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
Michigan Rehabilitation Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2015 (submitted FY 2014)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Treasurer State of Michigan

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

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

Director

... 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 SignatoryMaura D. Corrigan

Title of SignatoryDirector

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/19/2014

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 2015No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. No

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

OVERVIEW:

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

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 MRS activities/work teams: (1) Appeals Process Brochure Revision (2) Capital Quality Institute - Academy of Quality Management Fundamentals (3) CSNA (4) Consultation with the Customer Rights Representative/Hearings Manager (5) Customer Input (6) Customer Satisfaction Survey (7) DHS/MRS Contracts Training (8) Enhanced Partnership Meeting (9) Executive Strategy Team to manage the long term plan (10) Idea Stream Team, including presentations to three MRS District Offices (11) Leadership Council (12) Marketing Team and subgroups related to creating a MRS Annual Report Calendar (13) Order of Selection for Services (OSS) Workgroup (14) OSS Sub-Work Group for Partnership Training (15) Quality Core Management Team (16) State Plan (17) Statewide Staff Teleconference Calls (18) new Strategic Plan design.

Resulting Impact: The Council offered input from the customer perspective with regard to each of the above activities. The Council works from the premise of the field staff needing to have the resources available to them so that the customer benefits from a quality service system. Anecdotal input throughout the year from customers and MRS staff revealed that some offices were challenged with staff vacancies and high intake numbers of customers. Monthly service data often mirrored the comments received. The MCRS remained constant in their contact with the MRS Administration questioning the DSUs ability to effectively serve all customers coming through their doors or whether service categories needed to be closed.

2. In partnership with the Grantor, provide advice in the preparation of statewide goals and priorities. The partnership between the MRS Administration and the MCRS continued to function from a strong foundation of open communication on a regular basis, sharing both successes and challenges. This dynamic resulted in determining methods to manage emerging issues and design for implementation projects that enhanced their service system. As the MRS Long Term Plan (LTP) entered its final year, the Council was included in the MRS Executive Team meetings that worked on the design of the Strategic Plan for FY 2014-2016. As part of the environmental scan (which was the first part of the process) the MCRS held 4 customer focus groups to gain input from their experiences with the MRS system.

Resulting Impact: The customer voice presence was strong as the Council worked with MRS on the establishment of new goals and strategies. Of critical concern to the MCRS was the input received from the Focus Groups of Customers of MRS, as they related challenging experiences regarding communication between counselors and customers.

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. Anecdotal customer satisfaction information was collected by the MCRS through various activities: (1) Council representation at a meeting with MRS and Project Excellence to review and analyze FY 2011-2012 survey results and the resulting report, in addition to the survey tools, processes and reporting mechanisms for the FY 2013 Customer Satisfaction Survey distributed at case closure and Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) (2) dialogue took place with MRS on other modalities that could be utilized to increase customer input (3) monthly meetings with the Client Assistance Program Director (4) through e-mails and phone calls received at the MCRS office and (5) Customer Focus Groups facilitated by the MCRS at MRS’s Trade School – Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI).

Resulting Impact: The MCRS is pleased to be included in the design and review of the customer satisfaction survey tools. The membership did raise the issue of wanting to know the themes of the percentage of those customers who responded to the surveys indicating that they were not satisfied with the MRS experience. The Council believes that this information could serve as a credible resource for the continual improvement of the MRS system.

4. Assist in the preparation of the State Plan, Plan amendments, reports, needs assessments, and evaluation required by the Rehabilitation Act. Beginning in February, the MCRS began weekly representation at MRS State Plan meetings, which involved the Council representing the ‘customer voice’ at the table with regard to reviewing and further revising updated draft Attachments, discussion of timelines, and the need to incorporate input from the new Strategic Plan into several attachments.

Membership training about the State Plan took place in late March. Members were provided with an overview of the State Plan process, their mandated requirement to write Attachment 4.2 (c) (for both DSUs), and instructions on how they will need to review and contribute to the approval of the final MRS State Plan for FY 2014. Members also viewed a 20-minute segment of the SRC Online Training Modules (a resource created by Rehabilitation Services Administration – RSA) to become further educated about the Council’s role in the State Plan. The MCRS Executive Team assumed responsibility for managing aspects of drafting Attachment 4.2 (c), preparing an outline for the membership of updates made to other attachments, and any remaining tasks to complete the State Plan process. In early May, Attachment 4.2 (c) was approved by the membership and forwarded to the MRS Acting State Director for response, which was returned to the Council with support for the MCRS recommendations. Due to time constraints, the MCRS Executive Team reviewed and accepted the final MRS FY 2014 State Plan on behalf of the membership. The MRS State Plan for FY 2014 was submitted to RSA before July 1st and was later approved by RSA.

The Council was represented at all Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) meetings for the process being managed through the MRS contract with Michigan State University’s Project Excellence (conducts program evaluation for MRS). With the involved partners (BSBP, MRS, Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (MISILC), and MARO (the Michigan trade association for community rehabilitation programs) the data requirements, timelines, creation of survey tools and distribution and the key informant process were discussed with consensus for next steps. It was determined that the completion of the CSNA would be finalized in early spring 2014.

Resulting Impact: As has been expected practice, the MCRS was actively involved in the MRS State Plan process, offering support and customer perspective as relevant. The CSNA process needs to be reviewed, so that the previously agreed upon timeframe (expanding the process over the two years prior to the due date) takes place. Also, the Council believes that consideration must be given for the expansion of data collection from customers and employers. The MCRS was actively involved in the process, but communication was sporadic, resulting in little information sharing throughout the last nine months (August 2013 – April 2014) of the process. The draft Executive Summary report was presented at a recent meeting (May 2014), with expectations for the meeting that the partners in attendance would edit and support the report moving forward. As well, the full report of the CSNA was shared at that meeting.

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. MRS data and other information was collected throughout the fiscal year and utilized in the FY 2013 MCRS Annual Report.

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) in June, as a result of an unexpected SILC Liaison vacancy, DHS Administration and the Appointments Office initiated the process to seek a replacement liaison member from the SILC to serve as a member of the MCRS, with hopes of filling the vacancy as soon as possible.

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.

Resulting Impact: The partnerships listed above provide great opportunity for networking with organizations that are working with similar customer populations, but the MCRS involvement can provide the VR prospective. It is expected that these relationships will continue to develop.

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 (DNM), and the Michigan SILC have a long established working partnership with MRS. The MCRS continues their focus on working to enhance the partnership by continually advocating on behalf of the independent living needs of customers of MRS. Involvement with strategic working alliance teams and other activities furthered the efforts. The Council also participated in the IL/VR Alliance Operational Team which is working on an IL/VR Frequently Asked Questions publication for distribution to the staff at Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and MRS field staff.

Resulting Impact: The MCRS involvement with the CILs network in Michigan has continued at the statewide level with the continued focus on the IL/VR alliance. The Council role within this environment is to represent the VR customer and the full scope of their needs, often managed via the local MRS field office and their local CIL.

8. Perform other functions consistent with the purpose of the Rehabilitation Act. Key Other Function: Education of the State Legislature on the MRS Federal/State Match formula:

Education of Michigan Legislature: The MCRS was present at a Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee Meeting for DHS. The MCRS Chair read a prepared statement which focused on educating and informing the Senators about the financial dynamics of the MRS system, most importantly the issue of the MRS Title 1 funds that continue to be returned to Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for the past few years because of the lack of match with state dollars. The Council recognizes the number of persons with disabilities that could have received VR services resulting in meaningful competitive employment if MRS had been fully matched.

Resulting Impact: The MCRS testimony focused on three issues: the role of the Council; the importance of receiving full match from the legislature; and the strong concern of Title 1 dollars being returned to RSA and reallocated to other state’s VR programs. Highlights of other MCRS Functions: 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). 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. Though faced with a number of challenges, the MCRS ‘acting’ Chair demonstrated the ability to organize the mandated work of the Council in a manner that assured progress was made on the federal mandates, while the new membership learned about and adapted to their roles and responsibilities.

Resulting Impact: The SRC in Michigan experienced a major change with a new Council, a new membership, expectations, and a funding loss. The addition of a second DSU resulted in a doubled workload for a membership of volunteers historically stretched to achieve the mandates for one DSU.

A Review of Business Activities related to Functions: November 2012: A 1-hour 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.

December: A meeting was held with DHS staff, the MCRS Chair and Executive Director, MRS Director, and MRS Deputy Director to clarify the MCRS meetings schedule for the remainder of FY 2013. It was determined that the membership would have input to the schedule during the upcoming in-person orientation session.

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. Members also discussed their availability for business meeting dates/times during the remainder of FY 2013.

February: The Council became directly involved in both MRS State Plan and the new Strategic Plan weekly meetings.

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 was shared, along with discussion about the MRS ‘Six Steps to Vocational Rehabilitation’ Customer Handbook and VR Process desktop tool.

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.

In an effort to gain customer input for the environmental scanning process for the MRS Strategic Planning process, four focus groups were conducted at the Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) in Plainwell at the beginning of May. With over 70 students in attendance, questions were asked that related to student experiences in working with MRS as well as attending trade programs at MCTI. Students were provided with opportunities to contribute responses both verbally and in written format via the Instrumented Group Interview (IGI) facilitation process. Three questions were utilized with the following themes identified: 1 - Think back over the past year of the things that you did with MRS, what went particularly well? Counselor Relationship; Transition to MCTI; IPE Process; Testing for Skills; and Connection with MRS in High School. 2 - What did not go well? Communication with Counselors (i.e. should return phone calls within 48 hours, new counselor assignments); MRS move to DHS – no information to customers, very confusing; Interpreters not provided; and MRS system is slow. 3 - How can MRS improve? Increase the time Counselors have to do one on one work with Customers; Establish expectations for Counselors returning phone calls within 48 hours; Establish processes for informing customers of Counselor changes; Provide consistency of information about services available; The MRS system takes too much time, need to analyze why for example there are such lengthy gaps in contacts between counselors and customers.

This information was shared with MRS during their Strategic Planning process and will be incorporated into the creation of the MCRS Strategic Plan.

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. A MCRS Member and Staff Person attended the summer graduation event at MCTI.

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.

Resulting Impact: As directed by the ET, the focus for this fiscal year was to reorganize organizational operations to success; educate and inform the membership about issues critical to their mandates; complete the State Plan as a credible partner; and utilize the themes that surfaced in the focus groups about the need for improved standards for communication between Counselors and Customers.

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. The final draft of the amended Bylaws were presented for approval at the August Business Meeting.

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.

Resulting Impact: Findings will be moved forward to a full day of strategic planning for the membership so that a multiyear plan of activities can be determined which focuses on how to achieve the federal mandates for each DSU.

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 bureaus. 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.

Resulting Impact: The Governor’s Appointment Office Staff along with a DHS Staff person have been highly successful in their recommendations for MCRS members to the Governor. We recognize that as attrition takes place that the Council would benefit from increased geographic and racial diversity in their members and will work with the appointing staff to manage this need.

Statewide Activities (focused on strengthening partnerships): The MCRS continued participation in the following statewide activities: (1) Governor’s Business to Business Summit on Disability (2) IL/VR Alliance Operational Team Meetings (3) KANDU Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for a new employment initiative (4) MARO Day at the Capitol (5) MARO Spring Leadership Training Conference in Traverse City; the MCRS Chair joined an MRS Division Director and Deputy Director to provide a presentation outlining an MRS update, including various aspects of the partnership between MRS and the Council (6) Michigan Rehabilitation Association (MRA) Membership, with the MCRS Executive Director (ED) being elected to the MRA board (7) Nancy Crewe Memorial Symposium event held at Peckham (8) the re:con Convention of New Beginnings Program Planning Committee and (9) re:con – The Convention of New Beginnings - in Traverse City and (10) SILC Business Meetings.

Resulting Impact: The above activities serve to strengthen relationships within the disability and business community. We have seen the Council’s role and responsibility become more familiar across the state as networking takes place.

National Activities: Two 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 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. During November 2012 and April 2013, the ED, along with other SC members, facilitated Saturday Leadership Training and Sunday Public Policy Training Sessions for SRCs in San Diego and Bethesda respectively. SRC members/staff, VR staff, RSA staff, and others attended the sessions and engaged in activities and dialogue related to promising practices for SRCs. The MCRS was also represented at the Fall Conference for the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) in San Diego.

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.

Resulting Impact: The involvement of the MCRS in the various national activities continues to enhance the reputation of this SRC as being one of the best models across our country. The knowledge gained through this involvement serves to strengthen the work activities of the Council.

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.

Resulting Impact: Active participation with this Conference provides great opportunity for interaction with DSU staff and their partners to learn of promising practices and service challenges.

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION – DAILY BUSINESS OPERATIONS: FISCAL AND OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT:

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, MRS has contracted with MARO since 2004 (prior to that a contract with another state wide organization held the contract from 1996 – 2003). The Council agrees that this contact 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. This contract has continued due to the outstanding accounting talents of the MARO staff that has resulted in nine clean financial reviews and services that were provided in a professional, flexible manner. The MCRS expects that this contract will continue to be supported by MRS, assuring the stability of the Council’s future.

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 the DSU to ensure financial solvency for the MCRS beginning October 1, 2012. The grant between MARO and MRS was signed by DHS for the first six months of the fiscal year. In March 2013, DHS approved a three month grant extension (through June 2013) and then a second extension was approved in July for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The FY 2014 Resource Plan and Budget was approved by the membership and managed by the ET. In a meeting with the MRS Administrator they received support, with DHS providing approval for the contract with MARO/MRS for the first six months of FY 2014.

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 lack 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.

Resulting Impact: Though FY 2013 provided operational challenges due to short term financial contracts and a funding reduction which resulted in the loss of our administrative support staff position. In the midst of this environment, the ET was successful in their management of the Council’s work activities within the scope of our financial resources.

In Closing: The MCRS maintains a focus of the ‘customer’s best interest’ throughout all levels of their work. The resulting impact is seen as the Council has become part of the fabric of the MRS system. Interaction with customers, staff, employers and partners reveals the commitment to providing VR services in a manner which is respectful, efficient and results in meaningful employment. The SRC in Michigan has a long history of having an effective proactive partnership with MRS. The transition to a new DSA and the additional responsibility to serve as the SRC for the DSU for the Blind has not changed this relationship. The leadership of MRS and the MCRS have continued to engage in a partnership that is focused on the value added when the customer voice is encouraged and incorporated into the operational aspects of the public VR system in Michigan. One of the greatest benefits for each partner is the dynamic tension that exists as issues are raised, discussed and managed for the best interest of the customers being served. Change is inevitable in all systems and at times during fiscal year 2013 was trying, regardless, with all things considered, the MRS Staff are to be commended for their commitment, fortitude, and resourcefulness as they work on behalf of Michigan citizens with disabilities. We look forward to our continued work on behalf of people with disabilities, in partnership with MRS as they strive to be one of the leaders of public vocational rehabilitation in our country.

Recommendations: The following eight recommendations include two from the last State Plan with the remaining six designed to reflect customer input and results from our analysis and review of the MRS system.

1 - We recommend that MRS maintain their established Order of Selection for Services (OSS) during FY 2015. The Council was an active partner in the internal processes that led to MRS establishing OSS. We recognize that there exists a number of variables related to financial and staff resources that have the potential to impact MRS’s ability to serve all customers coming through their doors. We expect that with the recent progress made by MRS in strengthening resources, that the implementation of OSS (closing service categories and the creation of a waiting list) will not take place. We believe that maintaining the establishment provides a safeguard to assure a smooth transition for customers and staff, in the event that circumstances could change.

2 – We recommend that MRS provide the Council with information and data about their current staff capacity in the field, at Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) and at their Central Administrative Offices. We are aware that as a result of budget cutting measures, hiring freezes and the centralization of staff to the Designated State Agency, MRS staff have been reduced by 95 positions. We understand that some positions are currently posted and should be filled in the near future. We are encouraged by this positive change. The Council’s interest is: 1 - we need to learn about the current capacity of counselors and managers in the field and their effectiveness in serving customers and employers; 2 – we need to learn about the current capacity of MCTI staff in meeting the myriad of student needs at a residential facility (programming for the trades, residential supports and safety) and 3 – we need to learn about the impact on the ongoing operations and programming aspects provided by the Central Office Staff and what staff functions have been absorbed into DHS, including the impact on operational efficiencies and deficiencies. We are requesting this information so that the membership can determine the current and future potential for the ongoing effectiveness of the public VR program.

3 - We recommend that MRS establish protocols for the prompt return of phone calls to customers from their counselor. Customer input received during focus groups, public comment and direct contact to the MCRS office has revealed that in some circumstances there is an issue with communication between a customer and their counselor, specific to phone calls not being returned in a timely manner (examples were provided of experiences with calls returned within a 7 – 14 day time span).

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

5 – 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”.

6 - We recommend that the Council receives all of the anecdotal information from both the successful and not successful responses received from the Customer Satisfaction Surveys (at plan and closure). We recognize the value of this information as we work to review, analyze and advise MRS about their service system.

7 – We recommend that MRS publish an annual report on the outcomes of their agreements. This recommendation is carried forward from last year. The Council believes that having a formal record of the successes and resulting impact on a local community would benefit MRS for public education purposes by their staff and the Council.

8 – We recommend that MRS provide the Council with the rationale regarding their decision to maintain the practice of individualized eligibility. As a result of our previous recommendation in the FY 2014 State Plan related to ‘centralized eligibility’, we acknowledge that MRS has implemented training and pilots in field offices to determine the policy compliance, statewide consistency and efficiency (bringing quality tools and systems to the process) of eligibility determination. The Council’s primary concern with eligibility was related to what appeared to be the need for enhanced statewide equity in the determination of each customer’s eligibility.

MRS RESPONSE: 1 - We recommend that MRS maintain their established Order of Selection for Services (OSS) during FY 2015. The Council was an active partner in the internal processes that led to MRS establishing OSS. We recognize that there exists a number of variables related to financial and staff resources that have the potential to impact MRS’s ability to serve all customers coming through their doors. We expect that with the recent progress made by MRS in strengthening resources, that the implementation of OSS (closing service categories and the creation of a waiting list) will not take place. We believe that maintaining the establishment provides a safeguard to assure a smooth transition for customers and staff, in the event that circumstances could change.

Response: Due to previous circumstances, the establishment of OSS was necessary to prepare MRS (if the situation warranted it) to close categories. However, since February, 2014, the financial and staffing situations have improved greatly, eliminating the need to implement an order of selection for services.

• Current MRS staff ratio is 1 counselor to 90.3 customers. MRS anticipates that will continue or improve for the remainder of FY 2014-2015.

• The MRS redesign which has been submitted to the DSA (DHS), will lead to greater efficiency of service provision and productivity.

• MRS has filled 18 counselor vacancies with 3 additional vacancies in process to be filled by 10/1/14. In addition, as part of DHS, MRS is receiving essential administrative support from the DSA.

• Anticipated State appropriated match funding for FY 2015 is $17,355,932.

• AWARE referral module was implemented on August 4, 2014. MRS established a standard that prompt and equitable processing of referrals shall occur no later than 30 days following the referral date with provision of an orientation to the MRS program that includes a description of the MRS process and MRS requirements. As of September 2014, MRS has received 3,164 of which 1,209 have become Applicants for Michigan Rehabilitation Services. The other 1,955 referrals have: been referred to other agencies for services, indicated they are not interested in applying for services, missed the scheduled orientation and have been rescheduled for another orientation date. The average number of days individuals were held in referral status before becoming Applicants is 10.5 days. • Although the budget was reduced from FY 2013, no other red flag indicators were triggered.

• Tableau software is slated for release to MRS staff in the very near future. Tableau will connect directly to the AWARE data base to analyze by filtering, sorting, reorganizing, calculating and summarizing data.

2 – We recommend that MRS provide the Council with information and data about their current staff capacity in the field, at Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) and at their Central Administrative Offices. We are aware that as a result of budget cutting measures, hiring freezes and the centralization of staff to the Designated State Agency, MRS staff have been reduced by 95 positions. We understand that some positions are currently posted and should be filled in the near future. We are encouraged by this positive change. The Council’s interest is: 1 - we need to learn about the current capacity of counselors and managers in the field and their effectiveness in serving customers and employers; 2 – we need to learn about the current capacity of MCTI staff in meeting the myriad of student needs at a residential facility (programming for the trades, residential supports and safety) and 3 – we need to learn about the impact on the ongoing operations and programming aspects provided by the Central Office Staff and what staff functions have been absorbed into DHS, including the impact on operational efficiencies and deficiencies. We are requesting this information so that the membership can determine the current and future potential for the ongoing effectiveness of the public VR program.

Response: MRS suggests quarterly meetings between MRS and MCRS to discuss staffing, hiring, operations, programming, average caseload size, budget and performance statistics. This would be the most efficient and accurate way for disbursement of this type of information. Dialogue leading to a clear understanding of this data is imperative.

3 - We recommend that MRS establish protocols for the prompt return of phone calls to customers from their counselor. Customer input received during focus groups, public comment and direct contact to the MCRS office has revealed that in some circumstances there is an issue with communication between a customer and their counselor, specific to phone calls not being returned in a timely manner (examples were provided of experiences with calls returned within a 7 – 14 day time span).

Response: MRS has an established protocol for the returning of telephone calls. MRS continues to stress and reinforce prompt communication as an important value. We recognize customer service is one of the most important cornerstones of the MRS vision. We believe the information that MCRS obtained and is referenced in this recommendation is from a sample that is statistically skewed given the extremely small size and non-diverse group that was sampled (MCTI students, 22 years old and younger). We request that MCRS canvas a larger group of MRS customers than the MCTI population to better understand where and what the communication issues are.

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

Response: We appreciate the willingness to look at MRS data, but believe that the data reported must be accompanied by dialogue to present the correct context of that data. We believe that quarterly leadership meetings would be ideal for data review.

5 – 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”.

Response: MRS is in agreement that a process for conducting the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment must be developed and implemented to allow for appropriate review, time frames and input from partners. MRS plans to meet with Michigan State University Project Excellence quarterly to understand how we can better utilize the data we obtain and to shape the focus of Project Excellence’s contributions.

6 - We recommend that the Council receives all of the anecdotal information from both the successful and not successful responses received from the Customer Satisfaction Surveys (at plan and closure). We recognize the value of this information as we work to review, analyze and advise MRS about their service system.

Response: Anecdotal information is just for purpose of consultation within MRS district offices with staff; as it is personal opinion, it is not appropriate to be used for review and analysis. Customer satisfaction results on an aggregate basis are shared.

7 – We recommend that MRS publish an annual report on the outcomes of their agreements. This recommendation is carried forward from last year. The Council believes that having a formal record of the successes and resulting impact on a local community would benefit MRS for public education purposes by their staff and the Council.

Response: MRS agreements are specific to local needs. In addition, each agreement has different parameters and benchmarks, and those can change within the year due to changing circumstances. Drawing statewide conclusions from local data would be inappropriate. MRS agrees that quarterly meetings to go over information would be very useful.

An annual report specific to Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements is not possible within the current automated case management system. Data will only be reflected if dollars from an agreement were spent on the customer. This eliminates a significant number of customers who are served under the terms of the agreement yet utilized no funds, or funds from another source were used to cover the cost of services (i.e., Supported Employment). Publishing an inaccurate report would do more harm than good. Instead, it is desirable that each district continue to work together with their partner on a regular basis to discuss the terms of the agreement, progress toward the goals of the agreement and steps to be taken to improve or enhance the agreement as it moves forward. In addition, training has been implemented and will continue to be used (Mutual Gains) to assist both MRS staff and partners to create greater proficiency in creating strong, productive agreements that best serve mutual customers.

8 – We recommend that MRS provide the Council with the rationale regarding their decision to maintain the practice of individualized eligibility. As a result of our previous recommendation in the FY 2014 State Plan related to ‘centralized eligibility’, we acknowledge that MRS has implemented training and pilots in field offices to determine the policy compliance, statewide consistency and efficiency (bringing quality tools and systems to the process) of eligibility determination. The Council’s primary concern with eligibility was related to what appeared to be the need for enhanced statewide equity in the determination of each customer’s eligibility.

Response: Currently, MRS utilizes an individualized eligibility process. VR Counselors meet one-on-one with each applicant for the purpose of conducting an assessment of eligibility and priority for service. To the maximum extent possible and appropriate, the assessment consists of a review of existing data. VR counselors and/or certified rehabilitation counselors may conduct appraisals and assessments directly as allowed by their scope of practice. VR Counselors may also document observation of a readily visible anatomical impairment. Determination of eligibility may require purchasing of assessments. The assessment to determine rehabilitation needs begins concurrently with the assessment to determine eligibility.

In 2012, MRS revised its eligibility criteria to conform with OSS standards. Specifically, it shifted the focus from the number of services applicants required to the number of functional limitations they experience. This change in policy led to a statewide in-service training program in which all MRS staff were instructed on how to apply the revised eligibility criteria. This program has been completed, and new counselors will receive the training as they enter MRS.

The second key initiative involves more thorough examination and tighter scrutiny of eligibility determination practices as measured in casework reviews. The new review format initially focuses on "Eligibility Assessment", adding several details that were not covered in previous inquiries. The review moves on to "Establishing Eligibility", where physical or mental impairments, service requirements, and functional capacities are covered. The emphasis is on casework documentation, something that recent audits have found insufficient or lacking.

Finally, MRS has made a commitment to incorporate Quality Management (QM) principles and tools throughout all aspects of its programming. Eligibility determination (ED) is the primary focus of QM efforts so far. In fact, this evaluation will employ some of the standard QM tools, including the run chart and control chart, as a means of determining if ED is showing improvement.

A centralized eligibility process would consist of conducting an assessment of eligibility and priority for service in either one of two conditions: (1) dedicated VR counselor(s) in each district would conduct all eligibility assessments (2) Central Office would conduct a 100% review on all eligibility certifications, with no further action until the certifications are approved by the central office reviewer(s).

Competing initiatives and projects to achieve the same end have been implemented, and are thought to be able to achieve the same level of results with minimal disruption to field operations, thus curtailing the need for a formal centralized eligibility process. Therefore, implementation of a centralized eligibility process is no longer in consideration.

This screen was last updated on Sep 5 2014 1:27PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Identification of the Types of Activities to Be Carried out under a Waiver of Statewideness.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) will continue to develop and maintain specific targeted agreements with local agencies in fiscal year 2015 to match federal funds and augment state General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP) funds.

In 2014-2015 MRS and the State Legislature will work to obtain local and state match so that full federal funding can be achieved. The MRS Marketing Committee will continue to work with the Designated State Agency to educate the public about the value of partnering with MRS to achieve quality employment outcomes and independence for individuals with disabilities.

MRS has developed a policy for the development of activities to be carried out under a waiver of statewideness, which is applied when the nonfederal share of the cost of the services is met from funds provided by an interagency cash transfer agreement or as part of a third party cooperative arrangement. This policy is based on Section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.26 and 361.28 regulations. The MRS state policy includes the following criteria:

(1) The 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;

(2) The goal of the provision of services is to promote the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers of individuals with disabilities or of individuals with disabilities with particular types of impairments or from particular ethnic populations that have traditionally been underserved by MRS, and other target populations identified in the Rehabilitation Act (for example, students with disabilities needing transition services);

(3) MRS requests a waiver of statewideness on an annual basis in order to provide services to such target groups as described above. MRS policy requires each agreement to: - describe the services to be provided to individuals - contain written assurances signed by the local public agency that it will make available to MRS the non-federal share of funds - contain written assurance that MRS approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect - contain written assurance that the agreement will comply with all State Plan requirements for services approved under the waiver, including the state’s Order of Selection for Services (OSS) requirements

Services under the waiver of statewideness, used to promote the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers, may include any of the following services: - Assessment for determining eligibility, and determining vocational rehabilitation needs, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology; - Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice; - Information and referral and other services necessary to assist applicants and eligible individuals to secure needed services from other agencies; - Vocational and other training services, including personal and vocational adjustment training, books, tools, and other training materials; - Maintenance; - Transportation in connection with the rendering of any vocational rehabilitation service; - Interpreter services, including sign language and oral interpreter services, for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing; - Job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services; - Supported employment services; - Personal assistance services in accordance with the definition of that term in Sec. 361.5(b)(39); - Post-employment services; - Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks, and supplies; - Rehabilitation technology including vehicular modification, telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices; - Transition services; - Services for self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome; - Other goods and services determined necessary for the individual with a disability to achieve an employment outcome.

1. School District Agreements

These Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements and Third Party Cooperative Arrangements* provide coordinated vocational rehabilitation and special education services to eligible youth with disabilities, especially significantly disabled youth, from the intermediate school district (ISD) or with the local school district. Emphasis is placed on students in need of transition service planning. The agreements provide for a variety of rehabilitation services, as needed. Referrals are from local high schools or ISDs.

The following school agreements will continue to be in effect during FY 2015. Based on RSA monitoring findings and subsequent guidance, they were reviewed and modified to meet required standards.

MRS District and Intermediate/Local School District

Ann Arbor, Hillsdale ISD Ann Arbor, Jackson ISD Ann Arbor, Lenawee ISD Ann Arbor, LESA - Special Ed, WSC-Wash, WSC-Liv Ann Arbor, Saline Area Schools Ann Arbor, Washtenaw ISD - Special Ed Ann Arbor, Washtenaw ISD - Young Adult Pilot Detroit Renaissance, Detroit Public Schools Summer Youth Transition Detroit Renaissance, Gross Pointe High Schools Detroit Renaissance, Wayne County RESA Eastern Michigan, Genesee ISD Eastern Michigan, Huron County ISD Eastern Michigan, Lapeer County ISD Eastern Michigan, Sanilac County ISD Eastern Michigan, St. Clair RESA Eastern Michigan, Tuscola County ISD -- SCL Grand Rapids, Ionia ISD Grand Rapids, Kent ISD Transitions Lansing, Clinton County RESA Lansing, Eaton ISD Lansing, Ingham County ISD Lansing, Shiawassee RESD Macomb, Armada Schools Macomb, Center Line High Schools Macomb, Chippewa Valley Schools Macomb, Clintondale Schools Macomb, Compass Point Learning Center Macomb, Fraser Schools Macomb, L’anse Creuse Schools *Macomb, MISD Macomb, MISD/Lutz School for Transition Macomb, Mt. Clemens Schools Macomb, New Haven Schools Macomb, Richmond Macomb, Romeo Schools Macomb, Roseville High School Macomb, Warren Consolidated Schools Marquette, Consolidated Community Schools Services Marquette, Delta-Schoolcraft ISD Marquette, Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District Marquette, Eastern UP ISD Marquette, Gogebic-Ontonagon ISD Marquette, Marquette-Alger ISD Marquette, Menominee ISD MCTI, Barry County ISD Mid-Michigan, Bay-Arenac ISD Mid-Michigan, Farwell Schools Mid-Michigan, Midland ESA Mid-Michigan, Saginaw ISD *Mid-Michigan, Saginaw ISD Northern Michigan, Cheboygan Schools Northern Michigan, ESD-AMA Northern Michigan, ESD-COP Northern Michigan, Gaylord Schools Northern Michigan, ISD Charlevoix - Emmet Northern Michigan, ISD COOR Northern Michigan, ISD Wexford - Missaukee Northern Michigan, ISD-TBA Special Education Northern Michigan, ISD-TBA Vocational Education Northern Michigan, Manistee ISD Northern Michigan, RESA Iosco Oakland, Bloomfield Hills Schools Oakland, Bloomfield Hills Schools--Deaf Program Oakland, Holly Schools Oakland, Oakland Schools ISD Oakland, Rochester Schools Oakland, Southfield Schools Southwest Michigan, Barry ISD Southwest Michigan, Berrien ESA Southwest Michigan, Branch ISD Southwest Michigan, Calhoun ISD Southwest Michigan, KRESA Southwest Michigan, St. Joe ISD Southwest Michigan, Van Buren ISD Wayne, Crestwood High School Wayne, Dearborn Public Schools Wayne, Monroe Internship Wayne, Monroe ISD Wayne, Plymouth Canton High Schools Wayne, WRESA West Central, Allegan CO ISD West Central, Mecosta ISD West Central, Montcalm ISD West Central, Muskegon ISD West Central, Newaygo ISD West Central, Ottawa Co. ISD West Central, West Shore Educational Service District

The following school agreement(s) are new for FY 2015.

MRS District and Intermediate/Local School District

Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University Ann Arbor, Jackson DHS Ann Arbor, Lenawee ISD Ann Arbor, Lenawee ISD Project Search Detroit Renaissance, Leona Group Mid Michigan, Gratiot Isabella RESD Northern MI, Northern MI Regional Entity West Central, City of Holland/FACES

2. Community Mental Health Agreements

These joint rehabilitation and mental health programs operate under an umbrella agreement with separate local contracts. The umbrella agreement is between the Michigan Rehabilitation Services and Department of Community Health. The purpose of the umbrella agreement is to permit MRS district offices and local community mental health centers to (a) provide for the continuance of cooperative programs; (b) expand current program activities; and/or (c) respond to rehabilitation needs of individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities in communities where integrative programs are limited or do not exist.

The individual local agreements are for funds and services between MRS district offices and community mental health (CMH) boards or centers. Customers must be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

The CMH boards provide state and local matching funds, coordination, diagnostic and clinical information, and therapy. MRS assigns needed staff and provides the full range of rehabilitation services according to customer needs.

The following CMH agreements will continue to be in effect during FY 2015. Based on monitoring findings by RSA, they were reviewed and modified to meet required standards. Included in these agreements are Third Party Cooperative Arrangements*.

MRS District and Community Mental Health Agency

Ann Arbor, Genesis House - Livingston CMH Ann Arbor, Jackson Lifeways (CMH) Ann Arbor, Livingston CMH Ann Arbor, Washtenaw CMH Detroit Renaissance, Wayne County CMH Agency Eastern Michigan, Genesee CMH Eastern Michigan, Lapeer County CMH Eastern Michigan, Sanilac Community Mental Health Eastern Michigan, St. Clair County CMH Lansing, Clinton-Eaton-Ingham CMH (DD) Lansing, Clinton-Eaton-Ingham CMH (MI) Lansing, Shiawassee CMH Macomb, Community Mental Health *Macomb, Macomb CMH Marquette, Copper Co. CMH Marquette, Dickinson-Iron CMH/Northpointe Beh. Healthcare Marquette, Gogebic Co. CMH Marquette, Hiawatha Behav. Health (Schcrft-East UP CMH) Marquette, Pathways (Alger, Delta, Luce & Mqt. Co.) Mid-Michigan, Central Michigan CMH Mid-Michigan, Gratiot CMH Mid-Michigan, Saginaw CMH Northern Michigan, CMH AuSable Valley Northern Michigan, CMH Manistee-Benzie Northern Michigan, CMH Northeast Oakland, Oakland County CMH Authority Southwest Michigan, Barry County CMH Southwest Michigan, Berrien CMH - Riverwood Southwest Michigan, Branch CMH Southwest Michigan, Calhoun County CMH Southwest Michigan, Cass CMH Woodlands Southwest Michigan, Kal CMH SA Southwest Michigan, Kal CMH/SAS Southwest Michigan, Van Buren CMH West Central, CMH for Central Michigan West Central, Muskegon CMH West Central, Ottawa Co. CMH

The following CMH agreement(s) are new for FY 2015.

MRS District and Community Mental Health Agency

There are currently no new agreements for FY 2015.

3. Multi-entity Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements

These agreements represent collaborative programming between MRS, CMH, and ISDs. The purpose of these types of agreements is to promote efficient coordination of comprehensive services necessary for youth with developmental and mental/emotional disabilities to achieve vocational/career preparation while in high school and more efficiently transition into suitable employment following education. The collaboration of these three entities promotes more cost-effective use of limited funds to serve more individuals from a targeted population (school youth). Referrals are made from either local CMH or ISD.

The following Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements will continue to be in effect during FY 2015 and are renewed annually.

MRS District and Agency

Marquette, Copper Country ISD (CCISD-CMH) Southwest Michigan, Calhoun ISD & CMH West Central, Ottawa CMH/ISD

MRS District and Agency

There are currently no new agreements for FY 2015.

4. Other Agreements

Rehabilitation program agreements have been jointly developed with county departments of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and other agencies to expand the delivery of rehabilitation services to special populations who meet MRS eligibility requirements (for example American Indians, welfare recipients, etc.).

MRS District and Agency

Ann Arbor, Hillsdale DHS Ann Arbor, Lenawee DHS Ann Arbor, Saline/Milan Area Schools Ann Arbor, U of M Work Connections Detroit Renaissance, Behavior Health Professionals, Inc. Eastern Michigan, Mott Community College Grand Rapids, Network 180 Grand Rapids, Network 180 Pinerest Grand Rapids, Network 180 Substance Abuse Lansing, Ingham County Lansing, Mid-South Substance Abuse Commission Lansing, Delhi Township Macomb, Macomb Academy Macomb, Macomb Community College Macomb, Macomb County Office of Substance Abuse Marquette, Bay Mills Indian Community Marquette, Hannahville Indian Community Northern Michigan, NMD COG Northern Michigan, Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services, Inc. Oakland, Oakland Community College - BOLD Program Innovation, Michigan State University Program Innovation, Eastern Michigan University Southwest Michigan, Berrien Human DHS Southwest MI, Cass County DHS Southwest Michigan, HIRE Southwest Michigan, Pokagon Band Southwest Michigan, Step-Up Program (MI Works) Southwest Michigan, VanBuren-Cass County Health Dept. Southwest Michigan, Youth Build (MI Works) Southwest Michigan, YWORK Wayne, SEMCA Wayne, Schoolcraft College LAC West Central, City of Holland West Central, Muskegon Community College/West Shore CC

The following rehabilitation program agreement(s) are new for FY 2015.

MRS District and Agency

Program Innovation, Education Achievement Authority of MI Program Innovation, Juvenile Program Office DHS

This screen was last updated on Sep 5 2014 1:31PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) cooperates with federal, state, and local public agencies that are not a part of the statewide workforce investment system to provide comprehensive services related to the rehabilitation of individuals and groups of individuals with disabilities.

Such cooperative relationships include the following:

A) During the past several years, MRS engaged in a cooperative agreement with the state entity responsible for the Medicaid program, the Medical Services Administration. The purpose of the agreement was to coordinate the utilization of Medicaid and vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for individuals who are eligible for both Medicaid and MRS services. This agreement included roles and responsibilities of each party for the provision and funding of services, reciprocal referral procedures, methods for resolving disputes, and reimbursement arrangements. The state entity responsible for the Medicaid program has changed to the Department of Community Health. MRS is currently engaged in negotiating a new agreement with DCH. We plan to continue negotiations through FY2015 with a signed agreement sometime within the fiscal year.

B) Cooperation with Michigan Department of Community Health, and other disability advocacy organizations to carry out the Ticket To Work/Work Incentives Improvement Act (TTWWIIA).

C) Cooperation with Social Security Administration (SSA) through an MRS consultant in assisting MRS and its staff statewide, as well as cooperation with SSA and MRS regional and local district offices to assist joint customers receiving disability benefits in the use of Social Security work incentives and return to work efforts. Each MRS office has a dedicated Champion to assist its staff for the purpose of addressing unique needs of SSA recipients. These include MRS’ internal (online) E-Learn system which contains a plethora of information regarding SSA’s Ticket to Work program and work incentives; resource and referral available through SSA’s Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project in serving Michigan communities; referral to Beneficiary Access and Support Services (BASS) as contracted with SSA; SSA Work Incentive Liaisons (WIL’s) available through local SSA offices; and MRS fee-for-service vendors.

D) MRS continues involvement in State use (Set Aside) contracting programs to support employment of persons with disabilities. An MRS representative is a participant on the State’s disability set-aside committee to ensure that Community Rehabilitation Programs identified by MRS are given priority in certain types of contracts set aside for such organizations under State law.

E) MRS has a Letter of Agreement that establishes the principles, terms, and conditions under which the United States Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration, Apprenticeship Training, and Employer & Labor Services develop, promote and coordinate strategies that lead to increased career opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the skilled trades.

F) MRS continues two contracts for university-based research and evaluation. The first addresses the Bureau’s need for comprehensive needs assessments and continuous improvement measures. The second is for the management and continuous improvement to an on-line learning and knowledge system (“E-Learn”) to provide staff with training and development.

G) MRS maintains an agreement with the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association to facilitate maximum use of student financial aid resources for MRS customers who will attend post-secondary education. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) describes the roles and responsibilities of financial aid officers in Michigan’s institutions of higher education and MRS counselors in coordinating student financial aid for MRS customers while avoiding financial aid over-awards. It provides for the use of common forms in communicating financial need and financial aid awards offered to student-customers by each of the parties, consistent with the requirements of the Higher Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

H) MRS continues the memoranda of understanding (MOU) with all public institutions of higher education (IHE) in the State. This MOU provides for the coordination of services for students of a public IHE who are also eligible customers of MRS. It addresses the responsibilities of each party under the laws that condition services for each. It stipulates that MRS is responsible for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the Section 103 (a) of the Rehabilitation Act as amended, and that the IHE is responsible for the determination of what constitutes reasonable accommodation to its programs, and for the provision of the same. The agreement addresses financial responsibilities of the parties, and sets forth methods of resolving interagency disputes, consistent with the requirements of Section 101(a)(8) of the Act.

I) MRS continues the agreement with the Veterans Administration to provide coordinated services to returning veterans with disabilities. The agreement stipulates that services not be duplicated, but are complimentary in assisting eligible veterans achieve meaningful employment, in accordance with the laws and regulations governing each entity. Bureau liaisons are identified to assist in coordinating cooperative employment plans. Cross training has been provided to ensure understanding of both federal programs.

J) MRS continues the agreement with the Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education, to support the seamless transition of students from school to adult life that facilitates the development and completion of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The agreement addresses key items identified in IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act and includes information about the purpose, the authority and scope, foundations of the partnership, roles and responsibilities, confidentiality, student documentation, student eligibility, MRS attendance at IEP team meetings, seamless transition services, coordination of resources, resolution of differences, data reporting, 504 students and termination and changes.

K) MRS continues a Strategic Alliance Plan with Disability Network of Michigan (representing Centers for Independent Living), the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), and the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council to transform our service delivery systems into a holistic approach for the employment and independence of individuals with disabilities throughout Michigan.

L) MRS continues the agreement with the Department of Community Health and the Bureau of Services for Blind Services (BSBP) to coordinate and improve services to customers with cognitive impairments and mental illness, including those requiring supported employment.

M) MRS continues the MOU with the Hannahville Indian Community Vocational Rehabilitation Program’s Project Vision. The Project Vision and MRS MOU provide rehabilitation services under Section 121 of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act, of 1973 as amended, and Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, respectively. This MOU represents the cooperation, coordination, and collaboration necessary to create an effective service delivery partnership designed to increase employment opportunities for those served by both our programs. MRS expects to continue to collaborate with the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR) to promote this MOU as a best practice.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:43AM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Interagency Agreement (MDE/OSE and MRS) Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) will continue to collaborate with education officials to provide a coordinated set of activities to facilitate a seamless transition of students with disabilities from school to work or postsecondary training and education.

On November 1, 2011, Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education (MDE/OSE) and MRS Interagency Agreement was updated and signed. This agreement states the relationship between MRS and MDE/OSE in the provision of a continuum of coordinated education and vocational rehabilitation services that prepare youth with disabilities for a seamless transition from secondary education into employment. The agreement focuses on the mandates for transition services described in the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) including how MRS and MDE/OSE work together to fulfill those mandates. Key elements of the partnership are stated in the agreement and include: the purpose, authority and scope; foundations of the partnership; roles and responsibilities; confidentiality; student documentation; student eligibility; MRS attendance at Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team meetings; seamless transition services; coordination of resources; resolution of differences; data reporting; 504 students; and termination and changes. The MDE/OSE and MRS Interagency Agreement is designed to act as a template or guide for the subsequent development or strengthening of agreements between local MRS district offices and local education agencies (LEAs). Local interagency agreements specify target populations; identify goals and objectives; describe roles and responsibilities and state expectations for data sharing in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to transition youth. MRS and Michigan State University (MSU) Project Excellence is implementing a research project called, Michigan Transition for the 21st Century Project (MT-21). Phase One of the project (Discovery) was completed in 2013. During this phase, transition data was collected and analyzed from each district office in the state. MT-21 ranked MRS district offices in terms of performance achieving employment outcomes with transition youth. These offices participated in a research process to identify and document promising and emerging transition practices throughout Michigan. The initial findings have been disseminated to MRS staff as well as education partners.

The MT-21 project is now in Phase Two which is the implementation phase. The goal of this phase is to build a systemic, working base of knowledge that will be utilized to create job aids, influence policy, and identify programs or initiatives to promote increased employment outcomes. To accomplish this MRS and MSU Project Excellence will be creating a promising practice checklist for all district offices to do a self-assessment. Districts will indicate if they employ the promising practice and, if not, why. District offices will be encouraged to implement the practices that have been identified. Once practices are implemented, MSU will be tracking transition outcomes to see if the practices prove to improve transition youth employment outcomes.

Definition of Transition Youth and Young Adults

In 2011, MRS staff worked with Michigan State University Project Excellence at Michigan State University (PE-MSU) to implement new definitions for Transition Youth and Young Adult customers. This was determined necessary as a result of extensive data analysis and other findings carried out during the project’s initial discovery phase.

The transition youth definition honors the intent of the Rehabilitation Act, which emphasizes transitioning from school to adult life. At the same time, it recognizes that transition youth and young adults are similar but also have different service needs. Young Adults still have developmental needs related to their age but they no longer view themselves as transition youth, nor are they associated with a K-12 education system.

The MRS definition of Transition Youth (TY) and Young Adult (TA) allows MRS to evaluate the data of both groups to improve the quality and effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation services and ultimately increase employment outcomes for both groups.

The definition given to us by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), does not allow MRS to evaluate the performance of services and outcomes for individuals that are referred to us by secondary education systems. This group of youth is different in that they are connected to both secondary education (under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and vocational rehabilitation (under the Rehabilitation Act). Having access to both systems creates unique opportunities and challenges. In order to maximize the effectiveness of services to this population, it is advantageous to view results separate from other youth.

In addition, YA are in a different environment than TY that also creates unique opportunities and challenges. This group does not have the advantage of the supports of secondary education and have different motivation for connecting with MRS. Therefore, it is helpful for MRS to view the effectiveness of service delivery and outcomes separately from TY.

The definition of Transition Youth and Young Adult is as follows: Transition Youth (Enrolled in K-12 Education System) Individual with a disability: - Age 14-26 at application and - Enrolled in the K-12 education system including traditional public schools, intermediate school districts, private schools, charter schools (public school academies), alternative schools, schools for individuals with disabilities such as the Michigan School for the Deaf, 504 students, home-schooled students and students in education programs in correctional facilities. Note: Transition Youth may also be referred to as a “transition student.” Young Adult (NOT Enrolled in K-12 Education System) Individual with a disability: - Age 14-26 at application and - Not enrolled in the K-12 education system including traditional public schools, intermediate school districts, private schools, charter schools (public school academies), alternative schools, schools for individuals with disabilities such as the Michigan School for the Deaf, 504 students, home-schooled students and students in education programs in correctional facilities.

Staff Development

With assistance from the Michigan Transition for the 21st Century Project (MT-21) that is connected with PE-MSU Michigan State University Project Excellence, MRS has learned that in terms of employment outcomes we are most effective with Adults, than YAs and least effective with TY. As a result of this finding, MRS has conducted annual Transition Training for Transition Counselors for the past five years. We have seen a gradual increase in our adjusted rehabilitation rate and employment outcomes for TY during that time.

Next year we are implementing joint training with MDE/OSE and MRS. This training will allow local transition teams to learn and plan together, creating a strategic plan for their local community to work toward improving employment outcomes. MRS is also in the process of implementing emerging and promising practices for TY that have been identified by MT-21.

Continuous Research on Evidence Based Practices

MRS and Project Excellence (PE) at Michigan State University (PE-MSU) are implementing a research project called, Michigan Transition for the 21st Century Project (MT-21). Phase One of the project (Discovery) was completed in 2013. During this phase, transition data was collected and analyzed from five best performing district offices with transition youth customers. MT-21 ranked MRS district offices in terms of performance achieving employment outcomes with transition youth. MRS staff and their educational partners (e.g., transition coordinators, special education teacher) from these offices participated in a research process to identify and document promising and emerging transition practices throughout Michigan. The initial findings have been disseminated to MRS staff as well as educational partners.

The MT-21 project is now in Phase Two which is the implementation phase. The goal of this phase is to build a systemic, working base of knowledge that will be utilized to create job aids, influence policy, and identify programs or initiatives to promote increased employment outcomes. Among other promising practices reported in the Phase One study, the MT-21 team selected “Work-Based Learning programs” as the most effective practice that would lead to successful employment outcomes. The emphasis on pre-employment services for transition youth of the most recently amended Rehab Act (i.e., WIOA) was also used in supporting our decision.

MRS and PE-MSU will be creating a promising practice checklist, focusing on Work-Based Learning (WBL), for all district offices based on their local interagency agreement to do a self-assessment. Districts will indicate if they employ the promising practice and, if not, why. For those who have not implemented but would like to implement it, MRS and MSU plan to create protocols or handbook designed to be used to develop a new WBL program in their local community in FY 2015. To accomplish this, a case study will be conducted with a couple of successfully prevailing programs (i.e., MRS-DNR and MTSA projects).

In the end of the Phase Two, district offices will be encouraged to use the protocol/handbook when they want to develop WBL programs. Detailed implementation plans will be developed after the second phase. However, PE-MSU will be tracking transition outcomes to see if the practices prove to improve transition youth employment outcomes, comparing with control groups.

In addition, MRS and PE-MSU plan to conduct additional study during FY 2015. The case study conducted during the discovery phase also reported disconnection of vocational goals specified in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). A study will be conducted to investigate whether transition youth’s goals between IEP and IPE are aligned.

Presently and for the remainder of this year, the MT-21 project is in the data collection phase. The next phase will be disseminating findings to MRS staff as well as education partners and to make changes to systemically reinforce effective practices.

MRS develops the student’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) at the earliest possible time during the transition planning process that MRS services are appropriate. Through early involvement and coordination of student transition activities with education, MRS is able to develop student Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs) prior to the students exit from secondary education. MRS made significant gains from the last Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) monitoring cycle to the present time regarding compliance in developing IPEs with eligible Transition Youth prior to their exit from secondary education. MRS has also implemented a new tool in the Accessible Web-based Activity and Reporting Environment (AWARE) case management system to better measure whether or not counselors are developing IPEs prior to exit from secondary education. Because of this new tool, MRS will be able to follow the progress of fulfilling the RSA mandate to develop plans prior to exit.

A) Consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including vocational rehabilitation (VR) services.

The Department of Education is engaging in a continuous improvement process designed to obtain input from stakeholders in the targeted area of transition and has sought participation and input from MRS. In turn, MRS has assigned staff to provide technical assistance and consultation at the state level on two groups: the Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI TOP) and the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).

MI TOP is led by a diverse group of transition professionals comprised of state and local leadership from education, families and community agencies. MI TOP develops and supports the implementation of policy and practice that improves the quality and effectiveness of Transition services across the state for students with disabilities. Priority activities include implementing research-based transition practices; improving outcomes data collection for the state performance plan indicators and planning for improvement; monitoring state data on graduation rates, dropout rates and post-school outcomes; and addressing the impact of the new Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) and the Personal Curriculum option on students with disabilities.

The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is a mandated advisory council that consists of 25 governor appointed delegates representing 25 organizations and 8 at-large appointments. A MRS representative participates in this group as an ex-officio member providing regular updates regarding the bureau.

B) Transition planning by personnel of the designated state agency and educational agency that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs.

School personnel work closely with MRS counselors to ensure the development and completion of IEPs. Transition planning occurs between the student/family/guardian, education staff and MRS staff that enhances the development of IEPs. MRS staff do not complete the IEP. The IEP Team, which includes education staff, completes the IEP. The MDE/OSE and MRS Interagency Agreement as well as local interagency agreements encourage the participation of MRS staff in the IEP process. School staff are required by IDEA 2004 to invite rehabilitation counselors to participate in IEP meetings if they anticipate that MRS is likely to provide or pay for vocational rehabilitation services for a student to obtain or maintain employment. Schools are required to obtain parental consent or consent from the student if they are 18 or older and their own guardian (as applicable), to allow an agency representative to attend the student’s IEP team meeting. This legislation has led to improved MRS attendance at IEPs.

C) Roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services.

Training and technical assistance regarding the role, function and requirements of the vocational rehabilitation program in coordinating transition services with schools is an ongoing process. The MDE/OSE and MRS Interagency Agreement clarifies the roles and responsibilities of each party including: convening parties annually to assess, review, address and facilitate progress and resolution of concerns relating to the terms of the Interagency Agreement; assigning staff to be responsible for implementing the Interagency Agreement; establishing structures and mechanisms for communication, coordination and collaboration between statewide, regional, and local participating agencies; advocating for the rights and interests of students with disabilities in all education, human service, and workforce reform initiatives implemented at the state level including access into Career and Vocational Technical Education programs and Michigan Works! and outreach to any underserved populations; and supporting systems for collection and use of meaningful data that include demographics, service delivery patterns, and outcomes resulting from the provision of services and support.

Meeting the individual needs of youth dually eligible for special education services and MRS services requires resource sharing and coordination. This will drive alignment of local policies, programs, and practices which support a seamless transition system. MDE/OSE and MRS agree that quality student-centered planning requires shared responsibility and coordination of resources. When MRS resource sharing options are utilized, they are not to be used to replace services that are the responsibility of MDE/OSE as directed by the IDEA. Personnel and financial resources are shared among MRS and LEAs to address the transition employment needs of youth with disabilities under three defined options:

Transfer of Funds (Cash Match) Agreements - Established using non-federal local dollars as contribution for the purpose of capturing additional federal vocational rehabilitation funds to expand and enhance vocational rehabilitation services to students with disabilities. These agreements must include assurances required by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services and the Rehabilitation Services Administration;

Third Party Cooperative Staffing Arrangements (Certified Expenditures) -Agreements which entail the use of cooperating agency staff provided by the partner as a contribution to MRS. The partner documents that specific expenditures have been incurred, such as wages for cooperating agency staff or supplies and MRS uses that value for match. The vocational rehabilitation services provided by this arrangement must not be the statutory obligation of the partner; and

Donations and Gifts - Contributions received by MRS from private individuals or organizations. These funds are used by MRS for cost sharing or matching. Donations and gifts cannot use in-kind contributions as an allowable source of matching funds and carry certain stipulations regarding conditions for use.

Agreements between LEAs and local MRS districts may specify target students, goals and objectives, specific vocational rehabilitation services to be provided and data sharing activities. Significant gains were made last year in to improve the quality, consistency and clarity of these agreements and to better articulate the return on investment to educational partners. This continues to be a priority and an ongoing effort. The ISD/LEA provides services as required under IDEA and MRS provides services to eligible student as required for the student to participate in the rehabilitation process and services specified in their IPE.

MRS and the educational agency will continue to provide statewide training to promote the legal mandates for transition services. This training will include key stakeholders both as trainers and as learners and will also be conducted at independent statewide conferences and at MRS sponsored workshops designed to meet the training needs of MRS rehabilitation counselors.

Partnerships at the state level between MDE/OSE and MRS are critical. In addition to the Interagency Agreement, MDE/OSE provides grant funding to Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) to support transition activities, and it is anticipated that this funding will continue. MI TOP is funded through MDE/OSE and works with community partners, including MRS, to build capacity at the community level. Data is collected as required by the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and is part of the State Performance Plan (SPP) and the Annual Performance Report (APR) that is reported back to OSEP. Results are compiled and used to improve transition provisions in Michigan.

Both LEAs and MRS will continue to establish strong relationships with employers to support the employment of individuals with disabilities. The Career Preparation system links not only schools, MRS and workforce investment agencies, but also routinely includes employers in the planning and implementation of the Career Preparation system.

MRS continues to create partnerships, resources and capacity to support the provision of vocational rehabilitation services in postsecondary training when appropriate for students. MRS and the Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA) have entered into a collaborative arrangement where MTSA has donated funds to MRS allowing MRS to capture federal funds resulting in a fund source for work-based learning programs. Last year two programs were funded in Hillsdale and Kent counties. This year Oakland, Roscommon and Washtenaw all have work-based learning programs as a result of this collaboration.

An innovative model to support joint customers of MRS and Michigan State University (MSU) is being developed to increase postsecondary employment outcomes for students with disabilities. The Interagency Cash Transfer Agreement for this program has been finalized. The Position Description for the counselor position has been developed and will soon be posted so the program can be implemented this year.

Adjudicated youth has been identified as an underserved population for MRS and discussions have been occurring with representatives from DHS adjudicated youth programs. A promising model has been created to strengthen the service delivery system for this population to increase employment outcomes and decrease recidivism. Pilot projects will be funded utilizing an Interagency Cash Transfer Agreement. The project is waiting final approval by the MRS Executive Team.

D) Procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

While special education and 504 students are still connected to secondary education they are given information about MRS through a variety of ways such as, informational meetings, one-on-one meetings and the IEP process. MRS coordinates with school personnel to identify students that meet the MRS eligibility criteria. After students are determined eligible, MRS works with the student and the family/guardian as appropriate; and education to move the student through the rehabilitation process and into employment.

All MRS district business plans include a description of identification and outreach strategies, community development plans, and capacity building. MRS monitors and assures that district office plans address outreach to students with disabilities, young adults and underserved populations such as minorities and at risk populations. Data and management reports are provided to support the development of business plans that result in improved outcomes for all youth, with emphasis on improved outcomes for minority and at risk youth.

MRS routinely participates in outreach activities through the creation and dissemination of marketing brochures and booklets, regular informational presentations, exhibits and poster sessions, and presence at education and other related conferences.

MRS has developed a quarterly newsletter entitled, The Transition Bulletin, which has a distribution list of over 1,500 readers, including MRS and community stakeholders. The Transition Bulletin provides a wide array of information on transition-related trends, practices, and resources.

MRS also entered into an informal agreement with Adult Education to provide guidance and technical assistance to educators working with adults with disabilities who are in the adult education system on how they can access vocational rehabilitation services.

This screen was last updated on Sep 5 2014 1:53PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

In establishing cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational services providers, the State Unit, consistent with 34 CFR 361.31, 361.32 and 361.51 requires accessibility of facilities, personnel standards, and the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) continues to establish relationships with private non-profit and for profit entities that are community rehabilitation providers, medical services providers, and providers of other services and supports that are required by MRS customers to achieve the goals in their Individualized Plans for Employment. MRS district staff develops relationships in the community to meet the needs of their customers and to provide choice of providers to their customers. Any cooperative agreements MRS establishes with private nonprofit vocational rehabilitation service providers will take into consideration the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA).

Services provided by the community rehabilitation providers include medical and psychological assessments and services, job development and employer services, job coaching and facilitation, accommodations and ergonomics, independent living services to support employment goals, follow up services, and other services especially for individuals with significant disabilities. The agreements vary from information and referral relationships to fee-for-service relationships.

MRS follows State of Michigan contractual processes when establishing cooperative agreements. Usual, customary and reasonable rates of payment are applied.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:43AM by Geraldine Moore

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.

In 2009 the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP), the Michigan Department of Community Heath (MDCH) and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) entered into a state level interagency agreement for the purpose of endorsing and promoting competitive integrated employment of people with disabilities, served jointly by vocational rehabilitation (BSBP or MRS) and MDCH. This agreement was updated in 2013, but is in a DRAFT form and has not been implemented. The main difference from the old agreement to the new DRAFT agreement was to state the common guiding principles and goals and objectives that include: managing referrals for employment services, improving interagency collaboration at the state and local level, improving employment outcomes and sharing (at minimum annually) aggregate data regarding individuals served by MDCH and BSBP or MRS.

In 2010 BSBP/MDCH/MRS entered into a Data Sharing Agreement to measure progress of the goals and objectives of the BSBP/MDCH/MRS Interagency Agreement by sharing data. Obtaining current and accurate data has been a challenge. BSBP, MDCH and MRS continue to work on methods to collect reliable employment outcome data.

To implement the BSBP/MDCH/MRS Interagency Agreement a Joint Operation Team (JOT) meets monthly. The JOT is in the process of summarizing accomplishments since the implementation of the agreement and making recommendations for the future. In addition, the JOT has created a Supported Employment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that will be distributed to field staff.

In 1998, the MDCH and MRS jointly issued a set of guidelines for the provision of supported employment services. In brief, the agreement stipulates that MRS is responsible for time limited supported employment services, and community mental health providers are responsible for extended supported employment services. The policies and collaboration were reconfirmed in FY 2000 to staff and providers. Guidelines were jointly developed and distributed to assist communities in the development and expansion of supported employment services.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) has maintained a long-standing relationship with the MDCH for the provision of extended follow-along services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The relationship includes persons with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities and is operationalized at local levels through the implementation of specific local partnership agreements between Community Mental Health Service Providers (CMHSPs), Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and may also include community rehabilitation organizations and local school districts. These agreements often include funds from CMHSP to MRS which allow MRS to capture federal funds which are used to provide supported employment services to the specific population served by the CMHSP. These agreements include goals and objectives, roles and responsibilities often including expectations about extended services.

With the move by the DCH to managed care contracts with local community mental health boards, there has been substantial change in the funding structure and eligibility criteria for mental health consumers. Agreements between local Community Mental Health and MRS district offices have had to adapt which have had the effect of shifting some of the costs for supported employment from local mental health entities to MRS. MRS continues to address these changes by engaging local mental health entities in dialogue, in order to stop a decline in supported employment extended support services for customers with most significant disabilities.

The Michigan Department of Community Health Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, of which MRS was a “signatory”, ended last year. As a result of the efforts of the grant, a Leadership Council with representatives from Department of Community Health, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education, Department of Human Services, and the Disability Network continue to meet quarterly to increase the number of people with disabilities who are working in Michigan; improving competitive employment for persons with disabilities; and addressing systemic barriers to employment for persons with disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 10:00AM by Geraldine Moore

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Replacement of vacancies have been prioritized through the use of a resource allocation model, which calculates the number of work aged individuals with disabilities estimated to be in a given area and assigns staff accordingly. Consideration is then given to Bureau need. The Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Executive Team regularly reviews caseload size and other triggers to target filling open counselor positions. MRS prioritizes filling counseling positions over other vacancies, whenever possible.

The following table illustrates the number of anticipated vacancies for the period of FY 2013 through 2018. MRS has had 18 staff departures since 10/01/ 2013, including 7 rehabilitation counselors. This includes retirements, transfers, resignations, medical layoffs and reduction in force.

The last rehabilitation counselor was hired on April 14, 2014. MRS is in process of immediately hiring 18 counselors. MRS plans on filling another 11 counselor positions in FY 2014-2015. It is difficult to predict the turnover rate because of a variety of factors such as retirement incentives, hiring and the economy. The ratio of counselors to customers is 1: 90 (this number was achieved by dividing the number of open cases [21,235] in 2013 by the total number of counselors [235]). The staff ratio of 1 counselor to 90 customers is anticipated in FY 2014-2015.

*Rehabilitation Coordinators are bachelor-level counselors who are targeted in the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) plan to attain their master’s degrees. If MRS combines the counselors, coordinators and site managers, then MRS has 259 potential case carrying staff.

Current/Projected Vacancies FY 2013-14 Table

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Rehabilitation Coordinators* 1 0 0
2 Rehabilitation Counselors (masters degree) 265 18 100
3 Rehab Educators (voc. tech center instructors) 29 0 8
4 Site mgrs—may carry a caseload (masters deg.) 24 0 15
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

MRS is committed to employing staff with CSPD qualifications. When MRS recognized that the current pool of candidates from Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) rehabilitation counseling programs was insufficient to meet the need for new counselors, the following were established:

• An excellent relationship with CORE rehabilitation programs and general counseling programs to offer internship placements to their students where feasible. • A statewide recruitment program for outreach to students in both general counseling and rehabilitation counseling programs. Recruitment materials include a DVD, information packet and talking points for presenters. • A process to hire candidates with alternative human services degrees (such as Social Work or Special Education) who are lacking one or two classes needed for the rehabilitation counselor designation and to assist in payment for classes to fulfill these qualifications. • An extensive training program for new counselors to develop and maintain the highest standards. Topics include: MRS policy, casework practices, specific disabilities, job development and motivational interviewing.

The following table documents the current enrollment at the three CORE accredited rehabilitation counseling programs in Michigan in FY 2012-2013, the most current information available.

Table Two: Enrollment from CORE Accredited Rehabilitation Counseling Programs

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Western Michigan University 20 0 6 6
2 Michigan State University 28 0 4 10
3 Wayne State University 89 0 0 23
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

MRS, in collaboration with Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), values, embraces and cultivates a culture of diversity and inclusion, including personnel from minority backgrounds and persons who are individuals with disabilities. MRS recruitment and marketing materials honor these values.

The following recruitment and retention activities are ongoing: Assess and monitor the enrollment at the higher education institutions within the State with an emphasis on the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) funded master’s programs.

Facilitate the visibility of the State Unit at the institutions of higher education by: • Convening regular meetings with the CORE universities’ faculty members for joint planning and recruitment. • Allowing MRS personnel to serve on university curriculum committees and as adjunct faculty and guest lecturers. • Continuing to be the most utilized placement and intern sites by the institutions of higher education; all employment opportunities with MRS are posted on the Internet.

The recruitment team maintains consistent and statewide recruitment activities by:

• Continuing to use an integrated recruitment packet including PowerPoint presentation and a facilitator’s guide. Specially trained field office personnel present these materials to potential candidates in a variety of educational programs and partner organizations. The recruitment packet describes employment opportunities and benefits of working for MRS and of residing in Michigan. • Continuing to encourage MRS counselors to explore employment in rehabilitation counseling with customers. • Distributing recruitment brochures to attendees at the Michigan Rehabilitation Counseling Educator’s Association (MRCEA), re:con, the Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns Division of the National Rehabilitation Association, and other appropriate events.

Focus continues on retention and engagement of qualified staff through various activities including:

• Encourage staff involvement in professional and disability advocacy associations and their respective conferences to foster networking, professionalism, and leadership development. • Utilizing a statewide employee engagement survey to assess the overall culture of the work environment at MRS, the State of Michigan 2013 Employee Survey is an important part of the Governor’s reinvention of state government. The survey helps ensure a customer-focused government and a work culture in which employees are highly engaged, respected, and valued; and have the opportunity to express and explore views on issues related to their jobs. • The Director’s efforts to further cultivate professional alignment of the Bureau around the Vision and Values. • Investing in staff growth and development by providing training opportunities through various teaching modalities. • Engaging all counseling staff and managers in extensive Motivational Interviewing training, which has been shown to improve staff satisfaction as well as customer outcomes in other state vocational rehabilitation programs. MRS is currently receiving a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Quality Award for Motivational Interviewing and job placement. • Offering structured management and leadership development activities to all staff as part of succession planning. • MRS has implemented a work group called the Idea Stream Team, which encourages all staff to submit ideas to improve processes and procedures to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services.

LEADERSHIP AND CAPACITY BUILDING

MRS continues leadership and capacity building through the following major endeavors: • The MRS annual School for Leadership (SFL) has engaged 20 diverse MRS staff members from all levels of the organization, in a broad range of leadership development activities over a 12 month period. • A series of training programs are offered for newly promoted managers. • MRS staff can attend statewide conferences related to the rehabilitation profession. Subject experts present sessions on a variety of rehabilitation topics which develops staff skills. Staff have the opportunity to facilitate and provide content for sessions. Conferences offered include the re:con, MARO Employment and Training Spring Management Conference, Michigan Transition Conference, Michigan Conference of Rehabilitation Educators, the Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns Division of the National Rehabilitation Association, and other appropriate events.

SUCCESSION PLANNING (Strategic Workforce Development)

The purpose of succession planning efforts by MRS is to preserve the integrity and sustain the viability of public vocational rehabilitation, which results in quality customer services and outcomes. Succession planning is integrated into all staff development, CSPD and retention strategies. MRS is: • Expanding current succession planning strategies and building a comprehensive approach that ranges from onboarding new staff to assisting experienced staff with developing skills to assume greater responsibility. • Utilizing the counselor training academy. • Implementing a peer-to-peer mentoring program. • Minimizing program disruptions due to staff departures and reassignments through cross training. • Continuing fair and equitable practices in selection. • Promoting diversity in staff, ideas and approaches. • Encouraging personal responsibility of all staff to access and participate in developmental opportunities. • Collecting and analyzing data regarding potential retirements, key positions and skills. • Using cross-functional bureau teamwork to offer expanded opportunities. • Properly employing back-ups when managers are away from the office. • Recruiting statewide work team members to involve more diverse participation from MRS. • Committing to provide individualized coaching and job shadowing to staff interested in preparing for future promotional opportunities. • The centralization of MRS staff to the Designated State Agency (DSA) has created unique challenges for succession planning. MRS will be working with the DSA to develop new models of collaborative planning.

 

Civil Service, through MRS, has established the following standards for a qualified rehabilitation counselor or vocational technical teacher:

• A qualified rehabilitation counselor is defined as a counselor with a minimum of a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, counseling, or a counseling related field such as psychology, social work, or special education. Newly employed counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling related field who do not have documented graduate level coursework with a primary focus in theories and techniques of counseling must complete such coursework/training during their 12 month probationary period. The above courses must be provided by an accredited University (through on-line or classroom training). The cost is covered by MRS. MRS standards remain consistent with national standards for rehabilitation counselors and have been approved by RSA and Michigan Civil Service. MRS continues to monitor licensure and certification trends in other state VR agencies.

To assure that qualified staff are hired or current staff attain required qualifications, MRS has taken the following steps for staff who need additional coursework:

1) Implemented a comprehensive system for tracking and funding the required course, Theories and Techniques of Counseling. 2) Provided funding for existing staff seeking to take needed coursework to attain the level of qualified counselor. Although the RSA long-term training grant is no longer available, in-service training dollars continue to support staff to meet CSPD standards. 3) Provide information to managers when hiring staff who need coursework about Bureau responsibilities related to it. 4) Newly employed counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling related field who do not have documented graduate-level coursework with a primary focus in theories and techniques of counseling must complete such coursework/training during their 12-month probationary period through an accredited University (on-line or classroom training) to remain employed.

MRS counselors currently meet all CSPD standards.

• A vocational technical teacher or instructor employed by MRS at Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) must demonstrate they are qualified in their respective field by having the appropriate educational degree or work experience, teaching methodology course work or seminar as required by Civil Service and the state technical school’s accrediting agencies. Also, such teachers must attend, at least every five years, an in-service training program on disability sensitivity, informed choice and acquisition of needed reasonable accommodations or modifications.

 

MRS staff development unit consultants are rehabilitation professionals qualified to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate Title I training activities which meet the needs of the MRS workforce, CSPD standards, and Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) standards.

MRS receives federal long-term training grant funds which are supplemented with the Title I budget.

• Analyze needs of professional and paraprofessional staff, particularly with respect to core competencies through a comprehensive Bureau training needs assessment. • Develop materials that appeal to a variety of learning styles and accommodation needs. • Implement training. • Evaluate the impact of training on the knowledge, skills and performance gaps using Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation (these levels are: reaction, learning, behavior and results). MRS provides integrated learning systems to disseminate significant knowledge from research and other sources. This is accomplished through classroom learning, distance education, teleconferencing, printed materials and video conferencing. MRS may experiment with other modalities, such as offering just-in-time training. Learning resources include the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues, information from the National Clearing House and TACE. Corresponding to corrective action plans (CAPs), reviews and audits by various entities, MRS is responsive to policy changes and the training associated with them. MRS Staff Development Unit is engaging in rapid response activities to more quickly and effectively address findings.

In the Federal In-Service Grant, ‘Core Functions’ were determined for specific classifications within MRS. Training topics relate to core functions and reflect MRS’ further commitment to ensure all personnel receive appropriate and adequate training.

Program Enhancement

MRS is engaged in a system change project which is expected to improve rehabilitation outcomes, as well as staff satisfaction and retention. The two-pronged approach focuses on customer motivation and job development. The project is largely funded by an RSA Quality Award and supplemented with Title I and TACE 5 support.

Job placement training has been completed at MRS, and internal trainers are in place in the districts. Managers are required to report on implementation progress as part of their district operational plans.

MRS staff have been trained in Motivational Interviewing (MI). ‘Refresher’ courses and skill building were offered and provided to MRS field-staff counselors and managers. As of FY 2014, 175 staff have attended MI training. This year, MRS has added training for MI coding; this will add to the overall sustainability of MI and will add objective data to evaluate the effective usage of MI. It is expected that all staff will participate in MI training. MRS will have MI proficiencies by the end of the 2015 contract.

Additional training activities are funded through the RSA in-service training grant supplemented by Title I dollars. Staff is also encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities offered by their respective professional organizations and with their community partners.

MRS is consistently researching the latest updates on disabilities, best practices and treatment options. This research is distributed to staff through internal and external training, webinars, E-Learn and rehabilitation articles and journals. Disability-related training includes general medical aspects and implications concerning functional capacity and/or ergonomics and assistive technology. Training modules placed into MRS E-Learn routinely utilize the findings gained from research and other credible sources.

 

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) hires qualified counselors who are bi-lingual in American Sign Language, Spanish or Arabic if the local community has a large population of ethnic groups who require them in order to receive services. Each office has also posted MRS information in English, Spanish, or Arabic, clarifying which bilingual counselors and program materials are available in customer’s native language. Materials are available in Braille and other accessible forms, as requested by customers. Qualified sign language interpreters are contracted on an as needed basis.

 

MRS has a long standing partnership with the Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education (MDE/OSE) including a formalized interagency agreement between the MDE/OSE and MRS. This interagency agreement was recently revised, updated and signed on March 1, 2011, and is reviewed each year.

MRS has operationalized transition services to youth and has continued to work on improving the quality of those services. To support this, the MRS Consultant assigned to Transition from the Program Innovation Unit and the Staff Development Unit partner to develop and deliver training to MRS counselors. Some of this training is done in collaboration with the Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI-TOP) and the Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA).

The MT-21 project [see Attachment 4.8(b)(2)] has provided MRS with information about best and emerging transition practices that are being utilized by MRS to identify training needs related to strengthening the provision of transition services to youth. It is also being used to identify areas of focus for joint training opportunities for staff from MRS, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP), educators, and other youth services providers.

Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA)

The final 2014 CSNA will be released by the end of May, 2014. MRS is continuing with trainings established under the previous CSNA. The Staff Development Unit plans to amend training, if warranted, when the 2014 CSNA is finalized. Preliminary review of the CSNA suggests the training needs have not changed.

These are the following trainings that are being conducted as a result of the CSNA:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Because of the gradual increase in MRS customers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), MRS has provided specific training on providing vocational rehabilitation services to this population. MRS is continuing to research information and training for MRS counselors to increase employment success of this population by: identifying best and emerging practices leading to successful employment outcomes for individuals with ASD; possible collaborative partners such as the Statewide Autism Resource and Training (StART) project, MI-TOP and the Department of Community Health (MDCH); and emerging evidence-based models.

As a result of relationship building with StART and the outcome of three pilot sites last year, some MRS staff have been invited to participate in training conducted by StART (and therefore free to MRS) as a part of a community team that is designed to improve employment opportunities for transition youth with ASD.

Underserved Racial and Ethnic Populations

Through our on-line learning system, E-Learn, MRS offers a wide range of options designed to increase staff’s awareness of cultural differences in an effort to help counselors become more effective in working with individuals from various backgrounds. Content is relevant to various cultural groups including, African Americans, American Indians, Asians, Hispanic/Latinos and Middle Eastern cultures.

MRS is developing a comprehensive approach to diversity training based on the CSNA. This is consistent with the MRS multicultural values. The purpose of this training is to enhance counselors’ skills and knowledge to work effectively and ethically with diverse populations. Strategies will include development of an internal design team, collaboration with the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) and possibly hiring an external consultant.

Older Workers

The following training programs are available to all MRS staff: “How to Work Effectively with Older Workers,” “Aging with Disability,” “Accommodations for An Aging Workforce,” “The New Definition of ‘Older’ Worker” and the “New Dilemmas in the Workplace for the Older Worker.” Staff worked jointly with Michigan Civil Service to host trainings to increase awareness of the dynamics of multi-generational work environments and continues to make available to staff. Assistive Technology

Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Region 5 has provided the TECH POINTS course developed by Pathfinder Associates. MRS is currently reviewing the course, which looks at assistive technology over the course of the vocational rehabilitation process.

MRS’ Assistive Technology (AT) Consultant is developing an AT consideration framework to be adopted as a standardized approach for use throughout the vocational rehabilitation process. This undertaking is in partnership with Michigan Integrated Technology Supports (MITS) and Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC). Key framework components for MRS will include:

• Consideration Model: Adopt a valid model for AT Consideration. • Electronic AT Consideration Tool: Develop and implement an electronic AT Consideration tool for use by vocational rehabilitation counselors and aligned with aforementioned model. • Training: Deliver training to promote and teach the AT Consideration Framework to MRS staff.

MRS’ Business Network Unit (BNU) provides technical guidance, training and evaluations to MRS customers, field staff and employers on AT and accommodations. The BNU continues to explore how technology can be used most effectively to enhance employee skills. BNU staff models technology options for all customers and stakeholders (i.e., Dragon Naturally Speaking, Tablets, etc.).

Assessment and Training Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

MRS works with the Business Network Unit and the Innovation Unit to increase counselor understanding of non-traditional means to acquire job-related skills in addition to college training. Counselors will understand the role of apprenticeships, on-the-job evaluations and on-the-job training opportunities to assist customers in achieving competitive employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:33AM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), in collaboration with the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) and Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), contracted with the Michigan State University (MSU) Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, to perform the 2014 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, which is performed every 3 years. The final 2014 CSNA will be released by the end of May, 2014.

MRS is addressing the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities, which were identified in the preliminary 2014 CSNA as follows:

1. Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities Residing Within the State

A. Individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services:

In 2012 98% of MRS customers determined to be eligible for services were consistently those significantly or most significantly disabled; 71% were most significantly disabled. The majority of the individuals with most significant disabilities were referred by secondary schools or physicians/medical personnel and were provided services through Community Mental Health and Community Rehabilitation Organizations (CROs).

In FY 2012, 815 customers specified an employment outcome/vocational goal in a supported employment setting in their IPE. The majority of these customers had either mental illness (39%) or intellectual disabilities (33%) as the primary disability reported. An additional 7% of these customers were reported as having autism as their primary disability. Forty four percent of the customers who received supported employment services exited MRS with an employment outcome. In relation to the primary disabilities of customers with a supported employment goal, 53% of the customers with autism, 45% of the customers with mental illness, 43% of the customers with learning disabilities, and 43% of the customers with intellectual disabilities achieved an employment outcome.

B. Individuals with disabilities who are minorities

Minority groups include: 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 the southeastern part of the state. African American residents apply for MRS services at higher rates than their proportion in the population, but are statistically less likely to be determined eligible for services. White and Asian customers are statistically more likely to close with an employment outcome while Native Americans were least likely to have a successful outcome.

In FY 2012, Michigan served 8,634 minorities who exited the VR program. The federal requirement for service rate of all individuals with disabilities is .80. Therefore, the 2012 minority service rate exceeds the .80 federal requirement.

Needs addressed include more qualified interpreters or bilingual counselors for Hispanics and extended services for refugees. More outreach efforts and appropriate services were recommended for Native Americans, especially those who live on reservations. Although not an underserved population, African Americans demonstrated lower eligibility for services than other minority groups.

C. Individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program.

In 2014, the CSNA did not identify any unserved populations. No group, based on disability, was unserved in Michigan. However, the CSNA did identify numerous underserved populations.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

The 2014 CSNA identified youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as the primary emerging population reported as either currently, or to be, an underserved population. The number of customers with ASD as their primary disability applying for MRS services has been steadily increasing (416 in 2011; 518 in 2012; 553 in 2013). The special education data also support the fact that this population is constantly growing in all age categories (ages 6 to 21 years: 12,924 in 2009; 13,636 in 2010; 14,135 in 2011). Especially noteworthy is the fact that over 10% of those ages 18-21 years were diagnosed with autism in 2011, which indicates that adult agencies should be prepared for helping those students to achieve employment outcomes with seamless transition services through ongoing collaboration between schools and MRS.

Concern was expressed at all levels about the job readiness preparation this group will have as they exit school, the preparedness of the adult vocational rehabilitation agency staff to provide services, and the availability of supported employment services for this population. In addition, despite an increase in numbers, no data provided information about level of severity and its association with outcomes. As the diagnosis (i.e., spectrum) indicates, there are variations in terms of functional limitations and severity of symptoms. It is crucial to ensure that all VR counselors have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide appropriate and effective vocational rehabilitation and independent living services for transition youth and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Mental Illness

Michigan adult residents with mental illness who need mental health services and supported employment services were the number one population identified as underserved. Although the proportion of Michigan residents with mental illness served by MRS has remained relatively stable over the last three years, the availability of CMH services has continued to diminish in the state over the last five years. CMH does not have the resources necessary to provide mental health services and/or supported employment services to individuals with severe diagnoses, unless the person presents as a risk to self or others.

Of 22,708 customers who exited MRS in FY 2012, 7,397 (32.6%) reported having mental illness as their primary or secondary disability. Compared to MRS customers with other types of disabilities, a higher proportion of customers with mental illness were Black or African American. Most of the customers (90%) with mental illness disability were not working at application, and over half of the customers (53%) had a high school diploma level of education.

Compared to other disability groups, a higher proportion of customers with mental illnesses reported being unemployed at application and having high school diploma or equivalency. As observed earlier, the eligibility rate (83.5%), plan rate (69.7%) and the adjusted rehab rate (38.8%) of this disability group was low, compared to others (85.6%, 80.1%, and 57.2%, respectively).

Transition Youth

Based on Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) impacts on graduation rates, dropout rates, and the employability of students with disabilities, Transition Youth with severe disabilities are another underserved population The Michigan school district report indicates that 2011-2012 graduation rates were 76.2% for students without disabilities and 53.5% for students with disabilities, while dropout rates were 10.7% and 15.2% respectively.

MRS defines transition youth (TY) as students between the ages of 14 and 26 at application and enrolled in a secondary school. In 2012, 4,598 TY customers exited MRS, representing approximately 20% of all MRS customers. However, a low proportion (27%) of TY as compared to adult (37%) customers achieved employment outcomes. For reference, the adjusted employment rates for TY and adult customers were 38% and 58%, respectively. It is also noted that male TY customers were more likely than female TY customers to have a successful employment outcomes; adult customers showed the opposite trend.

A lack of social skills, the receipt of SSI benefits, and loss of respite and nursing services at age 21 were identified as barriers for youth with disabilities to obtain employment at an individual level. Also, the need for early involvement and better community outreach were raised. A key indicator addressed was interagency collaboration in terms of overcoming financial or other institutional barriers. Many key informants expressed a strong need for MRS presence in the schools, including transition meetings, IEP meetings, orientations, or one-on-one customer visits, which would facilitate a smoother transition process.

D. Other components of the workforce investment system:

The extant data (i.e., Workforce Investment Act (WIA) State Annual Report, Wagner-Peyser Act data) indicated that non-vocational rehabilitation WIA related programs (e.g., Michigan Works!) are providing services to a very limited number of people with disabilities in Michigan. This finding may indicate 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. The needs assessment analyzed outcomes for Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth with disabilities that exited WIA in Program Year (PY) 2010 to 2011. During PY 2011, 188 adults with disabilities of all exiters (245) entered new employment, resulting in an employment rate of 76.7%. Retention and Employment/Credential Rates were consistent with the Entered Employment Rate. The 2011 rate of earnings change in six months was $14,954 (=$2,766,553/185). A comparison of the 2011 WIA outcome rates by special population groups shows the outcome rates of individuals with disabilities and public assistance recipients were generally low. As part of the One-Stop services delivery system, Wagner-Peyser employment services focuses on providing a variety of employment-related labor exchange services including job search assistance, job referral, and placement assistance for job seekers, re-employment services to unemployment insurance claimants, and recruitment services to employers with job openings.

During PY 2011, 20,778 (3.9% out of a total of 527,279 job seekers) individuals with disabilities received employment services through funding under the Wagner-Peyser Act.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:39AM by Geraldine Moore

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

1) Michigan estimates 30,000 individuals will be eligible for services in FY 2015. This figure is calculated using the number of individuals that were served during the fiscal year and also had an Individualized Plan for Employment as reflected on the MRS RSA113 reports, Lines C1 and C2. Michigan is estimating that it will be able to serve 30,000 individuals in FY 2015 as outlined in Section 4.11(c)(3).

2) The estimated number of eligible individuals who will receive services in FY 2015 under Part B of Title I is 29,570 and Part B of Title VI is 430.

3) The estimated cost in FY 2015 to serve all eligible individuals is $39,420,000. MRS expects to have available $39,420,000 to serve approximately 30,000 eligible customers.

See Attachment 4.11(c)(3) for more details regarding Order of Selection.

Definitions for Table below:

Order of Selection for Services (OSS) Most Significantly Disabled (MSD) Significantly Disabled (SD) Not Significantly Disabled (NSD)

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
OSS Category 1 - Most Significantly Disabled Title I $25,386,425 19,370 $1,310
OSS Category 1 - Most Significantly Disabled Title VI $630,775 430 $1,466
OSS Category 2 - Significantly Disabled Title I $11,826,000 9000 $1,314
OSS Category 3 - Not Significantly Disabled Title I $1,576,800 1200 $1,314
Totals   $39,420,000 30,000 $1,314

This screen was last updated on Sep 5 2014 1:45PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

In 2013, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), in collaboration with Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) developed a 3-year strategic plan based on a multitude of data including the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA), customer satisfaction feedback, assorted state audits, environmental scanning with partners and advocacy groups, program evaluation studies, and other state and federal research.

Current MRS Strategic Plan Goals and Priorities

During most of FY 2013, MRS was in a state of transition. These changes culminated with the MRS Acting Director retiring in January, 2014 and the new MRS Director hired in February, 2014.

The new Director has made small modifications to the labels of the four Strategic Goals (see below). The goals continue to focus on providing a balanced review of both internal processes and external outcomes in order to improve strategic performance and results. The priorities remained the same.

MRS believes that the four goals are easier for staff to remember and are easier for staff to internalize and operationalize.

GOAL 1 – Strong Fortified Partnerships.

GOAL 2 – Motivated Enthusiastic Staff.

GOAL 3 – Excellent Customer Service.

GOAL 4 – High Producing Vocational Rehabilitation, Nationally.

PRIORITIES

In addition to these strategic plan activities, MRS will focus on the following additional priorities necessitated by emerging circumstances;

Priority 1: Continue to actively seek resources to capture full federal award, including: (1) educate and inform the Designated State Agency (DSA) and the Michigan legislature (2) efforts to increase match and private contributions consistent with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) criteria and guidance.

Priority 2: Effectively manage resources at State and Local levels.

Measure: Cost reduction strategies are approved and implemented.

Priority 3: Promote and maintain a culture of quality innovation that stimulates continuous program improvements.

Measure: At least 2 major quality projects will be undertaken using the new MRS quality methodology and quality tools resulting in improved efficiency and/or effectiveness as defined by the Aim of the projects.

At least 2 major innovation projects/pilot tests launched with evaluation design and related resources.

MRS resources and processes will align with these priorities.

Priority 4: MRS will continue to demonstrate program effectiveness and substantial compliance in the provision of its State Plan; Title I Evaluation Standards/Performance Indicators; and the Strategic Plan.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:40AM by Geraldine Moore

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

Justification for order of selection

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) established an order of selection in August of 2012, in anticipation of projected funding and staffing reductions. MRS experienced a reduction in our work force, increased program costs as well as the loss of a major interagency cash transfer agreement. MRS has a significant reliance on local match through interagency cash transfer agreements, third party cooperative agreements and private contributions.

The loss of the major cash transfer agreement along with the other budget and staffing impacts required MRS to prepare for closing categories and restricting services. This action was headed off with a one time infusion of state funds by the Designated State Agency. The increased funding allowed MRS to match the funds federally and delay the closing of priority categories. In fiscal year 2015, MRS once again anticipates reduced funding and reduced ability to fill all staff vacancies. This will impact the ability to serve all eligible customers and could necessitate the closure of priority categories. MRS must continue to seek interagency cash transfer agreements, third party arrangements and private contributions as appropriate to secure the full federal award. It is anticipated that MRS will continue to experience decreases in local match as well as increases in operational expenses. It will require close monitoring of program indicators to arrive at an appropriate decision concerning the closure of categories and the restriction of services.

A ratio of 1 counselor to 115 customers in any district could result in the implementation of a waiting list for services.

 

Description of Priority categories

Individuals are assigned to the highest priority category for which they are eligible at the time eligibility is decided. The Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) priority categories are as follows:

Category 1 -- Most Significantly Disabled (MSD):

A) Individuals with a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits three or more of the seven functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and

B) Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require three or more vocational rehabilitation services over at least six months.

Category 2 -- Significantly Disabled (SD):

A) Individuals with a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits two of the seven functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and

B) Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require three or more vocational rehabilitation services over at least six months.

An eligible SSDI or SSI recipient is automatically considered to be, at least, an individual with a significant disability. An SSDI or SSI recipient could be considered most significantly disabled, if MRS receives medical documentation that indicates the individual is eligible for Category 1.

Category 3 -- Not Significantly Disabled (NSD):

A) An individual with a physical or mental impairment that seriously limits one of the seven functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and

B) Whose vocational rehabilitation does not require multiple services over six months.

The codes to be used for priority categories are as follows:

1. Most Significantly Disabled 2. Significantly Disabled 3. Not Significantly Disabled

Written notification will be provided to all individuals who are placed on the waiting list for vocational rehabilitation services. The notification will include information about available resources and services the individual may contact for assistance with locating employment, including information about the nearest Michigan Works! office established per the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

The Order of Selection was established to ensure that individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected first for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services. Those with significant disabilities are selected second and not significantly disabled is the third priority.

The determination to establish the Order of Selection is based on a reduction in projected funding for the fiscal year. The Order of Selection is statewide and does not select one disabling condition over another disabling condition.

The order is not based on age, sex, marital status, religion, race, color, national origin, political affiliation, or the vocational goal of the individual with a disability. Factors that relate to the significance of the disability are the only factors used in the order. The following factors are indicators that would signal the need to consider closing priority categories:

• A reduction in available case service funds that exceeds 5%. • An increase in counselor caseload average size that exceeds 115 cases. • The inability of MRS to fill position vacancies that extends beyond 60 days. • An increase in days that it takes customers to move from referral to orientation that exceeds 30 days. • An increase in the number of days it takes customers to move from application to eligibility that exceeds 45 days. • An increase in the number of days that it takes customers to move from eligibility to plan that exceeds 90 days. • A significant increase in the average amount of eligible customers served by MRS exceeding 30,000 eligible customers. • An increase in customer complaints that focus on the inability to access vocational rehabilitation services.

 

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

Priority Category 1 -- Most Significantly Disabled (MSD) Priority Category 2 -- Significantly Disabled (SD) Priority Category 3 -- Not Significantly Disabled (NSD)

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 19,800 4,047 8,414 FY 2015 $26,017,200
2 9,000 2,407 3,280 FY 2015 $11,826,000
3 1,200 447 170 FY 2015 $1,576,800

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:40AM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) will continue to offer supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities throughout the state. Agreements with schools and community mental health service providers form the basis of most MRS supported employment services.

The entire Title VI-B award for FY 2014 has been distributed to district offices in the form of case service funds. The funds will be used primarily to purchase job coaching and transitional employment related services from private, non-profit community rehabilitation programs and psychosocial programs.

The size of Title VI-B awards to individual MRS district offices is based on the percentage of work aged individuals with disabilities in each community. The MRS goal is to achieve equity in resource and program availability throughout the State based on this work aged disability population. This is complicated by the lack of sufficient partner resources or commitment for long term supports. MRS is collaborating with partners, especially the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) in resource sharing and development, and program improvements to assure equitable access across the state to Supported Employment options. A recent agreement with MDCH has generated increased collaboration at local levels to expand services to individuals with chronic illnesses, including supported employment. The size of a local supported employment program is largely dependent upon consumer demand for the service, as well as the community’s ability to fund the long-term supports necessary to maintain consumers in supported employment. As budgets are reduced at state and local levels, creative resource sharing options are being explored.

The agreement with MDCH includes measurable goals and objectives for increased supported employment services and outcomes as follows:

1) Jointly define integrated setting and develop key data indicators that can be utilized by all parties. 2) Manage referrals for employment related services. 3) Increase employment outcomes (quantity and quality) for persons served jointly. 4) Improve interagency collaboration. Identify and share activities to support and monitor local collaboration.

Since the development of the Interagency Agreement in 2009, most of the goals and objectives of the agreement have been accomplished. Examples of activities that have been achieved include: regional forums; development of tools to improve the referral process; and the development of a Supported Employment Frequently Asked Questions document.

The state unit goals and priorities regarding the distribution of Title VI Part B funds are:

• Equity in the distribution of the funds; • Technical assistance to districts about the appropriate use of the funds; and • Monitoring to ensure that the funds are being correctly utilized.

MRS was an active partner in Michigan’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant which also targets increased employment outcomes for people with significant disabilities, especially chronic intellectual disabilities. This grant has ended; however MRS is collaborating with MDCH to determine ways to sustain the employment focus this grant has initiated.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:41AM by Geraldine Moore

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.

MRS is working with the Department of Human Services and with the Workforce Development Agency to improve services to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients with disabilities in the Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope (PATH) program with a pilot project being planned for Berrien County in partnership with the local Michigan Works! and MRS office.

MRS will be entering into a new cash transfer agreement with Department of Human Services Child Welfare and Juvenile Program (CWJP). MRS will partner with CWJP and local Centers for Independent Living to provide an evidence-based service delivery model to adjudicated youth. The intent of the program is to lower rates of recidivism while increasing educational and employment outcomes.

MRS is expanding partnerships with Community Rehabilitation Organizations (CROs) and Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to improve effectiveness of services through performance based services. MRS is also developing and implementing methods to prioritize the needs of underserved populations such as: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmentally Disabled as relates to supported employment and long term follow along, chronic intellectual disabilities, older adults with disabilities, Transition, Arab/American, Hispanic/Latino, Hmong, Native American, and individual with a disability and felony record. In addition, strategies to improve services and include local projects to increase intern and other work experience activities are being developed. Increased collaboration with the Autism Society of Michigan and Tribal Governments is underway to increase services to these groups.

 

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.

Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Region 5 has provided the TECH POINTS course developed by Pathfinder Associates. MRS is currently reviewing the course, which looks at assistive technology over the course of the vocational rehabilitation process.

MRS’ Assistive Technology (AT) Consultant is developing an AT consideration framework to be adopted as a standardized approach for use throughout the vocational rehabilitation process. This undertaking is in partnership with Michigan Integrated Technology Supports (MITS) and Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC). Key framework components for MRS will include:

• Consideration Model: Adopt a valid model for AT Consideration. • Electronic AT Consideration Tool: Develop and implement an electronic AT Consideration tool for use by vocational rehabilitation counselors and aligned with aforementioned model. • Training: Deliver training to promote and teach the AT Consideration Framework to MRS staff.

MRS’ Business Network Unit (BNU) will provide technical guidance, training and evaluations to MRS customers, field staff and employers on AT and accommodations. The BNU will continue to explore how technology can be used most effectively to enhance employee skills. BNU staff will model technology options for all customers and stakeholders (i.e., Dragon Naturally Speaking, Tablets, etc.).

 

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 final 2014 CSNA will be released by the end of May, 2014. MRS is continuing with outreach procedures established under the previous CSNA. Preliminary review of the CSNA suggests the unserved or underserved populations have not changed.

The 2011 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) has identified the following underserved populations: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmentally Disabled as relates to supported employment and long term follow along, chronic intellectual disabilities, older adults with disabilities, Transition, Arab/American, Hispanic/Latino, Hmong, Native American, and individual with a disability and felony record. With the assistance of consultants, MRS is developing and implementing methods to prioritize the needs of the underserved populations and strategies to improve services and include local projects to increase intern and other work experience activities. Increased collaboration with the Autism Society of Michigan Tribal Governments is underway to increase services to these groups. Participation rates and services to Arab/American, Hispanic/Latino, African American males, individuals with a disability and felony record are being reviewed.

 

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

The final 2014 CSNA will be released by the end of May, 2014. The 2011 CSNA did not include any need for further establishment, development, or improvement of community rehabilitation programs beyond MRS’ current relationships. Preliminary review of the CSNA suggests there are no changes.

The new director for MRS has identified strong, fortified partnership meetings as a priority. Plans will be implemented to strengthen and fortify local partnerships. Meetings have taken place to strengthen local partnerships with community rehabilitation providers, including Centers for Independent Living.

 

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

MRS has gone through significant changes with a reduction in force, change in Designated State Agency and change in Director. The new MRS Director has established improved outcomes a priority and we look forward to more resources in order to achieve this outcome.

MRS continues to work to improve Indicator 1.1 and 1.2. MRS is doing so by evaluating populations of customers significantly below the standard (urban minorities, transition age youth) and by implementing new approaches; e.g. Motivational Interviewing, new approaches to placement, and expanding the use of quality improvement methods.

 

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

MRS is meeting with the Department of Human Services and with the Workforce Development Agency to improve services to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients with disabilities in the Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope (PATH) program with a pilot project being planned for Berrien County in partnership with the local Michigan Works! and MRS office. MRS continues its partnership with the state’s One-Stop system (i.e. Michigan Works!) and the state’s administrators of the One-Stop system (i.e. the Workforce Development Agency), despite a declining presence in Michigan Works! sites due to budget saving efforts.

 

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.

1) Describe how the agency’s strategies will be used to achieve goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1): During most of FY 2013, MRS was in a state of transition. These changes culminated with the MRS Acting Director retiring in January, 2014 and the new MRS Director hired in February, 2014. The new Director has made small modifications to the labels of the four Strategic Goals (see below). The goals continue to focus on providing a balanced review of both internal processes and external outcomes in order to improve strategic performance and results. The priorities remained the same.

MRS believes that the four goals are easier for staff to remember and are easier for staff to internalize and operationalize.

GOAL 1 – Strong Fortified Partnerships.

Strategy 1: Continue to actively seek and strengthen resources to capture full federal award, including: 1) educate and inform the legislature 2) efforts to increase match and private contributions consistent with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) criteria and guidance.

Strategy 2: Effectively manage resources at State and Local levels.

Priority 2: Effectively manage resources at State and Local levels.

Measure: Cost reduction strategies are approved and implemented.

Measures:

MRS will –

• Meet or exceed bureau goals for Match acquisition • Provide quarterly reports to Michigan legislature to meet legislative requests and to demonstrate fiscal accountability • Implement approved cost reduction strategies

GOAL 2 – Motivated Enthusiastic Staff.

Strategy 1: Set consistent expectations for performance in working alliance: statistical, budget, customer service.

Strategy 2: Regularly evaluate working alliances for return on investment – make adjustments when and if appropriate.

Strategy 3: Train staff in negotiations, motivational interviewing, and mutual gains. Continued implementation and support for job placement training through the Employment Outcomes Program (EOP) method. Support use of those skills, through mentoring, and skill building using cross-functional district and division groups.

Strategy 4: Have dialogues with partners that describe in detail the core values, principles and priorities of both partners in the working alliance. Create a mutual understanding of where both entities intersect. Discuss mutual gains and how to braid resources to maximize service delivery to MRS customers. Continue to strengthen partners such as Centers for Independent Living and Michigan Associations for Rehab Organizations.

Measures:

MRS will regularly evaluate –

• Alliances for return on investment (performance statistics, demographic information, budget, and satisfaction surveys) for both 2.1 and 2.2 • Percentage of staff successfully completing mutual gains, negotiation and Motivational Interviewing training (successfully completed = demonstration of knowledge and application) • Percentage of partners engaged in identified dialogue points

GOAL 3 – Excellent Customer Service.

Strategy 1: Improve customer satisfaction by analyzing the data from customer satisfaction surveys and target areas for intervention. Local district office strategies using Motivational Interviewing and other individualized local strategies have be identified and implemented.

Strategy 2: Increase the Adjusted Rehabilitation Rate

Strategy 3: Increase the percentage of employment outcomes for priority customer groups, including minority populations, SSA Recipients, Transition Youth/Young Adults, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Veterans, Developmental Disability, Intellectual Disabilities, Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Measures:

MRS will evaluate the –

• Percentage of customers indicating overall success • Number of customer appeals and hearings • Adjusted Rehabilitation Rate of 55.8%

GOAL 4 – High Producing Vocational Rehabilitation, Nationally.

Strategy 1: Develop/improve an accountability process to improve bureau compliance with federal and state laws, regulations and policy.

Strategy 2: Develop/ improve practices and process which promote quality services and outcomes.

Measures:

MRS will –

• Conduct case reviews and evaluate the degree to which AWARE reports demonstrate improved compliance • Improve Bureau performance management through consistent casework review and evaluation of staff proficiencies.

PRIORITIES

MRS will focus on the following priorities necessitated by emerging circumstances:

Priority 1: Continue to actively seek resources to capture full federal award, including: (1) educate and inform the Designated State Agency (DSA) and the Michigan legislature (2) efforts to increase match and private contributions consistent with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) criteria and guidance.

Priority 2: Effectively manage resources at State and Local levels.

Measure: Cost reduction strategies are approved and implemented.

Priority 3: Promote and maintain a culture of quality innovation that stimulates continuous program improvements.

Measure: At least 2 major quality projects will be undertaken using the new MRS quality methodology and quality tools resulting in improved efficiency and/or effectiveness as defined by the Aim of the projects.

At least 2 major innovation projects/pilot tests launched with evaluation design and related resources.

MRS resources and processes will align with these priorities.

Priority 4: MRS will continue to demonstrate program effectiveness and substantial compliance in the provision of its State Plan; Title I Evaluation Standards/Performance Indicators; and the Strategic Plan.

2) Describe how the agency’s strategies will be used to support innovation and expansion activities.

MRS is working with the Department of Human Services and with the Workforce Development Agency to improve services to TANF recipients with disabilities in the PATH program. Policy implications, service delivery models, joint training and referral and tracking processes are being developed. It is anticipated that one or more demonstration projects will be done in the first half of FY 2014 with general expansion of the PATH – MRS projects beginning the second half of FY 2014 are contingent on available resources for the project (funding and staffing).

MRS will reserve and use a portion of the funds allotted to the state under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for the support of the funding of the State Rehabilitation Council, Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), through a contractual arrangement between MRS and a statewide trade association for community rehabilitation programs, MARO, which serves as the fiduciary to the Council and employer of record, consistent with the resource plan developed by the Designated State Unit (DSU) and the Council. The MCRS and MARO have an Operations Agreement for this arrangement.

MRS will reserve and use a portion of the funds allotted to the state under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for the support of the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) through a contractual arrangement between MRS and the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (MiSILC), a 501(c)(3) corporation which serves as the fiduciary to the Council, consistent with the resource plan developed by the DSU and the Council. The SILC and MiSILC have an Operations Agreement for this arrangement.

3) Describe how the agency’s strategies will be used to 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.

MRS will work with MCRS to review the Bureau’s Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements and their outcomes to determine the impact of overall program integrity and equitable participation and funding. In conjunction with Michigan State Universities’ Project Excellence, MRS will review access, participation and outcomes of individuals across: disabilities, geography, minority/ethnicity, gender, age and other characteristics to evaluate and improve program services.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:42AM by Geraldine Moore

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

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

The following goals and strategies are included in the 2014-2015 Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Long-Term Plan (Strategic Plan). This plan describes MRS’ mission, vision, internal values, principles, goals, strategies, and expected outcomes for fiscal year 2015. Regular discussion of progress and adjustments were completed by MRS with the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS). This section describes the progress achieved and impediments encountered in achieving these goals.

During most of FY 2013, MRS was in a state of transition. These changes culminated with the MRS Acting Director retiring in January, 2014 and the new MRS Director hired in February, 2014.

The new Director has made small modifications to the labels of the four Strategic Goals (see below). The goals continue to focus on providing a balanced review of both internal processes and external outcomes in order to improve strategic performance and results. The priorities remained the same.

MRS believes that the four goals are easier for staff to remember and are easier for staff to internalize and operationalize. The new Director is visiting every District Office and organizational Unit during FY 2014 and asking them what actions they can take to improve performance in these four core areas.

GOAL 1 – Strong Fortified Partnerships.

Strategy 1: Continue to actively seek and strengthen resources to capture full federal award, including: 1) educate and inform the legislature 2) efforts to increase match and private contributions consistent with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) criteria and guidance.

Strategy 2: Effectively manage resources at State and Local levels.

Measures:

MRS will –

• Meet or exceed bureau goals for Match acquisition • Provide quarterly reports to Michigan legislature to meet legislative requests and to demonstrate fiscal accountability • Implement approved cost reduction strategies

Progress:

• Met bureau goals for Match acquisition • Provided quarterly reports to Michigan legislature to meet legislative requests and to demonstrate fiscal accountability. • Examined a variety of cost cutting strategies and implemented the ones that seemed to be most viable without compromising quality vocational rehabilitation services.

Examples of cost cutting strategies examined: • Bulk Hearing Aid Purchase • Financial Needs Test • Fee schedules • Mobile workers

Cost cutting strategies implemented: • Closed Michigan Career and Technical Institute East which was located in Detroit (FY 2012) • Combined Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) district offices • Co-located MRS offices within DHS offices • Discontinued the practice of setting aside General funds for specific purposes such as: Innovation, Small Business, High Cost Cases and Independent Living services. Funds were returned to the overall General budget to serve all customers. The Internship grant, which provided a stipend for rehabilitation counseling interns who interned within MRS offices, was also discontinued.

GOAL 2 – Motivated Enthusiastic Staff.

Strategy 1: Set consistent expectations for performance in alliance: statistical, budget, customer service.

Strategy 2: Regularly evaluate alliances for return on investment – make adjustments when and if appropriate.

Strategy 3: Train staff in negotiations, motivational interviewing, and mutual gains. Continued implementation and support for job placement training through the Employment Outcomes Program (EOP) method. Support use of those skills, through mentoring, and skill building using cross-functional district and division groups.

Strategy 4: Have dialogues with partners that describe in detail the core values, principles and priorities of both partners in the working alliance. Create a mutual understanding of where both entities intersect. Discuss mutual gains and how to braid resources to maximize service delivery to MRS customers. Continue to strengthen partners such as Centers for Independent Living and Michigan Associations for Rehab Organizations.

Measures:

MRS will regularly evaluate –

• Alliances for return on investment (performance statistics, demographic information, budget, and satisfaction surveys) for both 2.1 and 2.2 • Number of staff successfully completing training such as Motivational Interviewing, EEO, and mutual gains (successfully completed = demonstration of knowledge and application) • Strength of working alliances between MRS and partners as it relates to service delivery and customer outcomes

Progress:

• In FY 2013,175 staff trained in Motivational Interviewing (MI). In FY 2014 MI training continues to be expanded to gain greater proficiencies. Approximately 50 people are currently participating in expanded MI training. MI training has shown to contribute to an increased Adjusted Rehabilitation. • MRS continues to strengthen and fortify strategic alliances and partnerships with Centers for Independent Living (CIL), MARO, Michigan Department of Education (MDOE), Michigan Department of Community Health/Michigan Rehabilitation Services/Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (MDCH/MRS/BSBP).

GOAL 3 – Excellent Customer Service.

Strategy 1: Improve customer satisfaction by analyzing the data from customer satisfaction surveys and target areas for intervention. Local district office strategies using Motivational Interviewing and other individualized local strategies have been identified and implemented.

Strategy 2: Increase the Adjusted Rehabilitation Rate

Strategy 3: Increase the percentage of employment outcomes for priority customer groups, including minority populations, SSA Recipients, Transition Youth/Young Adults, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Veterans, Developmental Disability, Intellectual Disabilities, Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Measures:

MRS will evaluate the –

• Percentage of customers indicating overall success • Number of customer appeals and hearings • Adjusted Rehabilitation Rate of 55.8%

Progress:

• Successful rehabs – FY 2012 – 7,134 FY 2013 – 6,681. • 57 customer appeals were requested in FY 2012 and 2 customer hearings were completed. In FY 2013, 74 customer appeals were requested and 5 customer hearings were completed. MRS has implemented more effective measures for educating and communicating to customers their options for resolving concerns or disputes before it rises to the level of an appeal. Early indicators reflect a significant decline in customer appeals. So far, MRS has only received 14 customer appeals in FY 2014. • Adjusted Rehabilitation Rate – SSA Recipients: FY 2012 – 32.5% FY 2013 – 33.8% Transition Youth: FY 2012 – 37.7% FY 2013 – 39.9% Veterans: FY 2012 – 59.7% FY 2013 – 56.9% Autism: FY 2012 – 41.5% FY 2013 – 45.5% Mental Illness: FY 2012 – 40.3% FY 2013 – 41.4% Deaf & Hard of Hearing: FY 2012 – 85.6% FY 2013 – 85.5% Developmental Disability: FY 2012 – 43.5% FY 2013 -- 44.9% Minority: FY 2012 – 45.6 FY 2013 – 45.5%

GOAL 4 – High Producing Vocational Rehabilitation, Nationally.

Strategy 1: Develop/improve an accountability process to improve bureau compliance with federal and state laws, regulations and policy.

Strategy 2: Develop/ improve practices and process which promote quality services and outcomes.

Measures:

MRS will –

• Conduct case reviews and evaluate the degree to which AWARE reports demonstrate improved compliance • Improve Bureau performance management through consistent casework review and evaluation of staff proficiencies.

Progress:

• MRS responded to the legislature regarding various audits and reviews. Individual district offices developed an operational plan to include a process improvement goal and evaluation measures for FY 2014. • Implemented revisions to policies and procedures in response to corrective action audit findings. • In FY 2012, MRS was awarded a grant by Research and Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) to develop and implement a Quality Management System. The aim of the project is to have an effective set of processes, measurements, and tools to improve customer outcomes. Using the systems improvement model, a pilot project was established. The outcome of the pilot produced a number of office improvements which resulted in a shorter waiting period for customer services (e.g. VR Orientation, Application and Intake processes). • In FY 2014, continued a systems improvement project that will change MRS’ approach in how districts design and implement their Operational Plans. The aim of this project is to reduce the complexity of the District Operation Planning processes through the use of collaborative methodology and improved system practice. The project is based on both the improvement (Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act) and mutual gains models and incorporates the concepts of two-way communication and mutual trust. • In FY 2012 through FY 2014, MRS is conducting a study to (1) learn how MRS is doing on Eligibility Determination, (2) understand the sources of variation and, ultimately (3) better control the variation. These purposes correspond with three key functions: tracking, evaluating, and managing. These functions, in turn, make up the three phases of the project. • Developed a casework review instrument and guide in FY 2013, trained two divisions with a third pending and are developing an instrument to analyze the data for the purpose of measuring compliance with casework standards. • Conducted quarterly targeted reviews in the six casework areas associated with 2012 audit findings. • Began an analysis to determine baseline vendor cost, outcomes, timeliness and quality. • Numerous staff were trained in total quality management.

PRIORITIES AND UPDATES:

MRS focused on the following additional priorities necessitated by emerging circumstances.

Priority 1: Continue to actively seek resources to capture full federal award, including: (1) educate and inform the Designated State Agency (DSA) and the Michigan legislature (2) efforts to increase match and private contributions consistent with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) criteria and guidance.

Priority 2: Effectively manage resources at State and Local levels.

Measure: Cost reduction strategies are approved and implemented.

Examined a variety of cost cutting strategies and implemented the ones that seemed to be most viable without compromising quality vocational rehabilitation services.

Examples of cost cutting strategies examined: • Bulk Hearing Aid Purchase • Financial Needs Test • Fee schedules • Mobile workers

Cost cutting strategies implemented: • Closed Michigan Career and Technical Institute East which was in Detroit (FY 2012) • Combined Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) district offices • Co-located MRS offices within DHS offices • Discontinued the practice of setting aside General funds for specific purposes such as: Innovation, Small Business, High Cost Cases and Independent Living services. Funds were returned to the overall General budget to serve all customers. The Internship grant, which provided a stipend for rehabilitation counseling interns who interned within MRS offices, was also discontinued.

Priority 3: Promote and maintain a culture of quality innovation that stimulates continuous program improvements. Measure: At least 2 major quality projects will be undertaken using the new MRS quality methodology and quality tools resulting in improved efficiency and/or effectiveness as defined by the Aim of the projects.

At least 2 major innovation projects/pilot tests launched with evaluation design and related resources. MRS resources and processes will align with these priorities.

• In FY 2012, MRS was awarded a grant by Research and Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) to develop and implement a Quality Management System. The aim of the project is to have an effective set of processes, measurements, and tools to improve customer outcomes. Using the systems improvement model, a pilot project was established. The outcome of the pilot produced a number of office improvements which resulted in a shorter waiting period for customer services (e.g. VR Orientation, Application and Intake processes).

• In FY 2014, continued a systems improvement project that will change MRS’ approach in how districts design and implement their Operational Plans. The aim of this project is to reduce the complexity of the District Operation Planning processes through the use of collaborative methodology and improved system practice. The project is based on both the improvement (Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act) and mutual gains models and incorporates the concepts of two-way communication and mutual trust.

• In FY 2012 through FY 2014, MRS is conducting a study to (1) learn how MRS is doing on Eligibility Determination, (2) understand the sources of variation and, ultimately (3) better control the variation. These purposes correspond with three key functions: tracking, evaluating, and managing. These functions, in turn, make up the three phases of the project.

Priority 4: MRS will continue to demonstrate program effectiveness and substantial compliance in the provision of its State Plan; Title I Evaluation Standards/Performance Indicators; and the Strategic Plan.

 

1) Jointly define integrated setting and develop key data indicators that can be utilized by all parties.

Goal 1 was achieved. A cross-agency team from Bureau of Services for Blind Services (BSBP), Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and MRS (Joint Operations Team (JOT)) worked on the definition of integrated setting and policies were aligned in all three agencies. As a result, an integrated setting is now defined as a setting typically found in the community at which the individual with the most severe disabilities interacts with non-disabled individuals, other than non-disabled individuals who are providing services to that individual, to the same extent that non-disabled individuals in comparable positions interact with other persons.

2) Manage referrals for employment related services.

Goal 2 was partially achieved. In FY 2013, the JOT reviewed the referral process for each agency and received input from field staff from all agencies. Two forms were revised for the purpose of improving the referral process: the RA-24, Authorization to Release Personal Information, and the RA-2738, Mental Health Report, to be used by BSBP and MRS that aligns with MDCH terminology.

The goal was to maintain the number of customer referrals from the previous year from MDCH to MRS. MRS used AWARE data to track customers that were identified as having received supported employment services at case closure. Using this strategy, customers receiving supported employment services increased from 771 in FY 2011 to 855 in FY 2012 and then decreased to 776 in 2013. 3) Increase employment outcomes (quantity and quality) for persons served jointly.

Data comparison challenges impacted collecting accurate data for this goal. Using MRS AWARE data, the number of MRS customers that received supported employment services and were successfully rehabilitated essentially remained the same from FY 2011 to FY 2012 and decreased to 297 in 2013.

In addition to this challenge, long-term follow-along services are not often provided to customers that need extensive supports. Community Mental Health agencies are quick to close cases in Michigan when customers have achieved employment.

Measuring improvement in the quality of employment outcomes has proven to be a challenge as well. Numerical measures are easier to track than a customer’s satisfaction with the quality of their employment.

4) Improve interagency collaboration. Identify and share activities to support and monitor local collaboration.

Data gathered from regional fact finding meetings including field staff from MDCH and MRS were used to strategize activities and supports promoting collaboration. The JOT serves as a barrier buster group assisting local supported employment teams. The, “Supported Employment – Frequently Asked Questions” document was created as a communication tool regarding supported employment. Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements decreased in 2013 by 5 agreements. MRS has provided technical assistance to local communities struggling to identify mutual interests in the area of supported employment.

 

The Federal Performance Measures were substantially achieved. MRS met or exceeded all but one of the seven federally mandated performance measures for FY 2013. MRS attained the following performance measures:

Performance Measure: Number of Employment Outcomes Goal for FY 2013: 7,135 MRS Attainment in FY 2013: 6,680

Performance Measure: Percent Employed Goal for FY 2013: 55.8% MRS Attainment in FY 2013: 51.6%

Performance Measure: Employed Competitively Goal for FY 2013: 72.6% MRS Attainment in FY 2013: 99.2%

Performance Measure: Significant Disability Goal for FY 2013: 62.4% MRS Attainment in FY 2013: 87.7%

Performance Measure: Earnings Ratio Goal for FY 2013: .52 MRS Attainment in FY 2013: .53

Performance Measure: Self-Support Goal for FY 2013: 53.0% MRS Attainment in FY 2013: 68.3%

Performance Measure: Minority Ratio Goal for FY 2013: .80% MRS Attainment in FY 2013: .85%

These performance measures include individuals who received supported employment services. MRS considers this achievement to be notable as Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country

 

FY 2013 Innovation and Expansion (I&E) Expenditures consistent with our Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and Long Term plan were:

Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA): $48,529.94 State Independent Living Council (SILC): $304,889.54 Business Network Unit (BNU): $7,024.00 Motivational Interviewing (The Institute for Individual and Organizational Change (IFIOC)) Casey Jackson & A. Anderson: $66,054.93 Michigan Disability Rights Coalition: $248,853.39 Department of Natural Resources (DNR): $64,815.00 Total I&E Expenditures: $740,166.80

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:42AM by Geraldine Moore

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

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) offers a variety of supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities throughout the state. Agreements with MRS and local Community Mental Health Service Providers (CMHSPs) form the basis of most supported employment services but may include school partners and community rehabilitation organizations. Person-centered planning is used to assist individuals referred by mental health programs in selecting an employment goal; needed services and supports; and service providers that are needed to reach the supported employment goal. Services that are provided include, but are not limited to individual community-based placement; psychosocial rehabilitation via clubhouse programs; job coaching; job referral; job development; job placement; and long-term follow along (including natural supports). Some programs include other options such as short-term trial work experiences to assist the consumer in making an informed choice in selecting a vocational goal.

The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment has confirmed that people with intellectual disabilities and significant cognitive impairments are underserved populations. Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP), Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and MRS have a state level interagency agreement designed to increase and improve services for these populations. BSBP, MDCH and MRS, have an agreement for the purpose of endorsing and promoting the competitive employment of individuals with disabilities, served jointly by the organizations. BSBP, MDCH and MRS also have a data sharing agreement. The Michigan Department of Technology Management and Budget (DTMB) is assisting in acquiring and exchanging aggregate data.

MRS provides extended services (not to exceed 18 months) until the customer has stabilized on their job. Following job stabilization, MRS closes the customer file and the local CMHSPs or natural supports are utilized to provide extended services.

Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education (MDE/OSE), MDCH, and MRS will continue to collaborate to improve supported employment resources and services for youth at the state and local levels. Specific strategies and support services are used for students with the most significant disabilities, such as longer job coach utilization; assistive technology; specific job development approaches; and implementation of effective employment models such as Project SEARCH (PS). PS is an employer driven model that offers a year of work-based learning experiences for transition students prior to their exit from secondary education. The goal of PS programming is employment at the host employer or at another employer consistent with the student’s interests, strengths and abilities. At the present time there are nine PS programs in Michigan. All of the programs have MRS, education and business as collaborative partners. Some of the programs also have Bureau of Services for Blind People (BSBP) and CMH as additional partners.

MRS has developed a commitment letter to be used with PS partners. The goal of this letter is to promote consistency around the state in PS contracts, in implementation of practices (including fees) and in measuring outcome data/return on investment. Another goal of the letter is to clarify MRS’ interests, roles and responsibilities in PS programs. Existing PS programs and future programs will use this letter with PS partners in lieu of PS contracts.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2014 9:42AM by Geraldine Moore