ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

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

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

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the Tennessee Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation 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

Commissioner 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

Commissioner 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 https://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/ed80-013.pdf) for both the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryRaquel Hatter, MSW, Ed.D.

Title of SignatoryCommissioner Department of Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/27/2014

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2015No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is established in Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and 34 CFR §361.16.17 of its implementing regulations. The SRC gives advice to and works in partnership with the Division of Rehabilitation Services (referred to as “the Division” throughout this report) including input on the state plan. The following represent the comments and input of the State Rehabilitation Council with respect to the FY 2015 state plan.

I. The SRC commends Assistant Commissioner Cherrell Campbell-Street and the Division for her continued commitment to providing an open system of communication with the SRC. The SRC commends Assistant Commissioner Campbell-Street for maintaining the opening of PC 2 and recommend the release of PC3 and recommends that the division re-evaluate the order of selection on an ongoing basis if PC 3 & 4 can be opened in FY 15, if feasible. The SRC looks forward to Assistant Commissioner Campbell-Street hiring a Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and making IPE’s more accessible for people who are blind and visually impaired.

RESPONSE: Priority Category 2 has been open for services since October 2012 and there was a release of all clients in Priority Category 3 from the waiting list in October 2013. The Division continues to monitor the number of cases on the waiting list as well as the capacity of the Division to open Priority Categories 3 and 4. In June of 2014, interviews were conducted for the position of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.

The Division is not aware of any accessibility issues with the IPE for people blind and visually impaired.

II. In order for the SRC to make informed decisions and recommendations on the State VR program, the SRC recommends the Division continue to improve the process of providing the reports defined in 34 CFR Section 361.16(a)(2)(iv) to the SRC with adequate time to review and provide input/feedback before the reports are submitted to RSA.

RESPONSE: The Division will continue its efforts to work with the SRC to meet both internal and external deadlines. The Division would like to express its appreciation to the council for providing feedback and hopes it too will be mindful of providing information to the Division in a timely manner.

III. The SRC is excited about the full participation between the Division and SRC in writing the State Plan for FY 15. The SRC commends the Division for collaborating with the SRC in this process. SRC commends the Assistant Commissioner and new Vocational Rehabilitation Director for coordinating this effort and placing importance and value on SRC involvement. The Division implemented a new format this year including a two day event for SRC Members, CIL Directors, and the Division staff to participate in writing the State Plan. The SRC commends the Division on conducting the Public Hearings at neutral sites, providing adequate publicizing/notification of Public Hearings, and being prepared to answer questions from the public.

RESPONSE: The Division believes the involvement of the SRC and the CILs is critical and necessary to the successful development of the State Plan. The Division will continue to schedule Public Hearings in accordance with RSA guidelines.

IV. The SRC is confident that the new Administration will allocate significant additional funding to direct client services and opening Priority Category 03 and Priority Category 04. SRC commends the new Administration on their commitment to moving out of the order of selection.

RESPONSE: Priority Category 2 has been open for services since October 2012 and there was a release of all clients in Priority Category 3 from the waiting list in October 2013. The Division continues to monitor the number of cases on the waiting list as well as the capacity of the Division to open Priority Category 3.

V. To further enhance the congressional mandate for the SRC to assist and participate in setting goals and priorities with the Division, the SRC commends the Division on working collaboratively with the SRC in conducting focus groups and providing input to the needs assessment and client satisfaction surveys.

RESPONSE: The Division is committed to working with the SRC, workforce partners and clients to conduct the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and Client Satisfaction Surveys. These instruments are used to guide the direction of all program changes and improvements.

VI. The SRC understands the Division has an interagency agreement with the Department of Education to provide services to transition aged students with disabilities to assist them in making the transition from school to work. The SRC strongly recommends that the Division implement a procedure to develop a student’s IPE shortly after priority category placement to provide career exploration and job placement services earlier in the student’s high school career. The SRC recommends the Division set a goal to provide a TSW Counselor in every county in the State of TN. The SRC understands that the Division is developing a plan to begin the process of planning and working with students to transition from school to work earlier in their high school career.

RESPONSE: The Division agrees with recommendation of providing a Counselor in every county of the State. For those larger counties the division will assign more than one counselor. In the current transition school to work plans, as the division increases the number of transition school to work counselors, there will be consultative services available at age 14.

VII. The SRC recommends the Division provide any and all proposed changes to the VR policy manuals and Procedural Directives to the SRC, before the manual is modified. The SRC would like to review and provide input on all policy manual changes before they become official.

RESPONSE: The Division agrees with this recommendation and will provide the SRC with any proposed changes before they become official.

VIII. The SRC recommends the Division create a marketing plan to educate the public on Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The SRC has received many comments from the parents that have children with disabilities that they do not know what resources are available for their children after high school.

RESPONSE: The Division is currently in the development of new and improved marketing materials under the leadership of the new Statewide Business Employment Consultant. The Division encourages the SRC to participate in these marketing efforts as a part of the resource plan that is submitted to the Department.

IX. The SRC recommends the Division implement more Innovation and Expansion grants, specifically targeting employment for individuals that have graduated from or are attending college or university to gain work experience, additional services for deaf and hard of hearing, and services for Vocational Rehabilitation clients with autism.

RESPONSE: The Division is currently in the process of hiring a Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing with the responsibility of increasing employment opportunities and outcomes for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The Division supports students attending the Mosaic program at University of Tennessee/Chattanooga. This program is designed specifically for students on the Autism spectrum.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:17PM by satncoles

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

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

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

The waiver request should also include:

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

The Division requests a waiver of statewideness in order to maintain twenty-one Third Party Agreements with local education agencies (LEAs). These Third Party Agreements are designed to provide enhanced and concentrated services to Transition School to Work students/clients covered by the agreements. The Division has a contract with each entity that is consistent with Federal regulations (34 CFR § 361.26) and includes the following provisions: 1. The vocational rehabilitation services to be provided are identified in Section A. Scope of Services in each contract (Each contract has been submitted separately to RSA to provide the written assurances requested for this attachment);2. The LEA assures that non-Federal funds are made available to the Division by committing to their maintenance of effort in Section E.13 of the contract; 3. The LEA assures that the Division’s approval is required before services are provided with the Division’s counselor determining eligibility for each client served; 4. The LEA assures, through the Division’s vocational rehabilitation counselors, that all other state plan requirements, including the Order of Selection policy, are applied to persons receiving services through the agreement; and5. The LEA assures that reasonable accommodations will be provided. A list of the LEA contracts is provided below:Anderson County Schools Bledsoe County Schools Blount County Schools Carter County Schools and Johnson County SchoolsClarksville Montgomery County Schools Cocke County Schools Elizabethton City Schools Greene County Schools and Greeneville City Schools Hamblen County Schools Henderson County Schools Humboldt City Schools, Trenton Special School District, Milan Special School District Jackson-Madison County Schools Knox County Schools McMinn County Schools Putnam County Schools Robertson County SchoolSequatchie County Schools Sevier County Schools Union County Schools Washington County Schools In fiscal year 2013 the division lost two TSW contracts McNairy/Selmer schools and Memphis City schools. Both school systems declined to sign the TSW contracts due to internal budget issues. While the Division provides transition services to all LEAs throughout the state, these transition contracts enable the provision of an expanded and more intense transition service to students/clients resulting from the inclusion of job coaches, case manager assistants, and clerical staff that would not otherwise be available to work with the vocational rehabilitation clients. These contracts enable the Division to have a greater presence within the schools and act as a stronger resource to the LEAs in the provision of transition services. The Division will continue to make efforts to increase the number of LEA Third Party Agreements. It is anticipated that with the opening of Priority Category 2 in September 30, 2012, the likelihood of serving more students will allow for additional LEA Third Party Agreements.

This screen was last updated on Aug 22 2014 1:32PM by Yovancha Lewis-Brown

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

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

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

The Division has interagency cooperation, collaboration, and coordination with other state and local entities that are not components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System.

The Division works in cooperation with the following Federal, state, and local agencies and programs to provide services for individuals with significant disabilities: 1. The Department of Children’s Services for youth; 2. The Department of Health in providing services to individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI); 3. Post-secondary school systems and their governing bodies; 4. The Department of Education and Local Education Agencies for individuals who are transitioning from school to work. 5. The Department of Corrections for individuals released from state correctional facilities; 6. The Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole for individuals released from state correctional facilities and monitored by the Board. 7. Local city police, county sheriffs and judge’s programs for individuals being released from jails or on probation or trial diversion; 8. The Department of Human Services Division of Adult and Family Services for individuals participating in services under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; 9. The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for individuals with mental illness and substance related disorders; 10. The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; 11. University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy, Education and Employment for marketing to businesses the services provided by the Division, to recruit businesses to hire the Division’s clients and to provide staff training and development and consultation services for community supported employment service providers; 12. Tennessee AgrAbility program for professions in agriculture production. This is a cooperative effort of the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Program, and Easter Seals in Tennessee, Special Technology Access Center, East Tennessee Technology Access Center and other collaborative entities of the Division; 13. TennesseeWorks for employment partnerships and collaborative efforts to increase access to meaningful work and internet-based information. 14. Community Rehabilitation Agencies of Tennessee which administers the Tennessee State Use Program, directs government procurement toward organizations serving individuals with disabilities. 15 Council on Developmental Disabilities that promotes public policies to increase and support the inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in their communities and works with public and private groups across the State to find necessary supports for individuals with disabilities and their families, so that they may have equal access to public education, employment, housing, health care, and all other aspects of community life. 16. Tennessee Council for the Deaf, Deaf/Blind and Hard of Hearing and Centers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind that operate in six communities and provide interpreter services consultation. 17. Tennessee Technology Access Programs that operate in five communities and provide assistive technology services and evaluations. 18. Tennessee Centers for Independent Living that operate in six local communities are operated primarily by persons with disabilities and provide a variety of independent living services. 19. Community Rehabilitation Providers throughout the state that provide rehabilitation services under a Letter of Agreement.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:23PM by satncoles

Attachment 4.8(b)(2) Coordination with Education Officials

  • Describe the designated state unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services, including provisions for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment before each student determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services leaves the school setting or, if the designated state unit is operating on an order of selection, before each eligible student able to be served under the order leaves the school setting.
  • Provide information on the formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency with respect to
    • consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services;
    • transition planning by personnel of the designated state agency and educational agency that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs;
    • roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services;
    • procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

The Division maintains an ongoing interagency agreement with the Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Bureau of Tenncare, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Tennessee Department of Corrections. The agreement, along with the Division’s policy manual and Standard Procedures Directives, outlines the plans, policies and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the participation of the Division staff in transition planning and the referral of students with disabilities to the Division for a determination of eligibility for VR services.

When a student who is eligible based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) standards reaches the age of fourteen (14), the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team , as defined by 34 CFR § 300.344, formulates a statement of transition service needs as a component of the IEP. The Division’s staff is invited and to the extent possible participates in these IEP meetings.

The Division has been under an Order of Selection since 2001. Under the current Order, the Division is able to provide direct services to those eligible individuals in Priority Category 1 and Priority Category 2. The Division was able to open Priority Category 2 effective September 30, 2012. There was a release of clients from the waiting list in Priority Category 3 on October 1, 2013. The opening and release of clients from the waiting list allows for the provision of direct services to significantly more students with disabilities. The Division provides information and referral services to help all applicants find services through other agencies and entities.

The IEP team, which should include the Division’s staff, parent and student, determines that the student should be referred for VR services, the Division’s staff should inform the student and parents, preferable at the IEP meeting, the purpose of the vocational rehabilitation program. This information should include the application procedures, the eligibility requirements including the Order of Selection, and the potential scope of services that may be available. As soon as possible after referral, the Division takes an application from the student and determines eligibility as well as whether the student is in an open priority category. If the student is in an open priority category, the Division’s staff assists in the formulation of the student’s IEP and the student’s vocational rehabilitation Individualized Plan for Employment as soon as it is determined that the student can benefit from services provided by the Division in preparation for exiting the school system and transitioning into training and/or employment. Services provided by the Division may include attending job fairs, community vocational adjustment training and pre-employment, college readiness and job readiness training.

The LEA’s involved in the interagency agreement with the Division should cooperate in developing and coordinating services for youth with disabilities within each respective agency’s legal authority. The ultimate goal of each agency participating in the agreement is to provide, or cause to be provided, a continuum of appropriate services leading to transition from school into employment. The agreement provides for: 1. Consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including vocational rehabilitation services; 2. Consultation and technical assistance on providing reasonable accommodations; 3. Transition planning by personnel of the Division of Rehabilitation Services 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 Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004 (P.L. 108-446); 4. The roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and 5. Procedures for outreach and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

A VR counselor is assigned to work with each local education agency (LEA) for the purposes of referrals, eligibility determination and the provision of services to eligible students. In twenty-one LEAs, the VR counselor is dedicated to the LEA under a contract with the LEA. VR counselors provide technical assistance to school personnel and LEAs to help them identify appropriate referrals for vocational rehabilitation services. The VR counselor also provides information and referral to students not eligible for VR services.

It is the Division’s policy that the development and approval of the IPE for each student determined eligible for VR services occurs as soon as it is determined that the student can benefit from services provided by the Division. An IPE must be developed before the student leaves the school setting.

The interagency agreement identifies the financial responsibility of the Department of Education (DOE) to ensure that individuals who are IDEIA eligible receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. A free appropriate public education means regular and special education and related services which: 1. Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge to the parent; 2. Meet the standards established by state law, including the requirements of IDEIA Part B and the Rules, Regulations and Minimum Standards for the Governance of Tennessee Public Schools, issued by DOE; 3. Include preschool, elementary school, and secondary school (including appropriate vocational, career or work experience education); and 4. Are provided in conformity with an IEP. The interagency agreement relates the financial responsibility of the Division to ensure that individuals who are IDEIA eligible and also meet the Division’s eligibility requirements will receive VR Services. VR Services means any services necessary to determine eligibility and those services described in an IPE necessary to assist an individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual.

The LEA is responsible for the educational costs related to the provision of special education and related services for the individual attending school. The agreement states that if another public agency is obligated under federal or state law or assigned responsibility under state policy to provide or pay for any services that are considered special education or related services and are necessary for ensuring FAPE to students who are IDEIA eligible, the public agency shall fulfill that obligation or responsibility, directly, through contract or by another arrangement. However, failure of that public agency to pay for that service does not relieve the LEA of its obligation to provide that service to an individual with a disability in a timely manner.

The Division is responsible for all costs necessary for eligibility determination and provision of services under an IPE. The Division must take into account comparable services and benefits [34 CFR § 361.53 (c)(1))], available under any other program that does not interrupt or delay the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the IPE.

The Division’s staff maintains a working relationship with special education supervisors, vocational education supervisors, directors, secondary school guidance counselors, and LEA administrators for the purpose of providing outreach for students with disabilities and technical assistance to school personnel to assist LEAs in preparing students with disabilities for career opportunities. The Division participates in in-service training programs for LEAs, as well as in statewide special education conferences for the purpose of providing information regarding VR services. The Division also participates in and organizes local community job fairs, job clubs, attends civic club/organization meetings to inform students and parents of the purpose of the VR program, the application procedures, the eligibility requirements, and the potential scope of services that may be available.

Other activities to identify students with physical, mental or emotional disabilities who do not meet the criteria for special education services (commonly referred to as Section 504 services) include completion of student health survey forms coordinated with guidance counselors or general education teachers.

It is the Division’s intent to develop relationships with LEA middle or junior high schools to provide consultation for students with disabilities who are about to enter high school.

The Division has a dedicated full-time state office position that coordinates transition services statewide. This position serves as liaison with the State Department of Education and other partners in the interagency agreement to provide technical assistance and training related to vocational rehabilitation services. This position works with VR counselors and supervisory staff to improve access and services for students with disabilities. This position identifies, arranges for, or provides training to the Division’s counselors, educators, students with disabilities, and families in a variety of areas related to transition services. The Division plans to fill this position during this fiscal year to ensure that services are coordinated properly.

The Division currently contracts with twenty-one LEAs as part of its transition initiative. The contracts provide for a menu of needed and additional services chosen by the LEA to assist in the transitioning of students from school to work.. All services provided under these contracts/agreements have a VR employment focus. All services provided under these contracts/agreements are in keeping with all state plan requirements to include our state’s Order of Selection requirements. Services provided under these contracts/agreements are only available to applicants for, or recipients of, services of the Division. The Division will strive to increase the number of contracts with LEAs as allowed by the Division’s and LEAs’ funding availability.

Although the Division utilizes contracts with LEAs as part of its transition initiative, all decisions affecting eligibility for VR services, the nature and scope of available services, and the provision of these services remain the sole responsibility of the VR counselor employed by the Division. VR staff is responsible for determinations to close cases and for all allocations of expenditures for services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:24PM by satncoles

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

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

Based on information gathered by continuing statewide studies, the annual facility survey of public and private community rehabilitation programs and the on-going monitoring and annual evaluation of effectiveness, the Division continues to maximize the use of community rehabilitation programs to provide rehabilitation services in the most integrated setting possible consistent with the informed choices of the individual. The Division is utilizing community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) throughout the state as follows: I. The Division’s Facility Program: A. The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (Center) at Smyrna is a state operated comprehensive residential rehabilitation facility that serves individuals with significant disabilities. The facility is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in programs of comprehensive vocational evaluation services, employee development services, and employment skills training services. The Center offers the following program and support services: i. Program Services - Comprehensive vocational evaluation and mobile evaluation services - Job objectives and behavioral services, a pre-vocational work adjustment training program - Occupational skills training in automotive maintenance/detailing, building maintenance and grounds keeping, business education, commercial cleaning, food service, and warehouse training - Physical rehabilitation services to include: occupational, physical and recreational therapy; rehabilitation nursing services, personal care attendant training and adaptive equipment assessments. Outpatient services are also provided in occupational and physical therapy services and adaptive equipment assessments. - Traumatic brain injury services to include: occupational, physical, cognitive, and speech/language therapy; vocational evaluation; behavioral instruction, job readiness instruction and community re-entry training. - Transitional life skills training to include: managing self-care and daily living skills; home management skills and practices; financial management skills and practices; transportation; health maintenance; comparative shopping; meal preparation; and civil rights and advocacy. - Vision impairment services to include: pre-vocational assessment and training for independent living; college preparation services; assistive technology assessments and training; computer training; self employment evaluation and instruction; GED preparation; and prerequisite training for entry into Tennessee Business Enterprises. ii. Support Services - Residential living - Client health services - Case management services - Drivers education - Psychiatric and physician services - Recreation therapy and leisure-time skills - Remedial education - Job seeking skills training - Psychological services - Independent living skills training

The Center operates at a program capacity of 160 individuals and provides services to approximately 1,200 Tennesseans with significant disabilities each year.

The Center is a member of the National Consortium of State Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers. An Advisory Council is utilized to provide valuable feedback used in guiding decision making in Center operations and program development. In addition, the Center conducts exit customer satisfaction surveys on individuals completing services, from each program of service provided, completes support services customer satisfaction surveys twice a year with clients receiving services, and conducts client family surveys, as well as a referring counselor needs assessment and satisfaction survey on an annual basis. Feedback obtained from these survey instruments is also used in guiding decisions about current and future support services and program services operations, as well as accessibility and physical plant operations.

B. A network of 17 Tennessee Rehabilitation Centers (TRCs) is located across the state providing day services to eligible individuals with significant disabilities, seeking competitive employment. All community TRC facilities are accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in programs of comprehensive vocational evaluation and employee development services. The TRCs are supported by a combination of appropriated local and Federal funds. i. Program Services - Vocational Evaluation - Comprehensive vocational evaluation services provide an individualized, timely and systematic process for identifying viable vocational options and developing employment goals and objectives.

An accredited comprehensive vocational evaluation service is used to examine a wide range of employment alternatives using the following techniques: 1. Assessment of functional/occupational performance in real or simulated environments 2. Psychometric testing 3. Preference and interest inventories 4. Personality testing 5. Extensive personal interviews 6. Other appropriate evaluation tests depending on the individual 7. Analysis of prior work experience and transferable skills 8. Employee Development Services 9. Services are based upon individual needs and can include comprehensive employment services or any individual component. 10. Employee development services and/or job readiness instruction 11. Work skills development through a facility workshop: including the use of contract work, job readiness assessment and training. 12. Community Employment Services include: (job development and placement) 13. Job readiness assessment and instruction includes: interview skills instruction, completing a job application, developing a resume, grooming and hygiene for the work place, self determination training, developing and using job-finding networks and resources. 14. Job readiness assessment and instruction 15. Job development and placement into competitive employment through the identification of employment opportunities in the local job market 16. Development of realistic employment goals 17. Establishment of service plans to achieve employment outcomes 18. Identification of resources to achieve and maintain employment. 19. Coordination of and referral to employment related services.

TRC facilities conduct exit customer satisfaction surveys on individuals completing services from each program of service provided, completes a yearly survey with clients receiving services, referring counselors, contract providers, funding sources, employers, and other identified stakeholders. Feedback obtained from the surveys is used to improve program services.

II. Service Contracts: A. The Division plans to continue service contracts with the following community rehabilitation programs to ensure quality services statewide provided funding is available: - Clovernook - Department of Education - National Federation for the Blind - Southeast TN Human Resource Agency - Technology Centers: East Tennessee Technology Access in Knoxville; Signal Centers; Technology Access Center of Middle Tennessee in Nashville; West Tennessee Special Technology Access Resource (STAR) Center in Jackson; and Mid-South ACT in Memphis - Tennessee Disability Coalition Benefits to Work - University of Memphis Training and Technical Assistance Project - University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy Studies - Vanderbilt University Return to Work Program - Vocational Consulting Services B. The Division has two service contracts with community rehabilitation programs (Clovernook and Volunteer Blind Industries, Inc.) serving visually impaired clients in the areas of evaluation, adjustment, activities of daily living, orientation and mobility, training, job development and employment. III. Letters of Agreement A. Beginning in FFY2013, the Division began a rewrite of the Letters of Understanding (LOU), to change them to Letters of Agreement (LOA) . The LOA has the same purpose as the LOU in that it is an agreement between the Division and the Community Rehabilitation Programs and in cooperation with the Department of Finance and Administration. The LOA describes the functions and responsibilities of the Division and the CRP as well as the scope of services and payment methodology agreed upon by both the Division and CRP in a joint effort of improving and expanding employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Some of the differences in the LOAs from the LOUs are: • Concentrated focus on outcomes rather than services • Different payment schedule based on Priority Category assignment of the client • Bonus for exceptional wages • Streamlined application and approval process B. The Division has 111 LOAs with CRPs throughout the state. -15 LOAs for evaluation -20 LOAs for Vocational Adjustment Services -61 LOAs for Trial Work Experiences -91 LOAs for Job Placement Services -79 LOAs for supported employment services; The Divisions Facility Programs, Service Contracts and Letters of Agreements are used to provide needed services such as but not limited to: - Vocational evaluation - Personal and vocational adjustment training - Transportation and daily meals - Vocational training - Job readiness training - Job development and job placement - Supported employment - Rehabilitation technology - Orientation and mobility - Activities of daily living - Trial work experiences - Follow-up and follow along services

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:28PM by satncoles

Attachment 4.8(b)(4) Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

The Division has interagency arrangements and coordination with the following entities for the provision of supported employment services and extended services: 1. The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; 2. Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities for individuals with disabilities that began during the early developmental years; 3. The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for individuals with mental illness and substance related disorders; 4. The Tennessee Employment Consortium, an independent association of community rehabilitation providers and state agencies developed jointly by the Division, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities to provide a forum for all stakeholders to review and discuss state policies and share best practices; 5. University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy Education and Employment to provide staff training and development and consultation services for community supported employment service providers; and 6. Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, to provide customized employment services through their system of Career Centers on behalf of VR clients and business and industry.

The Division has encouraged the establishment and development of Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) to improve and expand services through Letters of Agreement. The Letter of Agreement (LOA) is an agreement between the Division and the CRP and in cooperation with the Department of Finance and Administration. The LOA describes the functions and responsibilities of the Division and the CRP as well as the scope of services and payment methodology agreed upon by both the Division and CRP in a joint effort of improving and expanding supported employment and extended services for individuals with disabilities. The Division currently has 79 LOAs for supported employment services. The Division continues its’ efforts to increase S.E. providers and anticipates the numbers of providers will increase. VR is actively pursuing a number of other providers for underserved areas across the state.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:28PM by satncoles

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Division received 7279 new applications for services in Fiscal Year 2013 and provided services to 23,542 individuals.

The Division currently has 557 allocated positions. Of these 557 positions, 92 are currently vacant (16.5%). Of those positions 160 positions are Counselors. 134 of the counseling positions are currently filled. The percentage of currently vacant counselor positions is 16.2% which is lower than the vacancy rate from last year of 33.2%. Over the next fiscal year the division has plans to fill all of its counselor vacancies with staff that have at least a Master’s degree. All counselors will meet the CSPD requirement by January 1, 2018.

The Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services utilizes a department wide on-line computer system known as Edison for collecting and tracking all personnel actions relative to positions being vacated (resignations, terminations, retirement) as well as tracking personnel data relative to filling vacant positions (new hires, position transfers and/or promotions).

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Administrative 36 7 5
2 Clerical 90 6 15
3 Rehabilitation Assistants 68 8 7
4 Supervisors 62 3 10
5 Support 59 8 15
6 Instructor 38 1 3
7 VR Direct Client Services Staff 301 68 60
8 Medical 28 3 10
9 BEP Specialist/Consultant 15 0 2
10 0 0 0

 

In Tennessee, there are two universities that have Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) certified programs offering a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. One is The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, which is located in the eastern part of the state; and the other is The University of Memphis, located in the western part of the state.

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) has an on-campus program with a current enrollment of 18 students. Additionally, 9 individuals are enrolled in UTK’s distance education program, 3 of whom are employees of the Division. Of the 18 students currently enrolled, 5 have disabilities and 1 student represents a minority. For the federal fiscal year (10/12 – 9/13), 15 students graduated from the program. All 15 graduates met the academic criteria to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam.

The University of Memphis currently has 26 graduate students in their on-campus program. None (0%) of these students are employed by the Division. Of the 26 on-campus students, 7 have a disability (25%) and 11 represent a minority group (39%). For the federal fiscal year (10/11-9/12), 7 students graduated from the on-campus program. All graduates met the academic criteria to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam and four (57%) successfully obtained their CRC credential.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 University of Memphis 26 2 6 7
2 University of TN-Knoxville 18 3 2 15
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Members of the Division’s leadership team have quarterly contact with the program administrators at the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis for the purpose of planning and sharing information relative to personnel development activities. The Rehabilitation Services Training Unit staff also meets or corresponds with University of Tennessee and University of Memphis staff for the purpose of gathering information regarding the number of students enrolled in their respective rehabilitation counselor education programs, as well as the number who graduated from their programs during the past year.

To advance recruitment activities, the Division has dedicated a program specialist position. This program specialist is actively seeking out other masters level programs across the nation; primarily those with RSA funded slots, to increase the number of incumbent staff in masters programs. Other duties of the program specialist include developing/distributing recruiting brochures at job fairs, speaking to graduate level programs to promote state employment in the rehabilitation field and encouraging incumbent staff to take advantage of graduate level training opportunities in rehabilitation counseling distance learning programs. The Division recognizes that recruitment activities are also the responsibility of counseling, supervisory and management level staff across the state with these personnel involved in recruitment activities in their regional and local communities.

The Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act of 2012 is designed to establish methods for attracting, selecting, retaining and promoting the best applicants and employees based on performance and equal opportunity, free from coercive political influence, and to provide technically competent employees to render impartial service to the public at all times. The TEAM Act will give agencies greater flexibility in personnel management and increase customer focused effectiveness and efficiency in a best practice environment, and by doing so, will allow the Division to strengthen its efforts to hire and retain top quality counselors.

The Division plans to expand internships to students enrolled in a rehabilitation counseling program of study. Current incentives for incumbent staff to participate in a Master’s degree program include financial assistance with tuition, books, fees, and minimal educational leave. Funding for a pay incentive based upon successful completion of a Master’s Degree program was approved in January 2005 for graduates and has been requested and approved for each successive graduate.

The Division continues to explore retention strategies for qualified staff. Exemplary counselors are given priority for attendance at various out-service training events in recognition of their hard work, dedication and commitment to assisting individuals with disabilities in achieving their employment goals. Additionally, the Division is able to reimburse employees (approved by their supervisor) for the cost of the initial Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination fee (one time only) and/or for CRC renewal fees.

 

The Division continues to use the national standard as defined by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification, (CRCC) for counseling staff, which is eligibility to sit for the certified exam. During the past fiscal year, a total of seven incumbent counselors graduated from Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling distance education program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

The Division currently has 13 counseling staff enrolled in graduate level programs in rehabilitation counseling (three at University of Tennessee - Knoxville, four at Auburn University, two at The University of North Texas, and four at San Diego State University). Five graduated from the University of Kentucky and one graduated from the University of North Texas earlier this fiscal year. Members of the Division’s counseling staff are expected to complete their graduate program and graduate during this federal fiscal year.

Pursuit of funding sources to support masters in rehabilitation counseling activities continues through reallocation of traditional in-service training monies and utilization of funding received through our Social Security Administration (SSA) reimbursement program. Also, the Division continues to work closely with any college or university to help secure any grant funding made available to help the Division further counselor education.

Currently 69% of the Division’s counseling staff meet the CSPD standard or are currently enrolled in a CORE training program. The State’s Department of Human Resources has approved the new position of Masters Rehabilitation Counselor (MRC) to replace the current Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 2 (VRC2) position. This change was effective April 30, 2013. To qualify for MRC, a person must either be eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification examination, or possess a Master’s degree in field closely related to Rehabilitation Counseling and take the required steps to become eligible to sit for the CRC exam. Personnel currently in the VRC2 position who are eligible to sit for the CRC examination will automatically be reallocated to the MRC position. Personnel currently in the VRC2 position who are not eligible to sit for the CRC examination will remain in the VRC2 position and must meet the CSPD standard by December 31, 2017 to continue in a VR counselor position. All new VR counselor hires after April 30, 2013 must meet the MRC qualifications.

As part of the new department’s new Performance and Quality Improvement process, all incumbent counselors will have an individual educational plan (IEP). Supervisory/counselor discussions during the IEP meeting will include measures that will be taken by the counselor to meet the state’s CSPD standard. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are being encouraged to take advantage of training being offered by the Division that will enable them to meet the CSPD standard. The State Department of Human Resources has guidelines in place for compensating employees who obtain a nationally recognized professional certification during their employment with the state.

The two main objectives outlined in their policy statement are: 1. To recognize employees who choose to enhance their competencies and service to the state through acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to the performance of their major professional duties and responsibilities. 2. To provide an incentive to employees who successfully demonstrate acquisition of such competencies by attaining certification from a nationally recognized professional organization.

The intent is to provide both a means of encouraging employees to attain professional competencies and to provide an incentive for those employees to remain in state service. In an effort to assist CRC staff with maintaining this credential, the Division has received approval from the CRCC to provide continuing education credits for qualified training events.

 

The Office of Professional Development (OLPD), is a part of the Human Resources and Professional Development (HRPD) division within the Department of Human Services (DHS). OLPD provides staff development and training for DHS employees, and in so doing, conducts training needs assessments and provides training opportunities (mandatory and elective) to enhance staff competencies and skill sets. OLPD has dedicated staff to provide support for Rehabilitation Services and works in conjunction with the Rehabilitation Services division in the development of training necessary to ensure effective, outcome driven results. The development of core competencies for effective service delivery is an integral focus of Rehabilitation Services training. Additionally, HRPD provides performance management support to all DHS employees in alignment with the goals and priorities established by the Governor and the Commissioner of DHS. HRPD has processes in place to create individual performance plans and on-going evaluations of employees’ performance in each division, including rehabilitation services. Additional data is collected relative to training needs through the following methods: 1. Input from staff in all job classifications compiled into a statewide training needs report; 2. State rehabilitation management and administrative staff input; 3. State Human Resources Department training division mandates; 4. Rehabilitation Services Administration guidelines; 5. Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council;

Program case reviews conducted by the Department’s Performance Management Unit (PMU) are also utilized to identify strengths and deficiencies among staff and related training needs.

Staff were encouraged to give feedback on what they thought were their training needs. Outcomes of this internal review yielded the following training related recommendations: 1. Additional human resources to meet statewide need for new and incumbent staff training; 2. More timely delivery of training for new counselors; 3. Expand the new counselor curriculum to be more comprehensive /incorporate more hands-on activities to reinforce knowledge and skill sets; 4. Provide refresher training for incumbent staff relative to the Division’s Standard Procedures Directives (SPDs) and other disability related topics; and 5. Additional/follow up training regarding the new online case management system. As a result of these staff recommendations, the Rehabilitation Services Training Unit, under Division of Human Resources and Professional Development is implementing the following strategies: 1. In addition to the 4 existing trainer positions, two additional staff positions have been allocated. These two new trainer positions will provide: (1) specialized training to counselors working with blind/deaf caseloads; and (2) specialized training to staff working in community rehabilitation training centers 2. All new counselors will be expected to participate in the new counselor training within the first 3 months of employment. 3. The previous two one-week training sessions for new counselors is being significantly expanded to a new curriculum. The curriculum is an intensive, hands-on training, utilizing a variety of training modalities to include navigation of the new online case management system, case studies/scenarios, and individual and group discussions. Additionally, PowerPoint presentations, facilitator guides, participant guides, handouts and related materials are being revised to include recent policy revisions and updates. 4. Conduct regional training sessions to review the SPD revisions. 5. OLPD has established a training website whereby all training materials will be posted to enable trainers and supervisors to access training modules for disability related training topics. 6. Following implementation of the online case management system, follow up regional training sessions were conducted to further illustrate how to navigate the system and provide answers to staff questions. A new state office position was also added to serve as a resource to field staff in providing guidance in navigating/utilizing the new online case management system. TRIMS is being updated to include forms and processes that are consistent with the recent policy revisions.

As part of the new Performance and Quality Improvement process, focus groups were formed to identify specific training needs relative to each job position/classification. These focus groups laid the foundation for the development of a progressive training curriculum to include standards for measuring performance at three, six and nine month increments during the probationary process. Utilizing this process to identify specific training needs and a subsequent training curriculum relative to each job position/classification has proven to be a more effective means of identifying and addressing training needs than staff surveys conducted in the past.

Below are the top 5 training priorities based on staff and management feedback: 1. Leadership/supervisory training (provided through the New Supervisor Academy (NSA); effective during the past year all new supervisors have attended a three week New Supervisor Academy session to enhance and develop their leadership skills. New Supervisor Academy (NSA) is a requirement of all new supervisors. This 3 week course is delivered by the Department’s OLPD division. All supervisory staff has competed training on writing S.M.A.R.T job plans and evaluating competency based performance. 2. Caseload management (moving a case through the VR process, critical casework activities such as eligibility determination, plan development, budgeting, etc.). Our recent policy revision was introduced and training was provided in FY 2013. 3. Communication skills/customer service (interviewing skills, effective communication, how to deal with difficult people, cultural diversity) 4. Employment / placement training (including disability disclosure) 5. General on-boarding for new employees (vision/values, people first language, respectful workplace, customer service, ethics, and departmental and division organization).On boarding training has been revised and is being reviewed by DOHR.

The Division continues to provide on-going training and technical assistance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act to staff and the general public, including business and industry. As part of the on-boarding process, counselors also receive training relative to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and subsequent amendments.

The Division continues to contract with technology centers across the state for training and technical assistance in rehabilitation technology services. Rehabilitation technology contracts are in place with the East Tennessee Technology Access Center (Knoxville), Technology Access Center of Middle Tennessee (Nashville), West Tennessee STAR Center (Jackson), Signal Center (Chattanooga), and Mid-South Access Center for Technology (Memphis).

The Divisions employees continue to receive specialized training in assessment and vocational evaluation activities. Through a partnership with the University of Memphis, vocational evaluators receive extensive instruction in the appropriate selection of assessment tools, interviewing skills, evaluation techniques and report writing.

Evaluators complete a competency examination with subsequent training provided based on the individualized needs of each employee. New counselors receive, via a new counselor training program, training relative to assessments, vocational evaluation and interpreting medical and psychological reports to assist them in acquiring skills to identify the specific strengths and weaknesses of individuals with disabilities. Training in the areas of vocational counseling, job placement and other topics relevant to client service delivery continue to be focal areas for the Division.

Division employees are encouraged to participate in web-based training events as offered through the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center and other disability focused training events as available.

The Office of Learning and Professional Development (OLPD) is currently examining the existing structure of collecting personnel and training data. A new database for collection of personnel, professional, and training data is currently being developed. The new system will provide a more effective way to track and report the staff data for TDRS.

The Division has posted information memoranda on its intranet website to provide staff with an easily accessible means of acquiring information on current research, resources and related activities in the vocational rehabilitation field. Leadership staff also disseminates new information (such as the latest Institute on Rehabilitation Issues publications) through electronic conveyance. Employees, particularly those with specialized job responsibilities, are encouraged to attend conferences, seminars and training workshops relative to their specialty areas. Local, regional and statewide meetings provide an additional avenue for keeping employees informed of new developments in the vocational rehabilitation field.

 

The Division has policies and procedures to ensure that it includes among its personnel, or has readily available, the services of (1) Individuals able to communicate in the native languages of applicants and eligible individuals who have limited English proficiency through Avaza Language Services; and (2) Individuals able to communicate with applicants or eligible individuals in appropriate modes of communication.

During staff orientation, new counselor training, annual Title VI training and other training activities, Division staff members are informed of specific procedures to be followed to communicate with limited English speaking individuals. Telephonic translation services are available through Avaza Language Services. All regions have received orientation packages to be used to train all of their staff in the use of this service.

The Division continues to recognize its responsibility for employing or obtaining the services of sign language interpreters, which fall within the definition of appropriate modes of communication in (34 CFR § 361.5(b) (5)), to the extent necessary to meet the communication needs of individuals who are Deaf, Blind or Deaf-Blind. The Divisions policy addresses the (1) significance of such services, (2) the selection of service providers, (3) the scheduling and payment for services, and (4) an evaluation process for such services.

 

The Division has an interagency agreement with the Division of Special Education, state Department of Education in providing administrative support for a coordinated, collaborative effort of service delivery. The Blind and Visually Impaired Services/Deaf and Hard of Hearing unit continues an agreement with the Tennessee School for the Blind and the Tennessee School for the Deaf. Networking of the two divisions relative to transition services has provided a means for coordinating and sharing information regarding personnel development under IDEIA. There is ongoing communication between the two divisions and each division has responsibility for providing input into personnel development activities.

An interagency agreement was developed to fulfill the requirements of IDEIA. The most recent version of this agreement was signed July 1, 2012. The purpose of this agreement is to identify and define the financial responsibility of each state agency for providing services under IDEIA and to facilitate the provision and coordination of services for all children with disabilities. The following state agencies are participating in this agreement: Tennessee Department of Education; Tennessee Department of Children’s Services; Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration; Bureau of Tenncare; Department of Developmental Services; Tennessee Department of Health; Tennessee Department of Human Services; Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; and Tennessee Department of Correction. Departmental representatives have formed an informal secondary transition interagency workgroup and hold monthly interagency meetings to identify and address issues relative to transition services; particularly what is happening in transition services and what is lacking (resource mapping). This group assists with planning of the annual Transition Summit, a one-day event that precedes the statewide Department of Special Education conference. The Division also participates on the Post-Secondary Alliance; the Next Steps Advisory Council; the Project Opportunity Advisory Council and the STEP board, a parent teaching organization. STEP has a secondary transition focus area and holds parent workshops across the state. DRS staff participates in these workshops by making presentations and providing displays of DRS employment services.

The Division continues to recognize the value of the involvement of its State Rehabilitation Council in personnel development activities. It is the policy of the Division to give the Council ongoing review and input on the development of issues associated with the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development. The Council continues to be involved with CSPD issues associated with the recruitment and retention of staff, such as; counselor salaries and pay incentives for the successful attainment of counselors with a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation and also training for existing staff to obtain a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:29PM by satncoles

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

Provide an assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:

  • individuals with most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
  • individuals with disabilities who are minorities;
  • individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program; and
  • individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system.

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

The Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services (Division), in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), completed a comprehensive assessment of the vocational rehabilitation needs of Tennesseans with disabilities in the summer of 2013 and is conducting needs assessments on a three-year cycle. As required in 34 CFR § 29, the information obtained from a number of sources was assessed and analyzed to determine the needs as stated above. Methodology

Five surveys were developed, one for each category of participant. The surveys have some questions in common. The five surveys were administered in mid-August 2013. Survey participants included vocational rehabilitation clients and/or their caregivers, staff, workforce investment system personnel, community resource partners, and vocational rehabilitation stakeholders. All five surveys were administered through an anonymous web-based (Survey Monkey) process. In addition, five interviewers attempted to administer the client/caregiver survey to a beginning list of 1,000 (750 active and 250 closed) clients. In all, there were 907 completed surveys evaluated and analyzed for this Vocational Rehabilitation Needs Assessment. There were 6,291 e-mail requests sent and 616 calls made. These 6,907 contacts yielded a response rate of 13%. Earlier during this Needs Assessment, Focus Groups of VR Staff and VR Clients were conducted in six Regions (1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9). These Focus Groups aided in the low response rate of the Client/Caregiver survey.

Survey Overview

Five surveys were developed, one for each category of participant. The surveys have some questions in common. The five surveys were administered in mid-August 2013. Survey participants included vocational rehabilitation clients and/or their caregivers, staff, workforce investment system personnel, community resource partners, and vocational rehabilitation stakeholders. All five surveys were administered through an anonymous web-based (Survey Monkey) process. In addition, five interviewers attempted to administer the client/caregiver survey to a beginning list of 1,000 (750 active and 250 closed) clients.

The client/caregiver sample was obtained from active cases and case closures from October 2011 to March 2013. The list of 19,689 clients included active cases (Status 10 and 18), successful outcome closures (Status 26), and closures without a successful outcome (Status 28). Of the 15,965 active cases on the list, 5,521 provided an e-mail address for contact information. In addition, of the 3,724 closed cases on the list, 1,158 provided an e-mail address for contact information. Therefore, the client/caregiver survey link was sent to 6,679 participants. Of the 5,521 active case participants with an e-mail, 598 e-mails bounced back undeliverable. Therefore, 4,923 active Vocational Rehabilitation clients received the survey link. Of the 1,158 closed case participants with an e-mail, 617 e-mails bounced back undeliverable. Therefore, 541 closed case Vocational Rehabilitation clients received the survey link. Of the 541 total participants, 495 began the survey process and 469 completed the client/caregiver survey. The survey completion rate was 94.7%.

So that customers without access to the Internet could also have an opportunity to provide their opinions, five interviewers contacted 1,000 (750 active and 250 closed) clients by phone. The 1,000 clients were chosen randomly in SPSS from the customers without e-mail addresses. Of the 1,000 customers contacted by phone, there were 384 wrong numbers or disconnected numbers. Of the remaining 616, 151 were contacted and agreed to complete the client/caregiver survey. These 151 participants fully completed 146 surveys for a completion rate of 96.7%. Approximately 25% of the 1,000 clients called completed the client/caregiver survey. Combined, the web-based survey link and the telephone survey of clients’ response rate totaled approximately 10%.

The Staff survey link was sent by e-mail to 537 staff members and 45 supervisors for a total of 582 staff members. Of these 582 staff members, 123 started a staff survey and 106 or 86.2% completed the survey questions. Therefore, 21% of Vocational Rehabilitation Staff responded to the staff survey.

The Workforce Investment Act System (WIAs) personnel were sent their survey link in 92 e-mails. However, 128 WIA surveys were completed. Therefore, the survey link e-mail sent out by the Research and Planning Unit was shared with at least 36 other individuals. The completion rate for these 128 surveys was 91.4% for the 117 surveys completed. The response rate for the WIAs survey equaled 79%.

Community Resources Partners (CRPs) were sent 118 e-mail requesting respondents complete the CRP survey. There were 46 surveys started by the CRPs and 43 surveys finished. This is a completion rate of 93.5%. This places the return rate much lower at approximately 39%. Vocational Rehabilitation Stakeholders were sent 35 e-mails for the Stakeholder survey link. Twenty-nine started the survey and 26 completed all questions on the survey. This is a survey completion rate of 89.7%. However, this particular surveys return rate was 83% much higher than were the others.

In all, there were 907 completed evaluated and analyzed for this Vocational Rehabilitation Needs Assessment. There were 6,291 e-mail requests sent and 616 calls made. These 6,907 contacts yielded a response rate of 13%. Earlier during this Needs Assessment, Focus Groups of VR Staff and VR Clients were conducted in six Regions (1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9). These Focus Groups aided in the low response rate of this particular survey. The five surveys shared several like items, but also differed on distinct issues for each group. From these five survey instruments, this Needs Assessment will attempt to identify the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities in Tennessee, to discover the unmet needs of minority groups (including the not served and the underserved) in Tennessee, and to recognize which population(s) of individuals with disabilities are those not served and/or the underserved in Tennessee.

Survey Results & Analysis

Vocational Rehabilitation Stakeholders Overall, respondents (38%) are sometimes satisfied with the services VR clients receive from TN Rehabilitation Services. Twenty-four percent are satisfied and 21% are dissatisfied. Two respondents listed not applicable, two were very dissatisfied, and one person stated that they were very satisfied with the services VR clients receive. One stakeholder praised VR’s improvements made in “Working on developing relationships with future clients before they leave high school; actively participating in meaningful IEP transition meetings.”

According to survey results, 48% of stakeholders straddled the fence in their belief that VR Counselors fully understand how and why a client’s disability affects their chances of employment. Twenty-four percent agree and 17% percent disagree that VR Counselors understand the impact a disability has on employment. Eleven of the Stakeholders felt that employment opportunities were an unmet need of individuals with disabilities. One respondent shared that “There seems to be a lack of creativity to find positions that are compatible with their disabilities.”

Slightly over one third of stakeholder respondents agree that VR Client chances of getting a job increased because of training and services received through Vocational Rehabilitation. One third feel training and services sometimes assist in increased job probability for clients. In addition, 30% disagreed with the statement. Qualitatively, 18 Stakeholder respondents felt that potential employers are looking for the following four types of skills from individuals with disabilities: 1) Entry level (55%), 2) Timeliness/Good Work Ethic (16%), 3) Behavior/Soft Skills (16%), and 4) Basic Computer Skills (11%). From comments on this survey, most employers seek “Reliability, job pride, honesty and friendliness.”

Of the 29 Stakeholder respondents, an overwhelming 72% do not feel that VR Counselors help secure employment for VR Clients. Fifty-five percent of respondents feel the majority of clients find jobs themselves. Only 10, 34.5% feel clients do not secure their own employment. Three people did not respond to the survey question.

Forty-one percent of responding Stakeholders feel VR Counselors sometimes invite VR Clients to be part of developing their vocational goals. Thirty-eight percent agree that VR Counselors involve Clients in the development of their goals and 17% disagree, while one person chose to skip the question. The 17% that disagree may feel that clients are being judged by their behavioral choices. One respondent stated an unmet need as “The effects of their disabilities are often confused with behavioral choices, making them often appear to be resistant to services.”

Of those who responded, 55% feel that VR Counselors do inform their clients of the available jobs of interest that also match their skills. Twenty-one percent agree that counselors do make clients aware of possible jobs, while 17% disagree. Two people skipped this question. One Stakeholder suggested the “need for job carving for some individuals on spectrum.”

More stakeholders disagreed (31%) than agreed (24%) that VR Counselors are strong advocates for VR clients’ mental, physical, and vocational needs. However, the majority, 41%, is unsure if Counselors are strong advocates or not. One responder did not answer. The lack of communication was a constant theme in this survey. One respondent made the following comment concerning communication: “Placing information on the VR web site and keeping it updated, be a highly visible collaborative partner with disability related organizations and efforts geared toward employment, and positive outreaches and advertising to the community.”

Community Resource Partners (CRP) On average TN Vocational Rehabilitation Community Resource Partners, service more than 100 individuals with disabilities. CRP qualitative comments state that the more clients are provided one-on-one interaction time with various jobs and receive personal individualized attention or job site assessments they are better able to provide or suggest a more suitable work environment and with greater success. In addition to interpreter services, Community Resource Partners also listed computers as a big need in their agency to accommodate people with disabilities. According to respondents, the most successful element of CRP soft skills training is Individualized attention and Job Readiness. CRP sees the underserved and the not served population to be those with severe disabilities, autism, deaf and hard of hearing, along with cognitive functions. Unmet needs of the not served population include counseling and guidance as well as communication, outreach. To serve these clients CRP suggest developing better partnerships and changing eligibility to be more inclusive and flexible.

CRP believes that potential employers are most interested in employees who have appropriate behavior, work ethic, and timeliness in respective job settings. Survey response state the most beneficial agency partnerships for CRP have been other non-profits agency. The majority of CRP survey respondents are interested in documentation training. Many CPR responders report constant policy and procedure changes in VR are confusing. CRPs provided information about successful pieces to their assessment process and successful soft skills. For both the job readiness category garnered the most responses. For assessment one provider stated “Providing a concise report that includes realistic vocational options based on interests, aptitudes, transferrable skills, and labor market information” as the successful piece of their assessment process. Another provider stated “Job Shadowing Job Sampling Working Interviews” were a successful soft skill teaching tool for clients.

CRPs reported the unserved and underserved to be individuals with developmental disabilities (Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger’s), Veterans in category 3 or category 4, and individuals with felony charges and/or chronic or recent drug addictions. These unmet needs were reported by CRPs to be met by education and training 24% of the time. For instance, “employment specialist needs to help stabilize client’s job”. “They have the skills to GET job but have no skills to KEEP the job.” The barriers reported by minorities with disabilities were VR knowledge/awareness (20%) and language barriers (14%).

CRPs requested better training in job development and job placement. They praised the opening of Priority 2 category as a significant positive. In order to improve communication, they requested weekly or bi-weekly meetings with VR Counselors and Supported Employment staff to review caseloads.

Workforce Investment Systems (WIS) On average Workforce Investment Systems service more than 100 individuals with disabilities. Services that WIS felt was most helpful include job readiness, Support services, and education. Computer hardware topped the list in most needed accommodations for people with disabilities. The majority of qualitative comments requested updated staff computers as well as updated computers for clients. WIS is also asking for laptops they can carry between sites and visits. The most helpful element of their assessment is the staff’s knowledgebase of the client, disability, and job market. Interviewing skills, communication, and job readiness were the number one soft skills WIS felt helped clients obtain and maintain employment. The suggestions for underserved or unserved clients included opening the priority categories, blind and visually impaired along with clients who have autism. Suggested ways to reach this group include expand outreach, improve resources, and communication. Stated barriers to reaching this group include cultural competence, educating VR staff and employers on various barriers. Respondents also suggested building the awareness of VR services among the common population, including schools, business, and VR partners.

Five respondents stated that they do not have any clients with disabilities. Another 5 stated they provide services to 1-9 persons with disabilities. Nine respondents service 10-39 clients while 40-59 clients are seen by at least 12 of the Workforce Investment Systems who responded to the survey. Three (8.6%) respondents provide client services to approximately 60-79 clients. Eleven of the 128 WIS see at least 80-99 persons with disabilities while the majority, 56.3%, of survey respondents provides supportive services to over 100 persons with disabilities.

In addition to non-VR clients, the majority, 54.7%, of surveyed Workforce Investment Systems provide services for more than 100 Vocational Rehabilitation clients. Five respondents stated that they do not have any VR clients. Seven stated they provide services to 1-9 Vocational Rehabilitation Clients. Ten respondents service 10-39 clients while 40-59 clients are seen by at least nine of the Workforce Investment Systems who responded to the survey. Fifteen (11.7%) respondents provide client services to approximately 60-79 clients, while only 10 of the 128 WIS see at least 80-99 VR Clients. Of the services available through WIS, Job Development (50%), Job Search (44%), On-the-Job Training (35%), and Assessments (32%) are the most successful components in obtaining and maintaining employment for individuals with disabilities.

Vocational Rehabilitation Staff VR Staff would like more training in New Counselor Training, Job Development, Case Management, and Disabilities. Many feel they are adequately aware of the job market but would like a more thorough understanding of connecting their clients with the right employment match based on need and client skills. From focus groups conducted in February Staff feel they would do a much better job if they are able to build relationships with businesses in their surrounding areas. Unserved clients are those who are elderly, economically unqualified, those with learning disorders, and high school students ranked as the most mentioned unserved group. Most underserved group include middle aged working age people, and those with less severe and more severe disabilities (autism and learning disabilities were listed) Support Services such as technology access, job training, were listed as unmet needs. Barriers to reaching out to the unserved and underserved include cultural competence in understanding various cultures and disabilities on the part of employers and some staff. Job Readiness and basic computer skills topped the list in expected training and skills most potential employers are looking from VR clients. VR Staff feel that the DHS Vocational Rehabilitation is most successful in providing assistance to clients, conducting assessments and making changes to serve them more effectively.

Forty-nine percent of VR Staff agrees that the current accommodations their clients receive meet their employment needs. Four people did not respond.

Forty-six percent of VR Staff agrees that the job training their clients received or are still receiving adequately prepares them for employment. Five people did not respond.

Fifty-four percent of VR Staff agrees that they are well informed and understand how and why clients’ disabilities impact their chances of getting or keeping a job. Four people did not respond.

Sixty-one percent of VR Staff stated yes, they often help clients obtain jobs. Eighteen people did not respond.

Seventy percent of VR Staff respondents stated, no, the majority of their clients do not find jobs themselves. Ten people did not respond.

Eighty-one percent of VR Staff respondents agree that they do invite clients to participate in developing vocational goals and they are involved in selecting the services of the preferred providers. Staff feels clients are unaware of the available providers, there are not enough providers, and some clients do not like to be told their ideas or plans for a career will not be supported by VR. Clients feel VR should support whatever career choice and path they decide.

Twenty-five percent of respondents agreed that on average, clients use VR services approximately 3 times to obtain employment. Fourteen staff did not respond.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents sometimes agree that the VR assessment process correctly identifies clients’ strengths and their physical, mental and emotional needs. Fourteen people did not respond.

Thirty-six percent of responding VR staff stated that placement agencies are most effective method or practice that often leads to the best employment outcomes for their clients. Non-profit agencies were the second most helpful followed by family and friends.

Two-thirds of responding VR Staff feels they are adequately informed of the developing labor market and how to better advise their clients in developing skill sets that will be in demand.

At the time of the survey, 71% of VR Staff stated that their clients were not employed. Only 10 of the 122 responded that their clients were currently employed.

Of the 34 responding VR Staff, 9 agreed that clients are employed 1-3 months on average, followed by 7 who stated 1-2 years and another 7 stated 6-12 months. The time span varied practically even from 3 months – more than 2 years. There wasn’t a great variation.

Of the 92 who responded, 48 stated that few clients have jobs when they leave the VR program. Forty-two (42%) stated that most clients have jobs and only 2 stated none of their clients have jobs when they leave the program.

Most clients, 60-79%, currently receive checks from the government such as SSI or SSDI, according to 30% of the VR Staff respondents. Another 28% stated that 80-90% of their clients receive SSI or SSDI.

Half of the staff who responded has Master’s degrees. Another fourth have a bachelor’s degree. Twenty-six people skipped this question. Most respondents are between the age of 45-64 years of age.

VR Client/Caregivers Fifty-nine percent of the respondents are satisfied with the services they received or are still receiving from VR. However there were suggestions regarding education and training. VR Clients repeatedly want education expenses paid for college and perhaps graduate level courses. VR Clients continue to be thoroughly uninformed of the policy, procedures, and stipulations for funding school or training programs. One responded stated, “Explaining how the money is dispersed would be helpful in the beginning of the person’s acceptance into the program and how it works with the available financial aid the client receives.” Other suggestions for improvement include basic computer skills training, additional options for job training and improved and increased employment prospects. Clients voiced concern about too many jobs being geared towards janitorial, cooking, and cleaning.

Over 50% agree that the job training they received or are still receiving prepares them for employment.

Sixty-three percent of surveyed Clients agree that their counselor understands how and why their disability impacts their chances of getting or keeping a job.

Fifty-three percent of respondents agree that their chances of getting a job increased because of VR training and services. Only 185 (29%) disagreed with this statement. The remaining 94 selected “sometimes”. Twenty-four respondents elected to skip this question.

Of the 639 who responded, only 12% stated that their counselor helped them secure a job. Forty-four percent selected N/A and the remaining 43% did not feel counselors helped them secure employment.

Twenty-three percent of responding clients stated that they found their own job, while 27% stated they did not find their job on their own and 50% selected N/A meaning they currently did not have or job or they have never had a job while working with VR.

Fifty-five percent of VR clients who responded agreed that their counselor invites them to be a part of developing their vocational goals and involved in selecting services and training. Seventeen percent of those who responded selected ‘sometimes’ and another 28% state that they disagree or strongly disagree that the counselor invites them to participate in the development of goal setting and training.

The majority of respondents, 43%, stated that their counselor informs them of available jobs of interest and skill match. Thirty-eight percent disagreed with this statement. Eighteen percent were felt counselors sometimes informed them and sometimes did not inform them of suitable jobs.

Only 1/8 of the responding VR Clients had a job when they left the VR program. Thirty-two percent stated they did not have a job when leaving the program.

Over half (55%) of the VR Client’s responding to the survey stated they have not used VR services to secure employment. More than 20% used VR services at least once to secure employment. The remaining respondents, 112, secured employment via VR services 2-5 times.

Only 18% of those who received placement were satisfied with their current job situation. Eight percent are unsatisfied and 40 of the 631 responding were on the fence of satisfied and not satisfied. They selected ‘sometimes’.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents agree that their counselor is a strong advocated for their mental, emotional, and vocational needs. Twenty-eight percent disagree, 14% sometimes feel the counselors are strong advocates. The remaining 4% of the 646 skipped this question

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:29PM by satncoles

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

As of March 21,2014, 12,533 individuals in the state are eligible for services. Of this number and in compliance with our Order of Selection, 11,151 are receiving services provided with Title I, Part B funds and 1,138 are receiving services provided with Title VI, Part B funds and with Title I, Part B funds. For Fiscal Year 2015, it is projected that there will be 7,955 new applicants and that 15,819 individuals in the state will be eligible for services. Of this number, 13,351 will receive services under an IPE provided with Title I, Part B funds and 1,195 will receive services under an IPE provided with Title VI, Part B funds and with Title I, Part B funds. It is estimated that the number of individuals to be served under Title I, Part B and Title VI, Part B under an IPE during Fiscal Year 2015 under each priority category within our Order of Selection will be: - Priority Category 1 - 9813 (Includes Title VI, Part B) - Priority Category 2 - 4733 - Priority Category 3 - 924 - Priority Category 4 - 349 15,819 Total Note: Estimates for eligible individuals and those who will be provided services under our Order of Selection in Fiscal Year 2015 is based on current trends. It is estimated that the cost of Title I, Part B and Title VI, Part B services for the projected 15,470 individuals who will be eligible for services under an IPE will be approximately $38,675,000 and that the service cost for each priority category within the Order of Selection for the individuals served will be: - Priority Category 1 - $24,532,500 (Includes Title VI, Part B) - Priority Category 2 - $11,832,500 - Priority Category 3 –2,310,000 - Priority Category 4 - 0 $38,675,000 Total Note: Estimated cost for services is based on the total available funding approved by the State’s Department of Finance and Administration for our Delegated Purchase Authority.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
0
#1 Title VI $24,532,500 9813 $2,500
#2 $11,832,500 4733 $2,500
#3 $2,310,000 924 $2,500
#4 $0 0
Totals   $38,675,000 15,470 $2,500

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:30PM by satncoles

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

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

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

The goals and priorities of the Division of Rehabilitation Services for Fiscal Year 2015, as developed and agreed to by the Division of Rehabilitation Services staff and the State Rehabilitation Council, are focused around the Division’s strategic plan.

The goals and priorities for 2015 are:

Goal 1. Continue Increasing Successful Employment Outcomes

Objective 1.1:

A. Increase Successful Employment Outcomes by 10% or more over Federal Fiscal Year 2014. The opportunity exists to reinvigorate historical referral sources. This effort will include development of marketing initiatives for use in local areas for community outreach as well as joint efforts with the:

a. Workforce Investment System

b. Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development

c. Department of Economic and Community Development

d. Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

e. Department of Children’s Services and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

The Division will develop strategies for increasing referrals of transition school to work clients through local education agencies. Special focus will include the identification of any underserved population at the regional level.

B. Action Steps to establish a stronger focus on employment related activities include:

i. Staffing the Agency’s Business Services Unit for regional and statewide activities;

ii. Building a comprehensive network of employment resources across the state;

iii. Implementing services to employers promoting the value of the Division and the hiring of people with disabilities;

iv. Continuing the current Community Rehabilitation Provider monitoring process to ensure effectiveness and efficiency;

v. Continue to work collaboratively with and provide greater technical assistance to the Workforce Investment System. The Division will continue to have counselors co-located in each of the State’s Local Workforce Investment Areas’ comprehensive career centers and to provide itinerant counselors to serve all satellite career centers.

Objective 1.2:

The Division will continue to monitor expenditures and available funding to determine if there is sufficient funding to release Category 3 and 4.

Goal 2. Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness in Client Services Delivery System

Objective 2.1:

Meet or exceed the Federal rehabilitation success rate of 55.8% for FY 2015 (Success rate is determined by the number of Status 26 rehabilitated case closures divided by the number of Status 26 plus the number of Status 28 non-rehabilitated Case closures).The division is focusing on the Employment Needs Assessment Process in order to write better Individualized Employment Plans. This effort will increase the number of successful closures and decrease the number of unsuccessful closures.

Objective 2.2:

Meet or exceed the Federal ratio of the average hourly wage of individuals who achieved competitive employment to the average hourly wage of all employed individuals in the State of 0.520.Fifty-two percent of closures should be working at wages of $10-$11 per hour.

Objective 2.3:

Ensure adherence to quality services leading to employment and quality case management practices by:

1. Achieving an 80%or higher satisfaction rating for the vocational rehabilitation program as reported by the consumer satisfaction survey program for successful outcome closures.

2. Continuing with improvements to the Division’s electronic case management system (Tennessee Rehabilitation Information and Management System, TRIMS) to enhance efficiency and accuracy.

3. Training- Continue to increase staff knowledge through continuous training.

Objective 2.4:

Ensure access to VR documents, materials and training for clients and staff:

1. The Division will ensure that all documents and materials are available in alternate formats, as needed and requested.

2. The Division will ensure that timely requests are made when qualified interpreters are needed or requested.

3. Video ASL for the Deaf

This screen was last updated on Aug 22 2014 1:35PM by Yovancha Lewis-Brown

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

Justification for order of selection

The Division’s Order of Selection is developed in accordance with 34 CFR § 361.36 of the final regulations. The Order of Selection has four priority categories as defined below in this section.

On August 1, 2001, the Division implemented an Order of Selection due to funding limitations that would not allow the Division to provide services under an IPE to all eligible individuals. Only Priority Category 1 cases (eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilities) were served until 2009.

In October 2001, there were approximately 238 caseloads and the Division had 33,096 active cases. In October 2013, there were approximately 166 caseloads with 13,209 cases. This is a 31% reduction in counseling staff over the time the Division has been under an Order of Selection.

In September 2012, the Division began an reclassification of the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor(VRC) position. This reclassification changed the minimum qualification to become a VRC. This new qualification required a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a closely related field. The Division did not hire any VRCs from September 2012 until May 2013. As of June 2013, there are currently 126 VRCs with 21 vacancies. This gives the Division the capacity to have 147 caseloads. This still remains only 69% of the capacity the Division had in October 2001 when the Division initially went under the order of selection.

From 2009 until October 2012 there were numerous releases of Priority Category 2 and 3 cases. Beginning October 1, 2012, the Division opened Priority Category 2 for services. The Division is now serving all Priority Category 1 and 2 cases. Those Priority Category 3 cases that were on the waiting list were released for services on October 1, 2013.

The Division’s resources remain inadequate to serve individuals in all four priority categories. The Division expects to have approximately $76,108,000 to spend for assessments for new cases, planned services for existing and new cases and administration of the program. Program administration costs are expected to be $31,557,800. Operational costs are expected to be $44,550,200. Assessment services for an expected 7,955 new applicants are expected to cost $1,988,750. This leaves $42,561,450 available for planned services for existing and new cases.

The Division expects to serve 15,470 existing and new Priority Category 1, 2 and 3 cases in 2015. Of this number, the Division expects to provide services for 9,813 Priority Category 1 cases,4,733 Priority Category 2 cases, and 924 Priority Category 3 cases.

With $42,561,450 available for planned services for existing and new cases and an expected average cost of services per case of $2,500, the Division will require $38,675,000 to provide services for Priority Category 1, 2 and 3 cases. The increase in costs of new cases provided for planned services is expected to substantially decrease the amount of funds carried forward and close the gap between expenditures and available funding. The Division will monitor staffing needs to determine if there is sufficient manpower to schedule releases of Priority Category 3 and 4 cases for services or open all Priority Category 3 cases for services. Therefore, continuation of the Order of Selection mandated by the Rehabilitation Act of 1073, as amended, to determine which eligible individuals will be served under an IPE is still warranted due to staffing deficiencies.

The Division monitors services and expenditures on a continuous basis, allowing the Division to manage available funds and staff to assure sustainability of services for cases placed in an open priority category and receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Additionally, adequate funds will continue to be conserved and staffing deficiencies monitored to provide assessment services for all applicants expected to apply throughout the year to determine eligibility and to provide services for those eligible individuals in an open priority category within the Order of Selection.

 

Description of Priority categories

PRIORITY CATEGORY I -- Eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilitiesPRIORITY CATEGORY II -- Eligible individuals who have significant disabilitiesPRIORITY CATEGORY III -- Eligible individuals who do not have significant disabilities and whose vocational rehabilitation is expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation servicesPRIORITY CATEGORY IV -- Eligible individuals who do not have a significant disability that cannot be classified into a higher priority categoryDefinitions"Most Significant Disability" means the individual meets the criteria for having a significant disability but has a physical or mental impairment that seriously limits two or more functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome. "Significant Disability" means the individual meets the three following criteria:1. The individual has a severe physical, sensory or mental impairment which seriously limits at least one functional capacity (such as visual/mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and 2. The individual has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, deaf /blind, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegic, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, and end-stage renal disease; or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility, and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitation; and3. The individual’s vocational rehabilitation program can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time.“Non-Significant Disability” means the individual does not meet the criteria for significant disability or the criteria for most significant disability.“Multiple Vocational Rehabilitation Services” mean two or more major vocational rehabilitation services, i.e. physical or mental restoration, training, counseling, guidance and placement. Excluded are support services such as transportation, maintenance, and the routine counseling and guidance that should take place in every case. "Extended Period of Time" means 6 months from the date services begin until the employment objective is achieved.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

The Division is currently serving Priority Category 1 and 2 cases. If the Division cannot continue to serve all Priority Category 1 and 2 cases, then Priority Category 1 cases will continue to be served and services for Priority Category 2 cases will be provided based on the date of application for services. If the Division cannot continue to serve all Priority Category 1 cases, then services will be provided based on the date of application for services.The Division plans to open Priority Category 3 within the 2015 plan year. If after Priority 3 is opened and the Division cannot continue to serve all Priority 3 cases then services will be provided based on the date of application for services. Individuals who are determined to be in a closed priority category are referred to other appropriate agencies for services.

 

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

The Order of Selection priority categories outcome and service goals and time frames are as follows:1. PRIORITY CATEGORY I -- Eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilitiesA. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 3,202 new individuals in this priority category; serve 9,813; and close 1,512 successfully employed.B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2015. 2. PRIORITY CATEGORY II -- Eligible individuals who have significant disabilitiesA. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 1,540 new individuals in this priority category; serve 4,733; and close 483 successfully employed.B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2015.3. PRIORITY CATEGORY III -- Eligible individuals who do not have significant disabilities and whose vocational rehabilitation is expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation servicesA. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 380 new individuals in this priority category; serve 924; and close 105 successfully employed.B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2015.4. PRIORITY CATEGORY IV -- Eligible individuals who do not have a significant disability that cannot be classified into a higher priority categoryA. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 123 new individuals in this priority category and have 349 on the waiting list. B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2015.

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 7,955 0 0 $1,988,750
2 19,813 1,512 0 Sept. 30, 2015 $24,532,500
3 24,733 483 0 Sept. 30, 2015 $11,832,500
4 3,924 105 0 Sept. 30, 2015 $2,310,000
5 4,349 0 0 Sept. 30, 2015 $87,250

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2014 4:07PM by Yovancha Lewis-Brown

Attachment 4.11(c)(4) Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds

Specify the state's goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds received under section 622 of the Act for the provision of supported employment services.

The Division continues to provide supported employment services to eligible clients with the most significant disabilities who have been determined to require on-going support (extended) services in order to maintain employment.

Supported employment services are funded through Title VI, Part B funds. As Title VI, Part B funds are depleted, the continuance of the Division’s supported employment services is made possible through Title I, Part B funds. The Division anticipates spending in excess of 1.2 million dollars of Title I, Part B funds in addition to its Title VI, Part B funding allotment (projected to be approximately $470,000 in Fiscal Year 2015).

It is the continued goal of the Division to provide quality supported employment services which are delivered in an effective, efficient and timely manner. Supported employment services are provided through Letters of Agreement with community rehabilitation providers, and in cooperation with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The community rehabilitation providers must assure that on-going support (extended) services will be provided prior to the implementation of supported employment services or will be developed as natural supports during training. The Division has an excellent supported employment program along with training and support activities to ensure the continued provision of quality supported employment services. These programs are ongoing and are not subject to a specific timeline. Prime examples of these ongoing activities are:

1. Through contract with the University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy, Education and Employment (CLEE), the Division funds three supported employment consultants who are charged with the responsibility of working with our many supported employment community rehabilitation providers in providing training and technical assistance to the staff who provide services to our clients. These same consultants also work with the Division staff on an as needed basis to provide technical assistance. 2. The Division also involves the regional supervisory staff and quality improvement unit in the monitoring of and consultation to the community rehabilitation providers to ensure appropriate services are being provided to our clients. 3. The Division plans to continue the funding of the UT CLEE SE consultants activities as well as continue the provision of in-house monitoring of the services provided to the Division’s clients by the SE community rehabilitation providers.

The Division will continue to seek community rehabilitation providers to provide supported employment services to under-served disability groups with the most significant disabilities who, because of their disability, have not been able to enter traditional competitive employment or whose employment is intermittent or interrupted due to a most significant disability.

The Division expects to continue increasing employment opportunities for those individuals eligible for supported employment with co-occurring disorders of mental illness, and alcohol and drug abuse by expanding more effective partnerships with mental health entities that work with this population and by implementing improved services. The Division has a Central Office field liaison who works with mental health entities and the Division’s staff statewide in developing such partnerships where needed and who provides training and technical assistance to the mental health community rehabilitation providers and our staff.

The Division has a Central Office field liaison who works with service providers statewide that provides supported employment and extended services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to assist with technical assistance and staff training.

The Division expects to serve in excess of 1,100 clients through the supported employment program during the Fiscal Year 2015. Over the past two years the division has closed around 22% of the supported employment clients in successful employment. This would mean around 242 successful outcomes for FY2015.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:31PM by satncoles

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Describe how the agency's strategies will be used to:

  • achieve goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1);
  • support innovation and expansion activities; and
  • overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program.

The state plan shall include an assurance that the state will reserve and use a portion of the funds allotted to the state under Section 110 for the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities; consistent with the findings of our statewide needs assessment and our goals and priorities.

Funds will be utilized in Fiscal Year 2015 for addressing the following priorities that continue to be identified in our needs assessment as they relate to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including those who need supported employment services; individuals with disabilities who are minorities; individuals with disabilities who have been un-served or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program; and individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system and personnel assisting those individuals through the components of the system: Education and Training; Employment Opportunities; Information; Support Services; and Counseling and Guidance.

In addition, as the Division continues to serve Priority Category 1 and 2 cases, more individuals with significant disabilities are able to access vocational rehabilitation services. The Division continues to monitor the budget and the staff capacity in order to determine the ability to serve Priority 3 and 4 cases. It is anticipated this activity will lead to improvement in the number of individuals with disabilities reaching successful rehabilitation outcome statuses by: 1. Continuing the practice of ensuring the availability of appropriate training activities and resources to meet the individualized needs of clients by seeking out and developing partnerships with other private and public entities to provide specialized education and training activities, to include those that can be provided through self-employment, on-the-job-training by employers, and customized employment. 2. Continuing the development and expansion of statewide employer relationships that focus on inclusion of employees with disabilities in the workforce and the value of hiring people with disabilities. The Division will continue its expansion of our activities with Employment Groups across the state and in the local areas with new programs, such as Walgreens REDI and Project Search. 3. Continuing to support expansion of supported employment services by actively seeking out, training, and monitoring community rehabilitation providers; especially in the more rural areas, that are willing to provide supported employment services to vocational rehabilitation clients with the most significant disabilities; and by fostering partnerships with DIDD and the ARCs of Tennessee to implement employment network projects with community rehabilitation providers. The Division is striving to have shared vendors with DIDD in order to access services for shared clients. The Division is looking to expand participation in the Individual Placement Model of Supported Employment (IPS) statewide. In FY2014, there was a pilot in 3 of the 9 geographic regions, the sensory regions are represented within the geographic regions; 4. Continue to increase employment opportunities for clients through development, training, and monitoring of community rehabilitation providers providing job coach pools and employment services. 5. Development of the Business Services Unit will increase targeted marketing and education services to employers; and the provision of additional technical support and expertise to Division staff, clients, and employers in the areas of ongoing and emerging disability issues, and supported employment issues. 6. Continuing to support expansion of Transition School-to-Work services by continuing to work with Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) in the maintenance of existing partnerships and the creation of additional partnerships to provide vocational rehabilitation services targeted specifically to that LEA’s school system. Continuing to work with and educate school personnel on the mission and scope of the Division in order to maximize services from both entities to better serve our mutual clientele to include appropriate qualified interpreters/accommodations for students that are in LEA/School to Work programs. The newly hired Transition School to Work Director will manage this process. 7. Continuing improvement in the service delivery of the Division’s 17 community rehabilitation centers and the comprehensive rehabilitation center at Smyrna geared directly toward providing services leading to successful employment of individuals with the most significant disabilities. Pursue the development of additional service delivery entities in metropolitan and rural markets for services including vocational evaluation, personal and work adjustment, job development, job placement, and job coaching. The 17 Community rehabilitation centers are focusing on expansion of the job readiness programs and collaboration with local area businesses. The Smyrna TRC is expanding training programs through partnerships with Tennessee Department of Transportation, Gaylord Opryland, and Walgreens. 8. Continuing support of vocational rehabilitation counselor development by providing opportunities for vocational rehabilitation counselors to obtain Masters Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling. The Division will pursue all available RSA slots for master’s level training available to the Division through outreach and research. The Division will continue utilization of recruiter staff for recruiting vocational rehabilitation counselors who have a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Finally, the Division will continue financial support of counselors seeking master’s degrees. 9. Developing and implementing a comprehensive staff development program based on core competencies for all VR Staff. Utilize partnerships through the TACE and university programs. There is an Education Development Plan being developed for all staff in order to reinforce and encourage the Division’s goals and priorities. 10. Continuing to implement a marketing/outreach plan that targets and reaches un-served or underserved populations to include all minorities, such as Spanish-speaking clients and clients with traumatic brain injury, autism, deaf-blindness, and mental illness. The marketing efforts will target individuals with the most significant disabilities who are seeking employment. 11. Continuing to support the Workforce Investment System by continuing to co-locate vocational rehabilitation counselors in each of the major Workforce Investment Act Service delivery area career centers and ensuring that all career center satellites also have vocational rehabilitation counselors assigned to visit their centers on a regular basis to work with individuals with disabilities that visit each center. 12. Providing cross training to the career center staff in regard to meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. Continue to provide consultation on career center accessibility and accommodation needs in regard to the accessibility needs in the building(s), and accommodations in terms of appropriate technology needed to serve individuals with the disabilities. Continue to partner with the WIA career centers in employment initiatives such as the summer youth employment project and the DEI grant 13. Continuing to support the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program and use of other Social Security work incentives that benefit clients by continuing contract with the Benefits to Work Company. This company provides Social Security benefits counseling to clients before and after the Individualized Plan for Employment process. Currently the Division contracts with Benefits to Work to provide outreach to communities on how working affects Social Security Benefits, work incentives, and benefits planning. The agency will also continue to promote the most effective use of Ticket to Work Employment Network programs for the Division and our partners. 14. Continuing training for vocational rehabilitation staff on how effective rehabilitation technology options lead to successful employment outcomes. Staff at the Technology centers meeting quarterly with staff to provide training on services. 15. Continuing support of the State Rehabilitation Council. Council members will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses for attending Council meetings and performing Council duties (including child care, - personal assistance services and qualified interpreters). 16. Continuing support of the Statewide Independent Living Council. Council members will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses for attending Council meetings and performing Council duties (including child care, personal assistance services and qualified interpreters). 17. Continuing to submit to the Commissioner an annual report of how funds are utilized relative to innovation and expansion activities. 18. Continuing to provide a coordinated, comprehensive and statewide assistive technology delivery system through a network of contracted assistive technology centers. Each of these five centers, strategically located in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville ensure access to clients from all 95 counties in Tennessee regardless of location. The centers diverse staff includes: Rehabilitation Engineers; Speech and Language Pathologists; Assistive Technologists; Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Therapists and other Professionals who provide clients with evaluation, training, device fabrication and follow up services. By providing clients with access to this highly trained and skilled resource, and by purchasing the required devices, clients have the tools that they need throughout their rehabilitation program to assist them in realizing their IPE goals. 19. Continue implementation of the electronic case management system (TRIMS) utilizing input from agency staff and vendors to enhance the Division’s technological infrastructure and client service capabilities. 20. Continue partnerships with the three federal grants that target employment of persons with disabilities. Those grants are TennesseeWorks, Employment First, and DEI. Tennessee is one of three states in the country that are receiving all three grants. 21. Revise the self-employment process to streamline the experience for clients seeking the self-employment option. Research other state VR self-employment policies for efficient, consumer oriented strategies; and include successful business owners in the process to produce a successful program that will help individuals with disabilities become successful entrepreneurs.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2014 12:40PM by satncoles

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

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

The goals and priorities of the Division of Rehabilitation Services for Fiscal Year 2013, as developed and agreed to by the Division of Rehabilitation Services staff and the State Rehabilitation Council, are: The goals and priorities for 2013 are: Goal 1. Increase Successful Employment OutcomesObjective 1.1: C. Increase Successful Employment Outcomes by 10% or more over Federal Fiscal Year 2012 Increase Priority Category 1 and 2 referrals by 10% or more over federal fiscal year 2012. Since the Division has been in an Order of Selection since 2001, the opportunity exists to reinvigorate historical referral sources for Priority Category 2 cases. This effort will include development of marketing initiatives for use in local areas for community outreach as well as joint efforts with Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Children’s Services and Department of Mental Health. The Division will develop strategies for increasing referrals of transition school to work clients through local education agencies. Special focus will include the identification of any underserved population at the regional level.ACHIEVEMENT: In FFY2012 Employment Outcomes were 1906. In FFY2013, the division achieved 1966. In order to achieve this goal the Employment Outcomes would have needed to be 2097. In FFY 2012, referrals were 7257. In FFY 2013 new referral were 7279. In order to meet this goal new referrals would have needed to be 7983.The division is partnering with the Department of Mental Health and Substance abuse services in piloting the Individual Placements and Supports model of Supported Employment in the Eastern part of the State.The division is working with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to have shared vendors to increase outcomes for those significant disabilities.The division is working closely with the Department of Mental Health to provide WRAP training to our staff and develop employment initiatives. The division has revised the transition school to work (TSW) program in order to improve services to transition students.D. Provide caseload carrying and employment counselors with targeted training on career planning/exploration including how to implement through the counseling and guidance process.i. Establish a stronger focus and recognition of employment related activities including:ii. Developing an employment unit with statewide responsibility for regional employment activities,iii. Placing additional employment counselors in regions where needed,iv. Building a comprehensive network of employment resources across the state, anv. Continuing to develop and provide services to employers promoting the value of the Division and the hiring of people with disabilities.vi. Develop and implement new agreements with Community Rehabilitation Providers and provide training for both staff and vendors.vii. Revise the current Community Rehabilitation Provider monitoring process to be both more effective and efficient.viii. Work collaboratively with Tennessee’s Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) (an alliance that includes the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD), and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), Disability Law and Advocacy Center (CAP), and University Centers for Excellence) to develop a state plan for the national AFP summit committed to doubling the number of people with disabilities employed nationwide.ix. Continue to work collaboratively with and provide greater technical assistance to the workforce investment programs including career centers. The Division will continue to have counselors housed in each of the primary workforce service delivery areas and will visit all other satellite centers on an itinerant basis.ACHIEVEMENT: The Business Services Unit has been developed. There is a Statewide Business Consultant and Business Consultants located in VR Offices and Community TRC Statewide. This Unit coordinates employment resources on a statewide and regional basis. There is quarterly training of unit staff to provide the basis of the critical employment services, including services to businesses.At the conclusion of FFY2013, a proposal for changing the Letters of Understanding (LOU) to Letters of Agreements (LOA) had been made to the Deputy Commissioner and was awaiting approval. Staff and vendor training had not been completed as the new formats were not approved. The Office of the Inspector General within DHS had begun monitoring of those agencies with LOU agreements for compliance. All of the Comprehensive Department of Labor Centers had a VR Counselor housed within the center. The satellite centers were visited. Objective 1.2: A. Open Priority Category 2 by September 30, 2012The Division is establishing regular bi-monthly release of Priority Category 2 waiting list cases during federal fiscal year 2012. The goal of the Division is to open Priority Category 2 by September 30, 2012.ACHIEVEMENT: Priority Category 2 was opened for services on September 30, 2012. Goal 2. Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness in Client Services Delivery SystemObjective 2.1: To Increase the Rehabilitation Rate (Success Rate) to 55.8% for FY 2013 (Success rate is determined by the number of Status 26 (Rehabilitated Cases) divided by the number of Status 26 plus the number of Status 28 (Non-Rehabilitated Cases)ACHIEVEMENT: The Success Rate for FY2013 was 59.32%. There were 1966 Successful Closures and 1348 Unsuccessful Closures for a total of 3314 closures. Objective 2.2: To Adhere to Quality Standards Achieve a 96% or higher satisfaction rating for the vocational rehabilitation program as reported by the consumer satisfaction survey program for successful outcome closures. Continue with implementation of the Division’s new electronic case management system (TRIMS) utilizing input from agency staff and vendors.Objective 2.3: To Implement a New Organizational Development System to Ensure that Staff Obtain and Maintain Core Competencies1. Build a comprehensive staff development program to include measures of current competencies and goals to be reached by all staff. While including all staff, the effort will focus on those staff providing service delivery, including:- Caseload carrying counselors,- Employment Counselors,- Vocational Evaluators, and- Rehabilitation AssistantsACHIEVEMENT: Training in FY2013 was delivered primarily through the Office of Learning and Professional Development. The focus of training throughout the fiscal year was the changes in the Priority Category assignment and working with clients in Priority Category 2 as this had not been done on a consistent basis since going under the Order of Selection in 2001.2. Implement supervisory training for new and existing supervisors focusing on supervisory skills, employment, caseload management, and critical thinking skills.ACHIEVEMENT: All new supervisory staff attend the New Supervisory Academy. Training for current supervisory staff is still under development. 3. Provide training opportunities to educate rehabilitation staff concerning ongoing and emerging disability issues including Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Psychiatric Disorders, Serving the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Visually Impaired, and Medical Aspects of Disabilities.ACHIEVEMENT: Staff attended training on Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Psychiatric Disorders. Training continues to be developed on Serving the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Visually Impaired, and Medical Aspects of Disabilities.4. The Tennessee Technology Access Program(TTAP) Executive Director and his partners will continue their staff training and consultation to ensure staff appropriately considers technology options.ACHIEVEMENT: Staff training is held quarterly with TTAP staff. Objective 2.4:To improve access to VR material for clients and staff.1. The Division will ensure all materials are available in alternate formats as needed.ACHIEVEMENT - the Division always ensures that materials are available in alternate formats. This information is always made available. 2. The Division will make timely requests for interpreters as needed and requested.ACHIEVEMENT: The Division makes requests for interpreters as soon as possible.

 

In FFY2012, 1048 Supported Employment cases were opened and 240 supported employment were closed successfully employed. In FFY2013, 1000 Supported Employment Cases were opened and 299 were closed successfully employed.

In FFY2013, the Division participated in Customized Employment training delievered through Marc Gold and Associates.

 

Achievement of Performance and Indicators for FFY2013

1.1-The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period.

This goal was met with an achievement of 1966 successful closures. The achievement of this goal from last year was 1906. This is an increase of 66 status 26 closures. The program is developing more relationships with the business community and participating in some iniatives to increase this number in the future.

1.2-Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.

This goal was met with an acheivment of 59.32%, in to meet this goal an achievement of 55.8% is required. The division is increasing the focus of training to the needs assessment process in order to write more detailed Individualized plans for employment that will decrease the number of unsuccessful closures.

1.3Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earning equivalent to at least the minimum wage.-

This goal was passed at 94.00%. The passing score is 72.60%

1.4-Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.

This indicator was passed at 95.56%, passing on this indicator is 62.40%. Priority Category 2 was fully opened for services in September 2012. There was a limited release of individuals from the waiting list in October 2013. However the majority of the Successful closures from FY2013 were in Priority category 1.

1.5- The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report "State Average Annual Pay" for the most recent available year).

This indicator was not achieved as passing is .052 and the division achieved 0.47. The division is looking to forge better relationships with the business community to focus on higher wages.

1.6-Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services.

This indicator was passed at 55.4%, with passing being 53.0. This the division is conducting research on how to improve this indicator.

2.1-The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilites

This indicator was not passed at 0.79, passing is .80. The division is gathering research from other states on how to improve performance on this indicator.

 

Innovation and Expansion Activities · Rollout of Statewide Project Search activities through a contract with Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the Tennessee Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities · Individual Placement and Support Model of Supported Employment in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service was rolled out in East Tennessee with expansion statewide planned over the next 3 years. · Participation in the TennesseeWorks collaborative that expands services to Individuals with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. This is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2014 4:23PM by Yovancha Lewis-Brown

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

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

The Division continues to provide supported employment services to eligible clients with the most significant disabilities who have been determined to require supported employment services, in accordance with 34 CFR § 361 and 363, in order to obtain and maintain employment.Supported employment services are funded through Title VI, Part B funds (projected to be approximately $470,000 for FY 2014). The Division anticipates spending in excess of 1.2 million dollars of Title I, Part B funds for supported employment services to supplement the funding received under Title VI, Part B. It is the continued goal of the Division to provide quality supported employment services which are delivered in an effective, efficient and timely manner. Supported employment services are provided through Letters of Agreement with community rehabilitation providers and in cooperation with both the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The community rehabilitation providers must assure that on-going support services will be available prior to the provision of supported employment services or will be developed as natural supports during training.The Division coordinates with other state agencies and the community rehabilitation providers to transition clients receiving supported employment services to extended services. An individual is moved to extended services when the client has reached a point where he/she has achieved maximum performance on the job; has achieved minimum necessary supports on the job; the job is not in jeopardy of ending; and individual is maintaining work performance which is acceptable to employer and client. The Tennessee Employment Consortium, an independent association of community rehabilitation providers developed jointly by the Division, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, continues to study transitioning from services provided by the Division to services provided by the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to develop best practices for transition of services. The Division is working with the University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy,Education and Employment to develop training for CRPs on how to develop natural supports to address extended services where funding is not available from another Agency. The Division will continue to contract for services from the University of Tennessee’s Center for Literacy,Education and Employment (CLEE). These programs will provide continuing technical assistance and training to the Division’s staff and contracted community rehabilitation providers to assure competency and compliance.The UT-CLEE program continues to conduct various studies of the components of the Supported Employment program and make recommendations for the improvements based upon these studies.The Division continues its efforts to increase S.E. providers and anticipates the numbers of providers will increase. VR is actively pursuing a number of other providers for underserved areas across the state. While the number of CRPs remains adequate to serve the Division’s decreasing number of supported employment clients, there remains a shortage of CRPs able to provide supported employment services in more rural areas and under-served communities and under-served populations of the state. The Division will continue to enter into supported employment agreements with appropriate state agencies, as well as Letters of Agreement with private and/or non-profit agencies which have the capabilities of providing quality service delivery and extended services in multiple counties. The Division will assertively seek those agencies that will provide supported employment services to persons being transitioned from institutional settings to the community and to work in competitive, integrated employment settings. The Division will also be studying in-house capabilities to provide supported employment services in more rural areas of the state utilizing the Division’s facilities programs. This will include staff training to develop natural supports for extended services.The Division will continue to seek community rehabilitation providers to provide supported employment services to under-served disability groups with the most significant disabilities. The Division expects to serve in excess of 1,100 clients through the supported employment program during the Fiscal Year 2015. Over the past two years the division has closed around 22% of the supported employment clients in successful employment. This would mean around 242 successful outcomes for FY2015.

This screen was last updated on Aug 28 2014 4:24PM by Yovancha Lewis-Brown