ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

Director Department of Human Services

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

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

Director Department of Human Services

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Sandra M. Powell

Title of Signatory
Director, Dept of Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/26/2012

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 2013
Yes

Comments:

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Sandra M. Powell

Title of Signatory
Director, Dept of Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/26/2012

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. No

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) The designated state unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the state who apply for services. No

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

SRC COMMENTS ON STATE PLAN

On behalf of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), I offer the following comments regarding the proposed FFY2013 Annual Update for the State Plan. 

Comment 1: The SRC supports the efforts of the Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) to develop and maintain Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) agreements with agencies outside the Workforce Investment System and with the coordination of education officials. We are especially supportive of the ORS and RI Department of Education MOU as we believe the involvement of ORS in transition age students early in the process will impact success for students later in life. We hope ORS can continue to maintain a presence in high schools throughout the state as well as continued outreach to transition age youth who are outside the school setting.  

Response 1: ORS remains committed to developing and maintaining Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with agencies outside the Workforce Investment System and values the support of the SRC and the recently developed Transition sub-committee of the SRC. One example as noted by the SRC is the ORS and RI Department of Education (RIDE) MOU. Through this MOU, ORS anticipates ongoing collaboration with a continued focus on enhancing the provision of timely and quality transition services to students with disabilities.    In an effort to be responsive to the needs of transition youth and to maintain a consistent presence in the schools during times of staff transition, ORS has moved to a model of all Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) having some transition responsibilities. This has enhanced ORS’ ability to maintain a presence in every high school.  

Comment 2: The SRC continues to support ORS expanding contractual and fee-for-service agreements with a wide network of vendors, and we are available to identify areas of concerns on the delivery of services by these vendors to help improve the system. In particular, the new ORS collaboration with DD supported employment vendors to possibly provide services to those not diagnosed with DD but who may benefit from supports is an area of interest to the SRC. Our newly-formed subcommittee focusing on Transition will review this collaboration for more information as well as to any data collected in this area.  

Response 2: This collaboration is targeting an adult population who are not diagnosed with developmental disabilities or behavioral health issues. However, the skills of supported employment vendors in providing job coaching and supports addresses the needs of this population.  

Comment 3: The SRC recognizes that ORS can take an increased leadership role in providing supported employment services for those individuals with the most significant disabilities who need supported employment services. The ORS collaboration with BHDDH to assist vendors who work with customers who are not part of the DD population but who might benefit from these vendor supports could be a productive means to increased competitive and quality supported employment outcomes. We are interested in learning more about the collaboration with BHDDA and the CRPs in this regard.  

Response 3: ORS continues to be a presence on the Developmental Disability Council, the two Supported Employment counsels and the Employment Consortium. The Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) is trying to advance a work first & recovery model among its vendors, which many are also CRPs of ORS.   ORS supports the efforts of BHDDH in nudging its providers to lessen dependence on facility based employment and moving toward community-based employment outcomes. BHDDH is changing its fee structure to support employment. ORS actively collaborates with BHDDH in this philosophy change through their presence at meetings and critically reviewing its own fee structures and expectations.  

Comment 4: The SRC continues to be concerned abut the ORS vacancies and we support the filling of additional positions, especially since they are 80% federally funded. We continue to be concerned with the excessively high caseload for counselors and believe it may impact negatively on services to clients. In addition, we believe the agency should offer additional training opportunities to staff in light of the fact that over 40% of the counselors have less than three years of job experience. We believe that a strong foundation focusing on quality outcomes that are consistent with informed choice and agreed upon by the customer is a high priority for ORS.  

Response 4: The SRC’s continued concern and advocacy on behalf of ORS vacancies and caseload size is appreciated. ORS’ commitment upon vacancy posting approval to hiring qualified counselors with Masters Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling remains a high priority. We continue to maintain linkages with area colleges and universities, and to offer practicum and internship opportunities to potential future candidates currently seeking their Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.   We appreciate the SRC comment that ORS sees quality-employment outcomes consistent with informed choice as a high priority and concurs that fostering the ongoing development of staff is important to this goal. ORS continues to conduct an annual Training Needs Assessment with staff, supervisors, and administration and develops an annual training plan. Additionally, staff and supervisors work together with the Training Coordinator to identify individual training needs and the resources to meet the needs. Through this comprehensive training approach and emphasis on continued best practices, ORS staff are provided the support and tools to meet the needs of agency customers.  

Comment 5: The SRC was pleased to participate in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and evaluate areas of customer and provider needs and will continue to support ORS in this area. We also commend ORS for meeting almost all of its standards and indicators despite having to implement an Order of Selection.  

Response 5: ORS values the ongoing collaboration and support of the SRC in meeting the needs identified through the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and looks forward to working collectively with the sub-committees of the SRC concerning quality improvement efforts and in meeting established goals and objectives.  

Comment 6: Also, the SRC is pleased that the average expenditure per client has increased. We look forward to reviewing the new matrix criteria to measure the quality of each job placement based on hours worked per week, hourly earnings, and health insurance benefits. We look forward to reviewing the aggregate data as it becomes available. In addition, we encourage the tracking of whether the outcomes were consistent with informed choice in order to measure quality employment outcomes. The SRC believes concrete goals and data collection and review will serve to refine the services delivered by ORS and ultimately guide and track quality employment outcomes for ORS customers.  

Response 6: While the average expenditure per client is increasing, ORS feels that the continued commitment to providing services to individuals with disabilities predicated on informed choice, employment goal, and objectives as outlined in the IPE is a truer measure of quality employment outcomes. Through the development of the matrix to capture specific data elements related to quality-employment outcomes as outlined in the goals and objectives of the State Plan, ORS anticipates enhanced ability to measure the relationship of services to quality-employment outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities.  

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 1:40PM by Sharon Dipinto

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.

N/A

This screen was last updated on Sep 8 2009 9:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

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

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

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) collaborates with programs and agencies providing services that will assist an individual with a disability to establish and reach an employment goal. Types of agencies that ORS works with include: hospitals, medical and disability support organizations, educational institutions, professional associations, domestic violence and homeless shelters, community centers, community mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment facilities, and advocacy groups.

Memorandums of Understanding have been negotiated with Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Institutions of Higher Education (IHE - Rhode Island College, University of Rhode Island and Community College of Rhode Island), Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT), and the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH).

In order to enhance our recruitment of qualified rehabilitation counselors, ORS has a Memorandum of Understanding with Assumption College and Salve Regina University to provide practicum and internship opportunities to graduate students.

ORS has cultivated a strong working relationship with independent living centers to augment our vocational rehabilitation services with their ability to provide support services, transportation training, advocacy services, home assessments, independent living skills/assistive technology assessment, and information and referral services. In order to enhance these working relationships, ORS assigns Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to function as liaisons to various community agencies.

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

  • 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.

A  Cooperative Agreement (CA) between the Department of Education (RIDE) and Department of Human Services/Office of Rehabilitation Services (DHS/ORS) was executed on July 1, 2010 and is in effect until June 30, 2015.  This  agreement between RIDE and DHS/ORS is in the process of being revised to a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU).  The MOU is intended to provide the framework for the collaborative partnership between RIDE and DHS/ORS that enables ORS Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to have a presence at every high school in the state and to engage students with disabilities to participate in services prior to graduation from high school.

Incorporated into the MOU will be  an  expectation that all students who are eligible for ORS services have an approved Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) prior to graduation. The MOU will describe interagency collaboration and coordination, the role and responsibilities of each partner, the process for resolving disagreements, as well as providing a Collaborative Services Chart (CSC). The CSC identifies which agency is primarily responsible for services in each of the following categories: Assessment Services, Career Development Services, Community Living Services, Related Services and Auxiliary Services.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists between the Department of Human Services/Office of Rehabilitation Services (DHS/ORS) and three Rhode Island  institutions of higher education: Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), Rhode Island College (RIC), and the University of Rhode Island (URI). The MOU clarifies the role of each partner in fostering a seamless delivery system intended to support DHS/ORS customers attending post-secondary programs. It also defines the financial parameters for each partner in a cost-sharing formula for support services, accommodations, and assistive technology for post-secondary students with an active Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with ORS.

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

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

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) will continue to develop both contractual and fee-for-service agreements with a wide network of private vocational rehabilitation providers in order to meet the vocational rehabilitation needs of Rhode Islanders with disabilities. An identified need, as determined by the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) or by the individualized needs of customers, will initiate efforts to create a new service or training option. Contracts are negotiated according to agency criteria and include an ORS approved work plan development and monitoring of measurable performance goals, and quarterly monitoring of deliverables.

In addition to contractual agreements, fee-for-service agreements incorporate a similar process with the Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP) being funded based upon authorization, service provision, and outcomes. ORS will utilize the information from the FFY2011 Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) as a foundation for expansion and/or development of new contractual and fee-for-service agreements that meet the employment needs of customers. The Continuous Quality Improvement Committee will work with the CRP Supervisor to develop increased options for individuals with disabilities who are considered underserved and/or minority populations based on the CNA findings. In addition, ongoing Quality Improvement activities such as the quarterly satisfaction survey developed and implemented by the SRC State Plan and Continuous Quality Improvement Committee, as well as the ORS Strategic Planning Supervisor, provides ongoing information that is relevant to customers’ vocational rehabilitation needs.

ORS has a long-standing history of cultivating collaboration between ORS, CRPs, and the netWORKri One-Stop system. It is anticipated that this effort will continue through FFY2013. ORS, through its parent agency, Rhode Island Department of Human Services, is a financial and programmatic partner with Rhode Island netWORKri One-Stop Centers. ORS counselors have designated days and times at each of the One-Stop Centers in order to provide access to ORS services including applications, counseling, information and referral, and placement services. ORS personnel attend monthly statewide Employer Services Network meetings at the Providence/Cranston One-Stop Career Center/netWORKri. In addition, ORS personnel, through the Assistive Technology grant (ATAP), provide consultation and training to the One-Stop staff on disability issues, accessibility considerations, and assistive technology. ORS has two Memorandums of Understanding with the RI Workforce Investment Board that defines the relationship between ORS and the One Stop Centers.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) continues to embrace supported employment services as a means to enable individuals with the most significant disabilities to have access to work opportunities. ORS has maintained involvement with two Supported Employment Advisory Councils, and has cooperative agreements with the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH). The Division of Behavioral Healthcare and Division of Developmental Disabilities are organized within the BHDDH agency.

From FFY2012 through FFY2013, the Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) will continue to partner with Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) of supported employment services so that customers can make informed choices about integrated competitive employment options. ORS will sponsor and partner with the Division of Behavioral Health and Division of Developmental Disabilities Supported Employment Advisory Councils. ORS staff also provide ongoing training and technical assistance to the supported employment CRPs. Training on supported employment regulations, policy, and core values has occurred with staff of ORS and with CRPs to increase their understanding of the ORS Supported Employment process.

ORS, as a provider of supported employment services, engages community resources to provide the extended supports that help sustain employment for individuals with significant disabilities. Long-term supports are planned for and included in the customers’ Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). These plans are individualized and define the scope and duration of each supported employment service. The IPE also identifies the CRP who will continue to provide support services to the individual with a disability on a long-term basis. This shift in service delivery responsibility is well coordinated by the ORS counselor and CRP agency staff so that there will be a seamless delivery of needed services to the individual. The time frame for transitioning an individual from the support services by both ORS and the CRP to extended supports provided solely by the CRP is based on the individual needs of each customer.

In FFY2013 ORS will encourage CRPs to collaborate with each other to meet the diverse employment needs of significantly disabled individuals and to examine service delivery systems to ensure customer access to supported employment options. This collaboration is encouraged at individual and joint meetings of the BHDDH and DD Supported Employment Councils.  One such Collaboration with BHDDH during FFY2012 was an I&E initiative to assist vendors who are accustomed to working with developmentally disabled adults, providing supported employment services, and operating affirmative businesses to expand their customer base.  Some ORS customers, although not diagnosed as DD, could benefit from the training and job coaching expertise of SE agencies, with an overall goal of increasing integrated, competitive employment outcomes.  A renewed focus on quality employment outcomes that include increased hours per week, increased wages, and health benefits will be fostered with CRPs of supported employment.

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) is committed to providing quality rehabilitation services to its customers. The commitment to this standard has resulted in a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling being required of all newly appointed Rehabilitation Counselors. ORS has developed a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) as a systemic approach to developing all of its human resources. This system is intended to ensure that there is an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation counselors, direct service, supervisory, administrative, fiscal and support personnel. 

 

Our CSPD plan follows:

PERSONNEL DATA AND PROJECTIONS 

In FFY2011, the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program has served approximately 7,529 individuals, with an average caseload of 193 over the course of the year.  ORS has a total of 82 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, which includes 40 counselor positions. In addition to that count are six (6) social services staff.  Since September 2007, early or forced retirements have resulted in 21 vacancies of counselor, supervisory, and clerical personnel. ORS received approval to recruit for several positions, which resulted in the hiring of 14 vocational rehabilitation counselors. All new counselors have Master’s Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling. During FFY2011, one new counselor has been hired and a support staff has been promoted from Senior Word Processing Typist to Case Aide.  ORS has two VR Counselor I vacancies, and two vacant support staff positions.

Over the next 3 to 5 year period, ORS estimates that approximately 14 individuals (administrators, supervisors, counselors and support staff) will be eligible for retirement. Given the number of employees that could potentially leave state service, ORS is actively pursuing graduate students for internships with ORS via the Rehabilitation Counseling programs from local universities and colleges. 

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor I 26 2 3
2 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor II 14 0 4
3 Case Aide 2 0 0
4 Supervisor 11 1 2
5 Deputy Administrator 2 0 0
6 Assistant Administrator 2 0 1
7 Support Staff 13 2 2
8 Administrator 1 0 1
9 Fiscal 6 0 1
10 0 0 0

 

PERSONNEL SOURCES 

ORS has cultivated a relationship with two area colleges that offer graduate training in Rehabilitation Counseling:  Assumption College in Worcester, MA and Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.  There are approximately 170 students enrolled in the graduate programs (102 at Assumption College, 68 at Salve Regina University) with 42 expected to graduate in May 2012 from these programs.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Assumption College 102 0 0 30
2 Salve Regina University 68 0 0 12
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION

1. INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

ORS has ongoing communication with Assumption College and Salve Regina University to ensure that the present and projected needs of ORS are considered in the program planning.  In addition, Assumption College and Salve Regina University are offering a Master’s level program through a combination of distance learning and campus-based courses.

ORS continues to provide both practicum and internship opportunities for local graduate students. During FFY2011, ORS had two graduate students from Salve Regina University completing their practicum assignments.

During FFY2011, a new Training Coordinator was assigned.  She is a member of the Technical Assistance Continuing Education (TACE) Advisory Committee at Assumption College which assists with expanding training options for staff.

The ORS Administrator serves on the Advisory Board for the Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Program at Salve Regina University which enhances the relationship with ORS and identifies current rehabilitation trends.

 2. PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

In addition, our efforts to recruit qualified personnel have consisted of maintaining an active relationship with the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Rehabilitation Association (RIRA).

 3. EFFORTS TO RECRUIT, PREPARE, MAINTAIN PERSONNEL FROM MINORITY BACKGROUNDS AND INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

ORS makes every effort to hire staff in accordance with the agencies affirmative action policies.

ORS job announcements are distributed to community-based agencies and the internet to attract qualified individuals, particularly individuals with disabilities and minority backgrounds.

ORS has recruited and retained a number of qualified individuals with disabilities (21 - visual impairments, Deafness, psychiatric/ emotional, physical disabilities, etc) and minority backgrounds (6 - bi-lingual case aides and counselors).

ORS actively recruits graduate students with disabilities and minority backgrounds for the practicum and internship program. ORS has had 19 graduate students for practicum/internships over the past few years, of which 17 were hired as Counselors, all with Masters Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling.

ORS will continue to explore long-term strategies in FFY2013 for recruitment of personnel from diverse cultural backgrounds. 

 

 

PERSONNEL STANDARDS

1. ADEQUATELY PREPARED AND TRAINED STAFF

Although Rhode Island does not have a state approved or recognized certification, licensure, or registration requirements for Rehabilitation Counselors, Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services has elected to base its minimum personnel standards for recruitment of counselors on the requirement of a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. ORS will continue to monitor any state efforts for licensure of Rehabilitation Counselors. This Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling requirement exceeds the national CRC requirements.

2. NEW PERSONNEL

All new counseling personnel are expected to meet the standard of a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from an accredited program.

ORS has been able to fill all counseling vacancies with individuals with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling since 10/01/2000, of which 17 completed practicum/internships with ORS.

ORS has worked aggressively with the institutions of higher education to recruit qualified individuals to fill vacancies.

ORS expects that it will be able to continue to hire individuals who meet the standard.

ORS will continue to fill all fiscal and support staff vacancies with individuals who meet state requirements for education and experience.

During FFY2011, ORS purchased a new computerized case management system.  This system is a paperless web-based system.  As a result of the new case management system being implemented, three new scanner positions were hired.  It should be noted that these three positions are not state positions.

3. EXISTING PERSONNEL

Since December 2009, all ORS counselors meet the standard (100% compliance).   All field VR Supervisors and Administrators meet the CSPD standard.

ORS continues to dedicate financial and Training Coordinator time to support the CSPD plan.

ORS encourages training and hiring of staff from minority backgrounds and staff with disabilities.

All existing fiscal and support staff meet or exceed state requirements for education and experience.

 

 

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

ORS recognizes the importance of ensuring that its staff has the necessary skills and abilities to provide quality services in a professional and timely manner.

The Training Coordinator conducted a needs assessment of personnel training needs between December, 2011 and February, 2012. Examples of areas identified for training included: Case and Time Management, Leadership/Supervisory Training, Professional Conduct, Stress Management, Risk Management,  Effective Strategies for Conflict Resolution, Job Development for both counselors and vendors, Marketing and Social Media, Effective Presentations and Writing, Mediations/Hearings, and Autism/Aspergers along the Persuasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) spectrum.

The needs assessment was analyzed for priorities, and a training schedule is being planned and will be implemented.

The training plan continues to address training opportunities presented by the inclusion of the Rehabilitation Act into the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and specifically in the One-Stop Career Centers, issues related to the July 2008 regulations of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA), specifically the Partnership Plus Program, the Timely Progress Reviews, and overall best practices.

In order to retain qualified staff and in anticipation of additional retirement plans, ORS has and will continue to offer leadership development training, succession planning, and capacity building opportunities to interested staff, with a specific focus on the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor II’s. Management staff has integrated interested personnel in participating in specialized program operations and implementations including assistive technology, transition, training, CRP, quality assurance, and strategic planning. This is of particular importance, given the number of personnel who have retired, those that could retire in the near future, and the uniqueness of some positions. However, at the same time, with 17 new counselors out of 40 with less than 3 years of experience on the job, it is also a time to focus on basic trainings and best practices.  ORS believes that in many ways the next 3-5 year time period is a time of transition to help new counselors mature in their roles. 

The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts in Boston has been awarded the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) grant and will be utilized to provide state-of-the-art training programs for all counselor and supervisory staff at ORS.  ICI was awarded the TACE grant in September 2010 and will work in conjunction with Assumption College to provide these trainings. ORS is currently working with the TACE representative and ORS field supervisors to prioritize upcoming trainings.

The Training Coordinator actively pursues training as identified in the CNA, as well as ensuring that staff has information from the RI Office of Training and Development (OTD), training opportunities from other agency venues, and those identified by individual staff.

 

COMMUNICATION NEEDS

Interpreters and Communication Access in Real Time (CART) reporters are available for staff to communicate with diverse customer populations, for staff trainings, and supervision. ORS  has three Video Relay stations to enable communication in ASL between staff who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, their colleagues, and customers.  Based on individualized needs, ORS provides accommodations and specific assistive communication devices, such as FM sytem or CAPTEL phones.

Most staff trainings are videotaped and available in a video library on DVDs and on the public directory for new staff and for current staff for refresher opportunities.  These training videos can also be a resource for any personnel Corrective Action Plan.

The Human Services Policy and Systems Specialist, who manages the websites for ORS, the Assistive Technology Access Partnership (ATAP), and the Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan (ATEL) programs, has expertise in providing materials in alternate formats, and develops electronic tools for counselors. ORS assures that all information disseminated to staff with disabilities and customers is accessible in accordance with Federal 508 guidelines.

The Marketing Committee has developed an orientation video that includes information about ORS and employment opportunities that will be used to convey a consistent message about ORS at the various outreach venues.

The ORS Cultural Diversity Committee has renewed its commitment to raise cultural competency of personnel and ensure that agency resources are accessible to culturally diverse populations.

Access to ORS information and services is provided through use of a Language Line, interpreters from a variety of resources, American Sign Language (ASL), and bilingual staff.

 

 

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEM

ORS relies on supervisory observations, quality assurance reviews, and self-identified training needs to enhance professional development.

The annual needs assessment conducted by the Training Coordinator elicits input from counselors, supervisors, support staff and administrators regarding training needs.

ORS operates under a progressive disciplinary protocol that guides performance issues.  If a Corrective Action Plan around personnel performance is necessary, it would be in compliance with the CSPD, ORS policy & procedures, and state and union regulations.

ORS will implement performance evaluations after probationary period of staff interns and practicum students as well as requesting evaluations of ORS from the students.

STATE REHABILITATION COUNCIL

Pursuant to the Act, ORS offers to the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) the opportunity to review and comment on the CSPD.

 

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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.

RESULTS OF COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT OF THE REHABILITATION NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES AND NEED TO ESTABLISH, DEVELOP, OR IMPROVE COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROGRAMS

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, mandates that the Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS), in partnership with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), complete a Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) at three-year increments. The CNA is intended to identify the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including those in need of Supported Employment, minorities with significant disabilities, underserved individuals, and individuals with disabilities served by other components of the workforce development network. In addition, the CNA is intended to identify the need to develop or improve Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs). ORS views the CNA as an evolving process that incorporates information from several diverse sources rather than from any one event or data source.

During FFY2011, ORS addressed the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment using several resources including:

  • Agency strategic planning
  • Annual personnel needs assessments
  • Community Rehabilitation Provider Comprehensive Needs Assessment Survey
  • Compliance with Rehabilitation Services Administrations’ Standards & Performance Indicators
  • Customer Satisfaction Survey
  • Environmental Scan of data including: FFY2009 RSA Annual Agency Review, Internal MIS reports, 2009 Information Works: Measuring Rhode Island Schools, 2010 Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training (DLT) and Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics, Training and American Community Survey
  • Implementation of the ORS 107 Monitoring Report
  • Rhode Island Governor’s Commission on Disability Public Forums
  • VR Counselor Comprehensive Needs Assessment Survey

AGENCY STRATEGIC PLANNING

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) seeks to involve agency staff in identifying the challenges and solutions needed to more effectively assist all individuals with significant disabilities to select, prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. On October 21, 2011 an agency strategic planning day was held that reinforces the agency’s strategic planning goals. Information for strategic planning was gathered through 2011 CNA activities, meetings with the seven field services regions, annual agency work plans, and Quality Improvement Activities.  ORS will continue to assess information as it becomes available and will continue to address the concerns raised in the RSA 107 Monitoring Report. Therefore, the strategic planning objectives have been modified in the following way: 

  • Outreach to underserved and unserved disability and minority populations through developing and maintaining liaison relationships with referral sources
  • Emphasize marketing strategies that showcase customer movement toward increased self-sufficiency, highlight customer capabilities, target underserved and unserved disability and minority populations, and address the needs of specific businesses
  • Coordinate staff resources to work in collaboration with the new SRC Outreach and Transition Subcommittees, ORS Cultural Diversity Cadre, and Marketing Committee, as well as local Chambers of Commerce
  • Encourage assessment activities as a pre-cursor to development of an employment plan, thus promoting informed choice, self-determination, job retention, and the value of life-long learning
  • Educate field staff to the benefits of job shadowing, internships, volunteerism, skill assessments, situational assessments, and utilization of SOC, O’NET and DLT Job Seeker Labor Market sites
  • Coordinate joint training opportunities for CRP and ORS personnel
  • Maximize our collaboration with the netWORKri One-Stop Career Centers, Department of Health outreach initiatives, and the business community

ANNUAL PERSONNEL NEEDS ASSESSMENTS

The Training Coordinator of ORS conducts an annual training needs assessment. From December 2011 to February 2012, information elicited from staff was used to establish a list of training topics and concerns. This year along with the VR Counselor CNA survey, staff was asked to identify their top two areas of training needs. Example of areas identified for training include: Case and Time Management, Leadership/Supervisor Training, Professional Conduct, Stress Management, Risk Management, Effective Strategies for Conflict Resolution, Job Development for both counselors and vendors, Marketing and SocialMedia, Effective Presentations and Writing, Mediation/Hearing, and Autism/Aspergers along the Persuasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) spectrum. A training schedule is being developed based upon the identified needs and will be implemented throughout the year. ORS has many new counselors (17 out of 40) who have been on the job 3 or less years. ORS will also be providing some specialized training to Management staff and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor II’s in the areas of clinical supervision and leadership skills. In addition, ORS works with TACE and ICI to provide training opportunities for new and existing personnel. These trainings provide opportunities for all staff to improve on their professional practices. The agency continues to maintain a relationship with two colleges and one online distance program that offer MA programs in Rehabilitation Counseling. An adequate supply of qualified Rehabilitation Counselors, supervisory, administrative, fiscal, and support personnel are essential to provide quality rehabilitation services to customers of ORS. 

COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROVIDER (CRP) COMPREHENSIVE NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

During the fall of 2010, ORS and the RI State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) conducted a needs assessment survey. The survey disseminated to CRPs and netWORKri One-Stop Center Managers sought to identify the following:

  • Services received by people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment
  • Availability of services throughout the state
  • Obstacles customers confront in attempting to work
  • Individuals with disabilities who are underserved

The survey distributed to 67 providers resulted in a 51% return rate. Several significant findings were reflected by the results:

  • Fear of losing SSI and SSDI, medical benefits, and other subsidies, along with cost of transportation ranked as the top three issues preventing the obtaining of employment.
  • The top three issues preventing individuals from maintaining employment include individual’s social skills, availability/cost of transportation and individuals’ skills/job match.
  • Organizations felt unable to meet customers’ needs for benefits counseling, transportation, training and education support, travel training, case management, and retention supports both on and off site. 

CRPs indicated that ORS could:

  • Assist them with providing services more effectively;
  • Provide them with more information on ORS services;
  • Enhance access to/improve communication with counselor(s);
  • Streamline paperwork;  and
  • Increase awareness of other provider resources.

COMPLIANCE WITH STANDARDS & PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

For FFY2011, the Office of Rehabilitation Services continued to meet all the Standards, however, ORS did not meet Performance Indicators 1.5 earnings ratio as dictated by Section 107 of the Rehabilitation Act. With the goal of maintaining the highest quality of services to customers, the Strategic Planning Supervisor will continue to monitor the agency’s compliance with all Standard and Indicators on a monthly basis with findings being reported to administration, supervisory personnel and staff.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY

As part of the FFY2009 Continuous Quality Improvement Plan, the Strategic Planning Supervisor, with input from the SRC State Plan/Policy/Quality Assurance Sub-committee, designed a customer satisfaction survey to identify customers’ experiences with ORS.   The survey, designed as an ongoing tool to be distributed at set intervals, provides longitudinal data regarding customer satisfaction. In FFY2011 there was a 16.50% response rate to the 709 Customer Satisfaction Surveys sent to customers closed successfully and a 13.04% response rate to 483 surveys sent to customers closed unsuccessfully status post receipt of services.

The following conclusions were formulated based on the results of the surveys.

Successful closures:

  • Increase customer understanding of self-sufficiency and financial independence as a benefit to working with ORS
  • Educate customers on progressive learning, training resources and on-the-job training to enable job keeping and/or advancement
  • Provide benefits counseling about Social Security, Ticket to Work and other work incentives
  • Ensure customers’ understanding of informed choice in obtaining employment that matches their stated goals and interest

Unsuccessful closures:

  • Ensure timely response to receipt of an application, scheduled opportunities to meet and monitor customer movement toward objectives with increased contact at time of plan implementation
  • Inform customers about the VR process and services that support making an informed decision about goals and needs prior to IPE development
  • Educate customers about assistive technology and options for accessing these assessment and technology resources, if applicable
  • Revise the unsuccessful closure survey to better determine the variables that prevent customers form maintaining engagement and moving toward employment

ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN

The CNA included information from a variety of sources: Agency MIS data, RSA data, RI Department of Labor & Training (DLT) and Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Survey, 2009 Information Works: Measuring Rhode Island Schools for Change. The sources indicated the following: 

  • The number of Rhode Islanders who are not obtaining a high school degree/equivalency is above the national average and is the highest in New England. This educational disparity will present a challenge in the coming years as it is projected that 12% of the jobs will require some level of vocational training.
  • Individuals living in poverty in RI are more likely to have a disability and to be unemployed/under employed.
  • Veterans Employment and Training Services information reflects that RI is third from the bottom in the number of disabled veterans entering employment, maintaining employment and in average earnings.
  • Analysis of RSA statistics for average hours worked per week highlights that ORS is below the national average for all disability categories and below its counterparts for average hourly wages in servicing communicative disorders and mental and emotional disorders.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ORS 107 MONITORING REPORT

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) conducted an extensive review of ORS between Fall 2006 and Summer 2007, and most recently in March 2012. These RSA review processes included program performance statistics, on-site and telephone discussions with stakeholders, two on-site visits, and multiple discussions with members of the SRC. RSA found several strengths in the program: leadership and dedicated staff; collaboration with key partners; statewide presence at the netWORKri One-Stop Centers; and statewide cooperative partnerships with all school districts and transition services to youth.  The most recent review included a review of transition services, organizational structure, and fiscal integrity of ORS. Based on the conclusion, findings, and recommendations, previous implementation may need to be adjusted.

 For FFY2013, ORS will continue to focus on the following areas identified in the monitoring report as programmatic goals:

  • Continue implementation of a comprehensive Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP)
  • Decrease homemaker outcomes
  • Improve the quality of employment outcomes
  • Improve the rehabilitation rate for transitioning youth

RHODE ISLAND GOVERNORS COMMISSION ON DISABILITES PUBLIC FORUMS

The Office of Rehabilitation Services participates annually in the Rhode Island Governor’s Commission on Disabilities (GCD) Public Forums. In 2011, staff from ORS participated in the six forums held throughout the state. The forums allow individuals with disabilities, family members, advocates, and providers to present concerns about any of the services/resources for individuals with disabilities. The forums and subsequent public document by the GCD provides ORS with information on themes relevant to employment services for individuals with disabilities. 

Results of the 2011 forums indicated themes in the areas of human services, employment,  housing, and transportation. A common concern throughout was the effect of the Rhode Island economy on services to individuals with disabilities. 

Comments about employment issues indicated the following needs:

  • Improved awareness of the resources available to individuals and employers regarding rights and responsibilities of all individuals, movement toward self-sufficiency, awareness of assistive technology, and accommodations
  • Improved awareness of and access to (central location) employment-related resources related to accessibility, skills training, business regulations, entrepreneurship and starting ones own business
  • Increase availability of specific disability-related educational opportunities for providers of employment services 
  • Concern regarding State budget cuts and affect on the Department of Labor and Training’s capacity 

VR COUNSELOR COMPREHENSIVE NEEDS ASSESSMENT

ORS implemented a VR Counselor survey in the fall of 2010 that sought staff perceptions on the needs of VR customers, barriers to services, and suggestions for improvement to VR services. Questions focused on the following areas: needs of the most significantly and significantly disabled, underserved and unserved populations, need for further development of CRP’s, as well as use of the DLT netWORKri One-Stop system to assist customers with disabilities to maintain and/or enter employment. Forty-eight surveys distributed resulted in a 54.17% return rate.

Findings reflected the following Needs of Individuals with Most Significant/Significant Disabilities:

  • Develop services based on regional needs for specific populations throughout the state
  • Improve access to vendors and interpreters who have technical competence, as well as awareness of cultural issues and distinctions
  • Increase the capacity of CRPs who work with individuals with Development Disabilities to conduct vocational evaluations and situational assessments that focus on meaningful integrated employment
  • Enhance placement services for individuals completing short-term training programs
  • Educate employers about the use of tax credits, hiring incentives, OJT, internships, and services of ORS 
  • Establish a standard for CRP services that provides consistent quality services through joint training with ORS staff and CRP vendors
  • Develop service options that incorporate work place social skills and daily time management

Rehabilitation Needs of Minorities: ·       

  • Enrich the cultural competence of ORS staff and CRPs to specific minority populations within the state
  • Educate staff on availability of internal and external resources such as agency forms in different languages, the Language Line, bilingual co-workers, interpreting resources, and the Cultural Diversity Committee
  • Improve quality of Vocational Evaluation, Situational Assessment, and Work Readiness specific to minority needs with the CRP network
  • Incorporate interpretation and communication needs into the IPE

Underserved and Unserved Populations:

  • Engage Hispanic, Southeast Asian, Cambodian, African American, and Portuguese communities through outreach and marketing strategies
  • Build capacity to transition-age youth with physical, learning, and developmental disabilities with a 504-education plan
  • Improve outreach to Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, veterans, individuals within the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) spectrum (specifically Asperger’s Synrome), and individuals with disabilities who are employed

Need to further develop established and or establish new CRPs:

  • Develop CRPs to address the needs within specific geographic areas, establish new CRPs, as needed, to address unmet needs, and adjust the CRPs network to address the changing needs of the customers and labor market     
  • Improve quality, consistency, and accountability of services provided to customers in Vocational Evaluations, Situational Assessments, and Job Development
  • Examine the Supported Employment process to ensure quality employment outcomes with increased hours, wages, and health benefits
  • Utilize and maximize ORS collaboration with netWORKri One-Stop Centers

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I.  NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS IN THE STATE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES UNDER THIS STATE PLAN

For FFY2011, there were 2,297 new applicants, and 1,798 individuals were deemed eligible. There were a total number of 1,478 individuals who developed their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), and 717 individuals who obtained successful employment outcomes.

For FFY2012, ORS has a goal of 2,518 new applicants, and expects 2,125 individuals to become eligible. ORS anticipates that 1,479 new Individualized Plans for Employment will be developed and 728 successful outcomes achieved.

For FFY2013, ORS projects 2,481 new applicants, with 2,022 individuals to become eligible for ORS services. ORS anticipates that 1,480 individuals will develop Individualized Plans for Employment and projects 681 successful outcomes.

II. NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL RECEIVE SERVICES UNDER TITLE I AND TITLE VI AND NUMBERS TO BE SERVED IN EACH ORDER OF SELECTION PRIORITY CATEGORY

In FFY2013, the projected number of clients to be served under an IPE is 4,532. One hundred percent (100%) of those expected to be served will be classified in the Order of Selection as either Category 1 - most significant, or Category 2 - significantly disabled.

For FFY2013, ORS is expected to serve:

Category 1 (most significant):       4,079 (Title I -   90%; Title VI - 10%)

Category 2 (significant):                  453 (Title I - 100%; Title VI -   0%)

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
OOS category I - Title I Title I $15,385,161 3,671 $4,191
OOS Category I - Title VI Title VI $1,709,928 408 $4,191
OOS Category II - Title I Title I $2,274,966 453 $5,022
Totals   $19,370,055 4,532 $4,274

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

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.

STATE’S GOALS AND PRIORITIES

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) goals and priorities, policies, and planning activities are jointly agreed upon by the state agency and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). These goals are generated from the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA), compliance with federal Standards and Performance Indicators, monitoring reviews, quality improvement findings and feedback from customers, advocates and other stakeholders. Inherent in these goals is a belief that ORS will assist individuals with significant disabilities to move toward achievement of vocational goals, career development, and increased self-sufficiency.

ORS goals for FFY2013 are as follows:

GOAL 1:  ORS WILL DEVELOP THE CAPACITY TO ACCURATELY TRACK ADMISSION, SERVICE AND EMPLOYMENT DATA, WITHIN MIS, FOR ALL CUSTOMERS WHO AT ADMISSION ARE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 14-24 BY 12/31/12

OBJECTIVE 1 ORS Counselors, Supervisors and Administrators will be able to obtain accurate and timely reports about transition admissions, services and employment outcomes.

STRATEGIES:

  • Identify ORS needs for tracking special populations, specifically in-school/out-of-school transition data
  • Work with Libera to program these identified changes into the Case Management System (System 7/MIS)
  • Ensure that ORS has necessary report capacity for staff, supervisors & administrators to monitor service delivery
  • Provide training to staff on timely eligibility determination and timely plan development as an element of tracking

  EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Test the changes in MIS to ensure that ORS has the information needed for customer tracking, program evaluation and monitoring
  • Supervisors and Administrators will analyze if the System 7 adjustments meet the tracking and monitoring needs of staff, supervisors and Administrators

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • By 10/31/12, ORS will have identified and quantified elements of a quality employment outcome in terms of hours/week, hourly earnings, health insurance/benefits
  • By 12/31/12, these elements will be programmed into System 7 and providing data for testing
  • By 2/28/13, System 7 will enable counselors, staff, supervisors, and administrators to track admission, service and employment aggregate data of transition-aged customers by caseload, region, and agency

 GOAL 2:  ORS WILL DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A SYSTEM OF EVALUATION OF QUALITY EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES ACHIEVED BY ADULT AND TRANSITION AGED YOUTH

OBJECTIVE 1:   ORS will develop a matrix to determine the quality of each job placement based on hours of employment per week, hourly earnings, health insurance/benefits by 6/30/13

STRATEGIES:

  • Research matrix models
  • Enlist Technical Assistance in the development of the matrix as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Identify data elements for inclusion in matrix and determine if these elements can be acquired from System 7
  • Adjust/refine matrix and/or System 7 to capture elements at closure  
  • Establish 2011 employment indicators as baseline data
  • Review RI wages, hours worked, and health insurance/benefits data available through the State of RI DLT, as well as through the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Establish  CQI committee to develop and implement the matrix
  • Monitor matrix development  on a monthly basis and adjust strategies as needed to ensure implementation

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Test system - ongoing
  • Test matrix to ensure that ORS has information needed for customer tracking, progress evaluation and monitoring

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • By 12/31/12, ORS will have defined and quantified elements of a quality employment outcome in terms of hours/week, hourly earnings, health insurance/benefits
  • By 2/28/13, ORS will have tested system capacity to capture defined data elements of quality employment outcomes 
  • By 4/30/13, these elements will be programmed into System 7 and will provide data for testing
  • By 5/30/13, CQI guidance on schedule for generating reports and a plan for service delivery examination will be developed
  • By 6/30/13, counselors, staff, supervisors and administrators will be able to  obtain a profile of  aggregate employment outcomes  by caseload, region and agency

OBJECTIVE 2:  ORS will implement use of the matrix to determine the quality of each job placement based on hours of employment per week, hourly earnings, health insurance and benefits by 10/31/13.

STRATEGIES:

  • Implement the matrix as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP)
  • Train Regional Supervisors on use of System 7 to obtain monthly employment closure data and to monitor closure information in MIS for completeness
  • Educate staff about information being gathered, counselor role in the process, and the purpose of the matrix implementation
  • Analysis of matrix data on a quarterly basis by supervisors and administrator and identify employment trends and adjust strategies as needed
  • Identify training needs based on clinical supervision and matrix findings
  • Provide quarterly feedback to supervisory staff for inclusion in clinical supervision and to the Training Coordinator for CSPD calendar

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Gather monthly data and assess if required information is being obtained
  • Modify plan, timelines, and objectives, as needed

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • By 7/31/13, counselors, staff, supervisors and administrators will be able to generate reports about quality employment outcomes  by caseload, region and agency
  • By 9/30/13, a schedule will be established by CQI committee and will be implemented for review  of matrix data and adjustments in staff training topics and schedule, supervision and/or support
  • By 4/30/14, a determination about implications of matrix data on service delivery design

GOAL 3:  ORS WILL INCREASE QUALITY EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES VIA OBJECTIVES SPECIFIC TO THE NEEDS OF ADULT AND TRANSITION AGE CUSTOMERS

OBJECTIVE 1:  Implement a service delivery system that reinforces quality employment outcome indicators for ADULTS by 6/30/13.

STRATEGIES:

  • Educate and train staff, customers and CRPs to increased expectations by ORS of quality indicators to consider in job placement and self-employment
  • Compare quality employment indicators to data from 2011 as a baseline 
  • Explore the feasibility of a fee-for-service structure that reinforces and rewards placement activities that include 30 or more hours/week, an hourly wage above minimum wage, health insurance/benefits  
  • Incorporate findings from the matrix into management and regional meetings as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Reinforce use of benefits counseling as a means of informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process with SSI/SSDI recipients, guardian if applicable, and CRPs
  • Adjust the referral, assessment, engagement and service delivery activities for RIWorks customers as appropriate and necessary
  • Network with employers, netWORKri, and Workforce Investment Boards to identify labor market trends, employer’s needs, and the skill set needed to fill job vacancies in order to provide qualified employees to businesses
  • Enlist the Workforce Development Supervisor to bridge the connections between ORS and the business community by  informing counselors about current job openings, State/Federal job openings, and labor market trends
  • Ensure Rehabilitation Counselors have knowledge about educational and training options, as well as on-the-job training in order to enhance quality employment outcomes
  • Provide current information to customers about the local labor market, employer needs, and associated educational/training opportunities
  • Provide training to staff on timely eligibility determination and timely plan development as  elements of tracking and quality service provision
  • Identify and analyze methods of  capturing, coding and categorizing  training/education options

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Compare findings to baseline from FFY2011
  • Meet Standard One for increasing the number of successful employment closures annually
  • Increase average competitive wage (Indicator 1.5) in FFY2013 from the baseline FFY2011 wage of $10.89
  • Increase average hours worked in FFY2013 from the baseline of FFY2011 hours of 26.6
  • Decrease homemaker outcomes in FFY2013 from the baseline FFY2011 rate of 2.33% or 17
  • Increase the number of customers in FFY2013 who exit with employment-related health benefits from FFY2011 baseline of 52 or 7.3%

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • Supervisors and administration to analyze matrix data on a quarterly basis and adjust strategies as needed
  • Integrate findings from CQI reports into management meetings, supervisory meetings, and regional meetings to focus counselor practice on quality employment outcomes

OBJECTIVE 2:    Implement a service delivery system that reinforces quality employment outcome indicators for TRANSITION-AGE customers by 6/30/13.

STRATEGIES:

  • Educate and train staff, customers and CRPs to increased expectations of quality indicators  by ORS to consider in job placement and self-employment
  • Compare quality employment indicators to data from 2011 as a baseline 
  • Incorporate findings from the matrix into management and regional meetings as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Explore the feasibility of a fee-for-service structure that reinforces and rewards placement activities that include 30 or more hours/week, an hourly wage above minimum wage, and health insurance/benefits  
  • Reinforce use of benefits counseling throughout the rehabilitation process with SSI/SSDI recipients and parents of youth under the age of 18 and guardians
  • Adjust the referral, assessment and engagement activities for transition-age customers as appropriate and necessary
  • Network with employers, netWORKri, Workforce Investment Boards, Youth Councils and Youth Centers to identify labor market trends, employer’s needs, and the skill set needed to fill job vacancies in order to provide qualified employees to businesses
  • Enlist Workforce Development Supervisor to bridge connections between ORS and the business community by informing counselors about current job openings, State/Federal job openings, and labor market trends
  • Ensure Rehabilitation Counselors have knowledge about educational and training options, as well as on-the-job training in order to enhance quality employment outcomes
  • Provide current information to customers about the local labor market, employer needs, and associated educational and training opportunities
  • Enlist technical assistance to develop strategies for engaging youth with disabilities with a 504 plan to be referred to ORS by the school district
  • Obtain input from Rehabilitation Counselors working with transition-age customers about program design and service gaps
  • Conduct focus groups to obtain input from community about transition services
  • Examine models of service delivery for in-school transition-age youth and for out-of-school transition-age youth

 EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Increase average competitive wage (Indicator 1.5) in FFY2013 for transition customer from the baseline FFY2011 transition wage of $ 9.39
  • Compare the  post high school outcomes using Indicator 14  for transition youth who participated in contracted Educational Collaboratives vocational evaluations  in 2008
  • Meet Standard One for increasing the number of successful employment closures annually
  • Increase average competitive wage (Indicator 1.5) in FFY2013 from the baseline FFY2011 wage of $ 9.39
  • Increase average hours worked in FFY2013 from the baseline of FFY2011 hours of  26.6
  • Increase the number of transition-age customers in FFY2013 who exit with employment related health benefits from FFY2011 baseline of 16 or 5.59%

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • Transition Coordinator, supervisors and administrators to analyze matrix data on a quarterly basis and adjust strategies as needed 
  • Incorporate findings into supervisory and regional meetings for rehabilitation counselors to use in their practice

GOAL 4:  INCREASE THE NUMBER OF MINORITY AND UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS WHO PARTICIPATE IN SERVICES AND WHO OBTAIN QUALITY EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME

OBJECTIVE 1:   Use FFY2012 as baseline to capture service and employment outcome data for minority and underserved populations and develop the capacity to capture same data for underserved populations by 12/31/12.

 

STRATEGIES:

  • Utilize and monitor outcome ratio for minority and underserved populations, which provide information on current service levels, the need for expanded or new CRP services, and potential emerging minority populations
  • Identify  System 7 capacity to  provide admission, service, and employment outcome information for minority and underserved populations
  • Develop increased capacity to  capture “special populations” (ie. individuals within the Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectrum (specifically Asperger’s Syndrome), RI Works, transition, SSDI/SSI beneficiaries etc )
  • Utilize System 7 to monitor case movement from application to closure
  • Educate Supervisors and Administration on report capacity and information available with System 7 

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Meet Standards & Performance Indicator 2.1 on a quarterly basis
  • Generate reports that identify admission, services and employment outcomes for minority and underserved populations

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • By 10/30/12, capacity and limitations of MIS reports will be defined
  • By 11/30/ 12, FFY2012 baseline information capturing service and employment outcome information for minority and underserved populations as identified in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment will  be gathered 
  • Supervisors and administration to analyze matrix data on a quarterly basis and adjust strategies as needed.  
  • Incorporate findings into supervisory and regional meetings for rehabilitation counselors to use in their practice

OBJECTIVE 2:  Implement a service-delivery system that reinforces quality employment outcome indicators for minority and underserved populations by 6/30/13

STRATEGIES:

  • Increase the number of CRPs that have the capability to provide employment services for minority populations  
  • Identify service needs for minority populations through Comprehensive Needs Assessment
  • Increase CRPs’ ability in responding to changing needs of customers
  • Develop additional CRP services to meet those needs identified in Comprehensive Needs Assessment
  • Educate and train staff, customers and CRPs to increased expectations by ORS of quality indicators  to consider in job placement and self-employment
  • Compare quality employment indicators to data from 2012 as a baseline 
  • Incorporate findings from the matrix into management and regional meetings as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Explore the feasibility of a fee-for-service structure that reinforces and rewards placement activities that include 30 or more hours/week, an hourly wage above minimum wage, health insurance/benefits
  • Build capacity to provide vocational evaluations and rehabilitation technology assessments to individuals with significant physical disabilities
  • Enlist Workforce Development Supervisor to bridge connections between ORS and the business community by informing counselors about current job openings, State/Federal job openings, and labor market trends for minority and underserved populations
  • Ensure Rehabilitation Counselors have knowledge about educational and training options, as well as on-the-job training in order to enhance quality employment outcomes for minority and underserved populations
  • Reinforce use of benefits counseling throughout the rehabilitation process with SSI/SSDI recipients and parents/guardian of youth under the age of 18
  • Network with employers, netWORKri, Workforce Investment Boards, Youth Councils and Youth Centers to identify labor market trends, employer’s needs, and the skill set needed to fill job vacancies in order to provide qualified employees to businesses
  • Provide current information to customers about the local labor market, employer needs, and associated educational and training opportunities.
  • Enlist technical assistance to develop strategies for engagement and retention for minority and underserved customers

     

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Monitor compliance with Standard & Performance Indicator 2.1 on a quarterly basis
  • Monitor quality and outcomes of customer services provided by minority-oriented CRPs, including those that offer training, job development, placement and retention on a quarterly basis

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • Counselors, supervisors, and administrators will review Standards & Indicators on a quarterly basis and adjust  strategies, as  warranted 

     

OBJECTIVE 3Develop capacity to outreach to minority and underserved populations

STRATEGIES:

  • Ensure that the needs of minority and underserved populations are evaluated via customer satisfaction surveys, CNA activities, counselor and CRP feedback, and selected program evaluation activities
  • Coordinate  staff resources to appropriately  respond  to underserved and minority populations in collaboration with the new SRC Outreach and Transition Subcommittees, agency Cultural Diversity Cadre and  Marketing Committee, as well as local Chambers of Commerce
  • Increase the number of customers active with ORS who obtain an employment outcome and identify themselves as Southeast Asian or African American, as well as other underserved populations
  • Increase the number of individuals with physical disabilities who receive services from ORS  and obtain an employment outcome
  • Ensure that training opportunities are provided to Rehabilitation Counselors around  cultural competence about minority and underserved populations
  • Adjust the referral, assessment and engagement activities for minority and underserved customers as appropriate and necessary
  • Identify and conduct focus groups with the community stakeholders of respective underserved populations for input on outreach and service delivery
  • Tailor marketing strategies and brochures as needed to respective populations
  • Identify  and develop, if necessary, System 7 capacity to capture data on participation and closure rates for specific minority and  underserved populations

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Compare admission,  length of time engaged and employment outcomes for specific minority and underserved populations against data from FFY2012 and FFY2013

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • Efforts will be reviewed with the SRC Outreach Sub-Committee according to a schedule determined by the SRC
  • Assess progress and adjust strategies as a result of  recommendations from the CNA, SRC, administration,  the Cultural Diversity Cadre and Marketing Committee

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

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

Justification for order of selection

ORDER OF SELECTION

The Office of Rehabilitation Services has lost positions due to retirements, budget constraints, and workforce reductions; therefore, the current Order of Selection is expected to continue from FFY2013 through FFY2014, thereby allowing the Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) to serve all eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities as designated under OOS Category 1.  In order to meet the need for rehabilitation services and to provide high-quality employment outcomes, ORS will continue to monitor the current priority classification within the Order of Selection, and adjust as warranted.  All customers with Individualized Plans for Employment (IPE) are individuals with the most significant and significant disabilities. These individuals require multiple services over an extended time.

The Order of Selection consists of the following three categories:

 

1. Individuals with the most significant disabilities

2. Individuals with significant disabilities

3. All other individuals with disabilities who cannot be classified in a higher category

The Order of Selection does not discriminate against any person by type of disability, economic status, race, color, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, age, religion, sex or protected class.

 

 

Description of Priority categories

The Code of Federal Regulations defines an individual with the most significant disability in the following manner:

"An individual who has a severe physical or mental disability that seriously limits three or more functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of employment outcome, and whose vocational rehabilitation is expected to require multiple VR services over an extended period of time, and who have one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorder, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disabilities, end-stage renal disease, or from another disability or combination of disabilities, which based on an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs, causes comparable substantial functional limitations." 

 

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

ORS assures that its Order of Selection (OOS) policy gives first priority to individuals in Category 1 with the most significant disabilities. Services are delivered within a comprehensive, coordinated program that is designed to assist these individuals to prepare for and engage in gainful employment in an integrated setting.

ORS notifies all individuals that do not meet the current Order of Selection and provides them with information and referral services to assist them with preparation for obtaining employment and related services.

Individuals are reassessed when additional information relevant to OOS is received subsequent to a classification decision.

Requests for post-employment services are not subject to Order of Selection. 

 

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

Projections for numbers to be served in FFY2013 are based on recent performance:

Order of Selection (OOS) Category 1 = 4079

Order of Selection (OOS) Category 2 =    453

The goal for all the customers referenced by the Order of Selection categories is an employment outcome. This employment outcome reflects the individual’s informed career choice that has evolved from information about skills, interests, preferences, abilities and the labor market. The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is then developed to reflect that choice and the specific services/interventions needed by the individual to reach that employment outcome.

It is anticipated that multiple services will be necessary over an extended period of time in order for the individual to reach their employment goal. Quantifying the length of time an individual is active with ORS is difficult as the necessary services, duration and outcome is individualized to the needs of each customer. 

 

Priority CategoryNumber of individuals to be servedEstimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving servicesEstimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving servicesTime within which goals are to be achievedCost of services
1
2

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 4,079 579 391 29 $17,095,089
2 453 102 69 26 $1,709,928

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

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.

Title VI, Part B continues to provide $300,000 of federal funding annually. ORS uses these funds to assist the most significantly disabled populations through carefully-crafted, individually-planned supported employment services. These services are provided through a partnership between the Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) and a number of Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) on a fee-for-service basis.

In FFY 2011, RI State budget cuts from the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) to CRP agencies resulted in a decrease in personnel and services provided by CRP’s to ORS consumers.

STATE’S GOALS AND PRIORITIES

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) goals and priorities, policies, and planning activities are jointly agreed upon by the state agency and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). These goals are generated from the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA), compliance with federal Standards and Performance Indicators, monitoring reviews, quality improvement findings and feedback from customers, advocates and other stakeholders. Inherent in these goals is a belief that ORS will assist individuals with significant disabilities to move toward achievement of vocational goals, career development, and increased self-sufficiency.

ORS goals for FFY2013 are as follows:

GOAL 1:     ORS WILL DEVELOP THE CAPACITY TO ACCURATELY TRACK ADMISSION, SERVICE AND EMPLOYMENT DATA, WITHIN SYSTEM 7, FOR ALL SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT CUSTOMERS BY 12/31/12.

OBJECTIVE 1:       ORS Counselors, Supervisors and Administrators will be able to obtain accurate and timely reports about Supported Employment admissions, services and employment outcomes.

STRATEGIES:

  • Identify ORS needs for tracking Supported Employment: in-school and out of school transition data, and other special populations (i.e., persons within the Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectrum (specifically Asperger’s Syndrome), students with 504 plans, Southeast Asians, persons with physical disabilities and other underserved populations)
  • Work with Libera to program these changes into System 7
  • Ensure that ORS has necessary report capacity for staff, supervisors, and administrators to monitor outcomes and service delivery
  • Provide training to staff on timely eligibility determination and timely plan development for Supported Employment as an element of tracking

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Increase in the number of supported employment successful closures based on FFY2011 data of 90
  • Test the changes to ensure that ORS has the information needed for customer tracking and program monitoring

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • By 10/31/12, ORS will have identified and quantified elements of a quality Supported Employment outcome in terms of hours/week, hourly earnings, health insurance/benefits
  • By 12/31/12, these elements will be programmed into System 7 and providing data for testing
  • By 2/28/13, System 7 will enable counselors, staff, supervisors, and administrators to track admission, service and employment  aggregate data of supported employment customers  by caseload, region, and agency

GOAL 2:     ORS DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A SYSTEM OF EVALUATION OF QUALITY EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES ACHIEVED BY SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT CUSTOMERS

OBJECTIVE 1:     ORS will develop a matrix to determine the quality of each job placement based on hours of employment per week, hourly earnings, and health insurance/benefits by 6/30/13.

STRATEGIES:

  • Research matrix models
  • Enlist Technical Assistance in the development of the matrix as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Identify data elements for inclusion in matrix and determine if these elements can be acquired from System 7
  • Adjust/refine matrix and/or System 7 to capture elements at Supported Employment Closure
  • Establish 2011 Supported Employment indicators as baseline
  • Review RI wages, hours worked, and health insurance/benefits data available through the State of RI DLT, as well as through the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Establish CQI committee to develop and implement
  • Monitor matrix development on a monthly basis and adjust strategies as needed to ensure implementation

 EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Test system to determine if supported employment data elements are captured in System 7

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • By 12/31/12, ORS will have defined and quantified elements of a quality Supported Employment outcome in terms of hours/week, hourly earnings, and health insurance/benefits
  • By 2/28/13, ORS will have tested system capacity to capture defined Supported Employment data of quality employment outcomes
  • By 4/30/13, these elements will be programmed into System 7 and provide Supported Employment data for testing
  • By 5/30/13, CQI guidance on the schedule for generating reports and a plan for service delivery examination will be developed
  • By 6/30/13, System 7 will enable counselors, staff, supervisors, and administrators to obtain a profile of aggregate Supported Employment outcomes by caseload, region, and agency

OBJECTIVE 2:   ORS will implement use of a matrix to determine the quality of each supported employment job placement based on hours of employment per week, hourly earnings, and health insurance/ benefits by 10/31/13.

STRATEGIES:

  • Implement the matrix as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP)
  • Train Regional Supervisors on use of System 7 to obtain monthly employment closure data and to monitor closure information in MIS for completeness
  • Educate staff about information being gathered, counselor role in the process, and the purpose of the matrix implementation
  • Analysis of matrix data on a quarterly basis by supervisors and administrators and  identify employment trends, and adjust strategies as needed
  • Identify training needs based on clinical supervision and matrix findings
  • Provide quarterly feedback to supervisory staff for inclusion in clinical supervision and to the Training Coordinator for CSPD calendar

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Gather monthly data and assess if required information is being obtained and modify plan, timelines and objectives, as needed

EVALUATION PLAN:

  •  By 7/31/13, counselors, staff, supervisors and administrators will be able to generate reports about quality employment outcomes  by caseload, region and agency
  • By 9/30/13, a schedule will be established and implemented for review  of matrix data and adjustments in staff training topics and schedule, supervision and/or support
  • By 4/30/14, a determination about implications of matrix data on service delivery design

GOAL 3:     ORS WILL INCREASE QUALITY EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES VIA OBJECTIVES SPECIFIC TO THE NEEDS OF ADULT AND TRANSITION AGE SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT CUSTOMERS

OBJECTIVE 1:     Implement a service delivery system that reinforces quality supported employment outcome indicators for ADULTS by 6/30/13.

STRATEGIES:

  • Educate and train staff, customers, and CRPs to increase expectations of Supported Employment quality indicators to consider in job placement and self employment
  • Compare Supported Employment quality employment indicators to data from 2011 as a baseline
  • Incorporate findings from the matrix into management and regional meetings as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Reinforce use of benefits counseling as a means of informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process with SSI/SSDI recipients, guardians, and CRPs
  • Network with employers, netWORKri, and Workforce Investment Boards to identify labor market trends, employers needs, and the skills sets needed to fill job vacancies for Supported Employment population in order to provide qualified employees to businesses
  • Enlist the Workforce Development Supervisor to bridge the connections between ORS and the business community by  informing counselors about current job openings, State/Federal job openings, and labor market trends
  • Ensure Rehabilitation Counselors have knowledge about educational and training options, as well as on-the-job training in order to enhance quality supported employment outcomes
  • Provide current information to Supported Employment customers about the local labor market, employer needs, and associated educational and training opportunities
  • Conduct focus groups to obtain input from community about supported employment services

EVALUATION CRITERIA: 

  • Gather baseline Supported Employment data from FFY2011 with information about health insurance/benefits to be utilized in FFY2013
  • Increase average Supported Employment competitive wage in FFY2013 from the baseline FFY2011 wage of $9.52
  • Increase average Supported Employment hours in FFY2013 from the baseline FFY2011 of 14.3 hours
  • Monitor Supported Employment placement information on a quarterly basis

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • Supervisors and administration to analyze Supported Employment matrix data on a quarterly basis
  • Include findings in CQI reports
  • Incorporate findings into supervisory and regional meetings for rehabilitation counselors to use in their practice

OBJECTIVE 2:     Implement a service delivery system that reinforces quality employment outcome indicators for Supported Employment TRANSITION customers by 6/30/13

STRATEGIES: 

  • Educate and train staff, customers, and CRPs to increased expectations of Supported Employment quality employment indicators to consider in job placement activities and self employment
  • Compare Supported Employment quality employment indicators to data from FFY2011 as a baseline
  • Incorporate finding from the matrix in management and regional meets as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Reinforce use of benefits counseling throughout the rehabilitation process with SSI/SSDI recipients and parents/guardians, and parents of youth under the age of 18
  • Network with employers, netWORKri, Workforce Investment Boards, Youth Councils, and Youth Center to identify labor market trends, employers needs, and the skills sets needed to fill job vacancies for Supported Employment population in order to provide qualified employees to businesses
  • Participate in annual Educational Life Skills programs through collaboratives
  • Create capacity to track separate data for Supported Employment competitive wages, hours works, and health insurance/benefits for adult and transition-age youth

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Gather baseline Supported Employment data from FFY2013 with information about health insurance/benefits to be utilized in FFY2014
  • Monitor Supported Employment placement information on a quarterly basis

EVALUATION PLAN: 

  • Transition Coordinator, Supervisors and administration to analyze Supported Employment matrix data on a quarterly basis
  • Include findings in CQI reports
  • Incorporate findings into supervisory and regional meetings for for rehabilitation counselors to use in their practice

GOAL 4:     INCREASE THE NUMBER OF MINORITY AND UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS WHO PARTICIPATE IN SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES AND WHO OBTAIN QUALITY EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES

OBJECTIVE 1:      Use baseline date from FFY2012 to capture service and employment outcome data for minorities and develop the capacity to capture this data for underserved populations who participate in supported employment services in order to obtain quality employment outcomes.

STRATEGIES:

  • Utilize and monitor outcomes ratio for minority and underserved populations, which provide information on current service levels, the need for expanded or new CRP services, and potential emerging minority populations
  • Identify and establish System 7 capacity to  provide admission, service, and employment outcome information for minority and underserved populations
  • Develop increased capacity to  capture “special populations” (ie. individuals within the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) spectrum including Asperger’s Syndrome, RI Works, transition, SSDI/SSI beneficiaries, etc )
  • Utilize MIS  to monitor case movement from application to closure
  • Educate Supervisors and Administration to report capacity and information available with  MIS

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Establish baseline FFY2012 in new MIS to track quality supported employment indicators for underserved and minority populations
  • Monitor quality supported employment indicators on a quarterly basis
  • Monitor quality and outcomes of minority-oriented supported employment CRPs, including those that offer training and/or job development and placement on a quarterly basis

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • Supervisors and administration to analyze matrix data on a quarterly basis and adjust strategies as needed. 
  • Incorporate findings into supervisory and regional meetings for rehabilitation counselors to use in their practice
  • By 10/30/12, capacity and limitations of System 7 reports  will be defined
  • By 11/30/12, FFY2012 baseline information capturing service and employment outcome information for minority and underserved populations as identified in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment will  be gathered

OBJECTIVE 2:  Implement a service-delivery system that reinforces quality employment outcome indicators for Minority and Underserved supported employment customers by 6/30/13.

STRATEGIES:

  • Increase the number of CRPs that have the capability to provide employment services for minority populations 
  • Identify service needs for minority populations through Comprehensive Needs Assessment
  • Increase CRPs’ ability in responding to changing needs of customers
  • Develop additional CRP services to meet those needs identified in Comprehensive Needs Assessment
  • Educate and train staff, customers and CRPs to increased expectations by ORS of quality indicators  to consider in job placement and self-employment
  • Compare quality employment indicators to data from 2012 as a baseline 
  • Incorporate findings from the matrix into management and regional meetings as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
  • Explore the feasibility of a fee-for-service structure that reinforces and rewards placement activities that include 30 or more hours/week, an hourly wage above minimum wage, health insurance and benefits
  • Build capacity to provide vocational evaluations and rehabilitation technology assessments to individuals with significant physical disabilities
  • Enlist Workforce Development Supervisor to bridge connections between ORS and the business community by informing counselors about current job openings, State/Federal job openings, and labor market trends for minority and underserved populations
  • Ensure Rehabilitation Counselors have knowledge about educational and training options, as well as on-the-job training in order to enhance quality employment outcomes for minority and underserved populations
  • Reinforce use of benefits counseling throughout the rehabilitation process with SSI/SSDI recipients and parents/guardians of youth under the age of 18
  • Network with employers, netWORKri, Workforce Investment Boards, Youth Councils and Youth Centers to identify labor market trends, employers’ needs, and the skill set needed to fill job vacancies in order to provide qualified employees to businesses
  • Provide current information to customers about the local labor market, employer needs, and associated educational and training opportunities
  • Enlist technical assistance to develop strategies for engagement and retention for minority and underserved customers

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Monitor compliance with Standard & Performance Indicator 2.1 on a quarterly basis
  • Monitor quality and outcomes of customer services provided by minority-oriented CRPs, including those that offer training, job development and placement on a quarterly basis

EVALUATION PLAN:

  • Counselors, supervisors, and administrators will review Standards & Indicators on a quarterly basis and adjust  strategies, as  warranted
  • Review of information by the SRC Quality Improvement Sub-Committee  on a quarterly basis

     

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

This attachment should include required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the vocational rehabilitation and the supported employment programs. (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Act and Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)).

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

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) strategies to expand and improve services for individuals with disabilities for FFY2013 are as follows:

  • Examine outreach efforts to ensure that the agency is maximizing engagement of individuals with disabilities with the use of orientation groups, literature distribution about the agency, presence at the netWORKri One Stop Centers, and participation in resource education events around the state
  • Critique the application process to ensure that it is easily accessible and responded to in a timely manner
  • Explore methods to enhance engagement and follow-through of adults and transition-age populations via staff, vendor, family and customer feedback
  • Identify, implement and monitor strategies to meet timely eligibility determination standards for all customers
  • Utilize an array of assessment tools to assist customers in making an informed choice about an occupational goal, including: situational assessment, work tryouts, informational interviewing, time-limited work experiences, summer work,  job shadowing and part-time employment
  • Develop, implement and monitor strategies for timely IPE development for all customers that incorporates assessment and evaluation activities to assist the customer in making an informed career choice
  • Ensure that travel competency and transportation issues are addressed and initiated as a core employment skill  and incorporated into IPE
  • Promote the viability of self employment through the ORS Self Employment Committee and staff liaisons to agencies working with customers toward self-employment goals
  • Provide access to information about SSA Work Incentives, Ticket to Work, and other State-specific benefits to customers and their families, CRPs and ORS staff in order to support informed choice and employment 
  • Create new patterns of service and a fee structure that has the ability to address specific support needs of customers with multiple social, emotional and cognitive barriers to participation in training, secondary education and employment
  • Work with the SRC, the Cultural Diversity Cadre, and ORS staff on development of a CNA focus for FFY2013 with the intention of implementation during 2015
  • Educate customers, adult and youth, to the importance of labor market information (LMI), training options, self-advocacy, work experience, references, volunteering, on-the-job training, resume building, training and educational opportunities as variables that increase the likelihood of a quality employment outcome
  • Examine enhancement of the service delivery options for in-school transition-aged youth that includes evaluation, work experience opportunities, and an advanced summer work experience that enables youth with disabilities to obtain employment directly with a business at minimum wage
  • Encourage youth participation in statewide transition activities such as "Dare to Dream", “Way to Go Rhode Island”, netWORKri Youth Centers, College Forums, and annual disability forums
  • Examine enhancement of the service delivery options for out-of-school transition-aged youth that includes evaluation, work experience opportunities, and increased support to maintain participation in training, educational and employment opportunities, including use of the One Stop Youth Center services
  • Provide joint services between Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI) Social Service Program and the SBVI Vocational Rehabilitation Program to ensure that youth with visual impairments have a smooth transition towards employment

 

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

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) strategies to provide assistive technology services/devices for individuals with disabilities for FFY2013 are as follows:

  • Educate employers, Rehabilitation Counselors, ORS vendors and customers to assistive technology resources such as the Assistive Technology Access Partnership Program (ATAP), specifically the AT loan opportunities as a resource for making informed choice
  • Incorporate access to and acquisition of assistive technology, evaluations, mobility assessment and training, work incentive information, and self-advocacy skills as core services for adults and youth with disabilities
  • Ensure that on an annual basis, the ATAP program, in partnership with the ATAP Director, Training Coordinator and Transition Supervisor, will provide AT information to Rehabilitation Counselors with transition responsibilities
  • Increase staff and CRPs’ knowledge about accommodations, ergonomics, best practices, and assistive technology resources throughout the rehabilitation process via participation in training on AT, such as Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
  • Increase linkages between the Assistive Technology Access Partnership (ATAP) resources, existing rehabilitation technology contractors, and Rehabilitation Counselors to ensure that assistive technology is incorporated into IPE development and customer services on a statewide basis throughout each stage of the rehabilitation process
  • Provide leadership in conjunction with ATAP to sponsor annual AT Conference attended by over four hundred professionals and individuals with disabilities

 

Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) strategies to expand and improve services for individuals with disabilities who are minorities for FFY2013 are as follows:

  • Utilize and monitor outcome ratios for minority populations which provide information on current service levels, the need for expanded or new CRP services, and potential emerging minority populations    
  • Outreach to college disability services, high schools, Rhode Islands Youth Councils and Shared Youth Vision in order to identify and engage youth with disabilities and/or from underserved cultural backgrounds
  • Review and analyze needs of minority and underserved populations, in order to develop capacity and expand CRP network ability to competently provide services that result in increased quality employment outcomes
  • Ensure all agency materials, including those found on the ORS website and available for informational sessions, are provided in Spanish or other languages as needed
  • Ensure partnership with the new SRC Outreach Subcommittee as a resource in planning and development of services to minority and underserved populations
  • Coordinate the outreach efforts of the agency by assigning one staff person to engage potential customers, businesses, and referral sources
  • Identify staff members to examine and enhance the outreach and intake process, and participate on the agency Marketing and  Cultural Diversity Cadre Committees, as well as participate on the SRC Outreach Subcommittee
  • Provide in-service training on cultural sensitivity and competence, including instruction on use of interpreters and the Language Line based on recommendations of the ORS Cultural Diversity Cadre
  • Engage minority and underserved populations from application through service delivery to a quality employment outcome

 

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

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) strategies to expand and improve community rehabilitation programs in RI for FFY2013 are as follows:

  • Provide leadership and a fee structure that reinforces indicators of quality employment outcomes: 30 or more hours/week in integrated employment, health insurance and benefits
  • Function as an instructor in the Certified Case Management Training Program of the CRP Community Mental Health Centers by educating participants to the importance of employment as critical to a recovery model of service and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program as  an employment resource
  • Re-establish liaison relationships with CRPs who have expertise in serving minority and underserved populations to ensure access to services and training programs
  • Address equal access issues by ensuring that the program is responsive to cultural and language diversity issues of current and future customers
  • Provide leadership in partnership with Division of Behavioral Health (BH) and the Division of Development Disabilities (DD) and Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) in FFY2013 to develop a Supported Employment model that embraces a work first and recovery philosophy; offers increased options and choices to customers about supported integrated, competitive employment; increases the number of customers obtaining and maintaining employment in integrated settings, and increased hours per week at least at minimum wage
  • Encourage cultural competence among the CRP network as well as encouraging partners to provide accessible services
  • Ensure training programs and CRP services are gender neutral and available to all qualified customers regardless of age, race, and national origin
  • Support new and existing CRPs to provide universal access to services
  • Recruit additional resources to expand service options for Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth
  • Enlist community mental health centers and developmental disability organizations to increase the number of customers obtaining and maintaining competitive employment
  • Provide Supported Employment CRP providers with best practice training, professional development through ongoing communication, and the Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Supported Employment Council Meetings
  • Work in partnership with TACE to provide training to CRPs

 

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

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) strategies to improve Standards and Performance Indicators for FFY2013 are as follows:

  • Implement and refine a system for monitoring, evaluating and providing timely information for staff and administration about ORS’ movement toward accomplishment of goals identified in the State Plan
  • Monitor, report and establish corrective actions to agency’s movement toward meeting Standards and Performance Indicators
  • Monitor agency performance on Standard 2.1, Minority Ratio to Non-Minority Service Rate Ratio, by Strategic Planning Supervisor, administrative team and Cultural Diversity Cadre
  • Maintain annual development of a Continuous Quality Improvement Plan that evaluates agency services and outcomes in order to meet the goals and objectives of the State Plan
  • Update Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQI) on an annual basis, ensuring inclusion of data from the quarterly reviews of the CQI plan, activities, CNA, and State Plan goals
  • Provide staff training to enhance an understanding of the role of Continuous Quality Improvement in relationship to quality outcomes

 

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

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) strategies to assist components of the WIB in assisting individuals with disabilities for FFY2013 are as follows:

  • Involve ORS as a partner with the business community, federal employment resources, National Employment Team (NET), Chamber of Commerce, Woman’s Business Enterprise, Minority Business Enterprise trade organizations, and Workforce Investment Boards
  • Identify labor market trends and business needs as an element of vocational guidance and counseling, career planning and IPE development
  • Participate on the two existing Workforce Investment Boards (WIB) covering Providence/Cranston and Greater RI areas and each WIB’s Youth Sub-committee
  • Develop marketing materials that showcase employment successes and cultivate awareness and interest in ORS as a workforce resource  to local businesses
  • Review and advocate as participants of Rhode Island’s two Workforce Investment Boards, Youth Councils and Youth Centers
  • Advocate strategies for the inclusion of youth with disabilities in the Governor’s Workforce Investment initiatives
  • Maintain ORS presence at each of the netWORKri sites and educate counselors about One-Stop Youth Centers as additional customer resource
  • Cultivate development of business partnerships through a closer linkage between the Workforce Development Supervisor, the new SRC Outreach Sub-Committee, the agency Marketing Committee and the Business Advisory Council 

 

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.

The Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services’ (ORS) Innovation and Expansion (I & E) funds and program development strategies will be implemented during FFY2013 in the following areas based on the needs identified in the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment, ORS’ Goals and Priorities, and ORS’ commitment to serving individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities and underserved population, while ensuring equal access to Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment services:

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

  • Develop the capacity, via work with System 7,  to accurately track admission, service and employment data for all adult and all transition age customers between the ages of 14-24. Gathering this data at critical junctures in the rehabilitation process will ensure ORS staff and administration are able to monitor service delivery, timely eligibility determination and timely plan development as elements of tracking and service provision
  • Develop and implement a matrix to evaluate employment outcomes of  both adult and transition-age youth.  Inclusion of  Technical Assistance as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Plan will enable ORS to analyze data on a quarterly basis against FFY2011 baseline data and adjust strategies as needed. Supervisory staff will analyze closure data and monitor information in MIS for completeness.
  • Increase quality employment outcomes through increased expectations of hours/week of employment, hourly wage, and health insurance/benefits as critical indicators of a quality job placement or self-employment.  ORS plans to explore a fee structure that reinforces placement outcomes that meet or exceed criteria for quality employment indicators. Examining different service-delivery models for the specialized needs of targeted populations will also be a consideration in attaining quality outcomes. ORS plans to enlist technical assistance to better engage youth with disabilities with a 504 plan and  to develop patterns of service that reflect changing needs of transition-aged youth
  • Increase the number of minority and underserved populations who participate in services and who obtain quality employment outcome by cultivating CRPs to meet the needs identified in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment.  ORS plans to increase its ability to better monitor outcomes ratio for minority and underserved populations and to establish outreach strategies to engage Southeast Asian, African American, individuals with physical disabilities, and individuals within the Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectrum, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome; Building the capacity to provide vocational evaluations and rehabilitation technology assessments to individuals with significant physical disabilities will be a focus as well.  ORS will reinvest staff resources to coordinate outreach to underserved and minority  populations in collaboration with the new SRC Outreach and Transition Subcommittee, agency Cultural Diversity Cadre and  Marketing Committee, a well as local Chambers of Commerce.

2.    Support innovation and expansion activities:

  • Sponsor an Employer Honor Role Awards breakfast using I&E funds to publicly acknowledge businesses who provided employment and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities 
  • Utilize I&E funds to support the projects of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) to orient and train new members of the SRC
  • Develop the State Plan by the SRC and ORS, as well as the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment, through I&E funds
  • Implement three pilot projects targeting underserved and minority populations’ identified through the C.N.A:

  1. Partnership with a local urban high school, a vendor and ORS to target 10 youth with disabilities for intensive after school career & work experience programming to prepare for transition after high school
  2. Development of an intensive employment preparation program for adults with Aspergers which includes environmental coaching, training in social and communication skills, and real work experiences leading to employment and/or training success
  3. Establishment of a pilot project that creates a team approach to addressing the myriad of support needs of customers enrolled in ORS and the RI Works (TANF) program in order to realize an employment outcome

3.   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.

  • Develop an array of marketing materials (in English, Spanish, other languages, and alternate formats): table top displays, brochures, pamphlets, electronic formats and flyers to market ORS employment services to businesses, referral sources, potential customers and their families
  • Ensure access to ORS information and services through use of bilingual staff, Language Line, interpreters from a variety of resources, as well as producing materials in languages other than English
  • Cultivate recruitment of CRPs who have a presence in targeted minority populations such as Progresso Latino, South East Asian Economic Development, Native American communities, Urban League, and bilingual psychologist and therapists
  • Foster minority representation on the SRC with the recruitment of additional representation from the Latino, Native American, and under-represented populations
  • Develop presentations about ORS for diverse audiences
  • Provide general information sessions about benefits and Social Security benefits counseling in Spanish and other languages
  • Place marketing materials about ORS in community-based locations frequented by large numbers of individuals
  • Address the employment needs of elder-disabled customers through the Department of Elderly Affairs, netWORKri One Stop Centers, Senior Community Service Employment Program and Community Action Senior Employment Program, and other applicable programs
  • Enlist technical assistance from TACE and/or Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to strategize how to engage students with disabilities who have a 504 plan, individuals with physical disabilities, and underserved minority populations

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 17 2012 8:58AM by Sharon Dipinto

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

GOAL 1:  TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES BENEFIT AND WORK INCENTIVES

A.  ACTUAL EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES:

 

FFY  2010

FFY  2011

Variance

Successful  Closures Total

568

717

+149

Successful Transition Closures187286+99

B.  CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PLAN:

The Strategic Planning Supervisor, Deputy Administrators of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program and Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI), as well as the Assistant Administrator for Vocational Rehabilitation develop, administer, and monitor a Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP) in collaboration with the Quality Assurance/State Plan/Policy sub-committee of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC).  The CQI Plan is evaluated in collaboration with the SRC and modified to reflect new areas of study, different processes, and concerns identified in the CNA.  It is updated annually to ensure that data from quarterly reviews and other evaluation activities are incorporated into the evaluation of goal accomplishments. 

Through the use of program management, evaluation, and CQIP activities, agency staff at all levels have participated in and contributed to strategic planning and program evaluation. A structured Customer Satisfaction Survey process has been included in the CQI that obtains customer feedback from status 26 and status 28 on a quarterly basis with aggregate findings shared with staff.   In FFY2011, ORS sent 709 status 26/employment closure surveys with 119 completed returned surveys. 

Themes from these surveys included:

  • Educate customers on life long learning, training, and on-the-job training to enable job keeping and/or advancement 
  • Provide benefits counseling about Social Security, Ticket to Work and other work incentives
  • Ensure customers’ understanding of informed choice in obtaining employment that matches their stated goals and interest

Additionally ORS sent 438 status 28-unsuccessful closure surveys with 66 completed returned surveys.  Themes from these surveys included:

  • Ensure timely response to receipt of an application, scheduled opportunities to meet and monitor customer movement toward objectives with increased contact at time of plan implementation
  • Inform customers of VR process and services that support their making decisions about goals and needs prior to IPE development 
  • Educate customers about assistive technology and options for accessing assessments and technology resources if applicable

On an annual basis, the Strategic Planning Supervisor facilitates a planning committee that represents all programs within the agency to develop and organize a Strategic Planning Day for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind Programs.  In October of 2011, ORS held an agency Strategic Planning day, which incorporated the 2011 Comprehensive Needs Assessment as a foundation for discussion.  Eighty staff from VR and SBVI attended the daylong planning day, which focused on quality employment outcomes, marketing, and best practices.  The day was also structured to enhance team building within programs and across the agency.  Group facilitators summarized information gained on the key areas and provided a summary back to participants.  Additionally the information has been summarized into a Strategic Planning Session Recommendation report.

With the use of ARRA funds, ORS was able to obtain a new case management system that integrates clinical, financial, and demographic information.  This new system through Libera, which went fully live in October 2011, has moved ORS toward an electronic client record.   ORS anticipates improved access to quality assurance data at the counselor, supervisor and administrative level, which will enhance the capacity to track and monitor service activities and employment outcomes for CQIP of the agency.

At three-year increments, ORS conducts a comprehensive statewide assessment that meets the regulatory requirements at 34CFR361.29.  The most recent CNA was included in the state plan for fiscal year 2011.  Each state plan since FFY2009 has included measurable objectives for each state goal and priority.

The Strategic Planning Supervisor has attended the 4th Annual Summit of Vocational Rehabilitation Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance, is an active participant in the Summit Group, and joined the Rehabilitation Program Evaluation Network of the National Rehabilitation Association. Technical Assistance about CQI and program evaluation has been provided through the above entities.

C.  EMPLOYER RELATIONSHIPS 

Over the past year, the Agency has actively pursued enhancing the relationship with the business community through participation in the Business Leadership Network which provided a myriad of educational workshops to employers:  disability resources, Job Accommodation Network (JAN), and ORS services.  ORS has representation on each of the two Rhode Island Workforce Investment Boards (WIBS), each of the two Youth Councils of each WIB, as well as MOU’s with each of the WIBs.  In addition, the Agency Workforce Development Supervisor is the point of contact for federal jobs posted through the National Employment Team (NET).  However, the majority of the positions are not in Rhode Island and most of the agency customers are reluctant to relocate.

The Agency Workforce Development Supervisor has also sought to educate staff to the changing needs of the business community, resources to assist customers with criminal backgrounds, and the on-line application process for most jobs.  The Workforce Development Supervisor facilitates interviewing classes intended to help customers become more knowledgeable about and skillful in the interviewing process.  In 2011, 8 interviewing classes were provided for 43 customers of whom 11 or 26% procured employment consistent with the goals established in their IPEs.

In FFY2011, the Agency had to suspend the paid internship program due to liability issues that occurred in relation to an internship site.  This internship program had provided work experience and references to 10 customers in 2011, of which 5 were hired by the internship businesses.  Over the next year, administrative staff plans to consult with the Department of Human Services’ Legal Department and ORS staff to determine how to re-instate the purpose of the program and develop policies and procedures that address the liability issues for the employer, the customer, and the agency.

ORS reestablished and strengthened the working relationship with the regional Chambers of Commerce to develop stronger ties to businesses and to introduce the potential workforce that could meet their labor needs through ORS.  By attending the Chamber meetings and being a consistent presence, ORS and the employers will develop an understanding of each others needs, and how to assist in achieving respective goals.

D.     CUSTOMER EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT

ORS has instituted and enhanced services to transition-age and adult populations, and trained staff in occupational information in an effort to enhance customer knowledge about work, experience with employment, and focus on career development.

Transition activities in FFY2011 strengthened services to youth with disabilities. During the summer of 2011, ORS funded a summer work experience for 175 young adults in order to offer a hands-on paid work experience in the community.  The Transition Academies were funded by ORS to provide fee-for-service work preparation and employment experiences for 50 youth open to ORS. In addition, 200 transition youth completed vocational evaluations via the contract with the Educational Collaboratives.  These evaluations included 20 hours of work experience in the community at two different work sites.  ORS collaborated with “Dare to Dream”, an initiative focusing on employment and empowerment, that included 500 students with disabilities from around the state.  ORS helped organize the College Forum at Providence College, a program that offers workshops to 100 parents and students on how to prepare and what to expect of secondary educational environments. 

 

ORS began with I&E funding to support a Pilot Project at Central Falls High School. This initiative is intended to enhance transition and prevent drop-out from high school by providing a 100-hour work experience to 10 ORS students to increase their exposure to the world of work.  This also includes groups to address resume writing, interviewing, and career information.

ORS has sought to develop stronger liaison relationships with the Disability Services, Bursar, and Financial Aid Officers of local colleges.  However, staff vacancies have prevented dedicating resources to this objective.  A recently hired rehabilitation counselor and her supervisor have agreed to pilot this model within the Newport Campus of the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI).

 

A new initiative involved ORS helping adults with psychiatric and substance abuse issues to obtain the work experiences, reference building, and preparation services to become employed.  ORS was approached by four community mental health centers to establish a fee-for-service structure that targeted non-supported employment customers in need of work readiness prior to participation in job development and placement.  The collaboration of ORS and these four centers resulted in a work readiness program through Horizons Health Care Providers (HHCP).   HHCP offered work readiness and placement services on a fee-for-service basis to ORS customers.  The program consisted of a four-week classroom setting that operated five days a week for five hours per day and focused on resume writing, work incentives,  social security benefits counseling, interviewing skills, and job search activities along with the work behaviors required to maintain employment.  The first pilot was organized by ORS and East Bay Mental Health Center; and the second pilot, which is still in process, was organized by ORS and Northern RI Mental Health Center.  To date there have been 27 referrals made to the two pilots, and seven participants have successfully completed the work readiness phase and have moved on to the community work experience part of the program.  An Advisory Council inclusive of ORS personnel and host agencies was established to evaluate and adjust the program referral process and design as each pilot has evolved.

A critical component of customer education and career counseling is staff training and clinical supervision.   ORS counselors have participated in a number of in-person trainings and on-line trainings designed to reinforce the fundamental principles of the ORS mission, vocational rehabilitation practices, customer service, and and quality employment outcomes.  These trainings have included areas, such as: ADA accommodations, transferable skills analysis, assistive technology, and job development and job placement activities. These topics provided a basic skill set for the newer counselors and a refresher for the more experienced counselors.  This information has directly impacted their vocational activities with the customers as they are implementing the new skills that they have learned.

Counselors are being encouraged during clinical supervision to incorporate labor market research, volunteer work, situational assessments, and informational interviews, as well as Ticket to Work and other Social Security Work Incentives, into vocational exploration with the customer in order to support informed choice and career development.  With this knowledge, the client can then choose an appropriate vocational goal based on informed choice, which will help improve the overall quality of their employment situation.

Addressing the concerns of individuals on SSI/SSDI about the impact of income on benefits is a critical aspect to Vocational Rehabilitation participation and employment outcomes.  Over the past year, ORS has provided ten Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) general information sessions at netWORKri locations, as well as outreached to another 26 locations with 510 people participating in these sessions.  Staff were provided with  training on the Ticket to Work program based on the newest regulations, Partnership Plus opportunities and the timely progress provisions.  The agency provided Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services to 2,233 SSI/SSDI recipients, of which 1,085 individuals received benefits counseling and ongoing support, and 1,148 received information regarding SSA work incentives.

Many ORS customers rely on reduced rates to afford the use of the public transportation system for travel to and from training and secondary educational as well as jobs. Rhode Island Public Transportation (RIPTA) was dealing with an increased incidence of fraud in the free and reduced fare programs.   RIPTA personnel and ORS staff developed a process that was responsive to the concerns of RIPTA while still maintaining ORS customer access to the service.

GOAL 2:   TO INCREASE THE SERVICE AND EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME RATIOS FOR MINORITY POPULATIONS 

 A.  ACTUAL EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES:

 

FFY  2010

FFY  2011

Variance

Successful Closures Total

568

717

+ 149

Successful Minority and Underserved  Closures

151

204

+53

 B.  CRP DEVELOPMENT AND STAFF TRAINING:

ORS sought to develop and build strong relationships over the past year with community-based agencies and training programs that demonstrated cultural competence with diverse populations for youths with disabilities and adults.  The ORS Cultural Diversity Cadre provided guidance on ensuring equal access by minority communities to ORS services. Bilingual staff  helped to increase ORS’ capacity to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking customers and other minority and underserved populations. The Rehabilitation Counselors and Case Aide improved the agency capacity to serve minority population, improve service delivery to Spanish-speaking consumers, and assist ORS staff with translation and interpreting needs. 

ORS and the SRC have identified the need to better coordinate its outreach and marketing efforts and have established a new Outreach Committee.  The committee will have representation from the ORS Assistant Administrator of VR, who is also responsible for the intake activity of the agency and participates on the agency Marketing Committee and Cultural Diversity Cadre.

 

GOAL 1 TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES

A.    ACTUAL EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES:

 

FFY  2010

FFY  2011

Variance

Successful Supported Employment CLosures7290+ 18

B.  CRP DEVELOPMENT:

Meetings with CRPs provided an opportunity to address concerns and questions as well as discuss “Best Practices”.  The Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP) Supervisor, in consultation with VR staff and providers, developed Fact Sheets and reporting forms for services such as: Vocational Evaluations, Job Development/Placement/Retention, Work Readiness, and Summer Work.  These Fact Sheets provide a consistent understanding about definitions, expectations, and outcomes of each service, so that consistency and quality outcomes across providers is assured.  The CRP Supervisor also met with vendors/providers to review Fact Sheets and Reporting Forms, to clarify expectations and deliverables for each service and to reinforce quality services. In addition, the CRP Supervisor met with individual community providers/vendors who provide Supported Employment (SE) services in order to re-enforce the philosophy, values, and expected outcome of Supported Employment services.  

The Training Coordinator and CRP Supervisor provided training through TACE/ICI for vendors regarding Vocational Evaluations. This training re-enforced the expectations of the agency and provided information about assessment tools and information/resources for agencies to utilize in the Vocational Evaluation process.  Also, both Supported Employment Councils (Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities) have ongoing trainings and resources available regarding quality employment outcomes.  In addition, the current fee-for-service structure reinforces Job Placement and Job Retention with an increase in funding for these deliverables.  This change has been in place at least for the past three years and increased the reimbursement structure for Job Placement, and also increased reporting requirements regarding these services as well as Job Retention.

In FFY2011, ORS worked with CRP Supported Employment agencies through a MOU with the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) who also had affirmative businesses in an I&E project which encourageed the development of new training programs.  These trainings would be offered to supported employment and non-supported employment customers with a focus on jobs in integrated, competitive job settings. These training programs are anticipated to roll-out in Spring/Summer 2012.

In FFY2011, ORS began working with the Groden Center/Cove Center, an agency in RI recognized for its expertise with individuals within the Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectruml specifically the Asperger’s Syndrome population.  This I&E initiative is intended to develop and implement a Job Club incorporating supportive services, training, and job development, placement, and retention for Asperger customers whom ORS serves.

GOAL 2:  TO INCREASE THE SERVICE AND EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME RATIOS FOR MINORITIES WHO ARE CUSTOMERS OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT

A.    ACTUAL EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES:

 

FFY  2010

FFY  2011

Variance

Successful Supported Employment Closures 

72

90

+ 18

Successful Supported Employment Closures for minorities

14

22

+   8

 B.   CRP DEVELOPMENT:

A Cooperative Agreement between ORS and the Sherlock Center, University Center of Excellence, provided a foundation for training personnel from the community mental health and developmental disability provider network.  In 2011, twenty certificates were awarded to graduates of two separate programs offered to the community via this agreement, as well as two employer forums with RI Business Leadership Network.  The Assistant Administrator from ORS provides training twice a year in collaboration with the Sherlock Center. The area of training provided by ORS titled "Recovery Thru Work" is offered to case managers, primarily from the Mental Health System, as a part of the curriculum to achieve a Community Support Professional Certification.

 

ORS met or exceeded RSA Standard I - VR’s impact on employment and Standard II - Minority Service Rate for FFY2011

The economic climate of RI and staff vacancies contributed to the fluctuation in the Standards and Indicators from FFY2007 to FFY2011.

Evaluation Standard 1 - Employment Outcomes

Performance Indicator 1.1:   ORS maintained a focus on increasing quality employment outcomes as per our CNA and RSA 107 monitoring report.  Despite employment outcomes continuing to be impacted by a high unemployment rate, staff vacancies, and state fiscal constraints. ORS did meet Standard One of performance and indicator standards.  In FFY2007 ORS had a goal of 736 successful closures that was exceeded by 9 with 745 successful closures. The FFY2008 goal of 746 successful outcomes was exceeded by 4 with an outcome of 750. ORS exceeded the FFY2009 goal of 751 successful outcomes by 5 with 756 successful closures. For FFY2010 ORS achieved 568 of the projected 757 successful outcomes.  In FFY 2011, ORS achieved 717 successful employment outcomes, which exceeded the 2010 outcome by 149 successful employment closures.

Performance Indicator 1.2:   FFY 2011 ORS saw an increase in the rehabilitation rate to 60.18%.  FFY 2010 saw a decrease in the rehabilitation rate to 40.72%. This was the result of decreased employment closures and increased closures of cases after having received services.  ORS has exceeded the Federal Standard of 55.80% in FFY2009 with a rate of 62.79%, and in FFY2008 with a rate of 62.81%, as well as the baseline FFY2007 rate of 59.89%. 

Performance Indicator 1.3:  ORS exceeded the Federal Standard earnings ratio of 72.6 in FFY 2011 with a rate of 97.52%, which represents a slight decrease from the FFY2010 rate of 97.89.  It does maintain an increase over FYY2009 rate of 96.30,  FFY2008 rate of 95.73, and FFY2007 rate of 92.62.

Performance Indicator 1.4:  While ORS exceeded the Federal Standard of 62.40%, FFY 20011 saw a slight decrease in FFY 2011 with a rate of 98.31%.  ORS maintained 100% for FFY2007, FFY2008, FFY2009, and FFY2010 individuals with significant disabilities who are earning at least minimum wage.

Performance Indicator 1.5:  ORS continues to be challenged in meeting this indicator in part due to the RI economy.  The average hourly rate of .50 earned by individuals in FFY 2011 was below the Federal Standard of .52.  FFY2010 with a rate of .54 represents an increase over the FFY2009 rate of .51.   For FFY2008 the rate was .52, and FFY2007 had a baseline rate of .53.

Performance Indicator 1.6:  While FFY2010 is short of the baseline year FFY2007 rate of 64.78, ORS has exceeded the Federal Standard of 53% all four years.  The number of individuals whose own income at time of exit was their largest source of support increased in FFY2011 to 67.28 over the FFY2010 rate of 62.95.  ORS saw a rate of 54.40 in FFY2009 and 55.443 in FFY2008. 

Evaluation Standard 2 - Equal Access to Services

Performance Indicator 2.1:  ORS met the standard for services and employment outcomes for minorities who are disabled for FFY 2011 with a rate of .91, which represents an increase over FFY2010 rate of .89, and the FFY2009 rate of .85. The rate for FFY2008 was .88, and the FFY2007 baseline rate was .85. 

 

  • ORS used I&E funding to develop a Pilot Project at Central Falls High School.  This initiative in intended to enhance transition and prevent drop-out from high school by providing a 100 hour work experience to 10 ORS students to increase their exposure to the world of work.  This also includes groups on work readiness to address resume writing, interviewing, career information, and SSA Work Incentives and benefits counseling.
  • Utilized I&E funds for State Rehabilitation Council and State Independent Living Council activities
  • In FFY2011, ORS worked with CRP Supported Employment agencies who also had affirmative businesses to develop new training initiatives for Supported Employment and non-Supported Employment customers of ORS through an MOU with BHDDH.
  • In FFY2011, ORS began working with the Groden Center/Cove Center, an agency in RI recognized for its expertise with individuals within the Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectrum, specifically the Asperger’s Syndrome population.  This I & E initiative is intended to develop and implement a Job Club incorporating supportive services, training, and job development, placement, and retention for Asperger customers whom ORS serves.

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 1:40PM by Sharon Dipinto

  • 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

Since the introduction of Supported Employment (SE), individuals with significant barriers to work have been able to participate in competitive integrated employment.  For FFY2011, out of the 717 successful outcomes, 45 individuals with the most significant disabilities were placed in competitive employment and for FFY2013, ORS plans to focus on successful quality outcomes that reflect an increase in the number of hours employed, the hourly wage, benefits and health insurance. 

ORS has been a presence in multiple arenas encouraging customers, providers and families to expect employment as an outcome regardless of disability.  In too many situations, ORS and other rehabilitation providers have found that the physical and financial safety and security of facility-based settings has impeded customer access to the resources needed to move toward the integration inherent in competitive employment settings for adults and transition- age youth with significant behavioral health and developmental disabilities. ORS has been a partner in several grant initiatives that facilitate “work first” and “recovery” models. In addition, information and education about SSI/SSDI work incentives and individualized benefits counseling is offered on a regular basis to the community at convenient locations throughout the state.

Attending to the training needs of CRPs is an ongoing activity.  The CRP Supervisor meets with individual community providers/vendors who provide Supported Employment (SE) services in order to re-enforce the philosophy, values and desired outcome of SE services.  These meetings with CRPs provide an opportunity to address concerns, questions as well as clarify the elements of a quality employment outcome.  ORS participates on the two Supported Employment Advisory Councils as a means of dedicating resources and reinforcing a commitment to integrated competitive employment for individuals with significant disabilities.  A  Cooperative Agreement between ORS and the Sherlock Center, University Center of Excellence, provides a foundation for training personnel from the community mental health and developmental disability provider network.  In 2011, twenty certificates were awarded to graduates of two separate programs offered to the community via this agreement, as well as two employer forums with RI Business Leadership Network.  The Assistant Administrator from ORS provides training twice a year in collaboration with the Sherlock Center. The area of training provided by ORS titled "Recovery Thru Work" is offered to case managers, primarily from the Mental Health System, as a part of the curriculum to achieve a Community Support Professional Certification.  

ORS continues to have a commitment to providing supported employment services.  For those customers who meet the supported employment criteria, the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) becomes the foundation for meeting customers’ individualized supported employment needs. The IPE defines the employment goal, the timeline, services, and long-term support/vendor who will continue to provide support services to the individual with disability on a long-term basis. These long-term support providers are identified in a signed agreement of understanding, which is signed by the vendor agency and ORS. This shift in service delivery responsibility is well coordinated by the ORS counselor and vendor agency staff, so that there will be a seamless and continuous delivery of needed services to the individual.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 1:40PM by Sharon Dipinto

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 07/17/2012 at 8:58 AM

Last updated by saridipintos

Completed on 07/17/2012 at 8:58 AM

Completed by saridipintos

Approved on 07/17/2012 at 10:05 AM

Approved by rscodiehlm

Published on 09/25/2012 at 12:46 PM

Published by kschelle

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