ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

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

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

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs [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

Bureau Director

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

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

Bureau Director

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryEdward F. Rodgers II

Title of SignatoryBureau Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/30/2014

Assurances Certified By

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

Comments:

Title 1 and Title VI Part B

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryEdward F. Rodgers II

Title of SignatoryBureau Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/30/2014

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

  1. The designated state agency is a state agency that is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (Option A was selected/Option B 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
Bureau of Services for Blind Persons

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

X This agency is requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. Yes

  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. Yes

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) in Michigan, known as the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) serves as the SRC to the designated state unit (DSU) for the blind, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) and the general DSU, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). The designated state agency (DSA) for BSBP is the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), while the DSA for MRS is the Department of Human Services (DHS). This attachment is focused on how the MCRS worked to achieve the eight federal mandates with BSBP during fiscal year 2013. It is important to note that the partnership between the MCRS and BSBP was new for FY 2013 and functioned in a state of transition.

1. Review, analyze, and advise the Grantor regarding its performance in determining eligibility, order of selection, effectiveness, scope and provision of services, and functions of the Grantor that affect or potentially affect the ability of persons with disabilities to achieve rehabilitation goals and objectives.

This mandate was achieved through active participation in the following activities/work teams: (1) attendance at BSBP Advisory Commission Meetings (2) Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) (3) MCRS FY 2013 Joint Resource Plan/Budget Meetings with AGs Office, BSBP, Civil Service, DHS, LARA, MARO, MCRS Chair, and MRS (4) State Plan.

2. In partnership with the Grantor, provide advice in the preparation of statewide goals and priorities.

During June 2013, the Council met with BSBP Administration and discussed their Draft FY 2014 State Plan, which included statewide goals and priorities. The MCRS looked forward to continuing to grow the partnership with BSBP in order to facilitate the exchange of information regarding emerging issues and current projects as related to their service system.

3. In partnership with the Grantor, conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness and consumer satisfaction with vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes, including employment benefits.

This activity did not take place in FY 2013, but the MCRS looks forward to working on this activity with BSBP in the future.

4. Assist in the preparation of the State Plan, Plan amendments, reports, needs assessments, and evaluation required by the Rehabilitation Act.

MCRS began work to establish its representation as the ‘customer voice’ in the BSBP State Plan process. The Council met with BSBP Administration during early spring 2013 to discuss its new role and determine how it would proceed with involvement in the process. Following discussions, the MCRS was informed by the BSBP Director that the BSBP State Plan Team would work with the Council once their updates to the attachments had been completed. The MCRS presented Attachment 4.2 (c) to BSBP for response and inclusion in their State Plan.

5. Prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) on the status of the general vocational rehabilitation program operated within the State.

BSBP provided their annual report which was included the MCRS document.

6. Coordinate with other state councils, including but not limited to the Statewide Independent Living Council, the Special Education Advisory Council under IDEA, the Developmental Disabilities Council, the State Mental Health Planning Council, and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC): Coordinated activities included (1) members appointed to represent the respective councils (2) MCRS reports for SILC business meeting packets, SILC reports for MCRS business meeting packets (3) MCRS/SILC Member representation at the SILC/MCRS quarterly meetings (4) MCRS presentation to SILC Membership during their in-service session and (5) coordination with the appointing authorities to fill the SILC vacancy on the Council.

The other mandated partnerships which include: Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC); the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC); the State Mental Health Planning Council; and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board have been managed through members who represent these organizations and or at Executive Team direction.

7. Facilitate coordination and working relationships between the Grantor, the Statewide Independent Living Council and centers for independent living throughout the state.

In Michigan, the CIL trade association, Disability Network/Michigan, and the Michigan SILC have an established a partnership with BSBP. The MCRS worked to enhance the partnership by continually advocating on behalf of the independent living needs of customers of BSBP.

8. Perform other functions consistent with the purpose of the Rehabilitation Act. New SRC The Governor’s Executive Order Number 2012-10 issued in June 2012, abolished the Michigan Rehabilitation Council and created the SRC, the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), with responsibilities for two separate DSU’s, BSBP and MRS. Appointments for the new SRC were received in October 2012 (FY 2013) and a schedule of meetings and other activities was created to orient and involve the Council throughout the fiscal year.

A Review of Business Activities related to Functions: November 2012: A teleconference meeting took place to welcome the new membership to the Council and answer any initial questions. Members were encouraged to view the online SRC training modules in preparation for the first scheduled member orientation session scheduled for January 2013. A tentative meetings schedule was reviewed, with notice that further changes might be needed.

January 2013: The MCRS held an in-person Orientation Session. Members had discussion and were educated about the Rehabilitation Act, including Section 105, which outlines the mandated responsibilities of the SRC; SRC history in Michigan; MCRS leadership and operational structure, including business and program operations; member roles and responsibilities; public VR in Michigan, including BSBP and MRS services, MCRS Bylaws, strategic plan, work teams; and partnerships, including both state and national partners. The members heard from DHS Directors Corrigan and Rooney about the role and responsibilities of the MCRS.

March: The Council conducted a business meeting in Lansing with members, staff, partners and guests in attendance. The Agenda included: approval of the FY 2013 Meeting Schedule; Strategic Plan (through the end of FY 2013); and MCRS legal address, phone numbers, and website address. In addition the following business was managed: Financial Statements; proposed draft Bylaws; Conflict of Interest statement; Executive Team election; partner reports and public comment.

May: An in-service training session was conducted for members in the morning just prior to the start of the business meeting, which focused on the VR process as it relates to services provided by BSBP and MRS. A BSBP PowerPoint presentation provided an overview of their service system.

The Council conducted a business meeting in Lansing, with members, staff, partners and guests in attendance. The Agenda led to the following business being managed: State Plan Attachment 4.2 for BSBP and Attachment 4.2 for MRS; Financial Statements; the MCRS FY 2012 Financial Review; proposed draft Bylaws with a work team established to manage this document to resolution; ET was empowered to work with the Designated State Units (BSBP and MRS) to develop Resource Plans and Budgets for both FY 2013 and 2014; signed the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCRSC) Resolution; added a second opportunity for public comment on agendas for future MCRS business meetings; public comment and partnership updates.

June: MCRS members participated in a teleconference training session focused on Overviews of the BSBP and MRS systems. Members had opportunities to ask questions, engage in discussion, and learn more about how both bureaus operate to provide VR counseling to customers, services to employers, and more. A training modality was designed to be held via teleconference and was implemented this month, with additional sessions in July and August. The topics included: organizational structure of BSBP and MRS; Strategic Planning for the Mandates; VR Data Collection; Customer Satisfaction Survey Process and the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment.

July: MCRS members participated in a teleconference training session focused on Data Collection and Reporting. Members had opportunities to ask questions, engage in discussion, and learn more about how data impacts the provision of VR counseling services to customers, employers, and more

As a result of a memorandum issued by DHS this month imposing travel restrictions through the end of September 2013, the in person August Business Meeting was held by teleconference.

August: MCRS members participated in a teleconference training session focused on Strategic Planning. Members reviewed information about strategic planning, as well as the current FY 2013 Strategic Plan.

A business meeting by teleconference was held with members, staff, partners and guests were in attendance. The Agenda led to the following business being conducted: Financial Statements; approval of amended Bylaws; approval of the proposed MCRS Resource Plan and Budget for FY 2014; partnership reports; and public comment.

Work Teams Functions: Executive Team (ET): The ET held twice monthly meetings beginning in February 2014. A number of the meetings were held in person for a longer period of time. The Agendas focused on becoming informed about the staff’s management of the daily business operations and other Council operational and program needs.

An Advisory Bylaws Work Team was established in June in an effort to review and assure that the ‘new’ Bylaws met the legislative standards and input from the Assistant Attorney General.

Strategic Plan – Environmental Scan: For strategic planning purposes, with consideration given to travel limitations, three advisory ad hoc work teams (Agency Staff, Customers, and Partners/Legislature) were established. Their charge was to complete an environmental scan of their topic via research and discussion with recommendations made of key findings to be considered for the strategic plan. The ET determined a timeframe for completion of the work by the end of the calendar year, with the Strategic Plan day scheduled early in 2014.

Membership: A new SRC of 17 members was announced by the Governor in October 2012. With the EO’s requirement for a minimum of 15 voting members (with both the Director of the BSBP and MRS Director as ex-officio non-voting members), this group (and its staff) doubled its mandated responsibilities to include SRC responsibilities for both DSUs. As a result of this increased responsibility, education for new members became the initial focus. The learning curve of the two public VR service systems is great as there are many nuances along with specific differences between the two DSUs. The MCRS looked forward to the new opportunity of advocating on behalf of citizens served by both DSUs. Throughout the balance of the fiscal year, there were marked reductions in the membership through attrition. The MCRS staff worked with the Appointments and DHS Staff to fill the vacancies.

Statewide Activities (focused on strengthening partnerships): The MCRS continued participation in the following statewide activities representing the customer voice for both DSU’s: (1) Governor’s Business to Business Summit on Disability (2) MARO Day at the Capitol (3) MARO Spring Leadership Training Conference in Traverse City; (4) Nancy Crewe Memorial Symposium event held at Peckham (5) the re:con Convention of New Beginnings Program Planning Committee and (6) re:con – The Convention of New Beginnings - in Traverse City and (7) SILC Business Meetings.

National Activities: The MCRS Staff Members are members of the National Rehabilitation Association.

The MCRS is a member of the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC). Participation included teleconferences for national NCSRC meetings and monthly NCSRC Steering Committee (SC) meetings. The Executive Director (ED) served as Chair of the NCSRC, while the AD provided expertise and technical support through management of the website and list servs as supported by the MCRS. including a new ‘Coalition Members Only’ list serv developed for SRC Members, Staff, VR Agency Staff/Liaisons and others associated with the 46 Member SRCs.

In June, the MCRS Chair represented the Council at a 2-day RSA SRC Training Forum in Washington DC. The main objectives of the forum were to empower Councils and strengthen partnerships with State VR Agencies.

The ED served on the Summit Group, a national work team dedicated to reading cutting edge books related to leadership and quality management, with plans to provide workshop sessions on the reading materials at a national program evaluation conference in the fall of 2013.

The ED served on the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Effective VR Service Delivery Practices Advisory Council. This five year grant funded project is determining methods that can be utilized to transition research findings into practice in the field of vocational rehabilitation.

re:con a convention of new beginnings (formerly Michigan Rehabilitation Conference): The MCRS engaged in activities related to this event through the following: (1) The AD attended program planning committee meetings for the newly named and redesigned re:con Conference, (2) members and staff attended re:con (which took place in Traverse City in November 2012) and included the responsibilities of staffing the exhibit, attending sessions, and taking advantage of networking opportunities on behalf of both DSUs customers. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION – DAILY BUSINESS OPERATIONS: Fiscal Agent: In an effort to uphold the intent of the Rehabilitation Act, to assure the autonomy and independence of the State Rehabilitation Council operations and staff, BSBP contracts with MARO, as it provides the mechanism needed for a fiscal agent to serve as the employer of record for MCRS staff, along with accounting services for payroll and operational expenses. The MCRS expects that this contract will continue to be supported by BSBP, assuring the stability of the Council’s future operations.

FY 2013 Financial Review: The Auditor finalized the review of the Council’s financial records for FY 2013, resulting in a clean financial review.

FY 2013 / FY 2014 MCRS Budget: Following implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order 2012-10 in October 2012, initial meetings took place between the MCRS and BSBP to determine a plan for how BSBP would provide funding to the MCRS for its new responsibility as BSBP’s SRC. Further joint meetings took place between the BSBP, DHS, LARA, MARO, MCRS, MRS, Attorney General’s Office, and Civil Service over the next few months to have further discussions and negotiations about how the Designated State Agencies (DHS and LARA) and Designated State Units (BSBP and MRS) would work together with the MCRS to establish a Resource Plan and Budget to fund the Council for the current and future fiscal years.

The MCRS Resource Plan and Budget for FY 2013 was approved by the membership and then negotiated with each DSU to ensure financial solvency for the MCRS beginning October 1, 2012. The grant between MARO and BSBP was signed in October 2013 with funding for the entire fiscal year. MCRS Staff: The staff of the Council began the fiscal year with three full-time employees: Executive Director (ED), Assistant Director (AD), and Executive Assistant (EA). In March 2013 the staff complement was reduced to two, with the EA being laid off due to loss of funding. With the EA vacancy, the ED and AD absorbed the administrative responsibilities of this position. The daily business workload was managed to assure the success of the membership as they worked with the two DSUs (within two DSAs), with the staff reduction.

In Closing: The MCRS maintains a focus of the ‘customer’s best interest’ throughout all levels of their work. The transition to a new DSU and DSA made progress during FY 2013. The MCRS was eager to develop more opportunities to work with BSBP and its staff to review, analyze and advise the Bureau with regard to its provision of services to customers. We expect that this partnership will continue to flourish and gain productivity in the future.

Recommendations: 1 - We recommend that the Council receives the program and financial data that BSBP submits to Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) each month. We recognize the value of this information as we work to review, analyze and advise BSBP about their service system.

BSBP Response: BSBP does not submit program and financial data to RSA monthly. As a result, BSBP cannot provide the Council with the recommended data at this time. However, BSBP will work with the Council in exploring the creation of data on a monthly basis.

2 – We recommend that the process of conducting the triennial Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment be reviewed at a meeting with all of the involved partners. The Council would like to see the process be designed at the beginning of the three year cycle, that it is ongoing in the first two years, and that the report is written in the third year, with ample time for review, discussion and consensus on the final document. In addition, we would like to see consideration given to the expansion of modalities in gaining “needs input”.

BSBP Response: BSBP is in agreement that all parties should be involved at the beginning of the three year cycle of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) so that the Bureau’s input will be considered in the collection of data and in the analysis of the final document. The Bureau agrees with the Councils recommendation in the expansion of modalities in gaining more definitive needs for service delivery.

3 - We recommend that the Council receives the tool and data (including anecdotal information) from the Customer Satisfaction Survey implemented during FY 2014. We recognize the value of this information as we work to review, analyze and advise BSBP about their service system.

BSBP Response: BSBP will make available to the Council the tools and data from the Customer Satisfaction Survey that was conducted in FY 2013 and compiled in FY 2014. BSBP shared the Customer Satisfaction Survey with the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment team where the results were included in the final report.

4 – We recommend that BSBP provides the Council with assurances in an agreed upon ongoing manner that the various methods of communication to their customers and the public (i.e. customer applications, brochures, website, etc.) be provided in a manner that is in accessible formats. We recognize that this service system practice is the foundation for BSBP and that it is critical to the ongoing work of the MCRS, as we review, analyze and advise your program.

BSBP Response: BSBP’s practice is to provide its brochures and publications, as well as its website in an accessible format for consumers. In addition, we include on our brochures and publications and on our website an invitation to consumers to request alternative formats as needed. Therefore, the Bureau can assure the Council that these resources will be provided in alternative formats to consumers and interested individuals upon request.

5 – We recommend that the Council receive any Title 1 BSBP Hearings Reports conducted since the beginning of FY 2013 in a redacted version. This requests assures that the DSU is upholding one of the federal mandate requirements for their State Rehabilitation Council.

BSBP Response: During FY 2013, the Bureau did not conduct any Title 1 hearings. However, the Bureau will comply with the Council’s request as appropriate.

This screen was last updated on Aug 12 2014 10:27AM by Leamon Jones

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

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

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

The waiver request should also include:

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

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness. The following public agencies that are under the waiver of statewideness are: Macomb, Kent, Ingham, Eaton, Ottawa, Van Buren, Allegan, Berrien, and Lewis Cass intermeditate school districts (ISD). Each of the ISD’s provide soft skills training, job shadowing, mentoring, pre-employment skills assessments and work experience. These identified skills training categories are above and beyond what the schools provide in its normal practices. Through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the written assurance is outlined in each of the agreements. All of the agreements contain assurances that non-federal funds are available to the Bureau for services provided. The MOU’s must be signed by the Bureau director before services are implemented. The services that are approved under the waiver are in accordance with the state plan requirements.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 9:55AM by Leamon Jones

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.

BSBP, through its collaborative agreements with a variety of state and local agencies, provides comprehensive rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. BSBP has agreements with the Developmental Disabilities Council and the Department of Community Health (DCH) agencies to provide comprehensive services to persons with developmental disabilities to assist in job placement and follow-along services. DCH agencies and BSBP work collaboratively through its cooperative agreements to expand services to individuals that are eligible for community mental health services to obtain job placement and follow-along services. Community mental health agencies also work with the Bureau in providing auxiliary services to many of BSBP’s supported employment consumers.

The Bureau has established an agreement with the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VA-VRE) to provide vocational services to veterans. The emphasis in the agreement is to provide services to veterans that are returning from the current conflicts. The agreement outlines the referral process and the vocational and job placement services that are available through the Bureau.

The BSBP collaborative agreement with the Department of Human Services (DHS) provides services to that enable families and individuals to move toward independence. The BSBP may refer consumers to the MDHS for determination of eligibility for a variety of services including the Family Independence Program (FIP-cash assistance); Food Assistance Program (FAP); Child Day Care (CDC); Medical Assistance (MA); State Emergency Relief (SER); Adult Services which includes - Adult Protective Services, Independent Living Services and Adult Community Placement Services. BSBP and DHS has collaborated and developed an amendment to the agreement to provide services to individuals that are in need of state disability services prior to becoming eligible for SSI or SSDI. These individuals will work with BSBP and DHS in the development of an individualized plan for employment (IPE) in order to be a recipient of State Disability Assistance (SDA). BSBP and DHS will collaborate to reduce the dependency on permanent disability benefits and promote opportunities for disabled citizens to actively participate in their communities and workforce by maximization/coordination of government, private agency and business resources to assist individuals with disabilities to enter or re-enter the workforce; improving the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities by promoting work participation; de-emphasizing disability as a de facto public assistance program; and refocusing efforts on assisting as many individuals with disabilities, as well as transitioning youth to enter or return to the workforce.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and BSBP continue to share information regarding grants that the department distributes to local transportation authorities for capital outlay as well as for expanded transportation services throughout the state for BSBP consumers. The BSBP staff works with local advisory councils (LAC) within their areas to provide input to the local transportation authority’s regarding transportation assistance to persons who are disabled and especially for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. By working collaboratively with the LACs, the staff becomes aware of grants to increase transportation services in rural areas as well as in townships and cities. The BSBP’s objective in working with the transportation authorities is to increase the awareness and needs of transportation for blind and visually impaired individuals to be able to access transportation services for employment and leisure activities.

The BSBP participates in the Ticket To Work program and utilizes the reimbursement process for vocational individuals who are seeking employment and are recipients of SSI and SSDI.

The Bureau has worked with Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to develop cooperative agreements that outline the responsibility of BSBP and the IHE as it relates to the requirements found in Section 103 (a) of the Rehabilitation Act as amended regarding dispute resolutions, financial responsibilities, accommodations, and service provisions. The agency supports many of its consumers in their endeavors to obtain training in a variety of occupational areas through institutions of higher education. BSBP has agreements with all public institutions of higher education.

BSBP has an agreement with Michigan State University to provide a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) and a customer satisfaction survey for BSBP consumers. The assessment provides BSBP with information regarding service needs and customer input regarding gaps in services. BSBP and MRS work collaboratively with Michigan State University, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University, along with a number of online colleges to provide the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) for interns as well as counselors who are in need of specific courses to meet the certification of rehabilitation requirements.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 9:59AM by Leamon Jones

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.

The BSBP continues to develop cooperative agreements with intermediate and individual school districts throughout the state for the provision of transition services for blind and visually impaired students. These agreements outline specific objectives to be included in transition plans for blind and visually impaired school age students in the districts served under each agreement. They provide for development of individual skills for pre-employment, as well as secondary educational training. BSBP staff, when invited, participates in the Individualized Educational Planning Conference (IEPC) of students that are fourteen years and older to establish eligibility criteria for vocational rehabilitation services. At these meetings, ground work is developed to initiate the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for each individual at age fourteen. An IPE is developed with the transition students and parents to provide vocational exploration and training for all eligible students. The eligibility criteria for services must be met before plan development. Each transition student receives their plan prior to transitioning from school. The IEPC, along with the IPE, are instruments that identify education, transition, and employment goals and objectives. These activities are cooperatively agreed upon by the schools or educational facilities, parent/student, other relevant agencies, as well as the rehabilitation agency; thereby, establishing the objectives of the transition plan leading to the transitioning of individuals from high school to employment or secondary education; therefore, all eligible students must have an IPE developed prior to exiting from high school.

The Bureau continues to collaborate with education officials to carry out transition activities for blind and visually impaired youth. BSBP has an agreement with the Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services (OSE/EIS) that outlines the responsibilities of both agencies. The agreement is reviewed to assure that all activities are carried out by the designated parties. The Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) provides technical assistance and resources to enable local school districts to serve and improve the quality of education for students with visual impairments. The Bureau has contributed to MDE-LIO’s quarterly newsletter providing valuable information on the Bureau’s transition activities and resources. BSBP and MDE-LIO held statewide collaboration meetings designed to educate local ISD staff and BSBP staff to enhance transition services. BSBP partners with MDE-LIO and local districts to facilitate the coordination of academic, vocational, independent and community-based curricula. BSBP also provides technical assistance for the establishment of local partnerships designed to aid and empower students that are blind and visual impaired. BSBP is mandated by the federal government to work collaboratively with intermediate school districts and community partners to provide transition services and activities for blind and visually impaired youth. Karen Wolffe, a nationally known educator, presented to MDE-LIO, ISD’s and BSBP regarding transition to employment for visually impaired youth.

BSBP establishes agency priorities and goals, provides leadership and consultation to intermediate school districts. The Bureau maintains a statewide client information system that includes the collection of agency programs and data for students who are blind and visually impaired.

BSBP works jointly with MDE Special Education programs and the intermediate school districts (ISD) to establish agreements to carry out transition planning and activities. The agreements outline the individualized transition plans. Specifically, BSBP initiates programs with the ISD to encourage academic involvement for all visually impaired and blind students. BSBP works with the ISD, students and parents to develop IPE’s that provides for the development of soft skills training, work experiences and summer work opportunities. Through the Low Incidence and Outreach program within the Michigan Department of Education, the Bureau works jointly with the agency to identify eligible consumers for the Vocational Rehabilitation program. BSBP participates with the Michigan Department of Education’s Bureau of Assessment and Accountability Advisory Committee (BAA) with the general education department to identify areas of collaboration to enhance program accessibility for mainstream youth who are blind and visually impaired. The objective is to maximize resources and minimize barriers that may impact on the educational progress of blind and visually impaired youth.

MDE Special Education Division is responsible for providing educational support to all individuals as it relates to their academic achievements. BSBP provides financial support relating to specialized vocational assessment training and other related services leading to employment outcomes. Through collaboration with the intermediate school districts, BSBP has established Interagency Cash Transfer agreements to provide the services that are outlined in the individualized transition plan. These services are above and beyond what the intermediate school districts provide.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 10:01AM by Leamon Jones

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.

BSBP has verbal agreements with community vocational rehabilitation agencies throughout the state to provide vocational assessments, vocational training, and job placement services. These individualized agreements outline the expectation and outcomes of each program. The agency has developed a relationship with a vocational training facility that provides training to blind and visually impaired consumers that leads to direct job placement with the federal government. This relationship has been extremely beneficial in assisting the Bureau to provide consumers with meaningful careers. BSBP continues to explore opportunities to expand options for its consumers to obtain a variety of vocational training and employment outcomes. The Bureau collaborates with a vocational agency that provides hospitality and customer service training. This facility also assists in the placement of their successful graduates across the country.

This screen was last updated on Aug 12 2014 10:32AM by Leamon Jones

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.

The BSBP Supported Employment program continues to provide rehabilitation services to individuals with multiple impairments. These individuals receive specialized services based on the criteria for supported employment. Each case record has documentation to support the individual’s participation in the Supported Employment program. Individuals that are not determined eligible for the Supported Employment program have participated in extended assessments to determine the feasibility of rehabilitation services. Generally, the applicants for the Supported Employment program are able to acquire specific training and supported services that will enable them to be integrated within the community in a variety of occupations. Through BSBP’s collaborative efforts with Department of Community Health (DCH), an agreement was developed and implemented to provide long term services upon the completion of vocational training. The agreement provides for extended supports to assist supported employment consumers in maintaining their employment. Natural supports are frequently explored to provide the follow-along services. BSBP and local community mental health agencies are working to develop agreements to support long term follow-up services to enhance the employment activities of these consumers, as well as the need for auxiliary aids to enhance their daily living skills and employment outcomes.

This screen has never been updated.

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) is an agency within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). This agency was created by an Executive Order in October 2012. The agency has the responsibility of providing vocational rehabilitation, independent living, and other services to blind persons across the State of Michigan.

The change in the agency’s name and organizational structure was followed by a reduction in force in the state’s general rehabilitation agency, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), which resulted in some personnel changes impacting BSBP. The change in the organization from the Executive Order resulted in a new Bureau Director being hired to lead the agency while the reduction in force resulted in BSBP acquiring four employees from the general agency and losing one employee to MRS due to the bumping system.

The four new employees included two placement specialists, an assistant manager, and a rehabilitation counselor. Due to the bumping process, an assistant manager was bumped back to a counselor position and moved to the general agency and another counselor was bumped down one pay level and transferred to a different office. Finally, two placement specialists were laid off.

These changes had some impact on the provision of services to BSBP consumers because none of the four new people had any work experience with blind consumers so there was a period of learning required.

In addition to those changes, BSBP hired a variety of other positions including two new librarians at the Braille and Talking Book Library, a new regional manager, and three new Division Directors. One of those new Division Director positions was established to head up a new division designed to train blind consumers wishing to enter into their own business. The expectation is that this new division will result in agency consumers becoming successful in owning, operating, or working at a business in the private sector.

Over the years, the agency has continued to work with the department leadership to create additional full-time positions (FTEs). During FY 13, three new FTEs were established, primarily to create the new business division.

The agency currently has 14 rehabilitation counselors providing direct services to consumers. The agency projects to serve approximately 4000 individuals in all programs and about 2,358 in the VR program.

Current information supports the belief that the number of persons with significant visual impairments will continue to increase as the general population ages. This means the number of persons seeking assistance from BSBP will continue to increase over the coming years. At the same time, it has been more difficult to find qualified counselors to fill vacancies and the budget to support the additional FTEs remains constant. This is a primary reason the agency continues to push to obtain more staff.

This is especially significant as the age of many BSBP staff continues to grow. In early 2012, the department issued a report which indicated that about 25% of the BSBP staff would be eligible to retire by 2015. Among those who will be eligible for retirement are at least four counselors or teachers and three managers in the VR program. That is a considerable amount of “institutional knowledge” that will need to be replaced over the next several years.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Rehabilitation Counselors 14 0 1
2 Rehabilitation Teachers 8 0 0
3 Teacher/Counselors 7 0 1
4 Support Staff 12 0 2
5 Employment Specialists 2 0 0
6 Managers 6 0 2
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

The State of Michigan has three universities providing graduate programs in the area of rehabilitation counseling – Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University. In addition to a program in rehabilitation counseling, WMU also has a program to train graduate level rehabilitation teachers and orientation and mobility specialists.

The agency has always had very good working relationships with these programs. BSBP staff have served on advisory boards, taught coursework, made presentations to classes, and provides feedback and information on the courses and students. Students are encouraged to choose BSBP as a practicum and/or internship site. These types of opportunities have led to several graduates of these programs being hired by the agency. This is particularly true with Western’s program because of its focus on blindness rehabilitation. Western’s program is specific to blindness rehabilitation so it has been a great source for interns and new hires. They also offer a dual degree program so a graduate can get two masters degrees at the same time – one in rehabilitation counseling and the other in rehabilitation teaching.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Michigan State University 28 0 4 10
2 Wayne State University 89 0 3 16
3 Western Michigan University 20 0 6 6
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

As noted, a relatively high percentage of BSBP employees are eligible to retire and many more will be eligible within the next 3-5 years. This makes it very important for the agency to do whatever it can to obtain and retain qualified rehabilitation professionals. Fortunately, the majority of counselors statewide are younger and retirement is not being considered.

With the three graduate programs, the agency has been fortunate to have numerous applicants for many of the vacancies within BSBP. All counselors and teachers at BSBP have a master’s degree and are very qualified to provide services. The plan is to continue to hire only those who are CRC eligible which means they have a degree in rehabilitation counseling or counseling and guidance. So far, the agency has not had to hire people with other degrees such as social work, special education, psychology, etc. In the event it became necessary to hire someone with a degree other than counseling, we are prepared to have that new person obtain graduate coursework, as needed.

In FY13, the agency had a headcount of 110 employees. (This does not include the contractual employees.) Of those, 16 (15%) of the persons were blind or had a significant visual impairment. Also, 21 employees (19%) were from a minority group. BSBP is committed to hiring persons with disabilities and/or persons from minority groups. BSBP in its recruitment efforts contacts the three universities in the State that have graduate programs in rehabilitation as well as Region 5 TACE to notify them of job opportunities within the agency. BSBP continues to prepare and retain staff by offering opportunities for professional development pursuant to Section 101(a)(7)(A)(iv)(II) of the Act and CFR 361.18(b).

Civil Service rules and regulations do not allow for much of what would be considered “succession planning” within the Bureau. Generally, successors cannot be identified prior to a position becoming vacant. In certain situations, Civil Service has allowed the “new” person to start a couple weeks before the incumbent leaves in order to do some orientation and training but that is not typical nor is it really addressing the need for succession planning.

One way the agency has attempted to prepare future leaders and managers is through in-service training. The Department of Civil Service offers numerous training programs for employees and some of these can help prepare staff for future opportunities. Staff are also encouraged to participate in various work groups and committees. Their input is helpful at the time and also it provides them with an opportunity to develop leadership skills. Most activities within BSBP focus on maintaining capacity instead of adding capacity pursuant to 34 CFR 361.18(d)(2)(iii)(A)-(C).

 

BSBP does not require that rehabilitation counselors be Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs). The agency does require that all counselors be qualified and eligible to take the CRC exam. The core functions of a rehabilitation counselor are determination of eligibility, development of the individualized employment plan, and case closure. Anyone working for BSBP performing those duties must be CRC-eligible. The minimum standard requires the appropriate graduate degree or completion of the necessary coursework to meet the criteria established by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) to meet the needs of Section 101(a)(7)(v)(II)(B) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18(c).

If the agency must hire someone who is not CRC eligible, the agency may consider hiring individuals with a degree in a related field such as; special education, social work, psychology etc. with the understanding that the new employee is expected to complete the necessary coursework required to make them a “qualified” rehabilitation counselor within two years of hire. Online courses may be available and the agency will sponsor the cost of those courses.

Training of all new staff is primarily the responsibility of the managers. Each new counselor is assigned to work closely with a more experienced counselor but ultimately the job of training new counselors is up to the managers.

When the CSPD requirements were first addressed, the agency had several staff who did not meet the minimum standards. Those needs were addressed. Since that time, a few counselors have been hired who did not meet the standards but that was due primarily to a limited number of applicants usually as a result of geographical area. Over the past several years, all new hires have been qualified rehabilitation counselors. Currently, BSBP has 15 counselors and managers with a CRC designation. There are 11 vocational rehabilitation counselors with CRC designation and 3 counselors that are CRC eligible.

The agency has historically put a great deal of emphasis on staff development. Most training needs are identified by either the individual employee or the manager. This training starts as soon as the person is hired and is an on-going activity. A new employee orientation was developed several years ago and has been shown to be an effective way for managers and new employees to make sure that all aspects of the organization are made aware to the new employee.

 

Identification of training opportunities is an on-going activity within BSBP. All employees and managers may request to participate in training programs that are appropriate for their positions. These may be small, local programs or large, in-state and out-of-state conferences. Funding for some training is covered by the In-Service Training Grant from RSA. However, the amount of funds spent on training is approximately double what the training grant provides. The agency also utilizes the technical assistance and financial support of the Region 5 TACE Center at Southern Illinois University. The TACE has become an invaluable partner in providing new skill and knowledge to new and experienced staff of BSBP.

There are 3 major programs that staff attends every year. One is the general vocational rehabilitation conference, now called re:con, where over 500 rehabilitation professionals from various work settings meet for three days. The second one is the Michigan Association of Educators in Rehabilitation of the Blind (MAER) which is designed primarily for rehabilitation teachers and the third one is the Michigan Transition Services conference designed for counselors and teachers who have active transition consumers on their caseloads.

As mentioned above, the Region 5 TACE Center at Southern Illinois University has been a very valuable asset for assisting in the training of staff. They have provided assistance when the agency has requested specific training by either providing it themselves or by identifying another presenter. They have provided financial support when the agency wishes to send staff to out-of-state programs.

BSBP also works very closely with the three universities in the state to identify possible candidates for internships and possible employment opportunities. This is consistent with Section 101(a)(7) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18.

 

All consumers of BSBP are entitled to receive materials in their preferred format whenever possible. Typical options include large print, Braille, CD, email, or audiotape. The agency continues to put all brochures and other documents, i.e., State Plan, Annual Report, etc. on the agency’s website. This makes all materials readily available to anyone with access to a computer.

At this time, there is one counselor in the Consumer Services Division who works statewide with consumers who are deaf and blind. She is able to communicate utilizing sign language. One of the top priorities for the coming fiscal year is to fill a vacant counselor position in the Deaf/Blind unit. The agency also makes arrangements as needed for other language interpreters or translators. This occasionally occurs in the Detroit area because of the large Arabic population.

 

The Consumer Services Division Director and the State Director of BSBP continue to be active participants in the Statewide Transition Network Team in an effort to coordinate staff development under the agency’s Comprehensive Plan for Personnel Development (CSPD) with the personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as provided by Section 101(a)(7)(a)(ii) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18(f). This is also accomplished through a series of Interagency Cash Transfer agreements that provide for the sharing of personnel and services. The Consumer Services Division Director works closely with the transition team to develop procedures for improving the coordination of CSPD and IDEA requirements for personnel development.

This screen was last updated on Aug 12 2014 10:29AM by Leamon Jones

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.

The BSBP’s Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) is conducted every three years by the Michigan State University (MSU) Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (Project Excellence). The CSNA was conducted in FY 2014 jointly with the BSBP, Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (MiSILC). The results were made available to the agency in FY 2014 and the Bureau is currently implementing the recommendations of the assessment.

The specific data collection methods used included a review of extant data (e.g., RSA 911 data, American Community Survey data, Special Education data, etc.), Key Informant interviews, and a series of surveys conducted with MRS, BSBP and MiSILC staff as well as the directors of MARO member community rehabilitation organizations. In addition, electronic surveys were developed to collect needs assessment information from Michigan residents with disabilities and family and friends of people with disabilities.

The 2014 CSNA recommended that VR agencies need to ensure that all VR counselors have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide appropriate and effective vocational rehabilitation and independent living services/supports for transition youth and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. BSBP will continue to provide training for staff to increase their knowledge regarding autism spectrum disorder for transition youth and adults.

There are three minority populations were identified by multiple quantitative and/or qualitative data as being underserved by BSBP in relation to their proportion in the population: Hispanic/Latino residents specifically in the mid- and southwestern section of Michigan; Native Americans in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan; and Asian or Pacific Islanders specifically Arab and Arab Americans and Hmong residents in southeastern part of the state. It is necessary for adult agency staff to understand diverse cultural backgrounds among persons with disabilities to effectively serve them in obtaining their employment and independence living goals. In comparison to the 2011 American Community Survey [1] report (20.3% of Michigan residents with disabilities as being African American), African Americans are not considered underserved in BSBP (27%); however, it indicated that African Americans demonstrated lower eligibility rate for services and VR outcomes than other minority groups. BSBP is aware of the need to increase services and has established a goal to continue outreach activities for the three minority populations.

Many key informants suggested MRS, BSBP, and CILs could do a better job of community outreach or marketing; in other words, the community visibility of all three agencies was felt to be lacking statewide. Lack of knowledge on how to access services and where to seek assistance was reported as problematic across the state. The Bureau continues to collaborate with its community partners to improve awareness of the various services that the agency provides to persons who are blind and visually impaired in order to increase vocational outcomes.

Michigan adult residents with mental illness who need mental health services and supported employment services were the one population identified as underserved with low outcomes. BSBP customers are individuals with blindness or visual impairments, approximately 1% of them reported having mental illness as their secondary condition. BSBP staff (38%) indicated that ‘Affordable Mental Health Services’ in their service areas were unavailable and/or insufficient to meet the needs of people with mental illness in their communities. The CSNA recommended that in order to increase the availability of supported employment (SE) services for this population. BSBP will continue to work with the local CMH’s to increase and/or develop alternative SE service options at the local level via agreements with Community Rehabilitation Organizations (CROs).

The assessment mentions the statewide Workforce Investment System as it relates to WIA legislation and the Title IV Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998. It indicated that Michigan Works! are providing services to a very limited number of people with disabilities in Michigan. The findings may suggest that people with disabilities are not disclosing their disability status to Michigan Works! when they are applying for services and/or that Michigan Works! is underserving Michigan residents with disabilities. BSBP continues to review its Memorandums of Understanding with the workforce investment system (Michigan Works!) to ensure access to programs; such as, computer training, vocational evaluations, interest inventories, resume writing and virtual interviews. BSBP co-sponsors employer days and employer fairs with the Michigan Works! and is present in several of the Michigan Works! offices on an itinerant basis. The Bureau’s familiarization with the Michigan Works! programs enable them to more effectively assist blind and visually impaired consumers who are seeking employment in the competitive labor market.

The overall customer satisfaction rates for BSBP (93%) in 2013 indicate that the majority of customers served by the agency were satisfied or very satisfied with the services they received.

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2014 2:07PM by Leamon Jones

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

The total population of individuals in Michigan who have vision difficulty between 14 and 64 years of age based on information from the U.S. Census Bureau 2010 census is 27,230 (3.2% of the total number of individuals with disabilities). BSBP uses a factor of .045% of the individuals who have vision difficulty to identify the number of individuals who are blind (12,254) and would be eligible for services.

Of the 12,254 eligible individuals, 67% (8,210) are not employed either because they are unemployed (1,560 or 19%) or not in the labor force (6,650 or 81%). Based on the 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, BSBP estimates serving the entire unemployed population (1,560) plus 12% (798) of the individuals not in the labor force for a total of 2,358 individuals. Of that amount, BSBP will serve 2,318 individuals under Title I, Part B and 40 individuals under Title VI, Part B.

The estimated costs to provide services under Title I, Part B (excluding administrative costs) are $4,642,000, and the estimated costs under Title VI, Part B are $107,518.50 for a total of $4,749,518.50.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
0
Totals   $0 0

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 10:19AM by Leamon Jones

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.

BSBP and the State Rehabilitation Council (Michigan Council of Rehabilitation Services) jointly developed and agreed to the goals and priorities listed in Attachment 4.11(c). The agency and the council also reviewed and agreed to revisions made to the goals and priorities.

According to the Comprehensive Needs Assessment, the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) will implement the recommendation to increase eligibility for the African Americans population. The agency will continue to emphasize the need to expand minority outreach to the African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Arab Americans, Native Americans, as well the Hmong population. BSBP will continue to provide effective service delivery to minority populations, establish community relationships, work with its technology vendors to make sure that staff and consumers are familiar with new and emerging technologies and their applications, provide professional development, partner with other agencies to increase employment outcomes, expand transition activities to include individuals with autism and improve informational access through the collaboration with the Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL).

Goal 1 - BSBP has established a goal to monitor, through data collection over the next three years, the successful completion of VR program/services for African Americans. The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment has identified the need to increase eligibility of African Americans who are referred for vocational rehabilitation services.

Goal 2 - BSBP will expand minority outreach efforts by establishing town hall meetings and informational sessions with each group. BSBP will monitor the activities to determine if the methods are producing new referrals. BSBP is aware of the need to channel resources in the area of underserved populations. BSBP’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to increase rehabilitation services to Latino/Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, Arab Americans and Hmong populations.

Goal 3 - The Bureau will develop relationships with community rehabilitation organizations, mental health agencies with emphasis on individuals with mental illness, housing authority, local centers for independent living (CIL), and transportation sources to assist in providing expanded services for consumers. Each region will continue to collaborate with community mental health agencies to enhance relationships that may result in appropriate referrals as well as to continue to expand opportunities with local and statewide rehabilitation agencies. BSBP will continue to communicate with local CMH’s in regards to the statewide agreement to encourage collaboration and cooperation.

Goal 4 – BSBP’s goal is to continue to work with its technology vendors to make sure that staff and consumers are familiar with new and emerging technologies and their applications. The Bureau provides staff with opportunities to gain additional technology skills throughout the year in a variety of training venues; such as webinars and virtual classroom training. Staff also receives training on the latest adaptive and/or technology equipment.

Goal 5 - BSBP will continue to provide its professional staff opportunities to further their knowledge in the field of rehabilitation and blindness. BSBP is committed to ensuring that all counselors have the additional knowledge and skills in working with blind and visually impaired individuals.

Goal 6 - The BSBP goal is to increase competitive employment opportunities for individuals with visual impairment and blindness by utilizing its Business Services staff. BSBP, through its collaboration with community partners and employers, has established a goal to rehabilitate 163 consumers with competitive outcomes.

Goal 7 – BSBP will identify transitioning youth and work to serve individuals age 14 to 26 years old. BSBP collaborates with the Michigan Department of Education’s Low Incidence Outreach (LIO) program and Intermediate School Districts (ISD) to provide information regarding transition services.

Goal 8 - The VR staff and the library staff collaborate to ensure that consumers are aware of the services and how to access the materials in their preferred format. This increased collaboration will provide additional avenues for consumers who are pursuing vocational and secondary training.

This screen was last updated on Aug 12 2014 10:31AM by Leamon Jones

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.

BSBP serves the more severely disabled individuals who are blind and visually impaired, as well as individuals who are deaf/blind through the Supported Employment program. The agency continues to develop working relationships with its community partners and intermediate school districts to obtain appropriate referrals for vocational exploration and rehabilitation services to promote employment opportunities for supported employment consumers. BSBP and the Michigan Department of Community Health have an agreement that will expand opportunities to increase involvement with local CMH’s to increase referrals by 5% resulting in more employment outcomes. It also provides provisions for natural supports and long term follow along services. BSBP’s goal is to provide supported employment services to 40 individuals with the most severe disabilities. BSBP anticipates placing 50% or more of the total number of consumers served by the Supported Employment program to obtain competitive employment. The Bureau is also exploring possible Customized Employment opportunities. Customized Employment is another concept that focuses on the severely multiple impaired to provide specialized training that leads to productive employment outcomes.

BSBP received $86,015 to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to the most severe and/or multiple impaired individuals. The staff will utilize supported employment funds to develop vocational opportunities for employment outcomes. BSBP’s goal is to work with the community rehabilitation organizations to establish programs that provide training to enhance marketable skills that will enable the recipients to obtain job placement within an integrated setting in their communities. Each of the community rehabilitation organizations emphasize specialized programs that are supported by the labor market demands. These programs include, but are not limited to, Micro-enterprise businesses, clerical activities, food services, and janitorial training for consumers.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 11:12AM by Leamon Jones

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.

The utilization of community partners, employers and consumers assist BSBP with achieving its primary goals and priorities. BSBP develops workgroups for the purpose of addressing consumer services provision issues as they arise. BSBP has three strategic teams; Cultural Diversity, Futuristic and Technology that assist in the planning process to achieve the agency’s goals and priorities. These teams make recommendations for evaluation and assessment of the agency’s services, timeliness of services, identify unserved and underserved populations, and provide the agency with information regarding new and innovative technology equipment and programs. All of the teams are composed of agency staff and community partners.

 

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.

BSBP provides assistive technology services and devices to its consumers through the provisions of individual plans for employment. The IPE specifies the types of services, technology training and devices that will be necessary to assist the individual in achieving their desired vocational goals throughout the rehabilitation process.

The BSBP Training Center has a comprehensive technology training program that is equipped with the most progressive technology training and equipment for persons who are blind & visually impaired. The program staff researches evolving best practices in computer instruction, identifies access technology that will assist consumers in achieving successful employment outcomes and provides comprehensive instruction to training center students.

BSBP, through its working relationship with technology vendors are made constantly aware of the need to make sure that staff and consumers are familiar with the new technology and its applications. The agency has developed a process to assess new assistive technology vendors through members of the Technology Committee, as well as update experience vendors expertise. As a result, a number of assistive technology vendors have been identified as approved providers to provide adaptive technology services to consumers who are blind and visually impaired. A list of approved vendors is added to BSBP’s website.

BSBP collaborates with community agencies and organizations to make sure that their programs and services are accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers, as well as to assist them with the appropriate technology and adaptive equipment that allows individuals with vision impairments to utilize technology in various programs.

BSBP makes available technology training for staff and consumers on the latest technology and adaptive equipment that assist individuals in the workforce and with daily living skills. BSBP participates in a technology fair which is sponsored in part by BSBP and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Ann Arbor, (VISIONS) and is held biannually. At the technology fair more than 50 vendors displays equipment for blind and visually impaired individuals to enhance their knowledge, independence, education, daily living and employment skills. BSBP participates in the program by providing information regarding services as it relates to employment and independence. This event is open to consumers and BSBP encourages their attendance. BSBP encourages staff to participate in technology events in order that they may be able to assist their consumers with technology in all aspects of their lives.

 

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.

The BSBP’s priority is to expand outreach activities. BSBP is aware of the need to channel resources in the area of underserved populations. As a result, BSBP’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to increase rehabilitation services to Latino/Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans and Hmong populations. The staff of BSBP received specialized training that will equip them with skills and knowledge to enhance service provisions to the above mentioned minority populations. BSBP staff participates in various Latino/Hispanic events to provide information regarding BSBP services to assist individuals in transition activities, vocational training, job placement and independent living. The staff is involved with the LaSed Community Action Coalition in providing information regarding services provided by BSBP, as well as working with the local Michigan Works! located within the Hispanic community to promote employment opportunities to individuals with blindness and visual impairments. Job placement training for staff through TACE, collaborative efforts with the community rehabilitation organizations and the development of employment relationships with employers resulted in increased outcomes for this population.

Another underserved population that BSBP’s outreach activities have had a significant impact in providing services to is the Native Americans. The staff continues to familiarize themselves with the culture and the various aspects of individual tribal needs. BSBP staff has developed relationships with the American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS) of Southeast Michigan, Inc. which has allowed them to meet with the leaders in the individual tribes to be able to understand their values and needs as it relates to education, job training, and employment outcomes. The health center is a facility that distributes information to the Native American population. Through collaboration with the health center, the agency staff has been successful in providing rehabilitation services to seniors as well as with job ready consumers, especially working with Native Americans in urban areas. BSBP staff has established working relationships with Native Americans at the Hannahville Reservation and at the Sioux Reservation. As a result of the collaboration with the health center and reservations, the agency receives referrals throughout the year for rehabilitation assistance. BSBP has developed an agreement with the Hannahville Indian Community Vocational Rehabilitation Program, (121 Project Visions). The agreement outlines procedures and practices utilized by both entities to increase service delivery to consumers within the program. Through the staff attendance at Pow Wow’s, cultural training, and dialoguing with the elders of the tribes, the counseling staff are receiving vocational referrals from these activities.

BSBP continues to work with urban school districts to improve outcomes for the African American population. The Rehabilitation Counselor programs continue to explore avenues to increase relationships with the African American population that will result in more employment outcomes. BSBP continue to explore innovative counseling approaches to work more effectively with the urban population to identify practices that will enable counselors to utilize techniques to achieve successful outcomes. BSBP is working with an urban school district to implement a specialized educational program that will focus on at risk students to obtain a high school diploma or general educational degree.

BSBP has established contact with individuals in the Hmong population to inform them of the services that BSBP provides to assist blind and visually impaired individuals in achieving their vocational endeavors. The Bureau will provide brochures and other information in appropriate languages and mode of communication. Through collaboration with the Hmong population, BSBP staff will participate in informational sessions that will allow for exchange of ideas and cultural awareness.

BSBP will participate in cultural activities to increase awareness of services provided by the Bureau to individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

 

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

BSBP is collaborating with its community partners to assist in the agency’s expansion of vocational training, resources and employment outcomes. Through working with community mental health agencies to identify appropriate individuals for vocational training and job placement services, BSBP’s agreement with the Michigan Department of Community Health will assist in providing service opportunities to individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness.

The Bureau is working with the Department of Transportation to identify ways to improve transportation services to persons with disabilities that will enable them to participate in employment and leisure time activities. The agency encourages staff and consumers to participate on the local advisory council of transportation providers within their geographical location. BSBP along with its community partners continues to collaborate on ways to improve delivery of services to its constituents to enhance the opportunities to acquire appropriate work skills for the purpose of obtaining competitive employment. BSBP strategy is to share information and resources in the areas of housing and health care concerns that will assist consumers in maintaining a productive way of life.

 

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

Indicator 1.1: Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes. The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons projection for the number of individuals with employment outcomes was achieved that was set by the agency and compared with the national average of blind agencies, BSBP passed this indicator by 18%. BSBP continues to focus on specific training from TACE and other agencies to assist the staff with innovative approaches to increase employment outcomes. The agency is participating in the Employment Services Certificate training program for counselors and job placement staff to improve their awareness of job placement activities and is in the process of establishing through TACE Motivational Interviewing training for staff to enable them to work with difficult consumers to assist in developing effective plans for employment. Michigan’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation, which directly affects employment opportunities for all citizens including those with disabilities in obtaining gainful employment. The Bureau’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to be aware of employment opportunities and employment trends as the agency collaborates with Michigan Works! so that consumers will receive training in emerging careers. BSBP continues to collaborate with the Bureau of Labor Market Information to provide employment trends locally and statewide enabling the agency to provide training appropriate to the current labor market demands. Staff will work with a variety of employers to increase on-the-job training opportunities for job-ready consumers. BSBP has initiated job clubs in major cities throughout the state for the purpose of assisting job ready consumers in their efforts to obtain employment. BSBP continues to provide Employment Readiness Seminars quarterly for all job ready consumers. The seminars allow local employer’s opportunities to interview job ready consumers to enhance their interviewing skills and to provide consumers with feedback regarding their interviewing techniques. Also, employers may share with job ready consumers possible positions available within their company. The seminars provide prospective job ready consumers with information regarding work incentives and benefits planning with Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA). BSBP encourages consumers to utilize Disability Benefits 101 website, educating parents on work related benefits and strategies for transitioning youth. BSBP will continue to work with the National Business Network, trade organizations and apprenticeship programs through its Business Services staff to expand employment opportunities for the population that BSBP serves.

Indicator 1.2: Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services Who Had Employment Outcomes. BSBP was not successful in achieving this indicator. As a result of continuing high unemployment rate in the State of Michigan which had a direct impact on the employment of persons with disabilities, especially those that are blind and visually impaired, the Bureau is working with a number of employment agencies as well as obtaining training for staff in the Employment Certificate program, Michigan Works! and other community partners to be aware of employment vacancies in the communities. BSBP makes available to counseling staff the opportunity to participate in job placement training through the Michigan Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association and the Job Placement Division within the Michigan Rehabilitation Association, along with private trainers emphasizing job placement techniques as well as TACE Supported Employment programs that equip the staff with tools to compete in the competitive labor market. The Bureau continues to utilize its job placement specialists along with counselors to assist job ready consumers in obtaining gainful employment. The job placement specialists and collaboration with community organizations are assisting the Bureau to increase its efforts to expand employment opportunities.

Indicator 1.3: Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes Who Were Competitively Employed. BSBP staff is aware of the importance of establishing relationships with employers in order to increase opportunities for consumers to expand employment options that will result in more individuals being placed in the competitive labor market. The agency plans to continue to meet this goal by working with the employer community. BSBP met this indicator with 83.59%.

Indicator 1.4: Percentage of Persons with Competitive Employment Outcomes Who Had Significant Disabilities. The individuals that BSBP serves are those with blindness which is considered a most severely disabled. BSBP met this indicator with 96.67%.

Indicator 1.5: Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average Wage. BSBP continues to provide consumers with choices regarding their vocational objectives; therefore, the development of career options has continued to assist BSBP in reaching this indicator. The agency met this indicator with 0.666%.

Indicator 1.6: Difference in Percentage of individuals Achieving Competitive Employment Who Report Own Income as Primary Source of Support at Closure and Application. It is a goal of BSBP to provide consumers with options to choose careers that lead to gainful employment. As a result of the economy and consumers desire to become employed, BSBP staff emphasized the importance of obtaining full time employment. The agency established a goal to refer consumers to benefit planners to provide information to job seekers. As a result of this activity, individuals received information that enabled them to make choices regarding full time employment. The Bureau met this indicator with 45.19%.

Indicator 2.1: Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate. BSBP did not meet this indicator with 0.727. BSBP continues to emphasize the importance of outreach to minority populations that are experiencing blindness and visual impairment. The Cultural Diversity team is one of BSBP’s teams that provide the agency with information that assist the Bureau in providing services to various minority populations. This team invites representatives from various minority populations to share cultural practices and values of the particular group. The staff is primarily responsible for making contacts with agencies and organizations that serves minority individuals to provide information regarding the agency’s procedures and practices for obtaining services.

 

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

BSBP collaborates with statewide workforce investment system (Michigan Works!) to increase program development that will provide assessments, vocational training and job placement services. The state has identified some priority careers; such as, nursing, customer service representatives, accounting/finance, healthcare, and technology. The Bureau is aware of the importance of partnering with Michigan Works! in order to increase opportunities for the population that it serves. BSBP staff is familiar with the Michigan Works! throughout the state where staff visits are on an itinerant basis. Throughout the state, and in various Michigan Works! offices, the BSBP staff is on an itinerant basis. The development of these working relationships with the Michigan Works! will enable the agency’s consumers to utilize their services in their employment search. The Bureau partners with the Michigan Works! offices to provide job fairs for persons that are unemployed, which includes persons with disabilities. These activities are to assist in the reduction of persons who are underemployed and unemployed in the state.

 

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.

Strategy for Goal 1 - BSBP will monitor the number of African American applicants who apply for services and compare to the number that completes eligibility. The Bureau will provide Motivational Interviewing training through TACE to improve employment outcomes for this population. The Bureau will work with the local educational establishments to make available educational opportunities for the individuals to meet the requirements for appropriate training. System data will be reviewed quarterly to determine the success of the goal and effectiveness of the strategy.

Strategy for Goal 2 - BSBP’s priority is to expand outreach activities. BSBP is aware of the need to channel resources in the area of unserved and underserved populations. As a result, BSBP’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to increase rehabilitation services to Latino/Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, Arab Americans and Hmong populations. The staff of BSBP will receive specialized training that equips them with skills and knowledge to enhance service provisions to the above mentioned minority populations. BSBP staff will participate in Latino/Hispanic events to provide information regarding BSBP services to assist individuals in transition activities, vocational training, job placement and independent living. The staff will continue to be involved with the LaSed Community Action Coalition in providing information regarding services provided by BSBP. The Bureau will continue collaborative efforts with the community rehabilitation organizations, eye care providers including the annual Michigan Optometric Association conference, CMH providers, employers etc.

Another underserved population that BSBP’s outreach activities have had a significant impact in providing services to is the Native Americans. The staff continues to familiarize themselves with the culture and the various aspects of individual tribal needs. BSBP staff will continue to meet with the American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS) of Southeast Michigan, Inc. leaders in the individual tribes to provide information regarding BSBP’s programs. BSBP staff will continue established working relationships with Native Americans at the Hannahville Reservation and at the Sioux Reservation to provide information regarding BSBP vocational services. BSBP has developed an agreement with the Hannahville Indian Community Vocational Rehabilitation Program, (121 Project Visions). The agreement outlines procedures and practices utilized by both entities to increase service delivery to consumers within the program. The staff will continue to attend Pow Wows, cultural training, and dialoguing with the elders of the tribes.

BSBP is working to increase improve relationships with the Hmong population to enable individuals to successfully achieve their vocational and independent endeavors. Staff will participate in cultural events and activities for all groups mentioned above to make sure that they are aware of the services and how referrals can be made to the Bureau. The Bureau will provide brochures and other information in appropriate languages and mode of communication.

Strategy for Goal 3 - BSBP is collaborating with its community partners to assist in the agency’s expansion of vocational training, resources and employment outcomes. BSBP’s agreement with the Department of Community Health will assist in providing these service opportunities to individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness. This agreement will allow BSBP to continue to work with the community mental health agencies to identify appropriate individuals for vocational training and job placement services. The Bureau has established agreements with the Centers for Independent Living to provide services to persons who are blind and visually impaired in achieving employment and self-sufficiency. In 2013-2014 BSBP conducted statewide meetings with CILs. The strategy is to build upon the areas identified during those meetings for further collaboration. The agency encourages staff and consumers to participate on the local advisory council of transportation providers within their geographical location. BSBP’s strategy is to continue to share information and resources that will assist consumers in maintaining a productive way of life. Strategy for Goal 4 - BSBP participates in a technology fair which is sponsored in part by BSBP and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Ann Arbor, (Vision 2014) and is held every other year. At the technology fair more than 50 vendors display equipment for blind and visually impaired individuals to enhance their knowledge, independence, education, and daily living and employment skills. BSBP participates in the program by providing information regarding services as it relates to employment and independence. This event is open to consumers and BSBP encourages their attendance. The staff is encouraged to participate in this technology event in order that they may be able to assist their consumers with technology in all aspects of their lives. The Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) provides a technology event (Library Without Walls) biannually that is open to the general public where participants can become familiar with an array of assistive technology that can be used in individual’s daily lives. The BTBL also provides a monthly forum that is available online and in person for the purpose of educating individuals on relevant topics related to technology. The BSBP Training Center’s newly completed technology lab includes a wide range of assistive technology for persons who are blind and visually impaired in Michigan. The training center continues to provide instruction in the use of access technology to its consumers. The program staff researches evolving best practices in computer instruction, identifies access technology that will assist consumers in achieving successful employment outcomes and provides comprehensive instruction to training center students. The training center, in collaboration with field staff, will continue to provide technology training for community rehabilitation partners, staff and vendors. This training will provide an opportunity to further educate participants in the area of assistive technology.

BSBP provides assistive technology services and devices to its consumers through the provisions of the individual plans for employment (IPE). The IPE specifies the types of services, technology training and devices that will be necessary to assist the individual in achieving their desired vocational goals throughout the rehabilitation process.

Strategy for Goal 5 - BSBP also participates in annual professional training conferences: Michigan Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (MAER), Association of Education for Rehabilitation (AER), the Rehabilitation Conference (re:con) and the Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA); as well as a variety of professional training - Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI TOP), Hadley School for the Blind, National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute (NRLI), Ethics, Mississippi State University Blindness Certificate Program, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Leadership Conference, Mid-American Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT), Canadian Association of Supported Employment (CASE) training, National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC), online Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) courses. These conferences and trainings are instrumental in helping the professional staff to become aware of current trends in the field of rehabilitation and ways to improve service delivery to persons who are blind and visually impaired. The agency requires staff to register for professional training programs. The training coordinator collects data on participants and through the analysis of the data, recommendations are made to the agency’s consumer services director for approved training.

Each of these professional conferences emphasizes the importance of counselors and other rehabilitation providers to gain knowledge in their prospective fields. BSBP supports staff participation in these conferences. Further, the two consumer groups; the Michigan Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) and the Michigan Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), provides a statewide conference annually that enables BSBP staff to hear current issues that are pertinent to persons that are blind and visually impaired.

Strategy for Goal 6 - BSBP collaborates with the employment community through the use of BSBP’s Business Services staff and the distribution of brochures. The Business Services brochures will inform employers of services that the Bureau provides and how qualified job-ready candidates are screened and evaluated for appropriate employment.

BSBP will encourage consumers to register with Michigan Works! and to be assigned an account representative utilizing the community collaboration to enhance consumer’s opportunities to obtain employment.

Business Services staff work with Michigan Works!, National Employment Team (NET), employers, and employment fairs to increase the percentage of employment outcomes in order for consumers to market their skills. These activities underscore the efforts of the Bureau to provide services to individuals as well as those that receive services through the Supported Employment program. BSBP’s priority is to seek out new opportunities within the community each year and to establish meaningful partnerships with its community partners in order to expand employment outcomes for blind and visually impaired individuals. BSBP consumers continue to receive training that provides them with skills to obtain competitive employment with benefits.

BSBP’s priority is to develop cooperative working relations with the Office of Service to the Aging (OSA) and the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to improve and expand services to seniors and other vocational consumers that are visually impaired. The development of this partnership will expand vocational training opportunities statewide for individuals that are legally blind who are ready to enter the world of work. BSBP will continue to collaborate with OSA and AAA to improve referrals and to increase training and employment opportunities.

BSBP will continue to focus on minorities; specifically, Hispanic/Latinos, African Americans and Native Americans to increase employment outcomes. BSBP continues to collaborate with minority businesses that are located in the community in order to develop relationships that lead to employment opportunities. The objective is to improve the effectiveness of service delivery to minorities. BSBP continues to develop brochures in alternative formats for outreach purposes to unserved and underserved populations. BSBP’s brochures are distributed to BSBP offices, consumers, as well with community partners.

BSBP’s managers continue to work closely with the counselors in the development of IPE’s to improve communications to involve consumers in appropriately selecting vocational goals through the provision of labor market information and emerging careers within Michigan in order to improve successful employment outcomes.

In relation to use of Title I funds, the BSBP provides documents in an accessible format and languages which includes brochures, as well as captions and description on videos and DVD’s. BSBP distributes materials for outreach activities to a variety of agencies and organizations to inform them of the types of services that BSBP provides to persons with disabilities and specifically to those who are blind and visually impaired. BSBP collaborates with community partners, as well as rehabilitation agencies, colleges and universities and other training facilities to provide information on assistive technology services. BSBP provides employers with technology assessments for prospective employees and works with employers to determine the appropriate technology that may be necessary for specific job duties.

The Bureau uses Title I funds to develop and expand business services to establish relationships with employers. Through the marketing activities of the business services staff, the Bureau is assisting employers to find qualified individuals to meet their employment needs. The Bureau receives job leads from the National Employment Team to increase opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals to obtain employment from national companies. The Business Services staff is an intricate part of BSBP’s rehabilitation process. The Business Services staff also provides employers with an array of services to assist companies in maintaining and retaining qualified employees. The Bureau’s staff is working collaboratively with small business owners to assess and assist with employment needs in order that job-ready consumers will be considered for positions within their businesses.

BSBP partners with a variety of community organizations to provide vocational training for blind and visually impaired individuals. Through the collaboration with the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and the Department of Community Health, an agreement was developed to mitigate gaps in services to persons with mental impairments and developmental disabilities including persons with blindness and visual impairments. This agreement emphasizes the need to increase services to this population. BSBP’s objective is to work with the local CMH’s to increase referrals and employment outcomes.

The Bureau collaborates with statewide workforce investment system (Michigan Works!) to increase program development that will provide assessments, vocational training and job placement services. BSBP is aware of the importance of partnering with Michigan Works! in order to increase employment opportunities for the population that it serves. The development of these working relationships with Michigan Works! will enable the agency’s consumers to utilize their services and their employment search.

The purpose of the BSBP Training Center is to provide eligible individuals with the tools necessary to enable them to achieve successful employment outcomes. In addition to its comprehensive course of instruction in the skills of blindness, the Training Center has developed a powerful curriculum entitled Vocational Exploration and Career Planning (VECP) which is completed by every VR consumer who attends the Center.

Strategy for Goal 7 - The transition initiative is a top priority of BSBP. BSBP has participated in the Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA) conference and the Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (Mi-TOP) to gain knowledge as well as to share information regarding proven practices and to improve working relations with teacher consultants throughout the state. BSBP, through its collaborative efforts with intermediate school districts in various locations of the state continues to develop transition agreements which include summer transition programs enabling students to acquire soft skills, work experience and educational endeavors; thereby, preparing these individuals for independent living and employment opportunities. These transition activities are being expanded to provide opportunities for students to participate throughout the academic year. One of the mechanisms that BSBP utilizes in the transition process is the Youth Low Vision program which provides for the provision of evaluations and head-borne devices. The Youth Low Vision Program allows staff to identify eligible youth with visual impairments at age 14 to determine eligibility and develop the individual plan for employment (IPE). Another initiative that BSBP is utilizing is transition collaboration with Low Incidence Outreach (LIO) within the Department of Education. The basis for this partnership began with the annual American Printing House (APH) data to identify mutual students who are blind and visually impaired. This collaboration is providing an opportunity to promote working relations between the Bureau, LIO, and the intermediate school districts to increase awareness of transition activities and improve referrals.

Yearly, the agency provides six or more transition program opportunities for consumers throughout the state. The Bureau continues to explore opportunities to meet the needs of all transition students who are blind and visually impaired and those with autism spectrum disorder. In addition to the above mentioned activities, two additional training opportunities that are available to transition students with multiple disabilities are Project Search and Customized Employment. Further, the Bureau will continue to work with the Department of Education, Office of Special Education to improve data sharing regarding the number of ungraded students throughout the state. BSBP transition age youth are actively participating in the year round youth program sponsored by Detroit Michigan Works! called Detroit Employment Solution Corporation DEAC. This program is designed to carry forward the lessons learned by transition aged youth from their paid work experiences during the summer in employment settings.

Strategy for Goal 8 - The VR staff and the Braille and Talking Book library staff collaborates to ensure the consumers are aware of the services and how to access the materials in their preferred format. The library will continue to provide audio books and Braille materials. Also, they will assist in recording materials appropriate for the BEP; such as, the Safe Serve. This increased collaboration will provide additional avenues for consumers who are pursuing vocational and secondary training. The library’s technology staff provides technical assistance and training in the use of the computer and assistive technology devices for consumers with the latest adaptive technology. These services are provided to individuals who are blind and visually impaired; therefore, Title I funds are used to provide service to this group. BSBP’s staff benefits from the working relationship with the library because of its knowledge and experience in regards to the various types of technology that enables BSBP’s staff to receive information and training to assist visually impaired and blind individuals. Each year, the library provides approximately eighteen different trainings on a variety of the latest technology equipment that is available for staff, intermediate school districts and eligible blind and visually impaired individuals.

Innovation and Expansion Activities:

Michigan Council of Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) contribution amount is $58,245.00.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2014 3:21PM by Leamon Jones

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

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

Evaluation of Goal 1 - Monitoring Minority Males Exiting the VR Program

BSBP has reviewed the recommendations of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment as it relates to the employment outcomes of minority males exiting the VR program with employment outcomes. Out of the total number of minority males receiving services, an average of 19% were successful in obtaining competitive employment in the last three year. The Bureau continues to expand opportunities for minority males to become more involved in the vocational program with potential for increased outcomes.

Evaluation of Goal 2 - Minority Outreach

As mentioned in section 4.11 (d) (2) BSBP’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to increase rehabilitation services to Latino/Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans and Arabic/Chaldean Americans and the Hmong population. The staff of BSBP received specialized training to work effectively with and expand opportunities for the above mentioned minority groups. BSBP continues to participate in Latino/Hispanic events; such as, the Festival Mexicana, to provide information regarding BSBP services to assist individuals in transition activities, vocational training, job placement and independent living. The staff is involved with the LaSed Community Action Coalition where they share information regarding BSBP services. BSBP provides brochures in Spanish and Arabic as well as in alternative formats. BSBP staff continues to collaborate with the American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS) of Southeast Michigan, Inc. that has enabled them to work with individual tribes to promote independence, education, job training, and employment outcomes. The health center serves as a resource that distributes information to the Native American population. Through collaboration with the health center, the agency staff has been successful in providing rehabilitation services to seniors and job ready consumers in working with Native Americans in urban areas. The Native American Health Center in Sault Ste. Marie, located in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.), is another community resource that BSBP collaborates with to provide information regarding the various programs to assist person who are blind and visually impaired to achieve independence and employment. The Hannahville Indian community, in the U.P., and BSBP have developed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide vocational and independent living services to eligible individuals. BSBP staff has established working relationships with the Native Americans tribal elders in several areas of the state. As a result of the collaboration with the reservations and other community resources, the Bureau continues to see an increase in referrals throughout the year for rehabilitation assistance. The staff continues to familiarize themselves with the culture and the various aspects of individual tribal needs. Through the staff attendance at Pow Wow’s, cultural training, collaborations with the elders of the tribes and the local school districts, the counseling staff is gradually building trust relationships that continues to produce positive results.

Wayne State University (WSU) and BSBP have collaborated on methods to identify practices that will enable counselors to utilize techniques in assisting the African American population to achieve successful outcomes. Minimum progress was made. BSBP’s work with urban school districts to continue to support the need for African American special education students to obtain a high school diploma or general educational degree has shown some improvements. The Bureau continues to collaborate with intermediate school districts to eliminate the rate of drop outs for persons with disabilities. As a result of the summer programs, dropout rates have begun to decrease related to the activities provided by the Bureau and the ISD’s.

BSBP continues to provide the Arab American Council as well as health facilities with information regarding BSBP’s programs and services. A member of BSBP’s Diversity Committee is active in the Arab Community. This individual continues to provide BSBP with information regarding the Arab Americans culture. The collaboration has resulted in improved service delivery to the Arab American population.

Evaluation of Goal 3 - Collaboration with community partners

The Bureau through its collaborative efforts has developed meaningful relationships with its community partners, which have provided expanded opportunities for BSBP’s consumers to gain vocational training, job placement and employment outcomes.

BSBP’s priority is to work with Michigan Works! offices. The agreements with Michigan Works! outlines accessibility and necessary adaptive equipment that will encourage consumers to utilize these service centers for employment assistance. As a participating agency, BSBP has observed that the majority of Michigan Works! offices and One-Stop Centers are equipped with adaptive equipment that allows blind and visually impaired individuals to access their services in the same way their peers access job search services. BSBP continues to work with the One-Stop Centers to remove barriers that prevent blind and visually impaired consumers from accessing their programs and services. BSBP’s continues to have an itinerant staff at several of the Michigan Works! resulting in increased use of their services by blind and visually impaired individuals as they attempt to obtain gainful employment. Consumers have been able to take part in orientation programs and other trainings at some Michigan Works! offices.

BSBP was successful in assisting 178 consumers in obtaining gainful employment in a variety of occupations. BSBP will continue to partner with the Michigan Works!, the National Business Network, and utilize the labor market information and local employers to increase employment outcomes. The agency continues to focus on individuals who can benefit from supported employment services as BSBP expands their working relationships with the Michigan Department of Community Health through the agreement that was developed to provide for increased services and employment outcomes. These and other activities underscore the importance of collaboration and partnering with employers and community agencies to provide timely services to individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

Evaluation of Goal 4 - Technology

BSBP continues to explore and provide current technology for staff and consumers. BSBP’s web based case management system (System 7) provides staff with valuable data that enables them to effectively manage their case loads which allows them to provide timely services to its consumers. BSBP has a Technology Committee that provides the agency with updated information regarding new equipment and devices that are being developed that may be of assistance to the staff in carrying out their responsibilities and assisting consumers in obtaining their goals. The Technology Committee provides additional services to the agency through the development of a process to evaluate and recommend qualified access technology vendors who provide training and instruction to BSBP consumers. Through this process, vendors are categorized as to their expertise in various areas. As a result, a number of access technology vendors have been identified as approved providers of technology services and added to BSBP’s website.

Evaluation of Goal 5 - Professional Development

BSBP’s priority is to provide staff with professional training to enable them to be aware of current trends and information regarding the rehabilitation process that will equip them to meet the demands of its consumers in an ever changing labor market. BSBP continues to pursue additional learning opportunities for staff in the area of job development and job placement. All new staff, along with current staff, continues to be trained in the latest techniques in job development and job placement as well as assistive technology, reasonable accommodations and work site assessments necessary to assist consumers in obtaining and maintaining employment. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion demonstrating that they have mastered the concepts of job placement.

The staff participated in various trainings throughout the year, for example, Job Placement, Ethics, Safety, Social Media, Visions Specialists in Vocational Rehabilitation Certificate, Employment Certificate, National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute, a variety of TACE trainings and other relevant professional development trainings

The Rehabilitation Conference (re:con) is an annual event where staff can gain knowledge and information regarding numerous topics relating to the provision of rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities, such as, employment, diversity, cultural competencies, transition from school to work, employment information and strategies, and personality disorders. Through this training conference, the staff is able to obtain continuing education credits and to expand their knowledge regarding service delivery to consumers. BSBP emphasizes the importance of developing skills in the area of job placement and employer relationship building; however, the emphasis remains on providing current professional development that assist staff in being effective in improved service delivery to consumers and employers. The Bureau continues to focus on training that relates to its goals and objectives. BSBP is aware that training is imperative for staff to be equipped with knowledge and skills to participate in an ever-changing society.

Evaluation of Goal 6 - Employment Outcomes

BSBP, through its collaboration with community partners and employers, had established a goal to rehabilitate 162 consumers in 2013 with competitive outcomes. The agency met and exceeded its goal by rehabilitating 178 individuals in competitive employment.

Evaluation of Goal 7 - Transition

BSBP Transition program continues to work in conjunction with the Youth Low Vision program that provides expanded vocational opportunities as well as pre-employment skill development for youth. The Youth Low Vision program provides youth with low vision evaluations and head borne devices that are used in educational settings and daily living activities. BSBP has agreements with major intermediate school districts (ISD) to provide job shadowing opportunities, work experience and internship programs for high school youth to assist students in developing the needed skills for transitioning from school to work or secondary education. BSBP continues to expand its transition objectives for high school students with ISD’s to develop agreements and working relationships to provide the transition activities within these districts for individuals that are blind and visually impaired.

BSBP’s Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Summer Work Opportunity Program (SWOP) for youth in high school and college opens opportunities for individuals to obtain valuable work experience in the food service industry and further introduces the small business entrepreneur concepts to individuals in transition programs. Each year, staff identifies transition youth who wish to participate in the SWOP. BEP staff works diligently to place every student interested in this program.

BSBP’s collaborated with Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind provided work experience for some transition youth during the summer where they worked with camp participants on daily living skills.

The following summer programs are offered through BSBP:

Youth Employment Services (YES) is a year round program with summer concentration on employment activities working with students in Eaton & Ingham ISDs. Each year the program is modified to meet the needs of the individuals participating.

The Summer Employment Experience (SEE) provides students with the opportunity to explore career possibilities, develop resumes, discuss adult daily living skills, improve socialization skills, job shadow, gain valuable work experience, and work with mentors in the community who have disabilities.

The Detroit Summer Work Program participants will receive training in independent living skills, vocational prep, soft skills, technology, explore a variety of careers, and participate in job shadowing. In addition, they will have the opportunity to work in local agencies and organizations up to 20 hours a week. This program will expand in collaboration with the Michigan Works! to provide year round activities to transition youth.

The Macomb’s Summer Work Program is a four-week program where youth will have three weeks of paid work experience in food service, packaging, and janitorial work. They will also have one week of recreational activities and training in independent living and personal adjustment.

The Oakland’s Summer Work Program is a six-week summer vocational prep program that includes soft skills training, college exploration, and onsite work experience and social events designed to provide students with a broader understanding of themselves and what is expected of them in today’s job market.

Summer in the City students participate in a series of independent living and employment readiness activities. Students job shadow local employers, and complete an “Amazing Race” around Grand Rapids using public transit.

The College Prep Program at Western Michigan University provides students who are blind or visually impaired have with an opportunity for a college experience prior to becoming full-time students. The program is designed to provide BSBP consumers with training and skills needed to become successful full-time college students. Students live in the dorms, take a WMU class and participate in a series of workshops designed to prepare them for college.

Camp Transition Zone provides youth from all over the state ages 14-21 with an opportunity to learn new vocational skills and various activities with the help of BSBP staff, Camp Daggett counselors, and community volunteers.

Evaluation of Goal 8 - Library Services

The Braille and Talking Book Library is a part of the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons. This division provides information to persons who are blind and visually impaired throughout the state. The library provides accessible reading materials through a variety of media; such as cassettes, digital, talking books, Braille, and books on line. The library continues to increase access to persons who are blind and visually impaired by 75% by providing opportunities for information through digital media. This media is expected to increase as taped materials continue to decrease. The library also provides its patrons the opportunity to participate in a monthly book and computer club.

The Adaptive Technology Center of the library provides consumers with the opportunity to utilize computers with screen reading and magnification software to enhance ones access to the Internet. These services are particularly important to vocational consumers who are seeking information regarding careers, employment outlook, as well as assistance in obtaining periodicals on employment trends.

The Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) assists the Bureau in achieving its goals and objectives by providing many of the consumer’s information in accessible formats that can be utilized in training programs, activities of daily living, as well as on the job training and employment settings. It also enables BSBP’s staff to be knowledgeable of current technology and additional resources that will assist BSBP in achieving its overarching goal of improved service delivery.

The library provides an event biannually called “Library Without Walls” to update their patrons and the community on a variety of technology advancements. The event is helpful to individuals within the community as well as the Bureau consumers and staff where they are able to see first-hand, technology at work as it relates to employment and daily living activities.

 

BSBP continues to serve the most severely disabled individuals through the Supported Employment program. This program provides an array of supported services to assist these individuals in achieving a competitive employment outcome. The Supported Employment program provides opportunities for individuals with multiple disabilities and those with deaf/blindness which includes Rubella and Ushers syndrome. The Bureau’s collaborated with various community rehabilitation organizations, community mental health agencies and intermediate school districts to obtain appropriate referrals for vocational exploration and rehabilitation services. The staff worked with the community rehabilitation organizations to provide training opportunities to enable supported employment consumers to gain skills that will expand the employment outcomes within the individual’s community. Each of the community rehabilitation organizations emphasize specific programs that allows for individualized program development. The Bureau has been instrumental in working with a number of the rehabilitation organizations to provide specialized training for supported employment individuals who are blind and visually impaired, as well as consumers who are deaf/blind. These programs include, but are not limited to, clerical activities, food services, janitorial and micro-enterprise businesses for consumers.

The Bureau was instrumental in obtaining funds through the Federal Communications Commission to provide training and technology equipment for eligible deaf/blind individuals. The program is funded for two years. The participants will receive training in the use of the latest technology that enables them to be independent in their home and home environment.

BSBP’s agreement with the Department of Community Health (DCH) outlines specific objectives regarding referrals and employment opportunities. This agreement was jointly developed for the purpose of providing additional services to persons with visual impairments and blindness that can benefit fully from the supported employment approach to training and job placement. The agency met its goal of five percent of increased referrals the pass fiscal year; although, this goal will continue as the agency develops its implementation plan to achieve the outcomes outlined in the agreement. BSBP discussed with DCH the importance of establishing long term follow-up services to maintain the employment activities for supported employment consumers, as well as the need for auxiliary aids to enhance their daily living skills and employment outcomes.

The staff utilized supported employment funds to develop vocational opportunities for the most severely disabled individuals to achieve employment outcomes. As the agency continues to explore opportunities and collaborate with its community partners to increase vocational opportunities, the agency’s projection were to serve 50 individuals with the supported employment funds it received. As a result, the Bureau provided services to 34 individuals with multiple impairments through the Supported Employment program.

The Bureau continues to participate in the statewide Employment First initiative of community agencies and organizations to establish job placement standards and procedures for individuals who are providing job placement for persons with disabilities.

 

Indicator 1.1: Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes. The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons projection for the number of individuals with employment outcomes was achieved that was set by the agency and compared with the national average of blind agencies, BSBP passed this indicator by 18%. BSBP continues to focus on specific training from TACE and other agencies to assist the staff with innovative approaches to increase employment outcomes. The agency is participating in the Employment Services Certificate training program for counselors and job placement staff to improve their awareness of job placement activities and is in the process of establishing through TACE Motivational Interviewing training for staff to enable them to work with difficult consumers to assist in developing effective plans for employment. Michigan’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation, which directly affects employment opportunities for all citizens including those with disabilities in obtaining gainful employment. The Bureau’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to be aware of employment opportunities and employment trends as the agency collaborates with Michigan Works! so that consumers will receive training in emerging careers. BSBP continues to collaborate with the Bureau of Labor Market Information to provide employment trends locally and statewide enabling the agency to provide training appropriate to the current labor market demands. Staff will work with a variety of employers to increase on-the-job training opportunities for job-ready consumers. BSBP has initiated job clubs in major cities throughout the state for the purpose of assisting job ready consumers in their efforts to obtain employment. BSBP continues to provide Employment Readiness Seminars quarterly for all job ready consumers. The seminars allow local employer’s opportunities to interview job ready consumers to enhance their interviewing skills and to provide consumers with feedback regarding their interviewing techniques. Also, employers may share with job ready consumers possible positions available within their company. The seminars provide prospective job ready consumers with information regarding work incentives and benefits planning with Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA). BSBP encourages consumers to utilize Disability Benefits 101 website, educating parents on work related benefits and strategies for transitioning youth. BSBP will continue to work with the National Business Network, trade organizations and apprenticeship programs through its Business Services staff to expand employment opportunities for the population that BSBP serves.

Indicator 1.2: Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services Who Had Employment Outcomes. BSBP was not successful in achieving this indicator. As a result of continuing high unemployment rate in the State of Michigan which had a direct impact on the employment of persons with disabilities, especially those that are blind and visually impaired, the Bureau is working with a number of employment agencies as well as obtaining training for staff in the Employment Certificate program, Michigan Works! and other community partners to be aware of employment vacancies in the communities. BSBP makes available to counseling staff the opportunity to participate in job placement training through the Michigan Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association and the Job Placement Division within the Michigan Rehabilitation Association, along with private trainers emphasizing job placement techniques as well as TACE Supported Employment programs that equip the staff with tools to compete in the competitive labor market. The Bureau continues to utilize its job placement specialists along with counselors to assist job ready consumers in obtaining gainful employment. The job placement specialists and collaboration with community organizations are assisting the Bureau to increase its efforts to expand employment opportunities.

Indicator 1.3: Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes Who Were Competitively Employed. BSBP staff is aware of the importance of establishing relationships with employers in order to increase opportunities for consumers to expand employment options that will result in more individuals being placed in the competitive labor market. The agency plans to continue to meet this goal by working with the employer community. BSBP met this indicator with 83.59%.

Indicator 1.4: Percentage of Persons with Competitive Employment Outcomes Who Had Significant Disabilities. The individuals that BSBP serves are those with blindness which is considered a most severely disabled. BSBP met this indicator with 96.67%.

Indicator 1.5: Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average Wage. BSBP continues to provide consumers with choices regarding their vocational objectives; therefore, the development of career options has continued to assist BSBP in reaching this indicator. The agency met this indicator with 0.666%.

Indicator 1.6: Difference in Percentage of individuals Achieving Competitive Employment Who Report Own Income as Primary Source of Support at Closure and Application. It is a goal of BSBP to provide consumers with options to choose careers that lead to gainful employment. As a result of the economy and consumers desire to become employed, BSBP staff emphasized the importance of obtaining full time employment. The agency established a goal to refer consumers to benefit planners to provide information to job seekers. As a result of this activity, individuals received information that enabled them to make choices regarding full time employment. The Bureau met this indicator with 45.19%.

Indicator 2.1: Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate. BSBP did not meet this indicator with 0.727. BSBP continues to emphasize the importance of outreach to minority populations that are experiencing blindness and visual impairment. The Cultural Diversity team is one of BSBP’s teams that provide the agency with information that assist the Bureau in providing services to various minority populations. This team invites representatives from various minority populations to share cultural practices and values of the particular group. The staff is primarily responsible for making contacts with agencies and organizations that serves minority individuals to provide information regarding the agency’s procedures and practices for obtaining services.

 

The Bureau continues to create and maintain new services for medium to small businesses operated, managed or owned by legally blind individuals. The Business, Assistance, Development Program (BADP) will offer assistance, consultation services, developmental information, educational programs and guidance for medium and small businesses managed, operated or owned by legally blind entrepreneurs.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2014 1:15PM by Leamon Jones

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

BSBP continues to work with the community agencies and organizations to expand the Supported Employment program to provide appropriate training and job placement services, as well as follow-along services where possible. The program provides specific supports for persons with multiple impairments. Through collaboration and partnering with community rehabilitation agencies and community mental health organizations, the Bureau has been able to develop employment opportunities within the community that allow for consumers to benefit from training and employment outcomes. BSBP’s supported employment consumers participate in various components of the supported employment program. The agency utilizes job coaching and the follow-along services to maximize employment opportunities. BSBP encourages placement in an integrated setting within the individual’s community.

BSBP’s staff and community partners work collaboratively to make a smooth transition to extended services. Once eligibility has been established and an assessment has occurred to determine the level of functioning and the vocational goal, extended services are identified. The extended services often depend upon community location as well as the availability of community organizations to provide the supports in the time period necessary for the consumer to achieve an employment outcome. Frequently, BSBP incorporates follow-along services and encourages natural supports when developing the IPE that will enable individuals to maintain their employment.

The Bureau received $86,608 to provide comprehensive training and job placement for approximately 18 consumers. BSBP continues to collaborate with the local community health boards to establish the needed follow-along services in order to enable more consumers to be successfully employed.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2014 12:26PM by Leamon Jones