-located or are located in close proximity.

2. Monthly meetings are held to discuss various concerns, such as: barriers to employment, how to prepare a consumer for an interview, and how to approach businesses regarding an individual’s disability.

3. DORS and One-Stop staff partner on such programs as Summer Youth Employment and projects such as Mock Interview Days.

4. Efforts have been made to partner and share business contacts; however, a method to maximize and effectively share existing relationships with businesses has not yet been developed.

5. DORS counselors often refer consumers to One-Stop Centers for a variety of services, especially while on the DORS wait list; however, the consumers often need more individualized supports and training than the One-Stop is able to offer due to limited human and financial resources.

Needs/concerns:

Identify means to enhance collaboration between DORS Business Liaisons and One-Stop staff, including cross training regarding roles of each agency. This would promote realistic expectations of consumers and staff, and would ensure that individuals with disabilities can be provided effective employment services.

B. Assessment of the Need to Establish, Develop or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs within the State

COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROGRAMS.

The success of DORS consumers is due in many instances and respects to the partnerships DORS has established with Community Rehabilitation Programs which provide a number of direct services throughout the state. To assess the need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State, DORS conducted (1) a survey of CRP Executive Directors and Vocational Staff; (2) a survey of DORS staff and (3) several small focus groups of DORS consumers who had been served by CRPs. Results suggest needs, particularly for development and improvement of CRPs and enhancement of DORS-CRP working relationships.

Survey of CRPs. 115 surveys were sent electronically to CRP Executive Directors and 118 surveys were sent to vocational staff within each of the agencies; 63 responses were returned. Respondents identified their particular agencies and indicated whether their CRP was in an urban, rural and/or suburban area. Twenty-three (23) respondents indicated that the CRPs primarily serves the developmentally disabled population; thirty (30) serve the mental health population; one (1) primarily serves individuals on the autism spectrum; one (1) primarily serves individuals with brain injury; zero (0) serve individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing; four (4) primarily serve individuals who are blind/vision impaired, and four (4) primarily serve individuals they felt did not fall into the categories outlined above and described their population as “all disabilities served.” When asked what it would take to consider expanding services to include additional populations, several indicated intensive education/training for existing staff, funding for additional staff with specific skills sets, and technical assistance.

When asked about populations served, irrespective of primary population, Seventy-seven percent (77%) indicated that they serve the mental health population; sixty-one percent (61%) serve the developmentally disabled population; fifty-two percent (52%) serve individuals on the autism spectrum; fifty-two percent (52%) serve individuals with brain injury; forty-four percent (44%) serve individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing; forty-four percent (44%) serve individuals who are blind/vision impaired; fifty percent (50%) serve ex-offenders; thirty-one percent (31%) serve veterans, and fourteen (14%) serve individuals defined as “other.” Those responses included: the homeless, the learning disabled, individuals with physical disabilities, individuals with substance abuse, transitioning students, and all disabilities.

Needs/concerns identified by CRPs: In analyzing findings, the types of needs expressed by CRPs included the following:

1. Additional trainings regarding job carving, customized employment, and job development in general.

2. Increased assistance to help the consumers with their transportation needs including: comprehensive travel training and reduced delays in transportation funding for consumers.

3. Opportunities to interface with DORS staff and expand collaborative efforts in job development to include employment specialists and local businesses, opportunities for brainstorming client cases, and for employment specialists across agencies to share strategies and job leads.

4. The hourly rates for services have not been increased in over 5 years. The low rates make it difficult for CRPs to hire effective job developers.

Survey of DORS staff. Approximately 181 surveys were forwarded to DORS field counselors and supervisors. 75 were returned. Staff were asked what services they most often request from CRPs, quality and timeliness of services, specific populations served. This year, staff were asked to identify and rate each provider identified as one from which services were purchased. Eighty-four percent (84%) identified non-supported job coaching for job development as being the most frequently purchased service; sixty percent (60%) identified benefits counseling; fifty-three percent (53%) supported employment job coaching for job development; forty-eight percent (48%) non-supported job coaching for maintaining employment; forty-five percent (45%) career assessment services; forty-four percent (44%) WAT/EDS; thirty-eight percent (38%) supported employment job coaching for maintaining employment, and twenty percent (20%) job skills training.

Needs/concerns related to CRP Service Needs identified by DORS Staff:

1. Expand capacity for employment services for special populations (blind/vision impaired; deaf/hard of hearing; ABI; Autism spectrum)

2. Expand the number of CRPs that will provide services to ex-offenders including WAT services.

3. Increase the number of CRPs that provide employment skills training, especially trade skills.

4. Expand the type of services available to individuals with autism (therapy, social support group, social skills training, and ADHD organizational training) and increase the job development skills for providers who currently work with individuals with autism.

Focus Groups – Consumers previously served by CRPs.

DORS held several focus groups for consumers who had been served by CRPs to elicit their perspective on services. Three groups were held throughout the state. Participants were asked what services they had received, why they chose the provider, would they recommend similar services to a friend, was their DORS counselor involved, did they get a job as a result of the services, and what would improve the services at the CRP. While not a large sampling, there was some commonality among their responses and reactions. The majority of comments were positive about their experience with DORS and the CRP.

Needs/concerns related to CRP Service Needs expressed by Focus Group participants:

1. Increase information provided to consumer about provider choices when discussing services.

2. Consumers want to DORS counselors to return their calls promptly. Sometimes the consumers need advocacy from their counselor when working with providers.

3. Improve access to transportation for employment

4. Keep the momentum going. When training is completed (or job readiness), consumers want to move quickly into job development. They don’t want one service to end and have a prolonged wait to continue services.

?

OVERALL NEEDS ASSESSMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation related to Federal funding and staff capacity: The overriding vocational rehabilitation services need of individuals with disabilities residing in Maryland is equitable distribution of federal VR funds, and timely filling of counselor positions. While other recommendations in this attachment address ways to incrementally improve VR services to individuals with disabilities, continuation of historical underfunding of Maryland VR in relations to other states and continuation of extended periods of vacancy for front line staff will make it very difficult to implement changes that could result in many more individuals with disabilities achieving employment.

Recommendations from the focus areas of the Needs Assessment addressing the required elements are as follows:

1. Promote and facilitate staff development for DORS staff and community partners - Employment services, needs of and resources for special populations, career counseling/counselor role

2. Enhance relationships with community partners – CRPs, One-Stops, community college Disability Support Services staff, LEAs, in provision of targeted employment services and addressing transportation needs of individuals with disabilities.

3. Finalize the DORS-DDA Cooperative Agreement in keeping with Employment First; provide training to DORS and DDA staff.

4. Promote expansion of quality services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders through CRPs and the WTC’s Pathways Program

5. Continue outreach to minorities, especially those of Hispanic and Asian background.

6. Enhance resources for deaf/hard of hearing consumers –consider (1) development of training programs for deaf/hard of hearing, (2) promotion of community rehabilitation programs working with deaf/hard of hearing, and (3) exploration of Rehabilitation Communication Specialist service model.

7. Provide targeted outreach to individuals with blindness/vision impairments and deaf/blindness.

8. At least annually, review distribution of DORS staff assigned statewide, compared to the numbers of individuals with disabilities, the number of SSI/DI beneficiaries, the number of students in Special Education, and other relevant factors, to include distribution of disability groups. Adjust deployment of staff and programming consistent with findings.

9. Examine longitudinal data trends related to utilization of services, especially for high incidence populations such as Supported Employment for individuals with mental health disabilities, and use this information to inform program development, and staff and provider training needs.

10. Maintain DORS support of the Governor’s statewide initiative Skills2Compete.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 5:41PM by Polly Huston

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

Individuals eligible for services under Title I of Rehabilitation Act

Projected number of eligible persons: 24, 000

Individuals receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE):

Title I – 18,400; Title VIB – 300

(Category 1)

Most Significant: 14,400

(Category 2)

Significant: 4,000

(Category 3)

Non-Severe: 0

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Most Significant Title I $33,691,000 14,400 $2,339
Most Significant Title VI $480,000 300 $1,600
Significant Title I $9,396,000 4000 $2,349
Totals   $43,567,000 18,700 $2,329

This screen was last updated on Jun 10 2013 12:54PM by Kimberlee Schultz

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

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

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

The following goals and objectives were jointly developed and agreed to by DORS and the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council.

Goal 1: Assure high-quality employment outcomes for individuals with significant and most significant disabilities in Maryland through the vocational rehabilitation program.

Objective 1.1

Provide rehabilitation services in partnership with local education agencies that lead to successful outcomes in post-secondary education and employment for students with disabilities.

Strategies: DORS will

1. Ensure that VR counselors and staff work with student (including those in special education, or with 504 plans or severe medical conditions), families, school personnel and community partners to help students achieve employment and self-sufficiency.

2. Continue to emphasize and implement evidence-based transition practices, including work-based experiences such as Disability Mentoring Day, internships and summer employment to promote long-term career success and leadership, including expanding transitioning services at the Workforce & Technology Center (especially for consumers not planning to attend college).

3. Provide training and support to DORS transition counselors through the Transition Specialists Group and other meetings, the Transition Conference and training programs. Training shall help counselors identify and develop tools and resources related to post-secondary education, and best practices in working with families and transitioning students. Pending completion of the DDA/DORS agreement, provide training to staff and community rehabilitation providers.

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. The number of transitioning individuals served will match or exceed those served in 2013, including an increase in the number of students with 504 plans compared with the previous year.

b. There will be an increase in transitioning students who achieve employment compared with FY 2013.

c. Grants and funding will be provided to support leadership programs for youth with disabilities.

d. The DORS Transition Specialists Group will meet at least semiannually and include staff training on pertinent topics, and will identify, develop and disseminate tools and resources for transitioning students related to post-secondary education and Skills2Compete.

Objective 1.2

DORS will provide high quality services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities served by the Office of Field Services (OFS)

Strategies: DORS will

1. Provide high quality comprehensive services to eligible individuals with significant disabilities in keeping with the Rehabilitation Act and Federal Regulations, the Code of Maryland regulation, and DORS Policy.

2. The newly hired Business Services Representatives in each region will assist with identifying and implementing strategies to assist consumers in achieving middle-skill (Skills2Compete) as well as professional, managerial and technical positions and higher earnings (Needs Assessment Rec. 1 and 10).

3. The newly hired Business Services Representatives in each region will assist with enhancing linkages with businesses and employers to include customized training, use of OJT and internships, education and disability awareness.

4. Enhance relationship with community rehabilitation programs through increased participation from OFS management in conjunction with the Staff Specialist for Community Rehabilitation Programs (Needs Assessment Rec. 2).

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. Meet or exceed federal performance indicators for VR services.

b. OFS will achieve at least 85% consumer satisfaction.

c. OFS will achieve 2360 employment outcomes.

d. Achieve at least 90% in presumption of eligibility in SSI and SSDI cases.

e. Consumers will achieve an increase in average hourly earnings from the previous year.

f. More consumers will achieve professional, technical and managerial positions than in FY 2013.

g. Will continue to report middle-skill career achievement related to Skills2Compete required by the governor’s office.

Objective 1.3

DORS will provide high-quality services and outcomes for individuals who are blind and vision impaired (B/VI).

Strategies: DORS will

1. Provide high quality comprehensive services to eligible individuals who are blind and vision impaired in keeping with the Rehabilitation Act and Federal Regulations, the Code of Maryland regulation, the Randolph Shepard Act and DORS Policy.

2. Provide independent living services to older individuals who are blind through (1) direct services of DORS rehabilitation teachers and (2) grants to community organizations.

3. Collaborate with WTC in continuing to implement ABLE (Adjustment to Blindness for Life and Employment) at the Center.

4. Support the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council‘s Blindness & Vision Services Committee, charged with oversight of services to individuals who are blind and vision impaired.

5. Enhance linkages with businesses and employers to include customized training, education and disability awareness, work site AT services and mentoring/internship activities.

6. Increase services and outreach to individuals who are deaf-blind and provide technical assistance to staff serving this population (Needs Assessment Rec. 7).

7. Develop and train Maryland Business Enterprise Program for the Blind vendors.

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. Meet or exceed federal performance indicators for services for blind/vision impaired.

b. OBVS will achieve 180 employment outcomes.

c. The Business Enterprise Program will train/license three new managers and establish new vending sites where available.

d. Establish a baseline of ILOB outcomes in light of programmatic/service modifications and anticipated funding reductions.

e. An increased number of consumers who are blind/vision impaired or deaf-blind will be referred to the WTC compared with FY 2013.

f. Achieve a consumer satisfaction rate of 85%.

Objective 1.4

Provide effective employment services at the Workforce & Technology Center using state-of-the-art interdisciplinary strategies.

Strategies:

1. Provide high quality comprehensive services to eligible individuals with significant disabilities, utilizing partnerships and in keeping with the Rehabilitation Act and Federal Regulations, the Code of Maryland regulation, and DORS Policy.

2. Continue to identify the need for and develop innovative programs and services that address evolving disability employment issues and trends, focusing on underserved populations.

3. Enhance linkages between employers, the business community, DORS Business Services staff, and community partners.

4. Explore and analyze current referral patterns and make recommendations accordingly.

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. Increase the number of customized and/or partnership trainings from the previous year.

b. Increase the number of consumers achieving employment outcomes compared to FY 2013.

c. Increase the number of consumers in special populations (blind, deaf, deaf-blind, Autism) who will receive services and achieve employment, compared to FY 2013.

d. Meet or exceed consumer satisfaction with services compared to FY 2013.

e. WTC career technology program, including partnership programs and customized, will have 190 students complete a training program (Skills2Compete deliverable).

Goal 2: Maximize the self-sufficiency of people with disabilities through the disability determination program.

(Goal 2 is unrelated to the Vocational Rehabilitation Program)

Goal 3: Partner and collaborate with public agencies, private organizations, employers, community groups and individuals to advance the employment and independence of individuals with disabilities.

Objective 3.1

Enhance/expand services provided to individuals in special populations, within the capacities of the agency.

Strategies:

1. Continue to provide staff resources and staff training to support Evidence-Based Practice Supported Employment (EBPSE) and consumers who receive Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services (Needs Assessment Rec. 1).

2. Continue strategic activities that will enhance DORS capacity to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders preparing for employment (Needs Assessment Rec. 4).

3. Enhance utilization of the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program and continue regularly scheduled meetings with ABI VR Specialists, to include Transitioning Youth VR Specialists, as appropriate.

4. Continue collaboration with DDA to implement Employment First.

5. The DORS multi-cultural workgroup will continue to develop and publicize specialized resources for minority groups, focusing on Hispanic and Asian consumers (Needs Assessment Rec. 5).

6. DORS will continue to invite and encourage community partners to participate in DORS meetings and training programs, as appropriate (Needs Assessment Rec. 1, 2).

7. DORS will assure that liaison relationships are in place with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Community Colleges, Local Education Agencies, MANSEF Schools, and other organizations to enhance effectiveness and establish promising practices and procedures (Needs Assessment Rec. 2).

8. Pilot the Rehabilitation Communication Specialists (RCS) for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in at least one region (Needs Assessment Rec. 6).

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. An increased number of consumers will be served through EBPSE and ACT sites compared with FY 2013.

b. An increased number of consumers will be served in the Governor’s Transition Youth Initiative compared with FY 2013.

c. Increase the number of Asian and Hispanic consumers served by DORS, compared with FY 2013.

d. Increase the number of ABI consumers achieving employment compared with FY 2013.

e. Increase the number consumers with Autism served by DORS compared with FY 2013.

f. Increase the number of community rehabilitation program staff who attend training segments of DORS and other DORS meetings and programs compared with FY 2013.

g. Assign a supervisor to contact and meet with each community college DDS office at least once per semester.

h. Track and assess RCS pilot outcomes.

Objective 3.2

Enhance collaboration with and services to Maryland private and public employers.

Strategies: DORS will

1. The DORS Business Services Implementation Council will meet on a regular basis to review progress of the new business services team to support the agency’s strategic employment initiative.

2. Participate in the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) national business network and bring national efforts and strategies, i.e., the Net, to Maryland.

3. Expand and increase internship opportunities, customized trainings, and On-the-Job Training opportunities for DORS consumers.

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. Minutes of the DORS Business Services Implementation Council and CSAVR national business network meetings will confirm activities and progress.

b. Trainings for all staff assigned to business services will be conducted on a regular basis.

c. The number of internships and On-the-Job Training opportunities will be tracked through the AWARE case management system.

Objective 3.3

DORS will provide support to the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) to maintain and enhance its leadership role in the oversight of vocational rehabilitation service delivery in Maryland.

Strategies:

1. DORS will ensure that it works with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) in accordance with federal law and regulations and Council By-Laws.

2. Council members will review and comment on the annual agency program plan, DORS progress in meeting its performance goals, and DORS program accomplishments.

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. The Maryland SRC will conduct four (4) quarterly meetings including a meeting during the legislative session in Annapolis.

b. The Maryland SRC and DORS will conduct annual public meetings in preparation for developing the VR State Plan.

c. The Maryland SRC will submit its annual report to the Governor and RSA as required by law.

Objective 3.4

Promote and enhance quality independent living outcomes for individuals with disabilities in Maryland through independent living programs.

Strategies

1. Provide grant support, technical assistance and monitoring to the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC).

2. Manage DORS grants to Centers for Independent Living (CILs), including providing technical assistance and monitoring regarding the IL program, the IL AT program, and fiscal responsibilities.

3. Participate as an IL Partner in implementation of the 2014-2016 State Plan for Independent Living.

4. Implement mechanisms through Regional/Program Directors to facilitate referral for VR or ILOB services of individuals being assisted to move out of nursing homes by Maryland Centers for Independent Living, when such individuals have a goal of employment, or can be served through ILOB.

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. Annual reviews of grant performance will be conducted for each CIL with which DORS has a grant, and the Statewide Independent Living Council.

b. Meeting minutes will confirm DORS staff attendance and participation in quarterly meetings of Maryland IL Partners.

c. DORS Regional/Program directors will confirm at least annual meetings with CIL Executive Directors to facilitate referrals of individuals transitioning from nursing homes, as appropriate.

Goal 4: Provide Infrastructure to promote and support the accomplishment of the DORS mission.

Objective 4.1 Assure that personnel practices support the agency mission.

Strategies: DORS will

1. Create a workgroup to review and implement revised MSDE policies and procedures related to position descriptions (PD), and suggest changes to position descriptions.

2. Develop and implement an objective management process for reviewing statewide census distribution as positions become available (Needs Assessment Rec. 8).

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. Policies and procedures will be revised, distributed, and staff trained accordingly.

b. Position Descriptions will be updated

c. Staffing patterns will become more aligned with the census and other related factors, as positions become available.

Objective 4.2

Staff training will be provided to assure that staff maintains current competencies in rehabilitation practice, special populations, and administrative issues; Leadership development programs will be offered (Needs Assessment Rec. 1).

Strategies:

1. Consistent with results of the annual training needs assessment, provide effective training for all staff, including target areas such as deaf and hard-of-hearing issues, building effective business relationships, and emerging disability issues (Needs Assessment Rec. 1).

2. Develop training related to DORS affinity groups and other groups for inclusion in meetings; include community partners as appropriate (Needs Assessment Rec. 1).

3. Support/facilitate training in employment services and career counseling for staff of DORS and community providers (Needs Assessment Rec. 1).

4. Continue to include and expand on-line and other training modalities to present training to staff, and instruct staff how to use those opportunities.

5. Implement a back-to-basics training series for all staff.

6. Provide leadership activities for staff and succession planning for the agency.

7. Provide training in current technologies including accessible workstations.

8. Provide training to staff on changes to RSA federal reporting requirements.

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. Staff training in rehabilitation topics, including special populations, will be provided as part of DORS affinity groups at least twice annually, to include community partners as appropriate.

b. Staff will be trained on the new RSA federal reporting requirements.

c. At least one training program in employment services will be conducted for DORS and community program staff, as appropriate.

d. An increase in the usage by staff of distance learning training opportunities will be demonstrated.

e. At least one leadership program will be offered annually.

Objective 4.3

Explore how technologies can develop better communication, consumer services and staff support.

Strategy:

1. Continue the workgroup to develop a strategy for using social media.

2. Develop a secure process for providers to send reports electronically.

3. Enhance communication with all Division staff.

4. Review the effectiveness of the DDS-VR data sharing process.

Performance Measure by September 28, 2014:

a. Recommendations for use of social media will be reviewed and implemented, as appropriate.

b. Staff will be trained on a secure process for providers to send reports electronically.

c. Establish a baseline of the number of matches and records shared as indicators of the DDS-VR data sharing program’s initial success.

Objective 4.4

Enhance Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning

Strategies:

1. Develop a plan and time line for a DORS Strategic Plan

2. Implement updated QA strategies and activities for the VR Program

Performance Measures by September 28, 2014:

a. A DORS Strategic Plan for 3 years will be in place.

b. Updated QA Plan will be in place.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 3:55PM by Kimberlee Schultz

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

An order of selection is required under section 101 (a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act if a rehabilitation agency determines that it is unable to provide services to all eligible individuals who apply for services. With an order of selection, services must first be provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities before they are provided to other eligible individuals.

Due to limited personnel and financial resources, DORS has been unable to provide services to all eligible individuals. Based on projected fiscal and personnel resources, an order of selection will remain in effect. The Division’s order of selection ensures that eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities receive priority.

 

Description of Priority categories

An individual with a most significant disability is an eligible individual:

a. Who has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits three 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;

b. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services: at least two from the main services of guidance and counseling, medical rehabilitation services including technology services, job placement and vocational training; and

c. Whose vocational rehabilitation is projected to require an extended period of time of at least 6 months.

An individual with a significant disability is an eligible individual whose severe physical or mental impairment seriously limits one or two functional capacities, and also meets requirements in b and c above.

An individual with a non-severe disability is an eligible individual who does not meet the definition of significant or most significant disability.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

Individuals shall be placed in priority categories at the time of eligibility determination. Depending upon Division resources, the categories shall be closed for services in ascending order beginning with Category III and proceeding to Categories II and I. Services shall be provided only to those individuals in an open category. However, the Division shall continue to plan for and provide services to any individual determined eligible prior to the date on which the Order of Selection category to which the individual has been assigned has been closed, irrespective of the severity of the individual’s disability.

DORS staff will be advised via formal issuance when categories are closed or reopened.

The Order of Selection categories are as follows:

I. Individuals with Most Significant Disabilities.

II. Individuals with Significant Disabilities.

III. Individuals with Non-Severe Disabilities.

Under the order of selection specified above, the Division will continue to emphasize and enhance services to students with disabilities transitioning from school to work.

 

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

The Division’s case management system is designed to assure that individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for services before all others.

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 14,700 1,800 1,420 9/30/14 $33,549,000
2 4,000 771 609 9/30/14 $9,397,000
3 0 0 0 0 $0

This screen was last updated on Jun 7 2013 11:38AM by Kimberlee Schultz

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.

Supported employment services are provided on a statewide basis through the Title VI, Part B, and also Title I funds. Supported employment is competitive employment or employment in integrated work settings in which individuals are working toward competitive work, with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability. Fund allocation on a statewide basis ensures an equitable statewide service delivery.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services will continue to encumber Title VI, Part B funds on a fee-for-service basis. When supported employment services exhaust Title VI, Part B funds, DORS counselors shall be instructed to encumber Title I funds. In that way, individuals in need of supported employment services will continue to be served, even when Title VI, Part B funds are exhausted. DORS counselors will expend Title VI, Part B funds after receipt of documentation confirming the provision of extended services. In compliance with the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, DORS will expend Title I dollars until an extended source of funding has been obtained. The goal of the State’s supported employment program is to maintain a system whereby individuals with the most significant disabilities are afforded the opportunity to participate in integrated competitive employment. It is estimated that 3,500 individuals with the most significant disabilities will be served in FY14 in supported employment. It is estimated that 1200 transitioning students will be served in supported employment from special state funds through the Governor’s Transitioning Youth Initiative. Funds expected to be spent exceed $4 million. There has been a steady growth in the numbers of individuals with serious and persistent mental illness being served in supported employment.

DORS and the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) collaborate in provision of supported employment services to individuals with persistent mental illness at 30 community programs throughout the state. Further, DORS and MHA work with the Evidence-Based Practice Center at the University of Maryland to promote the Evidence-Based Supported Employment initiative. The initiative now includes 13 of the community programs statewide that meet Evidence-based Supported Employment (EBSE) fidelity.

The Division supports the use of supported employment models that maximize integration of persons with the most significant disabilities in real work sites, doing meaningful work. The Division encourages expansion of models beyond enclaves and does not support the use of bench work models. DORS policy includes a strong preference for individual placement models.

The estimated number of individuals who will achieve a supported employment outcome during 2014: 600.

This screen was last updated on Jun 7 2013 11:38AM by Kimberlee Schultz

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.

Expanding and improving services remains an agency priority as the needs and demographics of individuals with disabilities evolve. Maryland sets aside a portion of funds allotted under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended for development and implementation of innovative approaches to improve the provision of VR services, particularly for individuals with the most significant disabilities. While this Attachment describes a number of innovation and expansion activities undertaken by DORS, I & E funding will be targeted to fie program areas, as follows:

(1) Summer youth employment programs, consistent with evidence based practices for transitioning youth,

(2) Further implementation of the Governor’s Skills2Compete, a statewide effort to promote and prepare employees for middle skill jobs, often including post-secondary education of a year or two,

(3) In response to findings of the 2010 Needs Assessment and 2011 Public Meetings, the Division established a work group which made recommendations to expand and enhance services to individuals who are deaf-blind. Recommendations include establishment of a Staff Specialist position to coordinate Deaf/Blind services statewide; identification and outreach to community organizations serving deaf/blind; expansion of deaf/blind services at the Workforce & Technology Center; establishment of service protocols for the Office of Blindness and Vision Services and the Office of Field Services; provision of staff training. Services will be enhanced through implementation of the recommendations during FY 2013.

(4) The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The SRC is a full and active partner in the development of agency policies, regulations and procedures. The SRC collaborates with DORS to hold public meetings in areas around the state each year. These meetings are another way for DORS to identify needs and to gather trend information for strategic planning.

(5) The Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). The SILC partners with DORS and the Centers for Independent Living in overseeing provision of independent living services to individuals with significant disabilities statewide, consistent with the triennial State Plan for Independent Living Services.

Other activities designed to expand and improve services include:

1. Customized and partnership training programs at WTC, designed to meet the immediate needs of local employers. Recent examples are warehouse workers, child care workers and animal care workers.

2. DORS is piloting a program to sustain the evidence based transition practices established in 11 Local Education Agencies throughout Maryland through the recently concluded 5-year RSA Grant: Maryland Seamless Transition Collaborative. The goal is to establish fee for service transition services to continue these effective practices after completion of the grant.

3. The Workforce & Technology Center is implementing redesigned and enhanced services for individuals who are blind/vision impaired and for those who are deaf/blind.

 

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.

DORS staff have training in and understand the importance of providing AT devices and services as needed from the time of application for services through employment. The Division has designated staff who specialize in assistive technologies. The Workforce & Technology Center serves as a key resource where staff experts and products can be accessed on a statewide basis. Policies regarding assistive technologies are continually updated and distributed to staff.

The Office for Blindness & Vision Services makes extensive use of resources at the Workforce & Technology Center and in AT community programs. They have also supported summer programs for students with blindness as they transition to employment or higher education.

In addition to Rehabilitation Technology Services at WTC, AT services are provided by a cadre of DORS-approved private providers who serve DORS consumers statewide.

As recommended in the 2010 Needs Assessment, DORS has devoted extensive strategic planning and workgroup time over the last several months to evaluating our assistive technology delivery system that provides the assessment, training and product delivery needed by individuals during career planning and testing, training and in job placement. Recommendations from that workgroup include the addition of staff for the Rehabilitation Technology Services at WTC, re-establishing an AT satellite at the Easter Seals Intergenerational Center in Silver Spring, and provision of staff development to DORS staff.

DORS will be evaluating purchase of Apple products and APPS. Apple products are accessible out of the box and are of benefits to individuals who are blind and vision impaired as well as those with language issues. There are many instances when a specific, low-cost APP can perform a function which would be much more expensive provided through a different form of AT. They would provide an efficient and cost effective AT option.

DORS has an expert on staff who assures that electronic communication used by DORS staff and consumers is fully accessible to all, including those using screen readers, and individuals who are deaf.

 

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.

Minorities:

The Division focuses on making sure that minorities are given full opportunity to take part in all programming. The DORS website includes information in Spanish and Korean; additional information will be included in foreign languages. DORS will expand efforts to reach minorities through identification of and contact with community organizations which serve individuals from other countries and cultures. The agency has a contract with a provider who can provide real-time translation, on or off-site. The service also translates printed and electronic materials.

Un-served and Underserved:

DORS marketing materials reflect our commitment to, and belief in, equal opportunities for all. DORS website reflects the diversity of Maryland citizens and consumers served, and the depth and breadth of services available to individuals with disabilities in Maryland. It includes information about services to deaf consumers provided in ASL.

DORS conducts outreach to deaf/blind through community organizations and schools serving this population.

DORS will be working with the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration and Community Rehabilitation Programs statewide to implement Employment First, with emphasis on students exiting secondary school and individuals in day programs who are interested in employment.

DORS also works with community rehabilitation programs to ensure that they have the staff training, outreach capacity and commitment to meet the needs of all, including those who are minorities and/or in unserved or underserved groups.

 

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

DORS employs a staff specialist to support and enhance the unique relationship between the state agency and various community rehabilitation programs. This staff specialist maintains ongoing communications, assesses needs, provides training opportunities as well as formal and informal consultations. The specialist monitors and accredits the programs on a regular rotation and develops co-operative agreements.

DORS provides supports to the CRP Advisory Committee which meets quarterly and raises issues of mutual concern in an effort to improve services for consumers, including those who have been underserved.

The Division, in collaboration with the Region 3 TACE Center, is facilitating training opportunities for staff of community programs and DORS, emphasizing employment skills (job development and coaching), as identified in the 2010 Needs Assessment. DORS offers a fee premium for CRP services to individuals with sensory impairments (deaf, blind, deaf/blind).

 

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

DORS will closely monitor caseloads and closures to increase the rehabilitation rate to the federal standard.

DORS will use the following strategies to raise the earnings of individuals who achieve employment as compared with the average wage in Maryland:

Support the efforts of the Governor’s Skills2Compete which emphasizes mid-level careers involving a year or two of post secondary education.

DORS will encourage consumers to take advantage of the recently standardized community college tuition waiver for SSI/SSDI beneficiaries so that they can achieve some post-secondary credentials and higher earnings.

Continue efforts through the Employment Specialists to refer appropriate consumers for Schedule A placement with the federal government.

 

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

The Division maintains active participation on both the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and Local Workforce Investment Boards formed to develop and implement Maryland’s workforce investment systems and promote universal access to core employment services by all consumers, including minorities.

The Division works as closely with one-stops as possible to assure access to people with disabilities. DORS is co-located with One-Stop Career Centers in various areas of Maryland. When appropriate, DORS performs training and consultations to ensure excellent customer service to one-stop customers with disabilities.

DORS has several representatives on an ad hoc organization of Maryland college/university Disability Support Services staff, which includes DSS staff of community colleges.

 

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.

Achieve the goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1)

Maryland engages in ongoing strategic planning and focus on the agency mission, which is “to promote the employment, independence and self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities.” The agency values continuous improvement activities to enhance services and maximize the number and quality of employment outcomes, especially for those identified as priority populations. Strategic planning takes place with annual statewide planning meetings, twice a month Executive Staff meetings, formal and informal needs assessments, review of satisfaction surveys and other program evaluation initiatives. DORS recent strategic planning has concentrated on principles of efficient use of personnel, technology and financial resources to deliver quality rehabilitation services to persons with significant disabilities in Maryland.

Support Innovation and expansion activities; and

In addition to the above strategies, agency efforts include (1) high value placed on a positive relationship with the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council, (2) organizational commitment to effective partnerships with community organizations and schools, (3) awareness and adoption of evidence based practices in rehabilitation, and (4) focus on employers as an important customer.

Overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals in the state VR services program and the state supported employment services program.

The Division plans programs that are accessible to all people in Maryland and sees its role as pivotal in helping individuals overcome barriers that include gender, race, national origin, color, disability or age.

The following goals and strategies related to access to and participation in the VR and Supported Employment programs are being implemented:

A. Collaborate with MHA and DDA to have common standards and indicators for supported employment programs & services, to streamline access for people with disabilities, including minorities.

B. Provide services and opportunities to persons with disabilities from minority populations that result in competitive employment and independent living consistent with their unique abilities and informed choice.

C. Expand collaboration with community rehabilitation and disability partners to assure consumer participation, the input of key stakeholders, and program accountability to assure minority population access to services.

1. Implement and monitor activities and outcomes achieved though the Employment Program Fund (state funds designated for employment services provided to DORS consumers by community rehabilitation programs) and associated programs and services; maintain linkages with community rehabilitation providers.

2. A consumer/claimant inquiry system is maintained; consumer satisfaction is evaluated and monitored; a Client Assistance Program, access to legal services, option for mediation and liaison with the Office of Administrative Hearings to conduct due process hearings will be maintained. Particular attention is paid to assuring access to services for minority groups.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 4:04PM by Kimberlee Schultz

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

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

Introduction

This past year 2,333 people who participated in DORS programs went to work – many for the first time. Based on what we know about retention rates from previous years, approximately 84% of them will still be working 12 months from now. This is the highest retention rate in Maryland’s workforce system.

These new workers no longer rely on public benefits and family for economic support. Instead, they contributed over $34.9 million to the state’s economy during their first year of employment. They have brought new skills, as well as diversity, to businesses all over the state.

While DORS has clearly positively influenced the lives of many people in this fiscal year, we continue to struggle to provide timely services to all eligible persons. A continuing challenge is maintaining a sufficient number of rehabilitation counselors to work with all individuals with disabilities who want to work. The strained State budget has resulted in a hiring freeze and extended vacancies in DORS counselor positions. As a result, the DORS waiting list for services for individuals with significant disabilities is increasing.

Despite these challenges, DORS continued to provide innovative programs and services to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Highlights included:

• Assisting 8,714 students with disabilities to prepare them to move from high school to employment, higher education or career training.

• Working with community partners to help place 288 high school students with disabilities in paid summer employment programs where they could gain work experience.

• Identified Career One Stop’s fastest growing middle-skilled jobs in Maryland and assisted 135 consumers with obtaining or maintaining employment in these occupations.

• Developed seven (7) customized partnership trainings with local businesses.

In good economic times and bad, the Division remains committed to supporting the employment and economic independence of people with disabilities in Maryland.

Goal 1: Assure high-quality employment outcomes for individuals with significant and most significant disabilities in Maryland through the vocational rehabilitation program.

Objective 1.1

Provide rehabilitation services in partnership with local education agencies that lead to successful outcomes in post-secondary education and employment for students with disabilities.

Strategies: DORS will

1. Ensure that VR counselors and staff work with students, families and school personnel to help students achieve employment and self-sufficiency.

2. Continue to emphasize and develop resources for work-based experiences such as internships and summer employment to promote long-term career success.

3. Expand and enhance transitioning services at the Workforce & Technology Center (WTC), including training services for consumers not planning to attend college.

4. Participate in and support programs and projects that develop emerging leaders, including Disability Mentoring Day.

5. Evaluate partnerships with LEAs that developed through the Maryland Seamless Transition Collaborative (MSTC).

6. Provide training and support to DORS transition counselors through the Transition Specialists Group and other meetings, conferences and training programs; training shall include best practices in working with families.

7. Through the Transition Specialists Group, identify and develop tools and resources for transitioning students related to post-secondary education, including in the State’s Skills2Compete initiative (Needs Assessment Rec. 6).

8. The DORS Transition Specialists group will develop a sub-committee that will make recommendations for evidence-based practices and training in self-advocacy and self-determination for students.

9. Continue to develop programs to meet the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders.

10. Provide outreach materials to identified school staff (504 Coordinators, Nurses, and Guidance Counselors) to assure appropriate referral of students with disabilities not served through Special Education. (Needs Assessment Rec. 3).

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. The number of transitioning individuals served will match or exceed those served in 2011.

8,714 transition youth served. Compared to FY 11, during which 8,423 transition youth were served, this is a 3.4% increase, reflecting the Division’s on-going commitment to transition youth in Maryland.

b. 250 students will participate in summer youth employment and other work-based experiences.

288 transitioning students participated in Youth Summer Employment Program Activities in 2012.

c. 620 transitioning students will achieve employment.

712 transitioning students achieved employment.

d. Grants and funding will be provided to support leadership programs for youth with disabilities.

A Notice of Grant Award for $10,000.00 was issued to Independence Now, Inc. 30 students participated in the FY 12 Youth Leadership Forum, a multi-organizational effort whose partners also included the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services, the Development Disabilities Administration, Maryland Department of Disabilities, the Development Disabilities Council, and other groups.

e. 216 students will be served through MSTC.

350 students served through MSTC.

f. The DORS Transition Specialists Group will meet at least semiannually and include staff training on pertinent topics, and will identify, develop and disseminate tools and resources for transitioning students related to post-secondary education, Skills2Compete, and self-determination and self-advocacy instruction.

Transition Specialist Group meetings in December 2011 and May 2012 included training on family engagement as part of self-determination training for staff. The Summer Youth Employment Services Pilot was also discussed in May. In September 2012, the Transition Specialist Group met for cross-training with WIA Youth Coordinators from around the state.

g. Evidence-based practices and training in self-advocacy and self-determination for students will be disseminated to DORS Transition Specialists through in-service training.

Self-Advocacy and Self Determination information shared at the May 2012 Transition Specialist Group meeting has been posted on InDORS, the Agency intranet.

h. DORS will fund and provide technical assistance for an annual statewide transitioning conference.

Transition Conference was held October 16-17, 2011, funded by a variety of partners, including DORS. Funding provided to the Governor’s Interagency Transition Council for the Maryland Transition Conference scheduled for November 2012 in Bowie, MD.

i. DORS Liaison counselors shall establish working relationships with 504 coordinators, school nurses and/or guidance counselors at each school, providing outreach information about DORS and establishing referral procedures.

Staff specialist for Transitioning Services made contact with every county level 504 coordinator, and meetings were held with local DORS and school staff in several jurisdictions. DORS Liaison counselors continue to foster relationships with LEAs, including 504 coordinators, and provide outreach information about DORS and establish referral procedures.

j. 3,370 DORS consumers will be sponsored in post-secondary and career technology programs (Skills2Compete deliverable; RSA 2 source document)

DORS has sponsored post-secondary and career programs, included WTC training programs, for 3,848 consumers served.

Objective 1.2

DORS will provide high quality services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities served by the Office of Field Services

Strategies: DORS will

1. Provide effective training for all staff, including target areas such as deaf and hard-of-hearing issues and building effective business relationships.

2. Provide comprehensive services to eligible individuals with significant disabilities in keeping with the Rehabilitation Act and Federal Regulations, the Code of Maryland regulation, and DORS Policy.

3. Identify and implement strategies to streamline processes, focusing on referral, application and eligibility and enhance staff retention, including pilot unit design/sharing of responsibilities.

4. Identify and implement strategies to assist consumers in achieving middle-skill (Skills2Compete) as well as professional, managerial and technical positions and higher earnings (Needs Assessment Rec. 6).

5. Enhance linkages with businesses and employers to include customized training, use of OJT and internships, education and disability awareness.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Meet or exceed federal performance indicators for VR services.

End-Year:

Standard 1.1: Number of closed cases with an employment outcome

Current Year 2012: 2,506

Previous Year 2011: 2,437

(2012 DORS Objective: 2,470)

Standard 1.2: Of closed cases that received services, percentage with an employment outcome.

Current Year 2012: 59.5%

Previous Year 2011: 44.5%

2012 Objective: 55.8%

Standard 1.3: Of closed cases with an employment outcome, percentage that have a wage greater than or equal to the minimum wage.

Current Year 2012: 93.3%

Previous Year 2011: 91.8%

2012 Objective: 72.6%

Standard 1.4: Of closed cases with an employment outcome that have a wage greater than or equal to minimum wage, percentage that have significant disabilities.

Current Year 2012: 100%

Previous Year 2011: 100%

2012 Objective: 62.4%

Standard 1.5: Ratio of average state wage to the average wage of closed cases with employment outcome that have wages greater than or equal to minimum wage.

Current Year 2012: .44

Previous Year 2011: .46

2012 Objective: .52

Standard 1.6: Difference between the percentage of closed cases with employment outcomes that have wage greater than or equal to minimum wage that are self support at application and the percent of closed cases with employment outcomes that have a wage greater than or equal to the minimum wage that are self support at closure.

Current Year 2012: 70.9%

Previous Year 2011: 70.7%

2012 Objective: 53.0%

Standard 2.1: Ratio of minority service rate to non-minority service rate.

Current Year 2012: .853

Previous Year 2011: .921

2012 Objective: .80

DORS met five of the six standards and indicators. DORS has a pattern of not achieving Standard 1.5, due to the state’s high per capita income.

b. OFS will achieve 2,280 employment outcomes.

2,333 employment outcomes achieved.

c. OFS will have an open caseload of 17,000.

FY 12 completed with 17,549 open cases.

d. Achieve at least 90% in presumption of eligibility in SSI and SSDI cases.

95% presumption of eligibility timeliness achieved.

e. Formal training on emerging issues in rehabilitation will be provided to staff locally and through the HRD office.

During FY 2012, multiple in-service and out-service trainings were provided to DORS staff. In general, the trainings fell into 1 (or more) categories. The categories, with the of trainings in parenthesis, included: Multiculturalism/Diversity (02), Information Technology or Assistive Technology (04), Autism (05), Low Vision/Blindness (05), Acquired Brain Injury (05), Deaf/Hard of Hearing (05) Transitioning Youth (06), Mental Health and related topics (10), Leadership/Management (11), and Employment (15). Trainings which didn’t strictly fall into these categories included Regional meetings, Preparing for Accreditation, Benefits Counseling, and the MRA-DORS Conference (which provided over 30 training sessions on a wide variety of rehabilitation-related topics).

f. Streamlining strategies will be identified and implemented.

Effective November 1, 2011, based on the recommendation of DORS Policy Review Committee and approval of Executive Staff, Rehabilitation Supervisors were granted the authority to approve or disapprove requests for an Order of Selection category change for an eligible individual.

g. Consumers will achieve average hourly earnings of $12.25.

The slow economy continues to hinder achievement of an average hourly wage of $12.25. In FY 12, consumers achieved average hourly earnings of $10.69.

h. More consumers will achieve professional, technical and managerial positions than in FY 2011.

346 out of 2,506, or 13.80% consumer achievement (FY 11: 321 out of 2,347 consumers, or 13.67%)

i. A data collection strategy will continue to track middle-skill career achievement related to Skills2Compete.

135 consumers have obtained or maintained employment in occupations, listed at the end of this report, which were identified on the Career One Stop website as the fastest growing middle-skilled jobs in Maryland (National Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections).

Objective 1.3

DORS will provide high-quality services and outcomes for individuals who are blind and vision impaired (B/VI).

Strategies: DORS will

1. Maintain and expand ongoing professional development activities for staff that serve consumers who are B/VI including quarterly in-service training, graduate training coursework and practicum to support master’s degrees and certification.

2. In collaboration with WTC, continue to expand OBVS services at the Center.

3. With WTC and Maryland Technology Assistance Program (TAP) staff, review and enhance the assistive technology service delivery system that supports the employment and independent living goals of individuals who are B/VI.

4. Support the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council‘s Blindness & Vision Services Committee, charged with oversight of services to individuals who are blind and vision impaired.

5. Enhance linkages with businesses and employers to include customized training, education and disability awareness, work site AT services and mentoring/internship activities.

6. Increase services to these individuals who are deaf-blind and provide technical assistance to staff serving this population.

7. Provide services to older individuals who are blind.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Meet or exceed federal performance indicators for services for blind/vision impaired.

End-Year:

Standard 1.1: Number of closed cases with an employment outcome

Current Year 2012: 173

Previous Year 2011: 170

(2012 DORS Objective: 180)

Standard 1.2: Of closed cases that received services, percentage with an employment outcome.

Current Year 2012: 74.9%

Previous Year 2011: 67.7%

2012 Objective: 55.8%

Standard 1.3: Of closed cases with an employment outcome, percentage that have a wage greater than or equal to the minimum wage.

Current Year 2012: 68.8%

Previous Year 2011: 64.1%

2012 Objective: 72.6%

Standard 1.4: Of closed cases with an employment outcome that have a wage greater than or equal to minimum wage, percentage that have significant disabilities.

Current Year 2012: 100%

Previous Year 2011: 100%

2012 Objective: 62.4%

Standard 1.5: Ratio of average state wage to the average wage of closed cases with employment outcome that have wages greater than or equal to minimum wage.

Current Year 2012: .68

Previous Year 2011: .72

2012 Objective: .52

Standard 1.6: Difference between the percentage of closed cases with employment outcomes that have wage greater than or equal to minimum wage that are self support at application and the percent of closed cases with employment outcomes that have a wage greater than or equal to the minimum wage that are self support at closure.

Current Year 2012: 53.8%

Previous Year 2011: 45.9%

2012 Objective: 53.0%

Standard 2.1: Ratio of minority service rate to non-minority service rate.

Current Year 2012: .794

Previous Year 2011: .911

2012 Objective: .80

b. OBVS will achieve 180 employment outcomes.

End Year: 173 employment outcomes achieved. OBVS slightly missed this goal due to higher than usual rates of staff absence and turnover.

c. Increase the B/VI active VR caseload to 900 consumers.

Despite higher than usual rates of staff absence and turnover, OBVS ended FY 12 with 888 active VR consumers. Although the FY 12 goal was slightly missed, this represents an 8.8% increase over FY 11 achievement.

d. The Business Enterprise Program will train/license three new managers and establish new vending sites where available.

In FY 12, two vendors who completed training in FY11 were licensed, two new facilities opened, one facility was renovated and reopened, and, as of September 2012, seven new vendors completed training.

e. Serve 395 consumers who are blind or vision impaired at WTC. Add a teacher to the current staff serving the blind at WTC.

WTC served 406 consumers who are blind or vision impaired in FY 12. 1 new teacher was added as of 10/18/2011 bringing the total number of teachers serving consumers at WTC to 3.

f. Implement a single point of contact/resource to coordinate the needs of consumers who are deaf-blind.

Hiring in process (position filled FY 2013)

g. Provide services to 1025 individuals in the Older Blind Independent Living program.

End Year: 1,001 (DORS 676, BISM 83 and CLB 242). OBVS slightly missed this goal due to higher than usual rates of staff absence and turnover.

h. Achieve a consumer satisfaction rate of 90%.

OBVS achieved a 77% satisfaction rate. A review of the satisfaction surveys shows dissatisfaction of 27% of respondents due timeliness and 22% relationship with counselor. Both of these concerns may be attributed to a sudden unprecedented turnover in staff due to extended illnesses, vacancies and retirements.

Objective 1.4

Provide effective employment services at the Workforce & Technology Center using state-of-the-art interdisciplinary strategies.

Strategies:

1. Explore the feasibility of offering a resume specialist who would provide resume writing support services to DORS field offices.

2. Establish a schedule for regular meetings with individual field offices as a means to enhance communication with the field program and utilize feedback.

3. Continue to identify the need for and develop innovative programs and services that address evolving disability employment issues and trends.

4. Continue to implement and enhance programs that support individuals who are deaf. (Needs Assessment Rec. 2, 4)

5. Implement and enhance programs that support the employment, independent living and adjustment to blindness needs of individuals who are blind and vision impaired. (Needs Assessment Rec. 2, 4)

6. Implement and enhance programs that support the employment needs of individuals who have autism spectrum disorders, including expansion of the Pathways Program for community college students. (Needs Assessment Rec. 4)

7. Assess and enhance current resources for providing assistive technology.

8. Enhance linkages with employers and the business community through customized and partnership trainings.

9. Explore outreach to veterans’ organizations to assure that Maryland veterans are aware of WTC programs that may assist them in their employment needs. (Needs Assessment Rec.7)

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Establish a baseline number of meetings with field office staff.

WTC completed marketing meetings with field office staff in four of the seven regions (2, 4, and 5 and all but one office in 3). This leaves Regions 3 (one office scheduled for 12/2012), 1, 6, and OBVS to be completed in FY2013.

b. An increase in the number of customized partnerships with field offices to plan consumer trainings.

7 customized partnerships were implemented in FY 12, including 1 with the Hilton, 1 with OfficeMax, 2 warehouse trainings, 2 security guard trainings, and 1 PAWS training. This is an increase over FY 11 during which 6 customized partnership trainings were provided.

c. Increased number of consumers achieving employment outcomes compared to FY 2011.

In FY 12, 534 consumers achieved employment outcomes, compared to 496 in FY 11. This constitutes a 7.7% increase over the previous year.

d. Increased number of deaf consumers will be provided services, compared to FY 2011.

329 deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers were served in FY 12, compared to 258 in FY 11. This constitutes a 27.5% increase over the previous year, and reflects a continuing emphasis on programming for deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers at WTC.

e. Meet or exceed consumer satisfaction with services compared to FY 2011.

Consumer satisfaction is gathered at the service level, and measured on a 4 point scale. In FY 12, satisfaction ratings ranged from 3.53 to 3.89, which compares favorably to satisfaction rating in FY 11, ranging from 3.43 to 3.91.

f. Meet or exceed WTC utilization levels from prior year.

4,334 WTC services were provided in FY 12, compared to 4,142 in FY 11. This constitutes a 4.6% increase in the number of WTC services provided between FY11 and FY 12.

g. WTC career technology program will have 181 graduates (Skills2Compete deliverable).

207 WTC consumers completed or graduated from their career technology training programs during FY 12.

Goal 2: Maximize the self-sufficiency of people with disabilities through the disability determination program. Goal unrelated to the Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Goal 3: Partner and collaborate with public agencies, private organizations, employers, community groups and individuals to advance the employment and independence of individuals with disabilities.

Objective 3.1

Enhance/expand services provided to individuals in special populations, within the capacities of the agency.

Strategies:

1. Continue the inter-agency consortium dedicated to the Governor’s Employment Initiative for Persons with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI Initiative); maintain the capacity for provision of services to individuals with ABI when the Initiative reaches capacity.

2. Continue to provide staff resources and staff training to support Evidence-Based Supported Employment (EBPSE) and consumers who receive Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services. (Needs Assessment Rec. 3)

3. Continue strategic activities that will enhance DORS capacity to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders preparing for employment.

4. Implement the recommendations of the Maryland VR Plan for Services for the Deaf, Hard-of-hearing and Late-deaf as resources allow. (Needs Assessment Rec. 2, 4)

5. Continue collaboration with DDA to implement Employment First.

6. Review DORS Fee Schedule for CRP services for special populations and consider modifications as appropriate. (Needs Assessment Rec. 4)

7. Re-establish the DORS multi-cultural workgroup and contact community support groups for Hispanic and Asian people. (Needs Assessment Rec. 5)

8. Invite community partners to training segments of DORS affinity groups, as appropriate. (Needs Assessment Rec. 1, 3)

9. Address DORS liaisons for Community Rehabilitation Programs, Community Colleges and other organizations to determine effectiveness and establish promising practices and procedures. (Needs Assessment Rec. 3)

10. Collaborate with Easter Seals in provision of services to veterans.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Serve 1,100 Individuals who have ABI (stroke & TBI).

1,091 served in FY 12. DORS effort to reinvigorate the Governor’s Acquired Brain Injury Program is expected to increase services to this population.

b. All EBPSE sites will participate in the Milestone Payment system.

On February 1, 2012 all EBPSE Sites were converted to Milestone Payments.

c. 1,100 consumers will be served through EBPSE sites.

1,657 served

d. 1,100 consumers will be served in the Governor’s Transition Youth Initiative.

1,182 served

e. Demonstrate specific outreach strategies to consumers in populations underserved by DORS.

Established and have held meetings of Deaf/Blind stakeholders

f. Serve 750 individuals with Autism.

1,434 served

g. At least 50 staff of community rehabilitation programs will attend training segments of DORS affinity group meetings.

A total of 56 staff from CRPs participated alongside DORS staff in affinity group meetings/trainings, including two CRP Advisory Committee Meetings in April and July 2012, CAS Overview Training in May 2012, and training on Career Assessment and Assistive Technology in July 2012.

h. Recommendations regarding DORS liaisons to partner agencies and organizations will be provided to Executive Staff.

Executive Staff is considering the most appropriate way to maintain liaisons with community partners in light of agency capacity and number of partner agencies.

Objective 3.2

Enhance collaboration with and services to Maryland businesses.

Strategies: DORS will

1. Analyze the mission and vision of the Director’s Business Services Implementation Council; modify practices to reflect current needs and business environment.

2. Participate in the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) national business network and bring national efforts and strategies, i.e., the Net, to Maryland.

3. Continue to review and realign resources that support employment partnerships and internships for DORS consumers.

4. Continue to review the effectiveness of programs and practices in job development and placement.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Minutes of Employer Council and CSAVR national business network meetings will confirm activities and progress.

Employment council developed a model to build upon the accomplishments of the Business Services team, whereby Regional Business Services Representatives (contractual) would be hired to provide more in-depth services to local businesses and DORS consumers.

OFS Staff Specialist for Business Services actively participated in the CSAVR National Employment Team (NET) and Mid-Atlantic VR Points of Contact activities and training meetings. Activities included: federal agency recruitments and staff trainings, sharing of regional contacts and business developments, and responding to corporate inquiries regarding disability employment matters and requests for assistance with staffing.

b. WTC will conduct six partnership and customized training programs.

7 customized partnerships were implemented in FY 12, including 1 with the Hilton, 1 with OfficeMax, 2 warehouse trainings, 2 security guard trainings, and 1 PAWS training.

c. Program development strategies will be considered and implemented, as appropriate, concerning job development and placement programs and practices.

In August 2012, Administrative Instruction 12-16 identified the steps that are to be taken to end JDPR and replace it with a restructured hourly job coaching services for both Supported and Non Supported Job Coaching. An incentive for rapid placement and 90 day retention is included. The change in service is scheduled for 10/1/12.

Objective 3.3

Work with community partners to improve transportation for individuals with disabilities in support of competitive employment.

Strategies:

1. Establish an agreement with a non-profit organization that provides donated or low-cost vehicles to DORS consumers in need of transportation to work.

2. Partner on the interagency team led by Maryland Department of Disabilities, with Rutgers NTAR on transportation issues for individuals with disabilities anticipated with Base Realignment and Closure initiatives in Maryland.

3. Maintain participation on the Maryland Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation.

4. Identify means to facilitate collaboration between transportation networks.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. An agreement will be established with non-profit organization, to provide vehicles to at least 10 DORS consumers in need of transportation in order to work.

Defer or discontinue in light of insufficient capacity to pursue this activity.

b. DORS staff will participate in NTAR meetings and identify appropriate actions to be taken to improve transportation for individuals with disabilities.

Department of Disabilities has taken the lead on this and has not involved DORS in any additional meetings.

c. DORS/MSDE staff will attend quarterly meetings of the Maryland Coordinating Committee and assist in identification of ways to improve the transportation system in Maryland.

DORS Staff Specialist for Quality Assurance has been attending Maryland Coordinating Committee meetings. The committee is developing a common application for paratransit to be used by various providers so that an individual with a disability does not need to apply separately for each provider.

Objective 3.4

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) will maintain and enhance its leadership role in the oversight of vocational rehabilitation service delivery in Maryland.

Strategies:

1. DORS will invite and support Council participation and representation on DORS committees and workgroups.

2. The Council, in collaboration with DORS, will conduct annual public meetings throughout the state to promote community and consumer input related to the administration of the VR program.

3. Council members will review and monitor the Division’s client satisfaction system, as well as annual finding of satisfaction surveys, appeal requests and outcomes, and Client Assistant Program (CAP) data and findings.

4. The Council will be a full and active partner in the development of agency regulations, policies and procedures relating to Maryland VR program.

5. Council members will review and comment on the annual agency program plan, DORS progress in meeting its performance goals, and DORS program accomplishments.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. The Maryland SRC will conduct four (4) quarterly meetings including a meeting during the legislative session in Annapolis.

The SRC met November 16, February 10, May 9, and September 12, 2012.

b. The Maryland SRC and DORS will conduct annual public meetings attended by at least 100 individuals.

Public meetings were held March 26, La Plata; March 28, Hagerstown; March 29, Baltimore; April 2, Teleconference; April 5, Easton. A total of 99 individuals attended.

c. The Maryland SRC will submit its annual report to the Governor and RSA.

The SRC 2011 Annual Report was submitted by the due date, 12/31/11.

Objective 3.5

Participate in the Governor’s Skills2Compete initiative. (Needs Assessment Rec. 6)

1. Participate in Lt. Governor Brown’s and the GWIB work team that will plan strategies for the Skills2Compete initiative.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Establish policies, procedures, data elements and services that will support DORS consumers in attaining mid-range careers.

Policy Review Committee met 4/25/12; agenda included provision of non-adapted computers for consumers, which would support training for mid-level careers.

Goal 4: Promote and enhance quality independent living outcomes for individuals with disabilities in Maryland through independent living programs, including the older blind program.

Objective 4.1

Participate as a Maryland Independent Living partner in accomplishment of goals and objectives specified in the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) 2012 - 2013.

Strategies

1. Provide support to the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC), through supervision and support of the SILC Administrative Officer.

2. Manage DORS grants to Centers for Independent Living (CILS), including providing technical assistance and monitoring regarding both the IL program and fiscal responsibilities.

3. DORS, the SILC and CILs will continue to evaluate implementation of collaborative efforts such as cross-training opportunities, strengthening VR and IL service provision to transitioning youth and benefits planning.

4. Support the establishment of two new Centers for Independent Living in central Maryland.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Review of minutes and other evidence will confirm that the SILC has required membership and is accomplishing its statutory responsibilities.

The SILC has required membership and is carrying out its statutory duties.

b. Evidence of record will confirm provision of technical assistance and oversight of grants as appropriate, from a program and fiscal perspective.

DORS conducted one teleconference review and 5 onsite reviews of CILs in Maryland. These reviews included the Director, Business Support Services, Director, Office of Program and Community Support, CAP staff, staff accountant, local OBVS staff and local OFS staff. One CIL came off high risk status, having fully resolved previous issues; two CILs are currently on high risk status.

c. Two new Centers for Independent Living will provide core independent living services.

New Centers have opened during calendar 2011; concerns about stability of Accessible Resources for Independence serving Anne Arundel and Howard Counties. Both new CILs provide core services through RSA Part C funding; RSA has responsibility for their oversight.

Objective 4.2

Provide IL rehabilitation technology services through grants to CILs.

Strategies: DORS will

1. Evaluate performance of the CILs in providing IL AT services through grants from DORS; revise MOUs and grant expectations and awards as appropriate.

2. Monitor grants to CILs from a fiscal and program perspective.

3. In collaboration with Maryland TAP, assure that AT training is provided to CILs.

4. Establish grants for independent living, assistive technology services with the two new CILs in central Maryland.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. CILs will meet performance measures established in the RFP and MOU for this program.

DORS conducted one teleconference review and 5 onsite reviews of CILs in Maryland. One CIL came off high risk status, having fully resolved previous issues; two CILs are currently on high risk status.

b. ILAT will be a topic for exploration at an annual CIL directors meeting.

Technical assistance was provided during on-site reviews of CILs.

c. The CILs in Central Maryland will provide ILAT services per DORS grant and MOU.

A grant for ILAT services was provided to the IMAGE Center. A grant for IL AT services was not provided to Accessible Resources for Independence due to concerns about the stability of the organization.

Goal 5: Promote recruitment and retention of qualified rehabilitation staff

Objective 5.1

Take measures, within the authority of the Department and the Division, to make the workplace more welcoming and flexible in meeting the needs of staff.

Strategies:

1. Implement, as appropriate, the technology recommendations of the Workforce 2010 committee, assuring that changes are in the best interest of consumers as well as staff.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Recommended changes will continue to be evaluated and implemented.

Several recommendations have been implemented, including discontinuing the use of Local AWARE concurrent with the establishment of a process to request VPNs; provision of new laptops to staff to use with VPNs in the community; assignment of smart phones to select staff; increased access to webinars and webcasts; and updating of equipment in RTS.

Objective 5.2

Provide leadership activities for staff and succession planning for the agency

Strategies:

1. Conduct a six-month Mentoring Program

2. Define the focus and leadership of the Supervisory Affinity Group

3. Continue the Supervisory Training Series

4. Support staff to attend local, non-DORS leadership programs as appropriate

5. Conduct a ten-month Executive Leadership Initiative (ELI)

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. At least eight staff will participate in the annual DORS Mentoring Program

16 staff mentored with DORS leadership/management as part of the Leadership Academy which concluded in January 2012.

b. At least three supervisory training topics will be available to staff

Statewide Ethics training completed in FY 12. Statewide Supervisors Meetings held in October 2011 and May 2012; Statewide Benefits Training held August 2012; New Supervisors Training 101 held September 2012.

c. Up to four DORS staff will attend local, community-based leadership programs

No requests for local leadership programs were received.

d. At least six staff will participate in ELI

9 DORS Staff completed the Executive Leadership Institute. The concluding meeting was in April 2012.

Objective 5.3

Review classifications of DORS positions to make categories as equitable as possible.

Strategies:

1. Consider various ways of advertising DORS openings beyond the traditional sources

2. Encourage and facilitate unit-based changes in practices and division of labor which will benefit consumers and staff

3. Explore opportunities to give staff more diversified work experiences

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Recommendations will be made to DORS management regarding outreach to potential employees

Outreach to potential new employees anticipated to increase via the new state online recruitment system. The first DORS recruitment posted online in August 2012 resulted in over 1,000 applications.

b. Proposals from units to change practices will be considered and implemented as appropriate.

Regions proposed ways to best use new Business Services staff positions for consideration by executive staff.

Objective 5.4

Staff training will be provided to assure that staffs maintain current competencies in rehabilitation practice and special populations. (Needs Assessment Rec. 1)

Strategies:

1. Develop training related to DORS affinity groups and other groups for inclusion in meetings; include community partners as appropriate.

2. Support/facilitate training in employment services (job development and coaching) for staff of DORS and community providers. (Needs Assessment Rec. 1, 8)

3. Continue to include and expand on-line and other training modalities to present training to staff.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Staff training in rehabilitation topics, including special populations, will be provided as part of DORS affinity groups at least twice annually, to include community partners as appropriate.

Transitioning Affinity Group meeting held in December 2011, Acquired Brain Injury Consortium Meeting held in February 2012, and the Maryland Seamless Transition Collaborative (MSTC) group met in September 202 to discuss the Summer Employment Pilot and plan for future collaborations.

b. At least one training program in employment services will be conducted for DORS and community program staff.

Social Media and Today’s Workforce training provided in April 2012 by the GW TACE at the Workforce and Technology Center discussed social media as a networking tool. Statewide Benefits training in August 2012 presented by DORS and the Maryland Department of Disabilities discussed how to effectively access benefits counseling services for clients and improve employment outcomes.

c. An increase in the usage by staff of the “A tutor” system will be demonstrated.

As a result of staff changes, the use of “A Tutor” as a staff training resource has been deferred. DORS continues to explore web-based training options for staff.

Goal 6: Use technologies to the fullest extent in accomplishing the agency’s mission.

Objective 6.1

Explore how technologies can develop better communication, consumer services and staff support.

Strategy:

1. Establish a workgroup that will plan implementation of SharePoint as DORS Intranet, including how staff can benefit from enhancements.

Performance Measure by September 30, 2012:

a. SharePoint will be implemented as the agency intranet.

DORS works within MIS parameters and policies set by its parent organization, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE); MSDE is reconsidering whether to implement Share Point.

Objective 6.2

Assure that staff is current in knowledge of technologies, software and applications.

Strategies:

1. Provide training in current technologies.

2. Provide training in SharePoint to staff as needed.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. Training will be provided to staff on current technologies, as needed.

In November, rehabilitation specialist supervisors participated in on-line training on the utilization of AWARE Reports for performance evaluation purposes.

b. Training will be provided to staff on SharePoint, as needed.

DORS has sent several individuals for training for SharePoint 2010. The training consisted on the form and function of SharePoint and the various issues that need to be considered by organizations as they implement SharePoint, including design features and functions.

Objective 6.3

Consider use of social media technologies in providing services to transitional youth.

1. Establish a workgroup to do exploratory work into policy and practice development related to social media.

Performance Measures by September 30, 2012:

a. The workgroup will contribute recommendations to be considered by the executive and management teams.

Recommendations related to texting consumers were presented to Executive Staff and approved. Information and instructions about texting consumers was sent to DORS staff in Program Directive 12-18 in May 2012.

 

2012 Supported Employment Achievements for 2014 State Plan

The 2012 Maryland State Plan for VR Services, Attachment 4.11(c)(4) included the following goals:

3,000 individuals with most significant disabilities would be served in supported employment in fiscal year 2012.

800 youth would be served in the Governor’s Transitioning Youth Initiative.

$3 million would be spent on supported employment.

540 individuals would achieve a supported employment outcome.

Achievements during 2012 were as follows:

3,922 individuals with most significant disabilities were served in supported employment in fiscal year 2012, exceeding the goal of 3,000 served.

461 youth were served in the Governor’s Transitioning Youth Initiative, exceeding the goal of 800.

$3.9 million was spent on supported employment, far exceeding the goal of $3 million.

591 individuals achieved a supported employment outcome, exceeding the goal of 540.

 

Standards and Indicators report for FY 12. 

Standard 1.1:Number of closed cases with an employment outcome Current Year 2012:                       2,506

Previous Year 2011:                     2,437

2012 Federal S & I Objective:     2,470

Standard 1.2: Of closed cases that received services, percentage with an employment outcome.

Current Year 2012:                       59.5%

Previous Year 2011:                     44.5%

2012 Objective:                           55.8%

Standard 1.3: Of closed cases with an employment outcome, percentage that have a wage greater than or equal to the minimum wage.

Current Year 2012:                       93.3%

Previous Year 2011:                     91.8%

2012 Objective:                           72.6%

Standard 1.4:Of closed cases with an employment outcome, percentage that have a wage greater than or equal to minimum wage and have significant disabilities

Current Year 2012:                       100%

Previous Year 2011:                     100%

2012 Objective:                           62.4%

Standard 1.5: Ratio of average state wage to the average wage of closed cases with employment outcome that have wages greater than or equal to minimum wage

Current Year 2012:                       .44

Previous Year 2011:                     .46

2012 Objective:                           .52

Standard 1.6: Difference between the percentage of closed cases with employment outcomes that have wage greater than or equal to minimum wage that are self support at application and the percent of closed cases with employment outcomes that have a wage greater than or equal to the minimum wage that are self support at closure.

Current Year 2012:                       70.9%

Previous Year 2011:                     70.7%

2012 Objective:                            53%  

Standard 2.1: Ratio of minority service rate to non-minority service rate.

Current Year 2012:                       .853

Previous Year 2011:                     .921

2012 Objective:                            .80  

DORS has met requirements for the Standards and Indicators for FY 2012. One standard, 1.5 was not met. DORS has a pattern of not achieving Standard 1.5, related to the fact that Maryland has such a high per-capita income and it is difficult for individuals with disabilities to achieve the required percentage of that rate as they begin their careers.

 

2012 I & E Expenditures for 2014 State Plan

The 2012 State Plan Attachment 4.11(d) described a number of strategies to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities, including the following.

Approximate dollar amount of 2012 expenditures in these areas:

(1) Support of the State Rehabilitation Council, - $12,500

(2) Activities associated with the Governor’s Skills2Compete program to promote “middle skill” employment, - $1,946,627

(3) Summer youth work experiences for transitioning youth - $851,773

(4) Grant funding for The Maryland School for the Deaf’s Work to Learn program for transitioning students. - $75,000

This screen was last updated on Aug 19 2013 4:10PM by Kimberlee Schultz

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

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

The quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services are consistent with the definition of supported employment as it is contained in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

The quality of supported employment services is assured through the Division’s case review process. Records are reviewed in terms of eligibility, Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), service delivery, case closure and expenditures. The review emphasizes technical compliance with the Title I and Title VI-B regulations. DORS uses case review findings to identify policies that may require modification or clarification and to identify staff training needs. The Division also conducts periodic onsite reviews of supported employment providers and regularly updates cooperative agreements with these facilities.

Supported employment means competitive work in integrated work settings, or employment in integrated work settings. Individuals with the most significant disabilities are working toward competitive work consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice. These are persons:

A. For whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability, and

B. Who, because of the nature and severity of a disability, need intensive supported employment services from the designated State unit (DORS) and extended services after transition in order to perform this work.

The scope of supported employment services is contained in the Agency’s Rehabilitation Services Manual II, Section 800. The Division provides ongoing training to counselors about supported employment policy and best practices, including to new staff at the Quality Rehabilitation Training Program conducted at least twice a year.

Supported employment services are defined in the regulations as ongoing support services and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with the most significant disability in supported employment.

In recognition of the time required to develop employment opportunities and place individuals with the most significant disabilities in employment, Division policy permits payment of job development and placement as discrete activities within “job coaching”. Supported employment services are any services that assist an individual in entering or maintaining integrated, competitive employment. They also include services necessary to establish and maintain a supported business enterprise. They may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Development of and placement in jobs or businesses in integrated settings for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, interests, concerns, abilities, and capabilities of individuals with the most significant disabilities.

2. Intensive on-site job skills training and other training provided by skilled job trainers, coworkers, and other qualified individuals.

3. Off-site supports to address issues and concerns

4. Follow-up services, including regular contact with employers, trainers, parents, guardians, or other representatives of trainees, and other suitable professional and informed advisors to reinforce and stabilize the job placement.

5. Other services specified in the regulations needed to achieve and maintain job stability.

6. Discrete post-employment services following transition that are unavailable from an extended services provider and that are necessary to maintain the job placement.

All supported employment services are available to all individuals determined eligible to receive supported employment services. Individuals are eligible if:

1. The individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

2. The individual is determined to be an individual with a most significant disability.

3. A comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs of the individual, including an evaluation of rehabilitation, career, and job needs, identifies supported employment as the appropriate rehabilitation objective.

1. Time-limited Phase (DORS)

C. Supported employment services are provided by DORS for a period not to exceed 18 months, unless under special circumstances the eligible individual and the rehabilitation counselor jointly agree to extend the time in order to achieve the rehabilitation objectives identified in the Individualized Plan for Employment.

i. Services must occur at least twice monthly to assess the employment situation at the job site; at the request of the consumer, they may be conducted off-site.

ii. Service providers coordinate and provide intensive services, at or away from the job site, that are needed to maintain employment stability.

D. Following transition, these services are only provided by DORS as post-employment services that are unavailable from an extended services provider and that are necessary to maintain or regain the job placement or advance in employment.

2. Extended Phase (Extended Service Provider)

Transition to extended services occurs when all objectives on the IPE and any IPE amendments have been met, and the need for support has been reduced or faded to approximately 25% or less. This will occur on an individual and mutually agreed upon basis between the rehabilitation counselor, the consumer and the provider.

In the extended phase, ongoing support services and other appropriate services are defined as extended services. The provision of extended services in supported employment is made possible with cooperative agreements. Extended services include:

A. Any service(s) needed for an individual to maintain integrated, competitive employment after the individual has transitioned from time-limited support provided by DORS.

B. Such services are based on the needs of an eligible individual as specified in an IPE, which includes a statement of the source of the extended services.

Funding

The supported employment services made possible by the anticipated State allotment means that hundreds of individuals with the most significant disabilities will have an opportunity for competitive employment. An allotment of funds to provide supported employment services will be met with similar increases in other agencies’ ongoing funds to maintain supported employment services when the Division’s time-limited services are completed.

Evidence-based Supported Employment

DORS has a strong partnership with Maryland’s mental health system related to Evidence-based Practice in Supported Employment (EBPSE). This is based on overwhelming evidence that supported employment is the most effective route to competitive employment for consumers with severe mental illness. Our partnership is characterized by streamlined access to VR services through guest access of VR counselors into the MH case management system; presumption of eligibility for VR services for individuals determined eligible for Supported Employment through the Mental Hygiene Administration; and adherence to principles of EBPSE. These principles include:

1. Competitive employment is the goal.

2. Eligibility for EBP is based on consumer choice. Consumers are considered work ready when they say they want to work.

3. Job search starts soon after a consumer expresses interest in working.

4. Supported employment is integrated with treatment. Employment specialists have frequent meetings with the treatment team to integrate supported employment with mental health treatment. (DORS staff participation is critical to success.)

5. Follow-along supports are continuous. Employment supports are never terminated unless the consumer directly requests it.

6. Consumer preferences are important. Consumer preference plays a key role in determining the type of job that is sought, the nature of supports provided, and the decision about disability disclosure.

7. Employment specialists practice systematic job development, based on consumer work preferences and face to face meetings with consumers, and gather information about job opportunities and assess whether they may be a good job fit for an individual. Employment specialists continue to make periodic visits to promote networking and achievement of employment.

8. Personalized benefits planning is provided.

Employment First.

DORS is a partner with other State agencies and community rehabilitation programs in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure that individuals with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities consider employment on a preferred basis in planning for their lives. Employment First is consistent with our agency’s belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can work in meaningful positions in integrated settings when provided with adequate, appropriate supports. Supported employment is appropriate for individuals in Employment First and is the means to assure the best chance for success in employment. Community rehabilitation programs are enhancing “discovery” services aimed at assisting individuals with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities to determine what they would like to do with their lives, including their work life. They are also developing “customized employment” services where a job can be tailored specifically for an individual to meet his/her needs and aspirations. Benefits planning is also an important part of services for individuals served through Employment First.

Supported Employment for Individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries

The Governor’s Employment Initiative for Persons with Acquired Brain Injury continues to provide intensive vocational rehabilitation and long-term supports to individuals with acquired brain injuries. A consortium of community providers and stakeholders participate in quarterly meetings that include a training component to support the enhanced collaboration and service delivery model. Long-term, ongoing employment supports are funded by DORS as this population has traditionally not qualified for DDA or MHA supported employment services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 12 2013 4:10PM by Kimberlee Schultz

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:08/19/2013 4:10 PM

Last updated by:samdschultzk

Completed on: 08/19/2013 4:10 PM

Completed by: samdschultzk

Approved on: 08/28/2013 1:08 PM

Approved by: rsahoosierz