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
Oregon Commission for the Blind State Plan for Fiscal Year 2015 (submitted FY 2014)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Oregon Commission for the Blind is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the Oregon Commission for the Blind [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

Dacia Johnson

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

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

Executive Director

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryDacia Johnson

Title of SignatoryExecutive Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/09/2014

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 primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (Option A was selected/Option B was not selected).

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
Oregon Commission for the Blind

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option A was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

X This agency is requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. If "Yes", the designated state agency has entered into a formal cooperative agreement that meets the following requirements with each grant recipient in the state that receives funds under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act:

  1. strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that will assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;

  1. procedures for ensuring that American Indians who are individuals with disabilities and are living near a reservation or tribal service area are provided vocational rehabilitation services; and

  1. provisions for sharing resources in cooperative studies and assessments, joint training activities, and other collaborative activities designed to improve the provision of services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities.

4.9 Methods of administration. (Section 101(a)(6) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.12, .19 and .51(a) and (b))

(a) In general.

The state agency employs methods of administration, including procedures to ensure accurate data collection and financial accountability, found by the commissioner to be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the plan and for carrying out all the functions for which the state is responsible under the plan and 34 CFR 361.

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

The designated state agency and entities carrying out community rehabilitation programs in the state, who are in receipt of assistance under Part B, of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and this State Plan, take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities covered under and on the same terms and conditions as set forth in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.

(c) Facilities.

Any facility used in connection with the delivery of services assisted under this State Plan meets program accessibility requirements consistent with the provisions, as applicable, of the Architectural Barriers Rehabilitation Act of 1968, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the regulations implementing these laws.

4.10 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.18)

Attachment 4.10 describes the designated state agency's procedures and activities to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified state rehabilitation professional and paraprofessional personnel for the designated state unit. The description includes the following:

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

Development and maintenance of a system for collecting and analyzing on an annual basis data on qualified personnel needs and personnel development with respect to:

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

  1. The number of personnel who are employed by the state agency in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services in relation to the number of individuals served, broken down by personnel category;

  1. The number of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services, broken down by personnel category; and

  1. Projections of the number of personnel, broken down by personnel category, who will be needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services in the state in five years based on projections of the number of individuals to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, the number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and other relevant factors.

  1. Personnel development.

  1. A list of the institutions of higher education in the state that are preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals, by type of program;

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

  1. The number of students who graduated during the prior year from each of those institutions with certification or licensure, or with the credentials for certification or licensure, broken down by the personnel category for which they have received, or have the credentials to receive, certification or licensure.

(b) Plan for recruitment, preparation and retention of qualified personnel.

Development, updating on an annual basis, and implementation of a plan to address the current and projected needs for qualified personnel based on the data collection and analysis system described in paragraph (a) of this subsection and that provides for the coordination and facilitation of efforts between the designated state unit and institutions of higher education and professional associations to recruit, prepare and retain personnel who are qualified in accordance with paragraph (c) of this subsection, including personnel from minority backgrounds and personnel who are individuals with disabilities.

(c) Personnel standards.

Policies and procedures for the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards to ensure that designated state unit professional and paraprofessional personnel are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained, including:

  1. standards that are consistent with any national- or state-approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or, in the absence of these requirements, other comparable requirements (including state personnel requirements) that apply to the profession or discipline in which such personnel are providing vocational rehabilitation services.

  1. To the extent that existing standards are not based on the highest requirements in the state applicable to a particular profession or discipline, the steps the state is currently taking and the steps the state plans to take in accordance with the written plan to retrain or hire personnel within the designated state unit to meet standards that are based on the highest requirements in the state, including measures to notify designated state unit personnel, the institutions of higher education identified in subparagraph (a)(2), and other public agencies of these steps and the time lines for taking each step.

  1. The written plan required by subparagraph (c)(2) describes the following:

  1. specific strategies for retraining, recruiting and hiring personnel;

  1. the specific time period by which all state unit personnel will meet the standards required by subparagraph (c)(1);

  1. procedures for evaluating the designated state unit's progress in hiring or retraining personnel to meet applicable personnel standards within the established time period; and

  1. the identification of initial minimum qualifications that the designated state unit will require of newly hired personnel when the state unit is unable to hire new personnel who meet the established personnel standards and the identification of a plan for training such individuals to meet the applicable standards within the time period established for all state unit personnel to meet the established personnel standards.

(d) Staff development.

Policies, procedures and activities to ensure that all personnel employed by the designated state unit receive appropriate and adequate training. The narrative describes the following:

  1. A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated state unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement and rehabilitation technology.

  1. Procedures for the acquisition and dissemination to designated state unit professionals and paraprofessionals significant knowledge from research and other sources.

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

Availability of personnel within the designated state unit or obtaining the services of other individuals who are able to communicate in the native language of applicants or eligible individuals who have limited English speaking ability or in appropriate modes of communication with applicants or eligible individuals.

(f) Coordination of personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Procedures and activities to coordinate the designated state unit's comprehensive system of personnel development with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

4.11. Statewide assessment; annual estimates; annual state goals and priorities; strategies; and progress reports.

(Sections 101(a)(15), 105(c)(2) and 625(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.17(h)(2), .29, and 363.11(b))

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

  1. Attachment 4.11(a) documents the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment, jointly conducted every three years by the designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation Council (if the state has such a council). The assessment describes:

  1. the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:

  1. individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;

  1. individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this State Plan; and

  1. individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide work force investment system.

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

  1. For any year in which the state updates the assessments, the designated state unit submits to the commissioner a report containing information regarding updates to the assessments.

(b) Annual estimates.

Attachment 4.11(b) identifies on an annual basis state estimates of the:

  1. number of individuals in the state who are eligible for services under the plan;

  1. number of eligible individuals who will receive services provided with funds provided under Part B of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and under Part B of Title VI of the Rehabilitation Act, including, if the designated state agency uses an order of selection in accordance with subparagraph 5.3(b)(2) of this State Plan, estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority category within the order; and

  1. costs of the services described in subparagraph (b)(1), including, if the designated state agency uses an order of selection, the service costs for each priority category within the order.

(c) Goals and priorities.

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(1) identifies the goals and priorities of the state that are jointly developed or revised, as applicable, with and agreed to by the State Rehabilitation Council, if the agency has a council, in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.

  1. The designated state agency submits to the commissioner a report containing information regarding any revisions in the goals and priorities for any year the state revises the goals and priorities.

  1. Order of selection.
    If the state agency implements an order of selection, consistent with subparagraph 5.3(b)(2) of the State Plan, Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

  1. Goals and plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B, funds.
    Attachment 4.11(c)(4) specifies, consistent with subsection 6.4 of the State Plan supplement, the state's goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds received under Section 622 of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of supported employment services.

(d) Strategies.

  1. Attachment 4.11(d) describes the strategies, including:

  1. the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities, including how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to those individuals at each stage of the rehabilitation process and how those services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis;

  1. outreach procedures to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities in accordance with subsection 6.6 of the State Plan supplement, and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program;

  1. as applicable, the plan of the state for establishing, developing or improving community rehabilitation programs;

  1. strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and

  1. strategies for assisting other components of the statewide work force investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.

  1. Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the designated state agency uses these strategies to:

  1. address the needs identified in the assessment conducted under paragraph 4.11(a) and achieve the goals and priorities identified in the State Plan attachments under paragraph 4.11(c);

  1. support the innovation and expansion activities identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) of the plan; and

  1. overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and State Supported Employment Services Program.

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

  1. The designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state unit has a council, jointly submits to the commissioner an annual report on the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program and the progress made in improving the effectiveness of the program from the previous year.

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

  1. provides an evaluation of the extent to which the goals identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) and, if applicable, Attachment 4.11(c)(3) were achieved;

  1. identifies the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals and priorities;

  1. describes the factors that impeded their achievement, to the extent they were not achieved;

  1. assesses the performance of the state on the standards and indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and

  1. provides a report consistent with paragraph 4.12(c) of the plan on how the funds reserved for innovation and expansion activities were utilized in the preceding year.

4.12 Innovation and expansion. (Section 101(a)(18) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.35)

(a) The designated state agency reserves and uses a portion of the funds allotted to the state under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for the:

  1. development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this State Plan, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment identified in Attachment 4.11(a) and goals and priorities of the state identified in Attachments 4.11(c)(1) and, if applicable, Attachment 4.11(c)(3); and

  1. support of the funding for the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has such a council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 105(d)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(i), and the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 705(e)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 364.21(i).

(b) Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the reserved funds identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) will be utilized.
(c) Attachment 4.11(e)(2) describes how the reserved funds were utilized in the preceding year.

4.13 Reports. (Section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.40)

(a) The designated state unit submits reports in the form and level of detail and at the time required by the commissioner regarding applicants for and eligible individuals receiving services under the State Plan.
(b) Information submitted in the reports provides a complete count, unless sampling techniques are used, of the applicants and eligible individuals in a manner that permits the greatest possible cross-classification of data and protects the confidentiality of the identity of each individual.

Preprint - Section 5: Administration of the Provision of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

5.1 Information and referral services. (Sections 101(a)(5)(D) and (20) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.37)

The designated state agency has implemented an information and referral system that is adequate to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who do not meet the agency's order of selection criteria for receiving vocational rehabilitation services if the agency is operating on an order of selection, are provided accurate vocational rehabilitation information and guidance, including counseling and referral for job placement, using appropriate modes of communication, to assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining or regaining employment, and are referred to other appropriate federal and state programs, including other components of the statewide work force investment system in the state.

5.2 Residency. (Section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.42(c)(1))

The designated state unit imposes no duration of residence requirement as part of determining an individual's eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services or that excludes from services under the plan any individual who is present in the state.

5.3 Ability to serve all eligible individuals; order of selection for services. (Sections 12(d) and 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.36)

(a) The designated state unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the state who apply for services. Yes

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

This agency is an independent commission.

This screen has never been updated.

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.

The Oregon Commission for the Blind is requesting a waiver of statewideness for our transition program that serves transition aged youth who are blind or who have conditions likely to lead to blindness that are in high school and beginning the planning process of exiting school and entering into further training and employment. Although our transition services are provided statewide through transition counselors employed by the agency, we also have agreements in five regions around the state that enhance the services available in those areas.

We currently have interagency/intergovernmental agreements with five school districts and/or regional programs that serve the visually impaired around the state. Currently we have agreements with the Oregon School for the Blind, Portland Public Schools, Northwest Regional Education Service District, Greater Albany Public Schools, and the High Dessert Education Service District Central Oregon Regional Program. These agreements are used to receive non federal funds from the school district/regional education programs that are used by the agency as match for federal funds. Each agreement has the following boiler plate language contained: “______ ensures that these are not Federal funds nor are they used to match another Federal authority.” The signature pages for the current agreements are attached.

These agreements stipulate that the entity will provide specific vocational rehabilitation services outlined in the agreement to eligible transition aged youth. The agreements require that all of these services are provided under the supervision of the agency, therefore no additional services are put into effect unless approved by the agency. The agreements for FY 09 are in the process of being approved and signed. The following services were approved and implemented in FY 08 as a result of the cooperative agreements:

Oregon School for the Blind

• Provide OCB staff with input and feedback on transition programs participants’ Individualized Education Plans. • Provide student information and maintain confidential information on participants in the transition program. • Refer transition students to OCB. • Participate in and provide in-service training to enhance success of the program to OSB staff, regional programs, OCB, and families.

• Develop and maintain a means of tracking eligible students in the program.

• Collaborate with local school districts and regional programs in coordinating Individual Education Plan/Individual Transition Plan meetings with OCB.

• Participate in annual review of project effectiveness by participation in the Transition Advisory Board.

• Ensure expenditures for all vocational rehabilitation services are under the direct control of OCB.

• Ensure project funds are not used for administration activities attributable to the general expenses of ODE.

• Ensure only individuals eligible for vocational rehabilitation services will be served.

• Provide a Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) in Salem, Oregon for 10 students.

• Provide staff, housing, nutritional services, nursing services, and program-oriented transportation for transition activities.

• Provide and facilitate a Career Exploration Workshop for eligible youth.

• Provide independent living skills training.

Portland Public Schools

• Identify the equivalent of one FTE that could include specialists for the program, a portion of a current Transition Specialist, and other high school teachers in District. These individuals will provide vocational rehabilitation services, which are not currently being delivered under direct supervision of OCB staff. • District ensures that programs and services described under this Agreement are not currently being provided by District for which individuals served under the Agreement would be entitled. • Develop Individual Education Plans and Individual Transition Plans. • Provide student information and maintain confidential information. • Make appropriate referrals. • Participate in and provide in-service training to enhance the success of the program. • Participate in the development and maintenance of a database tracking system for eligible students in the program. • Assist in the coordination of Job Development for Work experiences or itnernships. • Coordinate Individual Education Plan/Individual Transition Plan meetings with OCB. • Participate in annual review to determine effectiveness of the project. • Ensure that the project funds are not used for administration activities attributable to the general expenses of District which are used in carrying out its administrative functions. • Assures only individuals eligible for VR services will be served.

Northwest Regional Education Service District

• Identify the equivalent of 1 FTE that could include specialists for the program, a portion of a current Work Experience Coordinator/Transition Specialist and other high school teachers in the Regional Program. These individuals will provide vocational rehabilitation services, which are not currently being delivered, under direct supervision of OCB staff.

• The Regional Program ensures that programs and services described under this agreement are not currently being provided by the Regional Program for which individuals served under the agreement would be entitled.

• Develop Individual Education Plans and Individual Transition Plans.

• Provide student information and maintain confidential information.

• Make appropriate referrals.

• Participate in and provide in-service training to enhance success of the program.

• Participate in the development and maintenance of a database tracking system for eligible students in the program.

• Assist in the coordination of Job Development for Summer and/or after school work experiences or internships.

• Identify Regional Program Orientation and Mobility personnel to provide orientation and travel training to job sites for students during the school year.

• Work with OCB staff in developing and implementing a student specific transition program.

• Assist OCB counselor in developing and Individualized Employment Plan for all eligible students in cooperation with student, parent and teachers as appropriate.

• Provide direct and consult services to students related to work and social behaviors.

• Assist in career exploration and assessment.

• Provide information to students and parents/significant others on blindness.

• Assist OCB Technology Specialists in assessing students on technology skills related to future employment and careers.

• Participate in annual review to determine effectiveness of the project.

• Ensure that expenditures for all Vocational Rehabilitation services are under the direct control of OCB.

• Ensure that the project funds are not used for administration activities attributable to the general expenses of the Regional Program, which are used in carrying out its administrative functions.

• Assures only individuals eligible for VR services will be served.

Greater Albany Public Schools

• Identify the equivalent of .50 FTE that could include a special education teacher for GAPS. This individual will provide vocational rehabilitation services, which are not currently being delivered, under supervision of OCB staff.

• GAPS ensures that programs and services described under this agreement are not currently being provided by GAPS for which individuals served under the agreement would be entitled.

• Develop Individual Education Plans and Individual Transition Plans.

• Provide student information and maintain confidential information.

• Make appropriate referrals.

• Participate in and provide in-service training to enhance success of the program.

• Participate in the development and maintenance of a database tracking system for eligible students in the program.

• Assist in the coordination of Job Development for Work experiences or internships.

• Coordinate Individual Education Plan/Individual Transition Plan meetings with OCB.

• Participate in annual review to determine effectiveness of the project.

• Ensure that expenditures for all Vocational Rehabilitation services are under the direct control of OCB.

• Ensure that the project funds are not used for administration activities attributable to the general expenses of GAPS, which are used in carrying out its administrative functions.

• Assures only individuals eligible for VR services will be served.

High Dessert Education Service District Central Oregon Regional Program

• Identify specialists for the program, a portion of a current Work Experience Coordinator/Transition Specialist and other high school teachers in the Regional Program. These individuals will provide vocational rehabilitation services, which are not currently being delivered, under direct supervision of OCB staff up to and not to exceed four (4) hours per week, as necessary to carry out the objectives of this project.

• The Regional Program ensures that programs and services described under this agreement are not currently being provided by the Regional Program for which individuals served under the agreement would be entitled.

• Work with OCB staff in developing and implementing a student specific transition program.

• Develop Individual Education Plans and Individual Transition Plans.

• Provide student information and maintain confidential information.

• Make appropriate referrals.

• Work with OCB staff in developing and implementing a student specific transition program.

• Assist OCB counselor in developing and Individualized Employment Plan for all eligible students in cooperation with student, parent and teachers as appropriate.

• Provide direct and consult services to students related to work and social behaviors.

• Assist in career exploration and assessment.

• Provide information to students and parents/significant others on blindness.

• Assist OCB Technology Specialists in assessing students on technology skills related to future employment and careers.

• Participate in annual review to determine effectiveness of the project.

• Ensure that expenditures for all Vocational Rehabilitation services are under the direct control of OCB.

• Ensure that the project funds are not used for administration activities attributable to the general expenses of the Regional Program, which are used in carrying out its administrative functions.

• Assures only individuals eligible for VR services will be served.

State Plan Assurances

Each of the interagency/intergovernmental agreements includes assurances that all State Plan requirements apply, including Order of Selection.

This screen has never been updated.

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

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

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

(1) Interagency Cooperation with agencies and entities that are not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment System

The agency partners with numerous agencies in order to maximize the services available to clients. We believe that it is important to maintain strong partnerships within the community in order to fulfill our mission and objectives as an organization.

The agency recognizes that the major leading causes of blindness are diabetes and age related macular degeneration. Due to this, the agency maintains linkages with the medical community and senior centers throughout the state. Staff regularly is in contact with these organizations in order to outreach to potential referral sources and clients and to provide education on blindness related issues.

The agency enjoys great working relationships with the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon and the American Council of the Blind of Oregon. Both consumer groups for the blind have been very helpful in offering scholarships to clients as well as providing mentoring and educational opportunities to clients. Both organizations also hold positions on the agency’s board and are very active in setting agency policies and priorities.

The agency works with Vision Northwest, a non profit organization that facilitates support groups around the state specific to vision loss. This is a great partnership that connects the clients with other individuals in their local communities who are also experiencing vision loss.

The agency has strong partnerships with the 9 independent living centers around the state. We often times will refer clients for related services to support their individualized plans for employment and will also receive referrals from the centers. In addition, the peer counselors provide support and encouragement to clients who are participating in rehabilitation services with the agency.

On a national level, the agency utilizes American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for technical assistance and training when appropriate. In the past few years the agency participated in an older worker initiative with AFB.

The agency has worked with Mississippi State University Research and Training Center for the Blind to obtain and share data and information. We also have hosted an intern in low vision here at the agency in the past year to expand the expertise in our state serving this low incidence disability.

Through coordination with the Southern Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, we have been able to have a strong presence in the Southern Oregon region. Our office is located within their building, making it visible and accessible.

Oregon Industries for the blind, an agency program, is a cooperative project with the Multnomah County Developmental Disabilities Division. This can provide assessment and training services to individuals with the most significant disabilities.

Agency staff serve on advisory committees to many agencies that provide services to our consumers including:

• Tri-Met (the public transportation system in the Portland metro area) • Talking Book and Braille Services • Neighborhood House Senior Services • Vision Northwest • Public Transit Advisory Committee- advising the state transportation agency • State Independent Living Council • Oral Hull Foundation • Help America Vote Act • Blind Skills (publisher of a magazine providing support, information and resources to blind individuals internationally) • Alliance for Blind Children

The agency also is active in networking with businesses around the state through involvement with local Chambers of Commerce and the Portland Business Alliance. Although these are not formally connected to the workforce system, these are important connections in order to maximize the placement opportunities for clients.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2009 5:32PM by Dacia Johnson

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.

2) Coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services

The Agency has a long history of successful coordination with education officials in order to enhance the service delivery for transition aged blind individuals in Oregon. Our approach is a comprehensives statewide service delivery system that focuses on ensuring an effective transition from the education system to vocational rehabilitation services.

Oregon Department of Education

The Oregon Commission for the Blind and the Oregon Department of Education have an agreement that outlines the cooperation between the programs. The agreement sets forth understandings and obligations of each agency. Each agency agrees to maintain regular and effective communications to exchange information necessary in order to make the agreement successful. The agreement describes the following:

1. Financial responsibility of each agency in providing special education programs and services, including rehabilitation services, to individuals who are blind.

2. Conditions, terms and procedures for reimbursement of these programs and services.

3. Procedures for resolving interagency disputes regarding financial responsibility under this agreement.

4. Procedures for the local education agency, education service district, state operated education program, or early childhood special education program and Oregon Commission for the Blind to promote the coordinated, timely and appropriate delivery of services to eligible children, including planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to vocational rehabilitation through the development of the individualized plan for employment prior to leaving the school setting.

Oregon University System

The Oregon Commission for the Blind and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon University System have an agreement on the process of serving mutual clients who are in Oregon public institutions of higher education. The purpose of the commitment is to implement a cooperative framework for providing coordinated vocational rehabilitation education services for eligible students with disabilities.

The joint responsibilities include:

1. Collaborating to assure access to reasonable accommodations for the provision of effective auxiliary aids and services and services for mutual clients.

2. Provide opportunities for counselors and disability service representatives to become familiar with relevant information related to accommodation functions or related topics.

3. Form a cooperative work group to facilitate implementation of the agreement and evaluated the effectiveness of the agreement.

4. Collaborate on legislative issues that affect the objectives of this commitment.

5. Collaborate, as appropriate, on seeking external initiatives to further enhance service provision to students with disabilities.

Regional Programs

The agency transition counselors throughout the state have established strong working relationships with the teachers of the Regional Education Programs. These programs have specialists who work with blind students throughout the state on blindness skills such as Orientation and Mobility, Braille, and Technology, as well as assist the teachers within the child’s school make any necessary adaptations to the child’s curriculum to ensure they fully participate in the learning environment.

The agency has worked hard at developing good working relationships within all of the regional programs so that they are fully aware of the procedures to identify and refer potential students with disabilities who would benefit from agency services. The students are referred to the agency at age 16 for the start of transition services and participate in the Summer Work Experience Program. The Transition Counselors participate in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process for students when appropriate to ensure an adequate bridge is created between the education system and the rehabilitation system. The agency provides consultation and technical assistance to assist the regional programs in planning for the transition of students into the agency services and employment.

School for the Blind

The agency has had a cooperative agreement with the School for the Blind for many years, focusing on transition. One of the key components of this agreement is the Summer Work Experience Program that is held at the School for the Blind campus in Salem. This program is a supported employment model in which students with developmental disabilities as well as blindness have an opportunity to explore work opportunities and gain valuable work skills.

The students are referred to the agency at age 16 for the start of transition services. The Transition Counselors participate in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process for students when appropriate to ensure an adequate bridge is created between the education system and the rehabilitation system. The agency provides consultation and technical assistance in planning for the transition of students into the agency services and employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2009 5:32PM by Dacia Johnson

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.

3) Cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers

The agency has a cooperative agreement with Vision Northwest. Vision Northwest is a non-profit organization with statewide peer facilitated support groups for blind individuals. The agency frequently refers clients to this program and receives many referrals from it. Vision Northwest also has a retail store of various blindness and low vision related supplies that is utilized by blind individuals. Things such as low vision devices can be purchased directly from Vision Northwest and this is a service to the community.

The agency also works with the Oregon Business Leadership Network (OBLN). OBLN has been a great partner in connecting the agency and business for the purposes of placement and retention of clients. Most recently, the OBLN helped a large employer human resource office connect with our agency to assist them in retaining a legally blind employee who had been struggling with accommodation issues on the job. OBLN is a trusted resource in the business community, and they were able to make the referral to our agency through their strong connections.

In addition, our transition program has been working with Incight, a non profit organization that has been helpful in securing work experiences and internships for our transition students. Incight’s mission is to educate and employ people with disabilities, with a current focus on high school and college students. Programs include scholarships, mentoring, internship placement and empowerment events.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2009 5:33PM by Dacia Johnson

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.

4. Collaboration with other state agencies and other entities regarding the provision of supported employment services and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities

In Oregon, the Department of Human Services, Senior and People with Disabilities Services provides funding for extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. This funding is routed through the County Developmental Disability Agencies via the Case Manager, and is contracted for each individual through community agencies called “Brokerages”. These agencies work with the individuals and their social support system to develop a plan for the ongoing support, which can be used for a variety of purposes, one of which are long term employment supports.

Training and post employment services that will lead to supported employment are provided by this agency. The necessary extended support is provided by other agencies. Services we provide include: the provision of skilled job coaches who accompany the worker for intensive on the job training, systematic training, job development, follow up services, regular observation or supervision of the severely disabled individual at the training site, rehabilitation technology, and other services needed to support the individual in employment.

On going supports may be provided by the agency from the time of job placement until the transition to extended services. These are services necessary to support and maintain individuals with the most significant disabilities in supported employment. Ongoing support services may consist of:

1. Specialized assessments 2. Skilled job trainers at the work site 3. Job development and placement 4. Social skills training 5. Regular observation or supervision of the individual 6. Follow up services such as regular contact with the employer, the individual, etc., to reinforce and stabilize the job placement 7. Facilitation of natural supports at the work site.

Once the individual is transitioned from agency vocational rehabilitation support, another agency or resource provides extended services.

The Commission for the Blind works with all of the Brokerage agencies that are working with our clients in order to provide supported employment and extended services to our clients, as appropriate. These community organizations are throughout the state serving clients eligible for ongoing supports through the developmental disabilities system.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2009 5:33PM by Dacia Johnson

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Objectives of the Commission for the Blind Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Our comprehensive personnel development system is designed to: • Address recruitment and retention of qualified rehabilitation professionals • Establish/maintain personnel standards for vocational rehabilitation counselors • Analyze needs of existing staff • Provide for succession planning • Provide leadership development and capacity building

Environmental factors

The agency’s plan is based on the following factors:

(a) number and type of personnel that are employed by the agency

The agency has a total of 12 vocational rehabilitation counselors. 9 are caseload-carrying positions 1 is a counselor specializing in working with employers and placement of clients 1 is a career exploration counselor 1 is a vocational rehabilitation specialist who does training, consultation and oversees the computerized caseload management system

(b) the ratio of counselors to clients

The ratio of clients served to caseload carrying counselors in FY 13 was 79:1.

(c) the number and type of personnel needed by the state based on projections including the number of individuals to be served, the number of personnel who are expected to retire or leave the field, and other factors.

The agency hired one new Counselor in FY 13. We have hired five new counselors so far in FY14. We project at least one retirement in the next five years. Based on past experience, we project that one more will leave the field in the next five years. We have been successful in being able to recruit and retain vocational rehabilitation counselors and expect this trend to continue. The agency anticipates that it will serve 735 individuals in FY 15. We expect that by FY 16, we will be serve 745 individuals based on our historical trends. The agency believes that we will be able to serve all eligible individuals with the current number of vocational rehabilitation counselors on staff in 2014. We are confident we will also be able to serve all eligible clients over the next five years (given our successful retention and recruitment methods historically)

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor/Caseload 9 0 1
2 Business Relations Coordinator/VRC 1 0 0
3 Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist/VRC 1 0 1
4 Career Exploration Counselor/VRC 1 0 0
5 Rehabilitation Technology Instructors 4 1 0
6 Rehabilitation Instructors/Mobility/Rehab Teaching 11 0 2
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

The agency has relationships with established graduate and undergraduate academic programs to provide credit to staff attending in-service training. The graduate programs available in the state for vocational rehabilitation counselors are at Portland State University (PSU) and Western Oregon University (WOU). They both offer degrees in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. We have a representative on a continuing education committee at Portland State University to develop in-service training for rehabilitation personnel and have standing representation on the Portland State University Rehabilitation Counselor Education Graduate Program Advisory Board. The agency has developed an academic training policy that addresses priorities for the agency’s provision of funding for academic coursework.

The agency has utilized the federal in-service grant, strategic planning dollars, and program funds to address the goals of CSPD. The amount has varied depending on the employees involved at the time. Projects have included orientation and mobility training and addressing training priority areas. These priority areas include federal laws and regulations, informed choice, assistive technology, and serving culturally diverse populations.

Recruitment and Retention

The agency is involved in recruitment activities at a regional level. Although we have not experienced any difficulties in recruiting vocational rehabilitation counselors with masters’ degrees, we have had difficulties with recruiting qualified rehabilitation instructors for the blind. Nationally there is a projected shortage of qualified rehabilitation professionals. This raises some concern for future vacant positions, as there may be challenges in recruiting qualified applicants. The shortage is due primarily to two factors. First, there is a projected increase of retirements in the rehabilitation profession, and there is a shortage of graduate training programs specializing in rehabilitation counseling and teaching. Also, there are a significant number of graduates from masters programs in rehabilitation counseling who are recruited into employment opportunities in the private sector. We are also concerned about finding qualified rehabilitation professionals from diverse communities.

We do not anticipate having difficulties in retention. We work very hard at maintaining a positive, supportive work environment and as a result, have excellent retention of all staff. One of the strategies we have used to retain specialized staff is, under State of Oregon rules, we pay a differential to staff that use a second language, including American Sign Language, to perform their job duties.

Other staff

The agency has targeted the vocational rehabilitation counselor classification as the priority for CSPD development. Other classifications such as rehabilitation instructors for the blind and rehabilitation assistants have access to academic training and other in-service training programs.

Staff Development

Staff development needs are being continuously evaluated in a variety of ways. Case reviews, changes in the Rehabilitation Act and Regulations, and personal development plans are a part of this process. The budget process, customer satisfaction surveys, and focus groups also play a substantial role in determining the training priorities for the agency.

Customer satisfaction surveys

Annual surveys help us target areas of concern in service delivery. Results are reviewed by the management team, the Commission board and staff. We develop recommendations of targeted actions the agency must take as a result of this process.

Focus groups

Focus groups and public hearings also provide us direct feedback from our constituents on the issues that are their foremost priorities. We utilize these recommendations and identified long-term needs to inform staff development which readies counselors to meet our clients’ needs.

State Rehabilitation Council

The Commission for the Blind board was involved in the development of the CSPD plan. The Commissioners also are also actively involved in helping the agency develop priorities and strategic plan.

Coordination of the CSPD and Education

The agency coordinates its CSPD activities with personal development under IDEA by working together with the following educational resources to ensure that staff training needs are met. The agency participates on the advisory board at Portland State University Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program. The agency also collaborates with Western Oregon University to investigate and develop training tools/resources. Through participation on the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Program (TACE) board, academic and other training resources throughout the Pacific Northwest are identified, utilized and evaluated.

Data System

Because of the small size of the agency, a specialized data system is unnecessary to meet the goals of the CSPD.

In Oregon, there are two institutions preparing vocational rehabilitation counselors, Western Oregon University and Portland State University. Western Oregon University has two rehabilitation counseling options: The Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf (RCD) and the Rehabilitation Counselor (RC). Portland State University offers a Masters in Education specializing in Rehabilitation Counseling.

The Agency has a long history of engaged and skilled staff. The agency is in the midst of an influx of hiring due to the retirement of several agency staff. We have been actively working with the other Vocational Rehabilitation agencies in the region to focus on methods in which we can work collaboratively to utilize recruitment resources to encourage qualified professionals to come to work at our agency. These efforts having been paying off as we have hired several highly qualified/experienced staff over the past year.

 

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 Oregon University 25 7 14 10
2 Portland State University 37 9 4 9
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Recruitment and Retention

The agency is involved in recruitment activities at a regional level. Although we have not experienced any difficulties in recruiting vocational rehabilitation counselors with masters’ degrees, we have had difficulties with recruiting qualified rehabilitation instructors for the blind. Nationally there is a projected shortage of qualified rehabilitation professionals. This raises the potential concern when future positions become available, we may have an increased difficulty in recruitment of qualified applicants. The shortage is due primarily to two factors. First, there is a projected increase of retirements in the rehabilitation profession, and there is a shortage of graduate training programs specializing in rehabilitation counseling and teaching. Also, there are a significant number of graduates from masters programs in rehabilitation counseling who are recruited into employment opportunities in the private sector. We are also concerned about finding qualified rehabilitation professionals from diverse communities.

We do not anticipate having difficulties in retention. We work very hard at maintaining a positive, supportive work environment and as a result, have excellent retention of all staff. One of the strategies we have used to retain specialized staff is, under State of Oregon rules, pays a differential to staff that use a second language, including American Sign Language, to perform their job duties. We have also assisted in the development of professional credentials such as certifications in orientation and mobility for rehabilitation instructors for the blind. This has been a good alternative to addressing the shortfall of qualified mobility specialists nationally. With agency financial support for tuition and fees, the individual commits to a certain amount of time working for the agency following completion of their studies.

Other staff

The agency has targeted the vocational rehabilitation counselor classification as the priority for CSPD development. Other classifications such as rehabilitation instructors for the blind and rehabilitation assistants have access to academic training and other in-service training.

Staff Development

Staff development needs are being continuously evaluated in a variety of ways. Case reviews, changes in the Rehabilitation Act and Regulations, and personal development plans are a part of this process. The budget process, customer satisfaction surveys, and focus groups also play a substantial part in determining the training priorities for the agency.

Customer satisfaction surveys

Annual surveys help us target areas of concern in service delivery. Results are reviewed by the management team, the Commission board and staff. We develop specific recommendations of specific actions the agency should take out of this process.

Focus groups

Focus groups and public hearings also provide us direct feedback from our constituents on the issues that are top priority. We take these recommendations and long-term needs and extrapolate staff development needs to prepare counselors for client needs.

State Rehabilitation Council

The Commission for the Blind board was involved in the development of the CSPD plan. The Commissioners also have been involved in helping the agency develop our priorities and strategic plan.

Coordination of the CSPD and Education

The agency coordinates its CSPD activities with personal development under IDEA by working together with the following educational resources to ensure that staff training needs are met. The agency participates on the advisory board at Portland State University Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program. The agency also coordinates with Western Oregon University. Through participation on the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Program (TACE) board, academic and other training resources throughout the Pacific Northwest are discussed and evaluated.

 

State Standard

The agency’s state standard for vocational rehabilitation counselors is the Certification Requirement for Workers’ Compensation Division under Oregon Administrative Rule 436-120-0830.

Vocational rehabilitation counselor certification requires: (a) Certification by the following national certifying organizations: Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), the Commission for Case Managers Certification (CCMC), or the Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission (CDMSC); (b) A master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling and at least six months of direct experience; (c) A master’s degree in psychology, counseling, or a field related to vocational rehabilitation, and 12 months of direct experience; or (d) A bachelor’s or higher degree and 24 months of direct experience. Thirty-six months of direct experience may substitute for a bachelor’s degree.

The Oregon Commission for the Blind will not accept experience as a substitute for a bachelor’s degree for new applicants.

The agency would also be open to a pay incentive for CRC certification, although this requires that it be agreed upon by the above agencies as well as the union. In the meantime, the agency will continue to indicate master’s degree preference on recruiting announcements. We anticipate that newly hired counselors will become certified meeting the agency’s state standard within one year from being hired.

Staffing/Educational Requirements

All 12 current counseling staff meet the criteria for our agency’s state standard. The agency has been very successful in hiring vocational rehabilitation counselors with master’s degrees. We will continue to emphasize this in our recruitment efforts in the future.

The agency has relationships with established graduate and undergraduate academic programs to provide credit to staff attending in-service training. The graduate programs available in the state for vocational rehabilitation counselors are at Portland State University (PSU) and Western Oregon University (WOU). They both offer degrees in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. We have a representative on a continuing education committee at Portland State University to develop in-service training for rehabilitation personnel and have standing representation on the Portland State University Rehabilitation Counselor Education Graduate Program Advisory Board. The agency has developed an academic training policy that addresses priorities for the agency’s provision of funding for academic coursework.

The agency has utilized the federal in-service grant, strategic planning dollars, and program funds to address the goals of CSPD. The amount has varied depending on the employees involved at the time. Projects have included orientation and mobility training and addressing training priority areas. These priority areas include federal laws and regulations, informed choice, assistive technology, and serving culturally diverse populations.

 

Staff Development

Staff development needs are being continuously evaluated in a variety of ways. Case reviews, changes in the Rehabilitation Act and Regulations, and personal development plans are a part of this process. The budget process, customer satisfaction surveys, and focus groups also play a substantial part in determining the training priorities for the agency.

Customer satisfaction surveys

Annual surveys help us target areas of concern in service delivery. Results are reviewed by the management team, the Commission board and staff. We develop specific recommendations of specific actions the agency should take out of this process.

Focus groups

Focus groups and public hearings also provide us direct feedback from our constituents on the issues that are top priority. We take these recommendations and long-term needs and extrapolate staff development needs to prepare counselors for client needs.

State Rehabilitation Council

The Commission for the Blind board was involved in the development of the CSPD plan. The Commissioners also have been involved in helping the agency develop our priorities and strategic plan.

 

Personnel to Address Individual Communication Needs

We are committed to ensuring that applicants and eligible individuals with limited English speaking ability are able to communicate with the agency in their native language . Three of the 12 counselors are fluent in sign language. We have two Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors who speak Spanish. Any other needs that the agency has in order to communicate with the applicants or eligible individuals, we make arrangements with language interpreter services on a fee for service basis.

 

Coordination of CSPD and Education

The agency coordinates its CSPD activities with personal development under IDEA by working together with the following educational resources to ensure that staff training needs are met. The agency participates on the advisory board at Portland State University Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program. The agency also coordinates with Western Oregon University. Through participation on the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Program (TACE) board, academic and other training resources throughout the Pacific Northwest are discussed and evaluated.

This screen was last updated on May 29 2014 11:43AM by saorhalea

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.

Conclusions and Recommendations as a Result of the CNA

The Commission completed the required CNA in the Spring of 2014. Areas of note follow.

VR Services Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, including Supported Employment Services

Number of Persons Served by Oregon Commission for the Blind with the Most Significant Disabilities and Outcomes Achieved

As a general definition, blindness is considered one of the most significant disabilities. As such, 100% of those the Commission serves have a significant disability. However, within this framework, the Commission defines those with the most significant disabilities as having at least three functional limitations and requiring two or more substantial types of services provided over an extended period of time.

The Commission provides VR services for individuals with significant disabilities. In 2013 in the VR program, 100% of individuals entering competitive employment had a significant disability.

% of persons achieving competitive employment who were employed at application % of persons achieving a successful closure who had a significant disability Change in Weekly Earnings – competitively employed at application and exit Individuals with significant disabilities 2013: 48% 5-yr average: 49% 2013: 100% 5-yr average: 99% 2013: $204.80 5-yr average: $216.27

Number of Persons Served who Receive SSI/SSDI

Another factor that may indicate significant disability is receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In order to receive SSI or SSDI an individual must prove that he or she is unable to work. The RSA longitudinal study of the vocational rehabilitation services program found that individuals accepted for services were more likely to exit the program prior to receiving VR services if they were receiving SSI or SSDI at entry. The following chart describes the percentage of people receiving public financial assistance at program entry and the associated outcome.

Outcome % of participants who were receiving SSI/SSDI at application Exited VR before services began 55% Exited VR without an employment outcome, after services 60% Exited VR with a noncompetitive employment outcome 62% Exited VR with a competitive employment outcome 46% Commission data is cumulative 2009-2013.

While receipt of SSI/SSDI indicates significance of disability, it can also impact employment for an individual, based on the need to maintain benefits and especially health insurance benefits that are income-dependent. The Commission addresses this consumer need through providing benefits planning services.

Commission Services for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities

The Commission is reaching those with the most significant disabilities through outreach and by providing individualized services.

i. Outreach

The Commission performs outreach through public speaking and networking with organizations serving those with the most significant disabilities including OVRS, SPD, Independent Living Centers, County Mental Health departments, local brokerages, employers, school districts, doctors, and consumer groups. For individuals managing mental illness, case managers refer individuals from community mental health clinics, Department of Human Services or county service agencies.

Services Provided

Services are individualized and based on the needs of the person. When providing services, Commission staff is sensitive to other disabilities, acknowledging that people learn differently. Staff is professionally trained to design and implement creative ways to teach skills. The emphasis is on providing comprehensive services, bringing in other partners, and being holistic in planning.

The Commission takes part in cooperative planning sessions for individuals with severe disabilities, along with the individual and other partner agencies that are providing services.

In order to assure that individuals are stable and successful in work, the Commission does not impose limits on duration or extent of services. Staff will keep cases open longer than the minimum, when needed by the individual.

The Commission provides post-employment services if the disability changes, the technology on the job has changed, or there is new software and the person needs training on the new software.

Employment

The Commission considers a variety of employment options for those with the most barriers to employment. This individualized approach to finding employment means that VR counselors consider multiple factors and possibilities including home-based employment, transportation, and a person’s individual abilities and interests. The Commission staff also provides on-site job assessments. These assessments often result in providing suggestions to employers about changes in the work environment that could lead to a more successful outcome for both the individual and the employer.

Supported Employment

For individuals who need ongoing assistance in order to maintain a job, the Commission works with a variety of partners to provide supported employment. As a result, supported employment requires more direct collaboration with community partners. The partners develop a team and plan of action including who is going to provide ongoing support. The goal for individuals is to be able to work in the community earning at least minimum wage.

Staff uses a variety of job search techniques for individuals requiring supported employment, including job carving and tailoring jobs to the individual. Job opportunities are developed as needed, based on each person’s resources and strengths. Staff makes recommendations for employers, purchases specialized equipment, or adapts equipment so that it works for the individual.

A vital strategy for supported employment is the use of Job Coaches. Particularly for individuals with the most severe developmental disabilities, a place-and-train model in which individuals spend time training on the job tends to lead to success. The Commission hires Job Coaches to work alongside the individual until he or she learns the job. Job Coaches may work constantly alongside the person or check-in a few times a day or weekly as needed. Generally, when Job Coaches are needed for the long term they are funded through the local county. Counties provide supported employment for those people who need support for the life of the job. In order to establish support, the Commission partners with the State’s developmental disabilities program in order to facilitate the initiation of the process.

Over the past five years, only 9 people have completed services through entering or remaining in supported employment; this is a small proportion of the individuals the Commission serves. Supported employment is provided in the following ways:

• Youth take part in the transitional program and summer work experience.

• A counselor in the Portland office specializes in supported employment, and other counselors in the field also provide supported employment services.

The Commission actively explores self-employment options for individuals with the most significant disabilities, such as running snack bars or a newspaper-recycling program. Frequently self-employment involves partnership with other organizations.

Feedback on VR Needs and Services for Individuals who are Blind and Experience the Most Significant Disabilities

Survey respondents provided feedback regarding the Commission’s services for individuals who are blind and experience the most significant disabilities. The feedback indicated that people experiencing multiple, significant disabilities often need support from multiple providers. This requires a great deal of coordination and oversight of service delivery.

Recommendations/Comments from the survey:

Outreach: • “the Commission could really increase service outreach and clarify what their services are.” Specialized skills: • “This population may need services provided by a SLP to help with communication devices and organizational tools.” Partnering: • “In any cases the additional disability may cause more issues than the visual impairment and I am not sure that OCB is the right agency to provide the service. I can see where a partnership with another agency is very important and much more appropriate when it comes to meeting the needs of individual clients.” • “The Customer Service issues can occur when there are multiple people trying to work on the team but are unaware of the client’s complete list of team players.”

Number of Individuals who are Legally Blind and Racial or Ethnic Minorities

Oregon’s racial or ethnic minority population is just over 22%. The Commission provides services to individuals regardless of race or ethnicity, and makes distinct efforts to outreach to members of minority groups, provide culturally appropriate services, and assure that all individuals are able to reach their vocational goals.

The following data uses Census divisions for race and ethnicity including White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native (AIAN), Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (NHPI), and Hispanic. The Census contains a category for individuals of two or more races; the Oregon Commission for the Blind’s process allows individuals to select more than one race (e.g. an individual can identify as both Black and Native American).

Members of minority groups do not experience vision loss equitably. The following chart presents data from The National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America which provides analysis of Census data on individuals over age 40 for white, black, Hispanic, and “other” individuals as well as national-level data from The National Eye Institute on prevalence of rates of vision impairment by race.

Oregon Population age 40 and older with blindness or low vision National Data Total Number Percent of all individuals with vision impairment Prevalence of All Vision Impaired by Race - 2010 White 53,524 93% 0.033 Black 468 1% 0.022 Hispanic 1,427 2% 0.020 Other 2,004 3% 0.020 Total 57,423 100% 0.029

This data shows a significant variation from Oregon’s overall population. Overall, just over 32% of Oregonians are individuals of color, whereas the National Eye Institute’s analysis of Census data showed that only 6% of Oregonians with vision loss are individuals of color.

5B. Commission Service Statistics for Individuals Who Are Racial or Ethnic Minorities

The following table provides a breakout by race and ethnicity in four categories: Oregon’s overall population (based on 2012 U.S. Census data); National Eye Institute reports on Oregon Census data (as described above); the Oregon Commission for the Blind Registry (for those with a race or ethnicity listed); and Commission service statistics.

Oregon Population Natl Eye Institute Registry OCB enrolled 2009-2013 White, not Hispanic 77.8% 93% 90% 89% Black or African American 2.0% 1% 3% 5% American Indian or Alaskan Native 1.8% 2% 3% Asian 4.0% 3% 4% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.4% 0% 1% Two+ races* 3.5% -- Hispanic 12.2% 2% 4% 8%

*Note: Individuals may select more than one race when enrolling at the Oregon Commission for the Blind, so this data does not represent an unduplicated count of individuals.

The above table indicates that the Commission is serving individuals of color at rates comparable to that expected, with a need to increase services for Hispanic/Latino individuals. Compared to the overall population, Whites and Black or African Americans are slightly overrepresented in OCB programs, while American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics are underrepresented. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are represented on the Registry at the same rate as in the general population. However, based on Census data as reported by the National Eye Institute, the Commission is enrolling individuals of color at greater than their rate in Oregon’s population of visually impaired individuals.

Another way to consider the data is the percentage of those exiting the program achieving an employment outcome. In terms of employment outcomes or other exits from Commission services, there are four alternatives. Individual may: 1. Enroll and then exit before receiving any services 2. Start receiving services but leave before achieving an employment outcome 3. Successfully exit services with a noncompetitive employment outcome 4. Successfully exit services with a competitive employment outcome

The following chart compares the percentage of clients enrolled to the percentage by exit type, sorted by racial and ethnic self-identification. Data is averaged over a five-year period and shows that clients exit the program in all categories in relatively close ratios as their total enrollment by race/ethnicity.

Annual Average Number enrolled 2009 - 2013 Exited VR before Services Began Exited VR without an employment outcome, after services Exited VR - noncompetitive employment outcome Exited VR - competitive employment outcome White 620 89% 80% 82% 85% 85% Black or AA 34 5% 4% 8% 3% 4% Amer.Indian 24 3% 6% 1% 4% 1% Asian 25 4% 1% 2% 3% 4% Pacific Island. 7 1% 1% 0% 0.6% 1% Hispanic 53 8% 8% 7% 5% 6% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

The following chart provides percentages of individuals who received services and were successfully closed, the difference in weekly earnings from application to closure, and the average number of services received by each client. The data indicates that Black or African American clients are less likely to achieve a successful closure. There are also large variations in weekly earnings. However, because weekly earnings are based on so few individuals for some racial and ethnic groups, having one or two individuals earning significantly more or less than they did at program entry can skew the data.

Of people receiving services, percent who achieved a successful closure Of competitively employed at closure, difference in weekly earnings from application* Average of Services Whites 76% $229.36 7.28 Black or African American 57% $125.24 7.38 American Indian, Alaskan Native 83% $58.67 6.78 Asian 85% $152.07 6.82 Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander 100% $46.33 6.2 Hispanics 71% $289.11 8.48 * Note: Difference in weekly earnings shows how much weekly earnings increased from the baseline at program application to the final amount earned at exit from the program. The average hourly wage for individuals entering competitive employment after completing the Commission’s VR program is $19.25.

Feedback on VR Needs and Services for Individuals who are Blind and Racial or Ethnic Minorities

Survey respondents provided feedback regarding the Commission’s services for individuals who are blind and members of ethnic or racial minority groups. Very little feedback was provided in this area, and those respondents who did comment indicated that they felt the Commission provided services equitably for all individuals.

Recommendations/Comments from the survey:

Be more culturally responsive: • “Oregonians do not generally know about the services offered at OCB. OCB does not make itself accessible to individuals who function as part of a non-majority cultural group (such as providing services to the entire family, consulting with elders first).”

Have more and more varied outreach: • “Marketing in neighborhood community centers might be helpful. Spanish tends to be more of a spoken rather than written language, although there are more educated people in the PDX area with Spanish as their 1st language than in many service areas. Please include other culture groups in outreach - Russian communities, for example.”

Services for Individuals Who Are Hispanic/Latino

The Commission recognizes that one of Oregon’s fastest growing cultural groups is individuals of Hispanic/Latino descent. As such, the Commission engages in several activities specifically targeted to this group: • Brochures are translated into Spanish. • Interpreters are available when needed. • Two VR counselors are fluent in Spanish. When staff position openings occur, the Commission encourages bilingual individuals to apply. • Outreach is provided at events that have the potential to reach a large number of Hispanic individuals. These include Hispanic community outreach events (several of which are attended annually throughout the state) and professional development conferences. • The Commission is a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The survey asked specifically for suggestions for improving services for Hispanic/Latino individuals.

Survey respondents identified the most important outreach methods as providing access to translators (95.2% of respondents) and educational materials in Spanish (90.4% of respondents). Additionally, the majority of respondents (81.8%) felt that the Commission should engage in marketing outreach to schools in areas with a large Hispanic/Latino population.

Additional suggestions provided by survey respondents included the following:

Immigration status: • “The Hispanic community is quite large in Southern Oregon, but immigration status can prevent accessing services.” • “I would prefer that the individual be verified as living here legally before any taxpayer funded services are provided.” Outreach to specific locations: • “Be aware of locations: Latino people may be in specific geographic areas within a community, and not integrated into the community.” • “Marketing outreach to Hispanic/Latino churches, community centers, health centers, stores and even restaurants.” • “Reaching out to schools is really important, because if the kids hear about it and they have a parent who is visually impaired they will be able to relay that information.”

6. Services for individuals who are legally blind who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program

The CNA survey asked respondents to identify any additional groups of individuals who may be unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program. While most respondents did not identify any groups those that were identified include the following:

• Individuals with language or cultural barriers (4 respondents) • Individuals with additional disabilities and/or addiction issues (3 respondents) • Older adults; • Rural inhabitants with few resources (1 respondent) • Newly blind individuals (1 respondent) • Youth without a career goal (1 respondent) • Individuals needing significant services (1 respondent) • Individuals with unique circumstances (i.e. skills, interests, medical conditions) (1 respondent)

Individuals with progressive vision loss (e.g. those not yet legally blind)

Individuals with progressive vision loss, but not yet legally blind, are typically not eligible for VR services based on federal requirements. Consequently these individuals are not eligible to receive Commission VR services.

Two respondents mentioned this as a serious gap in services: • “I’m hearing reports from people living with progressive vision loss that have contacted the Commission that they do not yet qualify for services and will have to wait. Some were put on a 6-week waiting list to even find that out. This is rapidly becoming a large segment of the blind/VI community as we baby boomers age.”

• “Include them in their services. For example, we have a student that isn’t qualifying because her vision isn’t reduced enough. She is losing her vision but hasn’t lost enough, so there is a conflict of urgency. The person is in crisis because she is losing her vision, but she is being told it’s not bad enough. All that happens not in person, but by a phone call and a review of an eye report. Meeting with someone and making a personal connection would be better.”

These responses suggest that additional outreach to providers to clarify funding requirements may be helpful. In addition, outreach to individuals with progressive vision loss can be improved in order to increase the number of eligible individuals who access the Commission’s services.

The Commission does seek to reach individuals with progressive vision loss so they know they have a resource for help once they do meet federal eligibility requirements for services. Interview and survey respondents were asked for suggestions for reaching individuals with progressive vision loss.

Suggestions: • 12 people suggested outreach to medical locations (doctor’s offices, eye clinics, etc.) • Other suggestions for outreach include Centers for Independent Living, DHS venues, teachers, ESD, senior service centers

Two additional detailed comments were provided:

“Outreach forums. I’ve hosted numerous vision forums at my organization. Important to establish good communication at other agencies so people know there are good options. Have hosted Options for Success event with OCB for the last 7 years and tools like that are very powerful. With changes happening so rapidly in assistive technology area, it’s hard for folks to stay abreast of new technologies. It’s information and an inspiration thing that there is always hope.”

“Increased connection with OVRS, who often provide services for individuals with diabetes (a medical condition that eventually leads to visual impairment and blindness). Increased connection with clinics that serve economically disadvantaged Oregonians where diabetes is a frequent diagnosis (Virginia Garcia clinic, for instance). Increased referrals of individuals with diagnosis of RP or other retinal dysfunctions, with outreach and a support group that accepts new members each fall (when the days are shorter).”

Services for individuals who are legally blind served through the statewide workforce investment system (other than the VR program)

Description of statewide system

Oregon’s statewide workforce investment system includes Workforce Investment Act funded One Stops, Oregon Department of Human Services – Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and businesses.

Because the Commission is a small agency it partners with Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to represent the interests of individuals who are blind in other components of the statewide workforce investment system. The Commission has a cooperative agreement with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to represent the Commission’s interests on the local boards. The Commission also participates in several task forces.

At the state level, the Commission is involved in several projects and focus groups. Commission Executive Director, Dacia Johnson, sits on the Oregon Workforce Policy Cabinet and provides input regarding the needs of people with disabilities.

Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS)

OVRS provides VR services for individuals whose disability is other than blindness. OVRS and the Commission have a cooperative agreement by which the Commission provides services for individuals whose primary vocational rehabilitation needs are vision related. Commission staff works closely with OVRS. The Commission provides resources and consultation to OVRS regarding technology, low vision, and low vision aids.

WorkSource Oregon American Job Centers (One Stops)

One Stops provide general employment and training services and are located throughout the state. Each One Stop is set up to meet local needs and partnerships vary. OVRS and the Employment Department are mandated One Stops partners.

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and WorkSource system track self-reported numbers of individuals served both with a disability and with a disability that represents a barrier to employment. However the type of disability is not tracked, and as such, there is no way to determine how many individuals who are legally blind are served through the WorkSource Oregon system.

The Commission is committed to ensuring that clients who are blind are able to participate in the integrated service delivery model of the WIA. The Commission is seeking to provide leadership to the workforce system in its efforts to ensure equal access for individuals who are legally blind to One Stops and other workforce programs.

Dacia Johnson, Commission Executive Director, sits on the State Workforce Policy Cabinet. In addition the Commission offers local WIA partners the following:

• Training on visual impairment and blindness and program accessibility;

• Development of nondiscriminatory policies and procedures; and

• Technical assistance on the provision of reasonable accommodations and assistive technology for individuals who are blind.

The Commission’s VR counselors maintain workforce partner relations through identifying contacts in each of the One Stops. Counselors make a commitment to regularly contact these individuals and provide information about the Commission and how to access services.

The One Stops generally have adaptive computer programs available. However, individuals must have expertise in using ZoomText or JAWS before being able to use the One Stop computers. In practice, this often means a person who is newly blinded comes to the Commission for rehabilitation training before looking for employment through the Employment Department.

If a person only needs help to secure a job, that person ideally will be able to access services at a One Stop. For example, a client who has gone through Commission programs, gained skills using adaptive computer programs and been successfully employed may want to advance their career by attaining a new job. In this case, the individual should be able to use the WorkSource system. However, if there are VR needs – adjustment and adaptive skills – individuals could receive those services through the Commission. The workforce system can be a valuable partner through its contacts with employers.

Having a Commission client with adaptive skills work with the One Stop staff is often an opportunity to educate Commission partners about working with people who are blind, especially in those cases where the One Stop staff’s approach is to start by referring the person back to the Commission for services. Commission staff have spent time working with Employment Department staff in order to educate them about the vast array of jobs that can be done by someone with low, or no, vision. Through this process Employment Department staff increases their ability to visualize jobs and accommodations for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

In general, the Commission has most frequently partnered with the rural One Stops. When there are education opportunities for partners the Commission takes part in those events.

Business

The Commission recognizes that in order to maximize the employment opportunities for individuals who are blind, there must be businesses that are interested in hiring qualified candidates who are blind. The Commission has a Business Relation Specialist who works with businesses around the state to provide education, technical consultation, and networking with qualified candidates who are seeking employment.

Needs and Barriers related to statewide system

The online survey requested partner and staff feedback regarding the experiences of Oregonians who are legally blind using the workforce system.

• Five survey respondents provided suggestions for improvements regarding technology: o Have increased technology available; o Make sure that One Stop employees are knowledgeable about accessible technology and Commission services; and o Have Commission staff train One Stop employees around accessibility.

• Two respondents suggested increased levels of job search assistance at the One Stop centers.

• Three respondents said that One Stops should not provide services to individuals with vision loss; that the Commission should serve them instead.

• One respondent suggested connecting Vocational Counselors with One Stop systems.

• One person said they were satisfied with services the One Stops provided.

to establish, develop, or improve Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) within the State.

The State of Oregon does not have CRPs specific to serving individuals who are blind. Oregon is a relatively small state in terms of population, and the population that is blind is a small demographic group within that population. As such the numbers do not support a sustainable business model for ongoing external programs.

The Commission does use CRPs for specialized placement and job coaching functions – specific to the CRPs expertise in those employment areas. In addition, there are specialized programs that provide services related to vision loss such as the Devers and Casey Eye Clinics, and the Blinded Veterans Association.

Because there are not specific blindness-related CRPs, the Commission works closely with agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout Oregon to make sure that individuals who are blind or visually impaired receive appropriate services, and that other organizations are able to either refer individuals to the Commission for service or to gain information needed from Commission staff in order to serve the individuals effectively and appropriately.

The Commission works with partners both to meet individual client needs and to share information. Staff gathers resources and develops relationships so that clients can access needed services that are provided by partner organizations. Frequent partnerships are for mental health services, adaptive technology beyond those relevant to blindness and one-on-one job task analysis and training.

The Commission also works with partners to share information on blindness. Staff connects with partners to help them learn about technology and available resources. Commission staff also helps partners adapt their services to make them accessible.

Few survey respondents made comments in this area. Four people suggested increased partnering between OCB and these programs, in order to improve services, to increase CRP expertise on assistive technology, and to provide better referrals. Additionally, one person suggested improving CRP ability to support individuals building self-advocacy skills and ability to advocate for themselves in terms of accommodations.

The summary/conclusions of the CNA are as follows.

The Commission’s programs are meeting the vocational rehabilitation needs of legally blind Oregonians.

The Commission’s VR program works to increase the employment of Oregonians who are legally blind through individualized activities designed to support entry or re-entry into employment. In 2013, the Commission served 713 individuals in the vocational rehabilitation program. Over the last five years, for those completing the Commission’s program and achieving an employment outcome, 67% entered competitive employment. Consumer feedback verifies the strength of the Commission’s programs. 100 per cent of Commission clients achieving an employment goal were satisfied with the outcome of training received at the Commission.

As a result of feedback and subsequent data analysis the following is recommended:

Initial Assessment process: • Ensure that partners and potential clients understand the process and clients, who are not yet eligible, feel connected and have options prior to beginning services. • Ensure that options for careers and training are explored and information is provided about career options in high demand and high wage occupations. • Look for ways to shorten the wait time for the initial assessment at the training center.

Partnering with other Agencies: • To the extent possible, provide training for other organizations that may serve the same individuals. These include Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Independent Living Centers, and others. This is an opportunity to connect individuals to services beyond those that the Commission is able to provide. • Ensure that services are coordinated: work closely with other providers to ensure individuals with multiple disabilities don’t “fall through the cracks,” provide training so other service providers fully understand why their clients are not yet able to begin services and how to help clients in the interim.

Services for Individuals who are Racial or Ethnic Minorities • Black or African American individuals are less likely to achieve a successful closure than individuals from other ethnic groups (57% compared to 71% for Hispanics and 76% for Whites). This discrepancy did not occur in previous CNAs, and may not be indicative of a long-term trend, however more investigation into the causes for this discrepancy is recommended. • Continue activities to outreach to Oregon’s Hispanic and Latino communities. Consider implementing some of the survey respondents’ outreach strategies: e.g. more one-on-one/in person contact with this population.

This screen was last updated on Jun 13 2014 10:37AM by saorhalea

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

The Oregon Commission for the Blind projects that we will be able to serve all eligible individuals who enter the vocational rehabilitation program and will not be required to enter into an Order of Selection in FY 15.

The State of Oregon continues to experience higher unemployment rate than the national average. The agency continues to see an increase in the number of individuals who are blind who have lost their job and are requiring assistance with returning to the workforce. We have also experienced an increase in the competition for job openings, including entry level occupations.

The Oregon Commission for the Blind serves individuals who are legally blind or have progressive eye conditions that are likely to lead to legal blindness and are experiencing functional limitations and barriers to employment as a result. In Oregon, it is estimated that over 19,000 residents are legally blind, and could potentially be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services from the Commission for the Blind. The agency serves between 8-10% of these individuals each year.

The agency served 16 total supported employment clients and all 16 were in status 12-24 in FY 13. 2 supported employment cases were closed in status 28 in FY 13. In FY 14 we hope to serve 30 individuals and have 3 successful outcomes.

For FY 15, we expect to see an increase in the total number served in the VR program, serving around 735 individuals. We have put an emphasis on increasing the number of applications by caseload. Counselors regularly meet with clients to evaluate their rehabilitation programs and their progress to date. For clients who are not making progress toward a rehabilitation outcome and are no longer interested in employment, we are requesting these individuals’ cases be closed as appropriate. Our goal is to free up our counselors to be able to focus on those individuals in the system that are motivated and committed to the rehabilitation process. As a result, we expect to serve 745 new and existing clients in the Title I Program, and 25 clients in the Supported Employment Program, with a projected cost of $1,881,234.00.

Our employment outcomes went up from 85 successful closures in FY 10, to 100 successful outcomes in FY 11 and up again to 101 successful closures in FY12, in FY13 we went down to 67 successful closures. Like other states, Oregon has a high unemployment rate. Nevertheless, the agency is optimistic that our emphasis on increasing applications and employment outcomes will result in an increase of outcomes for FY 114 and 15, with the goal to increase by 5%, which may be a challenge given the current state of the economy in our state.

We are expecting that our trend in the future will be an increase in applicants in the VR program. The Commission for the Blind has an Outreach plan for the agency that targets potential clients, employers, referral sources, and workforce partners. Part of the plan included outreaching to minority communities. Our goal is to increase the total number of clients served from minority backgrounds in FY 15 and beyond. This plan will assist us in reaching this objective.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Title 1 Program Title I $1,881,234 765 $2,459
Title VI Program Title VI $38,225 30 $1,274
Totals   $1,919,459 795 $2,414

This screen was last updated on May 29 2014 9:39AM by saorhalea

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.

As a result of the 2014 comprehensive needs assessment the agency has established the following goals and priorities.

Standards and Indicators The agency is committed to continuing to perform well on the federal standards and indicators. We passed 5/6 of the primary indicators for FY 13. In addition, for performance indicator 2.1, the agency’s ratio of service rate for FY 13 was .77. The agency’s 2011 Comprehensive Needs Assessment indicated that the agency’s overall efforts to serve individuals in Oregon from minority backgrounds was somewhat lower than the population, concluding that we can strengthen outreach in this area.

Supported Employment Program

1. Serve 30 individuals and have 3 successful outcomes. - In FY 13 the agency served 16 total supported employment clients: 1 status 12 and 15 status 14-24. 2 supported employment cases were closed in status 28. We continue to be committed to serving increasing numbers of supported employment clients and to insuring they experience successful outcomes.

Initial Assessment process: • Ensure that partners and potential clients understand the process and clients, who are not yet eligible, feel connected and have options prior to beginning services. • Ensure that options for careers and training are explored and information is provided about career options in high demand and high wage occupations. • If possible, look for ways to shorten the wait time for the initial assessment required prior to clients entering the training center.

Partnering with other Agencies: • To the extent possible, provide training for other organizations that may serve the same individuals. These include Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Independent Living Centers, and others. This is an opportunity to connect individuals to services beyond those that the Commission is able to provide. • Ensure that services for clients with multiple needs are coordinated with partner agencies. This includes providing training so other service providers fully understand OCB eligibility requirements and services.

Services for Individuals who are Racial or Ethnic Minorities • Black or African American individuals are less likely to achieve a successful closure than individuals from other ethnic groups (57% compared to 71% for Hispanics and 76% for Whites). This discrepancy did not occur in previous CNAs, and may not be indicative of a long-term trend, however more investigation into the causes for this discrepancy is recommended. • Continue activities to outreach to Oregon’s Hispanic and Latino communities.

Customer Satisfaction Survey • The most recent Customer Satisfaction Survey was sent out to all clients who were closed in FY 2013, however only those clients who had a successful closure responded. Additional efforts should be made to reach clients who have had their cases closed as unsuccessful employment outcomes.

This screen was last updated on May 29 2014 9:44AM by saorhalea

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.

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2010 4:24PM by Dacia Johnson

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.

The Oregon Commission for the Blind uses its Title VI, Part B funds to provide supported employment services to eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment in an integrated setting is their current vocational goal. These clients, because of the nature of their disability, often require extensive services in order to be successful. Specialized placement assistance, lengthened training periods and planning for ongoing support is required in order for clients to be successful. All of the funds are used for individual case costs.

Our approach for supported employment services is as follows: If an individual’s goal is to pursue an employment outcome in an integrated setting, an IPE will be developed in accordance with the individual’s strengths, interests, resources, priorities, and informed choice. Services are purchased on a fee-for-service basis from providers within the community. Careful job analysis and intensive one to one training are provided. The following is the Oregon Commission for the Blind’s plan for distribution of our supported employment resources. The program utilizes the Title VI, Part B funds for case service funds for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require additional supports and long term support planning by a comprehensive rehabilitation team.

The target population is divided into three segments:

1) Individuals who are deaf-blind

2) Individuals with developmental disabilities in addition to blindness 3) Individuals with other significant disabilities such as traumatic brain injury in addition to blindness

The full scope of services authorized for supported employment is provided to clients.

Each client is evaluated individually to determine his or her eligibility and potential to engage in supported employment. Eligibility determinations are funded through the 110 program. Only Supplemental assessments to determine potential for supported employment will be authorized with Title VI B funds. The supplemental assessment may be provided when a reassessment of the suitability of the placement is warranted, or when there is a change in the individual’s medical condition.

If the assessment shows that the individual will require ongoing support to sustain acceptable work performance and maintain employment, supported employment is included in the services to be provided in the IPE. The IPE includes collaboration and funding from other agencies or organizations which assist by providing the ongoing support services required. All services provided by the Commission for the Blind are time limited (not exceeding 18 months) unless the eligible individual and the counselor jointly agree that additional time is required to reach the IPE goal and the individual is progressing toward that goal.

The following services may be provided:

1. Supplemental assessments. 2. Job development and placement. 3. Supported employment services needed to support individuals with the most significant Disabilities such as: a. Intensive on the job skills training and other training to achieve and maintain job stability b. Follow up services to reinforce and stabilize the job placement c. Discrete post employment services following transition that are unavailable from an extended services provider and that are necessary to maintain the job placement d. Specialized technology devices and training

Training and post employment services that will lead to supported employment are provided by this agency. The necessary extended support is provided by other agencies. Services we provide include: the provision of skilled job coaches who accompany the worker for intensive on the job training, systematic training, job development, follow up services, regular observation or supervision of the individual at the training site, rehabilitation technology, and other services needed to support the client in employment.

On going supports may be provided by the agency from the time of job placement until the transition to ongoing support. These are services that are needed to support and maintain the individuals with the most significant disabilities in supported employment. Ongoing support services may consist of:

1. Specialized assessments 2. Skilled job trainers at the work site 3. Job development and placement 4. Social skills training 5. Regular observation or supervision of the individual 6. Follow up services such as regular contact with the employer, the individual, etc., to reinforce and stabilize the job placement 7. Facilitation of natural supports at the work site

Once the individual is transitioned from agency vocational rehabilitation support, another agency or resource provides the ongoing support services.

IN FY 13 the agency served 16 total supported employment clients and 16 status 12-24 supported employment clients in FY 12. 2 supported employment cases were closed as status 28 in FY 14. In FY 14 we hope to serve 30 individuals and have 3 successful outcomes.

For clients with developmental disabilities, vocational rehabilitation counselors may coordinate with a program in Oregon that serves individuals with developmental disabilities called Universal Access. If the client is eligible, this program is the most likely resource for ongoing support for individuals who are legally blind in addition to developmental disabilities. This system uses brokerages that identify and coordinate services for the client.

Our goals for the program for FY 15 include:

1. Coordinate the Summer Work Experience Program for students who require ongoing supports in partnership with the Department of Education

2. Partner with the education team that will support students who are leaving secondary school programs to develop a transition plan for school to work

3. Continue to outreach to the deaf-blind community

4. Coordinate with community resources to maximize comparable benefits and improve services for our clients

5. Maintain the number of individuals served in the program and increase our outcomes in integrated settings with supports

Results from Comprehensive Needs Assessment

The Oregon Commission for the Blind completed a Comprehensive Needs Assessment in FY 2014. This assessment provided highly positive feedback on the Commission’s services, based on serving a representative demographic of Oregon’s population, on the outcomes individuals achieved, and on feedback from partnering entities.

Conclusions and Recommendations for State Plan

• The Oregon Commission for the Blind’s programs are meeting the vocational rehabilitation needs of Oregonians who are legally blind.

The Oregon Commission for the Blind’s VR program works to increase the employment of Oregonians who are legally blind through individualized activities designed to support entry or re-entry into employment. In 2013, the Commission served 713 individuals in the VR program, or approximately 1.8% of the working age population identified as having a visual disability in the 2011 American Community Survey.

Overall Vocational Rehabilitation services

• The Commission has a history of outperforming the national average in terms of the number of individuals with vision loss entering competitive employment. For those individuals with vision loss who achieved an employment outcome, 77% in 2013 achieved competitive employment, which is particularly notable given the current economic recession and Oregon’s extremely high levels of unemployment. Consumer feedback verifies the strength of the Commission’s programs: of Commission clients achieving an employment goal, 100% were satisfied with the outcome of training received at the Commission. • Suggestions for improving the vocational rehabilitation program in general include providing more outreach to a variety of community entities including employers and, within budget limitations, increasing staff capacity. It is also suggested that we evaluate activity schedules to assure efficient use of resources.

Vocational Rehabilitation services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including supported employment services

• The Commission provides vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with significant disabilities. In 2013, for those who exited the program having achieved employment, 100% had a significant disability; the five-year average is 99%.

Suggestions for improving services to individuals with the most significant disabilities focused on increasing partnering and visibility with other agencies, and providing more job search assistance and employer outreach.

This screen was last updated on May 29 2014 9:47AM by saorhalea

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.

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

Identify 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.

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

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

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

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.

Attachment 4.11(d) State’s Strategies Goals The agency has established the following goals and priorities for FY 11. 1. Increase the number of applications by caseload. We want to focus on increasing the number of new applications that are accepted and reach eligible status for FY 11. We would like to increase our application by 10% from 200 to 2010. We recognize that in order to meet the second goal and priority, we need to have an adequate pool of new clients coming through the door. 2. Increase the number of employment outcomes in the VR program. For FY 10, the agency had 96 employment outcomes. This was a reduction from FY 09, where we obtained 115 employment outcomes. This goal is largely dependent upon the economic conditions within our state, but we believe that our focus should be to continue to improve in this area despite the high unemployment rate. The agency would like to increase the employment outcomes by 5% in FY 11. 3. Redesigning the client services procurement process. This is part of the agency’s efforts to improve and strengthen the agency’s business practices. 4. Continue to develop and strengthen the agency’s quality assurance efforts in the areas of documentation and case management. 5. Make the necessary changes to the agency programs that are necessary in order to respond to the unmet need of transition aged youth who are not able to receive independent living skills training and support through educational sources due to the closure of the School for the Blind. 6. In addition, the agency will be seeking ways to move forward the following priorities. This will depend on the availability of resources after we attend to the above goals.

1. Increase percentage of clients believing in their ability to live a full and productive life.

2. Increase clients’ competitive skills upon completion of training.

3. To increase the percentage of clients who are not receiving SSI/SSDI.

The agency also is committed to continuing to perform well on the federal standards and indicators. We passed 5/6 of the primary indicators for FY 2008. In addition, for performance indicator 2.1, the agency’s ratio of service rate for FY 08 was 1.037.

Strategies: 1. Community Education and outreach – the agency is investing in funds to provide greater access to our services through a microsite – an easy to read and get around website that directs potential clients and their families to the agency. We are also updating all of our brochures and materials. This microsite is www.oregonblind.com 2. Business Partnerships and Education – the agency employs a Business Relations Coordinator that is aligned with national initiatives to work with business partners as a customer to meet their staffing and labor needs with job ready clients from our vocational rehabilitation program. 3. Aligning the agency business operations within state government – ensuring that the agency procurement process reflects the state’s current expectations within state government while remaining flexible and responsive to clients needs. This includes updating the way we procure client services as well as strengthening our internal quality assurance practices. 4. Transition youth exiting high school – reviewing our current training practices and networking with remaining specialized resources for high school students who are exiting out of school services who require intensive independent living skill preparation in order to prepare for and enter into employment. Strengthen and expand our partnerships

Assistive Technology The Oregon Commission for the Blind provides assistive technology services and devices to individuals who are preparing for and entering into training and employment. Over 70% of individuals served each year on average receive technology training and/or devices each year. Technology is an essential element to an individual being able to access information and perform various independent living and employment functions without relying on visual strategies. We have a state of the art technology center that provides resources statewide to individuals in the vocational rehabilitation program. We also have a technology specialist that serves the state for those individuals who are not able to come to our center in Portland and require in home training and consultation. In addition, we have technology training centers in our Salem, Eugene, and Medford offices that individuals could access for training and consultation.

Outreach Procedures The agency provides education and outreach to individuals with minority backgrounds. It is important to us that all Oregonians who would quality for our programs understand our services and know how to reach us should they be in need of or be interested in pursuing employment. Each geographic territory is assigned staff members who are responsible for serving those areas, including connecting with community partners who may serve underrepresented groups who could benefit from our programs. We have a myriad of strategies that we employ including: Outstation of staff at tribal VR office to staff cases and provide consultation on low vision and blindness issues, publishing agency contact information in Hispanic newspaper, representation on the Hispanic Roundtables, having representatives at community health fairs and employment fairs, and connecting with medical clinics that serve minority populations. This is an ongoing priority for the agency, as blindness is over represented in many minority populations.

Workforce Investment System The agency has served as a resource for the workforce system in a variety of ways. We provide technical consultation on accessibility issues throughout the state for computer and program access for individuals who are seeking services in the workforce system who are blind. Because blindness is a low incidence disability, often times individuals who are blind experience barriers to be able to access workforce system programs. Our assistive technology staff provides consultation and testing for website, computerized program and other accessibility issues upon request. Our Business Relations Specialist provides consultation and training to workforce partners and businesses in order to provide greater access to jobs for job seekers who are blind. We provide education and training resources for both individuals who are legally blind as well as our workforce partners on this issue. We also provide information and referral to workforce programs for individuals who are waiting for services as part of the agency’s order of selection process. Strategies and The Use of Stimulus Funds The agency will be utilizing stimulus funds in efforts to increase our competitive employment outcomes through increasing our case service funds available for vocational rehabilitation clients. Areas identified include:

Job placement services Funding for Summer Work Experiences for Transition Youth Assistive technology for job sites On the job training funds Training for licensed managers in the Randolph Sheppard Program

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 6 2010 12:02PM by Dacia Johnson

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

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

Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

Reporting Progress on Goals and Priorities for FY 13. Goal: 1. Increase the number of applications by caseload. We want to focus on increasing the number of new applications that are accepted and reach eligible status for FY 114. We would like to increase our applications by 5% from 201 to 211. We recognize that in order to meet the second goal and priority, we will need to have an increased pool of new applicants. Progress: The agency actually declined in applications to 187 due to staffing issues noted in attachment 4.10, however increasing applications still remains a priority. The agency firmly believes that in order to maintain or improve our number of employment outcomes, we need to have new clients coming to the agency for assistance with obtaining or maintaining employment. 2. Increase the number of employment outcomes in the VR program. Progress: For FY 13, the agency had 67 employment outcomes which is far lower than previous years. This drop was largely due to staff illnesses/absences and retirements as well as the economic conditions within our state. We are committed to continue to improve in this area despite the high unemployment rate. The agency had a goal of increasing our employment outcomes in FY 13 and although we were not able to reach that goal because of circumstances outside of our control, we are committed to significantly increasing this number in FY 2014 and 2015. 3. Maintain and monitor the client services procurement process. This has been part of the agency’s efforts to improve and strengthen the agency’s business practices. Progress: The agency began implementation for procurement for client services in FY 11 and it was fully implemented the beginning of FY 12. This means that all specialized rehabilitation services are now being provided through qualified vendors under personal services contracts that are generated from an open competitive recruitment process. We are actively reviewing/monitoring these venders for compliance and reviewing/processing new applications as they arrive. 4. Make the necessary changes to the agency programs that are essential in order to respond to the unmet need of transition aged youth who are not able to receive independent living skills training and support through educational sources. We have continued to focus our efforts on public education and community outreach regarding the impact of specialized services for persons who are blind or visually impaired. Progress: The agency has been partnering with the Regional Programs for the Visually Impaired throughout the state to assist youth in acquiring the independent living skills necessary to move forward successfully in their transition plans. We have been able to work in partnership with Department of Education funds to assist targeted youth in attending programs available through the Washington School for the Blind. This means that the agency is providing vocational related services while students are advancing their independent living skills in a supervised setting on the campus of the Washington School for the Blind. We continue to offer specialized work experienced opportunities for transition aged youth in Oregon. This includes continuing to offer Summer Work Experience Programs for both for individuals with significant support needs in the area of independent living and employment and for those youth who are able to live, travel and work independently.

 

Progress on Goals for Title VI Part B Program

1. Coordinate the Summer Work Experience Program for students who require ongoing supports in partnership with the Department of Education

Progress update: In FY 2013, the agency held one Summer Work Experience Program at the Campus of the Oregon School for the Deaf. The reports following the program were able to be incorporated into the planning for the individualized education programs of the students who returned to school. The Salem program is was expanded from a strictly supported employment model (starting in 2013) to a program that is fully integrated: serving both students who are able to live/work independently as well as those needing additional supports. This innovation allows us to utilize the extensive staff and larger facility in Salem in order to provide all students entering the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) with a more comprehensive assessment and training experience. This further allows us the ability to provide regional programs with information they need to inform the education and training needed for these students during the academic year. In FY 2013 we also provided SWEP on the campus of Portland State University for students who lived in the Ondine dorm and worked in and around Portland. The Portland model is now the second step for students within the program. Salem is the first step (with additional supports built in to their experience) and Portland is the next step (allowing students who are able/ready to attend another summer the ability to fully implement their skills in an even more independent setting).

2. Partner with the education team that will support students who are leaving secondary school programs to develop a transition plan for school to work

Progress Update:

The agency attended individualized transition plan meetings for all students exiting the schools in order to provide seamless services to students exiting the school system.

3. Continue to outreach to the deaf-blind community

Progress Update:

The agency is involved in a community coalition of stakeholders who are committed to serving individuals who are deaf blind. The agency’s deaf-blind specialist and deaf-blind transition specialist are both involved in this effort.

4. Coordinate with community resources to maximize comparable benefits and improve services for our clients

Progress Update:

The agency has been able to network with community support services through the Office of Developmental Disability Services of the state to identify ongoing support services for individuals with significant disabilities who require supported employment services.

5. Maintain the number of individuals served in the program and increase our outcomes in integrated settings with supports

Progress Update:

The agency served 16 total supported employment clients and all 16 were status 12-24 supported employment cases in FY 12. Two supported employment cases were closed as status 28.

 

Standards and Indicators Performance: The agency also is committed to continuing to perform well on the federal standards and indicators. We passed 5/6 of the primary indicators for FY 13. In addition, for performance indicator 2.1, the agency’s ratio of service rate for FY 13 was .77. The agency’s 2014 Comprehensive Needs Assessment indicated that the agency’s overall efforts to serve individuals in Oregon from minority backgrounds was good but could use some strengthenning and we are committed to increasing our outreach to minority populations.

 

Innovation and Expansion Activities for FY 13 Maximizing out of the box technology as a rehabilitation teaching tool – Rehabilitation Instructors for the Blind employed by the agency have continued utilizing Apple and android Devices as adaptive teaching tools in FY 13. This is exciting off the shelf technology that has built in adaptive features and affordable applications that can be purchased to identify paper currency, take notes, plan meals/shopping, organize/manage tasks for independent living, provide GPS location services, etc.

Business and Community Engagement The agency is a member of the Portland Business Alliance. This allows the agency to make connections with several businesses and potential employers on a regular basis. The agency’s Business Relations Coordinator is an actively engaged with this organization. We invested $700 in this effort. Night of Networking- OHSU The agency was a community sponsor for a networking event that was hosted by the largest healthcare organization in the state, Oregon Health and Sciences University. This was an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to network and casually interact with business and human resource professionals from the community and within the health care industry. We invested $500 in this effort. Connecting Communities The agency is a member of a coalition of community and public organizations who have come together to draw attention to and pool resources around systems change and awareness for individuals with disabilities. We invested$50 in this effort.

Coordination and Planning with Independent Living The Oregon Commission for the Blind has a partnership with the State Independent Living Council to ensure that the strategic planning and coordination of independent living services and priorities in Oregon include the interests of individuals who are blind. We invested $1800.00 in FY 13 year for this effort.

This screen was last updated on May 29 2014 11:04AM by saorhalea

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

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

The Oregon Commission for the Blind provides Supported Employment services to legally blind clients who are eligible for this program throughout the state. All Title VI B funds received by the agency are used for case service expenses for supported employment clients. In order to be eligible for supported employment services, the individual must be someone for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability who require ongoing long term support services in order to perform work. If it appears feasible that the needed long term support services can be developed, the individual will be opened in supported employment. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors work toward identifying sources for long term supports with the assistance of the client and other stakeholders.

Each client is individually evaluated and an individualized plan for employment is developed outlining the services to be provided. This will include collaboration and funding from other agencies, organizations or sources which will assist in providing the supported employment services. Our approach for supported employment services is as follows: If an individual’s goal is to pursue an employment outcome in an integrated setting, an IPE will be developed in accordance with the individual’s strengths, interests, resources, priorities, and informed choice. Services are purchased on a fee-for-service basis from providers within the community. Careful job analysis and intensive one to one training are provided. The following is the Oregon Commission for the Blind’s plan for distribution of our supported employment resources. The program utilizes the Title VI, Part B funds for case service funds for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require additional supports and long term support planning by a comprehensive rehabilitation team.

The target population is divided into three segments:

1) Deaf Blind individuals

2) MR/DD individuals

3) Other multi disabled blind individuals with disabilities such as traumatic brain injury

The full scope of services authorized for supported employment is provided to clients.

Each client is evaluated individually to determine his or her eligibility and potential to engage in supported employment. Eligibility determinations are funded through the 110 program. Only supplemental assessments to determine potential for supported employment will be authorized with Title VI B funds. The supplemental assessment may be provided when a reassessment of the suitability of the placement is warranted, or when there is a change in the individual’s medical condition.

If the assessment shows that the individual will require ongoing support to sustain acceptable work performance and maintain employment, supported employment is included in the services to be provided in the IPE. The IPE includes collaboration and funding from other agencies or organizations which assist by providing the ongoing support services required. All services provided by the Commission for the Blind are time limited (not exceeding 18 months) unless the eligible individual and the counselor jointly agree that additional time is required to reach the IPE goal and the individual is progressing toward that goal.

The following services may be provided:

1. Supplemental assessments.

2. Job development and placement.

3. Supported employment services needed to support individuals with the most significant disabilities such as:

a. Intensive on the job skills training and other training to achieve and maintain job stability b. Follow up services to reinforce and stabilize the job placement; and c. Discrete post employment services following transition that are unavailable from an extended services provider and that are necessary to maintain the job placement d. Specialized technology devices and training

Training and post employment services that will lead to supported employment are provided by this agency. The necessary extended support is provided by other agencies. Services we provide include: the provision of skilled job coaches who accompany the worker for intensive on the job training, systematic training, job development, follow up services, regular observation or supervision of the severely disabled individual at the training site, rehabilitation technology, and other services needed to support the individual in employment.

On going supports may be provided by the agency from the time of job placement until the transition to long term support. These are services that are needed to support and maintain the individuals with the most significant disabilities in supported employment. Ongoing support services may consist of:

1. Specialized assessments 2. Skilled job trainers at the work site 3. Job development and placement 4. Social skills training 5. Regular observation or supervision of the individual 6. Follow up services such as regular contact with the employer, the individual, etc., to reinforce and stabilize the job placement 7. Facilitation of natural supports at the work site.

Once the individual is transitioned from agency vocational rehabilitation support, another agency or resource provides the ongoing support services. For clients with developmental disabilities, vocational rehabilitation counselors may coordinate with a program in Oregon that serves individuals with developmental disabilities called Universal Access. If the client is eligible, this program is the most likely resource for ongoing support for individuals who are legally blind in addition to developmental disabilities. This system uses brokerages that identify and coordinate services for the client.

This screen was last updated on Jul 6 2009 2:48PM by Dacia Johnson