State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)
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.
(b) Notice requirements.
(c) Special consultation requirements.
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)
- comprehensive system of personnel development;
- assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress;
- innovation and expansion activities; and
- 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.
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)
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.
- 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.
- The designated state agency is a state agency that is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (Option A was selected/Option B was not selected).
- In American Samoa, the designated state agency is the governor.
(b) Designated state unit.
- 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:
- 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;
- has a full-time director;
- has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full-time on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit; and
- 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.
- The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
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)
- 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.
- is consumer controlled by persons who:
- are individuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit major life activities; and
- 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;
- includes family members, advocates or other representatives of individuals with mental impairments; and
- undertakes the functions set forth in Section 105(c)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(4).
4.3 Consultations regarding the administration of the State Plan. (Section 101(a)(16)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.21)
(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)
4.5 Local administration. (Sections 7(24) and 101(a)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(47) and .15)
(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)
(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))
(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:
- 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;
- 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
- 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:
- identification of the types of services to be provided;
- written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the state unit the nonfederal share of funds;
- written assurance that state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect; and
- 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.
(b) Cooperation and coordination with other agencies and entities.
- 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;
- 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;
- 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,
- 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.
- 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.
- The State Plan description must:
- 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
- include information on a formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency that, at a minimum, provides for:
- 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;
- 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;
- roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and
- 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.
(e) Cooperative agreement with recipients of grants for services to American Indians.
- 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
- 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:
- strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that will assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;
- 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
- 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.
(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.
4.10 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.18)
(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.
- Qualified personnel needs.
- 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;
- The number of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services, broken down by personnel category; and
- 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.
- Personnel development.
- A list of the institutions of higher education in the state that are preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals, by type of program;
- The number of students enrolled at each of those institutions, broken down by type of program; and
- 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.
(c) Personnel standards.
- 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.
- 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.
- The written plan required by subparagraph (c)(2) describes the following:
- specific strategies for retraining, recruiting and hiring personnel;
- the specific time period by which all state unit personnel will meet the standards required by subparagraph (c)(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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(f) Coordination of personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
4.11. Statewide assessment; annual estimates; annual state goals and priorities; strategies; and progress reports.
(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.
- 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:
- the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:
- individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
- 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
- individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide work force investment system.
- The need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
- 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.
- number of individuals in the state who are eligible for services under the plan;
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order; and
- 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.
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(d) describes the strategies, including:
- 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;
- 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;
- as applicable, the plan of the state for establishing, developing or improving community rehabilitation programs;
- 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
- strategies for assisting other components of the statewide work force investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
- Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the designated state agency uses these strategies to:
- 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);
- support the innovation and expansion activities identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) of the plan; and
- 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.
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(e)(2):
- 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;
- identifies the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals and priorities;
- describes the factors that impeded their achievement, to the extent they were not achieved;
- assesses the performance of the state on the standards and indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
- 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:
- 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
- support of the funding for the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has such a council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 105(d)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(i), and the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 705(e)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 364.21(i).
(b) Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the reserved funds identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) will be utilized.
(c) Attachment 4.11(e)(2) describes how the reserved funds were utilized in the preceding year.
4.13 Reports. (Section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.40)
(a) The designated state unit submits reports in the form and level of detail and at the time required by the commissioner regarding applicants for and eligible individuals receiving services under the State Plan.
(b) Information submitted in the reports provides a complete count, unless sampling techniques are used, of the applicants and eligible individuals in a manner that permits the greatest possible cross-classification of data and protects the confidentiality of the identity of each individual.
5.1 Information and referral services. (Sections 101(a)(5)(D) and (20) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.37)
5.2 Residency. (Section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.42(c)(1))
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:
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(c)(3):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order of selection; and
- 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.
- 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:
- assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;
- 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;
- 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;
- job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;
- rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory and other technological aids and devices; and
- 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:
- progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;
- an immediate job placement; or
- 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)
5.7 Services to American Indians. (Section 101(a)(13) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.30)
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:
- 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
- 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))
(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.
(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.
Section 6: Program Administration
6.1 Designated state agency. (Section 625(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(a))
6.2 Statewide assessment of supported employment services needs. (Section 625(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(b))
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))
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)
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))
6.6 Minority outreach. (34 CFR 363.11(f))
6.7 Reports. (Sections 625(b)(8) and 626 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(h) and .52)
7.1 Five percent limitation on administrative costs. (Section 625(b)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(8))
7.2 Use of funds in providing services. (Sections 623 and 625(b)(6)(A) and (D) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.6(c)(2)(iv), .11(g)(1) and (4))
(a) Funds made available under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act are used by the designated state agency only to provide supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities who are eligible to receive such services.
(b) Funds provided under Title VI, Part B, are used only to supplement and not supplant the funds provided under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act, in providing supported employment services specified in the individualized plan for employment.
(c) Funds provided under Part B of Title VI or Title I of the Rehabilitation Act are not used to provide extended services to individuals who are eligible under Part B of Title VI or Title I of the Rehabilitation Act.
8.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54), 363.11(g)(6) and (7))
(a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in Section 7(36) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54).
(b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site.
(c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities.
8.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Sections 7(2)(B) and 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 361.5(b)(6)(ii) and 363.11(g)(2))
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:
- specifies the supported employment services to be provided;
- describes the expected extended services needed; and
- identifies the source of extended services, including natural supports, or, to the extent that it is not possible to identify the source of extended services at the time the individualized plan for employment plan is developed, a statement describing the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that sources will become available.
(c) Services provided under an individualized plan for employment are coordinated with services provided under other individualized plans established under other federal or state programs.
Required annually by all agencies except those agencies that are independent consumer-controlled commissions.
Identify the Input provided by the state rehabilitation council, including recommendations from the council's annual report, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other council reports. Be sure to also include:
- the Designated state unit's response to the input and recommendations; and
- explanations for the designated state unit's rejection of any input or recommendation of the council.
Recommendation: Continue to support more visible coordination between the VR and independent living programs in providing services for Virginians with disabilities.
Agency Response: The Rehabilitation Act requires that the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) Chair or designee represent the SILC on the SRC. This arrangement is very successful in facilitating communication and collaboration between the SRC and the SILC. This year, members of the SRC attended the Independent Living Conference and co-hosted a table at the conference with the SILC. Activities such as these help foster a better understanding of the VR and Independent Living programs. At the public hearing held at the conference, several comments were made about the need for greater coordination and collaboration between VR and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs). DARS looks forward to hearing more about how this can be better fostered to try to incorporate this into the planning process to enhance services to the mutual consumers of the VR program and the CILs.
Recommendation: Continue to work to expand outreach to, and meet needs of, people with disabilities from different cultural backgrounds and those with Limited English Proficiency.
Agency Response: Recently, the agency reinstituted the Cultural Diversity Team composed of statewide representatives from all divisions in the agency. In addition, representation was added from the Virginia Department for the Aging in preparation for the new DARS agency and in recognition of aging and disability as befitting the scope of the Team. At its June meeting, the SRC received information about the Team and their plans to continue to enhance the cultural competency of the agency, and to institute means to expand our outreach activities and enhance services to VR consumers from different cultural backgrounds.
Recommendation: Project SEARCH already is recognized as an outstanding program to assist youth in achieving successful employment. Therefore, the Council supports the efforts of the agency to expand the Project SEARCH program across Virginia with continued collaboration with the Department of Education.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates the interest and support of the SRC in the efforts to support Project SEARCH sites across the Commonwealth. Currently, there are ten sites with an additional one planned for Alexandria.
Recommendation: The Council recognizes the benefit of the work incentive initiatives available through the Social Security Administration. Therefore, the Council encourages the agency to enhance work incentives counseling for VR clients and continue to improve the VR counselors’ knowledge of these incentives to assist their consumers.
Agency Response: The agency concurs with this recommendation and continues to place major emphasis on work incentives and benefits counseling for our VR consumers. The planned efforts are outlined in the Goals and Priorities and State’s Strategies Attachments of the 2012 State Plan.
Recommendation: The Council is pleased to see the continuously high statewide competitive employment rate achieved by the department’s VR consumers. This 94% rate well surpasses the performance measure mandated by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The Council, however, understands that there are certain areas in the Commonwealth where the competitive employment rate has been traditionally lower. Therefore, the Council recommends that the department continue to examine this situation and look for means to increase the competitive employment rate in these geographical areas.
Agency Response: The agency concurs with this recommendation and is assessing our competitive employment rate across the Commonwealth, particularly in those areas where the rate has been lower than in others. By assessing the reasons for the difference, we can develop strategies for improvement. The SRC will continue to be apprised of our efforts
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 9:37AM by Elizabeth Smith
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.
In addition to partnerships established and enhanced through development and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) system in Virginia, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) continues to emphasize the importance and necessity of cooperating with other community partners (federal, state and local agencies and programs) to assist in providing comprehensive and effective services for VR customers. One of the most successful cooperative relationships has been with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) to provide services to individuals with substance abuse and with serious mental illness. The relationship with DBHDS continues to grow and the data shows the success to our customers brought about by this relationship.
DBHDS, Office of Substance Abuse, provides DARS with fiscal and personnel resources to support the co-location of vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors in the Community Services Boards (CSBs) since 1988. The resources that are being contributed by DBHDS allow DARS to have dedicated specialty counselors to provide VR services to individuals that experience substance abuse disabilities that also receive treatment services through the CSBs service system. The program expanded in the middle of SFY 2000 from three counselors to twenty-one counselors serving 18 of the forty CSBs. In addition, DARS provides services to individuals with serious mental illness, most of whom are also served by CSBs. In addition, DARS staff serve on the statewide Mental Health Planning Council, the Councils’ Adult Services Committee, and work closely with DBHDS on various work groups and initiatives that focus on recovery and the integration of work into the mental health service system. Consultants from both the Office of Substance Abuse and the Office of Mental Health collaborate with DARS in conducting monitoring visits at the dedicated specialty staff sites, provide in-service training opportunities, and regularly share information to promote a common understanding of the strategies and practices to serve individuals with substance abuse and/or serious mental illness.
Since 1998, the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) and DARS have worked together under either a Memorandum of Understanding or more recently grants detailing how offices around the state will accept referrals and serve TANF recipients who have disabilities. These recent grants from DSS have allowed DARS the opportunity to expand current successful programming by providing targeted case service funds which enhances the ability of DARS counselors statewide to assist eligible TANF recipients with disabilities overcome the functional limitations created by disability through the vocational rehabilitation service model. The grants also afford DARS mechanisms which build capacity by enhancing and expanding opportunities to serve increased numbers by placing dedicated VR counselors in four areas of the state with large TANF populations and providing dedicated diagnostic services through WWRC and the Eastern Region. Overseeing the implementation of the grants is a TANF Coordinator who serves as a liaison between agency Field Offices, local DSS offices, and partner agencies to develop a seamless system for service delivery for TANF recipients with disabilities.
DARS also has a collaborative relationship with the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to provide funding for interpreter services for consumers accessing services at the Centers for Independent Living. DARS also collaborates with local community colleges in the provision of interpreter services designed to enhance access of VR consumers who are deaf to college resources and services.
In 2007, the agency entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services that will have the two agencies work together to mutually enhance their services to Virginians with disabilities.
The Commonwealth of Virginia (Section 2.2-1117 of the Code of Virginia) has a state use contracting program for services, articles and commodities performed or produced by persons, or in schools or workshops, under the supervision of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. In addition, Section 2.2-1118 of the Code allows for the purchase of items or services from Employment Service Organizations without competitive procurement with certain requirements.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 9:51AM by Elizabeth Smith
- 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.
DARS and the Department of Education (DOE) have a formal agreement to provide cooperation and coordination among DARS and DOE to facilitate effective transition services for students with disabilities and to engage in gainful employment, post-secondary education, and community living. The cooperative agreement contains the following provisions:
-DOE is designated as the lead agency to ensure that students with disabilities are properly referred to DARS and DARS will serve as the lead agency to determine eligibility for VR services and to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment. Both agencies agree: to promote the development and expansion of collaborative structures for planning and evaluating transition services; identify procedures for sharing student information within the local cooperative agreements; share relevant data; share contact information on school divisions’ special education directors and 504 coordinators; explore new opportunities for collaboration and seek additional resources to improve transition services. Each agency will assign or designate primary program responsibility for transition to one individual within the agency. -The agencies will promote a comprehensive personnel development approach through the provision of collaboratively planned and jointly sponsored training opportunities. DOE has the responsibility for ensuring the requirements for the provision of special education services by Local Education Agencies (LEA) to students with disabilities in accordance with federal and state laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines. -DOE shall commit financial resources to: (1) teaching positions for Occupational Skills Training and Life Skills at WWRC; (2) training and technical assistance in secondary transition programming; (3) activities of the Community of Practice and Transition Practitioners Council; and (4) the annual Virginia Transition Forum. -DARS is responsible for the coordination, provision, and/or payment of rehabilitative/transition goods and services for individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines. -DARS also commits financial resources to: (1) transition services for youth at least three years prior to their exit from high school to include: vocational evaluation, case management, career counseling, situational assessments, field transition consultant services, and technical assistance, as appropriate; (2) the Post Secondary Education Rehabilitation and Transition Program at WWRC; (3) activities of the Community of Practice and Transition Practitioners’ Council; and (4) the Virginia Transition Forum.
DARS also has formal cooperative agreements in place with each of the LEAs in Virginia to provide cooperation and coordination among the local school division and any specified adult service agencies to facilitate effective transition services for students with disabilities and to engage in gainful employment, post-secondary education and community living. The coordination effort includes the identification of agency services provided by all participating parties and the development of practices to avoid duplication of transition services and strengthen the provision of a continuum of transition services. The cooperative agreements contain the following provisions:
-The LEA serves as the lead agency to insure that students with disabilities are properly referred to the local DARS office. The local office serves as the lead agency to determine eligibility for services and to develop and individualized plan for employment. -Standards of eligibility for the LEA and DARS, and the requirement that following eligibility, DARS will develop an individualized plan for employment that is coordinated with the student’s IEP goals and objectives, or the student’s 504 plan prior to the student’s completion of high school. DARS’ financial participation policy determines the level of financial support, if any, that DARS will provide under an individualized plan for employment. -Planned activities to include collaboration in providing vocational evaluation and transition planning services at WWRC thru PERT; transportation by LEAs for students to participate in PERT; and collaboration in the establishment, operation and maintenance of a local intercommunity transition council. -The school division is responsible for implementing regulatory requirements for the provision of educational services to students with disabilities in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines. LEAs are responsible for coordinating transportation to and from WWRC for transition assessments. DARS is responsible for the coordination, provision, and/or payment of rehabilitative/transition goods and services for eligible individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws, regulations, agency policies and guidelines.
As a separate section of the cooperative agreement, each LEA and DARS specify planned activities, resources needed to implement them, planned results and how the outcomes will be measured. This allows for more effective planning at the local level on outreach and other collaborative activities.
DARS also continues to provide leadership in transition in collaboration with the DOE, and other state and local agencies, organizations and individuals. Specific activities related to outreach to address needs of students in transition include:
-Continuing to provide staff support and programmatic leadership to Virginia’s Intercommunity Transition Council (VITC), a statewide council composed of representatives of state agencies, parents, consumers and employers, and seeking to promote, in collaboration with VITC, participation of underrepresented agencies, service providers, and community/ advocacy groups in VITC. -Continuing to provide staff support and programmatic leadership to the Higher Education Leadership Partners Workgroup (composed of college and university faculty and staff, the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), the Association of Higher Education and Disability, consumers and disability agency personnel, secondary education personnel and representatives from DOE). Also, in collaboration with VITC, DOE, the State Council of Higher Education, the Association of Higher Education and Disability and other partners, developing statewide guidelines for Disability Documentation at the post-secondary level, as well as improvement of transition from secondary to post-secondary institutions. -Continuing to promote collaboration among DOE, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Virginia Assistive Technology System, the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, and other interested partners to increase the appropriate utilization of assistive technology for students with disabilities in Virginia. -Aligning all current and future transition activities, when appropriate, with the WIA system. -Continuing to collaborate with Adult Education and Literacy programs, DOE, the Department of Social Services and other partners in pursuing creative models of providing assessment and screening for learning disabilities among clients of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. -Continuing to coordinate Virginia’s annual Transition Forum, a statewide training conference that is planned and sponsored in collaboration with DOE and related professional associations, and promoting and implementing regional school counselor meetings. -Producing transition-related products (e.g., newsletters, brochures, power point presentations, and posters) with examples of current legislative information, best practices and problem solving. -Collaborating with staff of the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Program at DARS to increase awareness of PAS services for students in transition, especially in postsecondary institutions. -Collaborating with employment services organizations staff to increase awareness of local vendor programs that could provide services to schools and transition age youth. -Collaborating with DOE to utilize VITC, the Transition Forum and other venues to increase awareness and understanding of the Youth Councils that will be part of the local Workforce Investment Boards established under the WIA system. Encouraging disability professionals, consumers and advocacy groups to submit applications for appointment to the local Youth Councils. -Continuing to provide the Youth in Transition service line to supplement and enhance services to high school youth enrolled at WWRC. -Continuing the two-year training institute at WWRC that offers workshops designed to enhance staff skills in providing services to students with disabilities and youth in transition.
DARS’ policies require that for students with disabilities who i) are receiving special education services from a public school, and ii) also are determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services (and able to be served if DARS is on an order of selection), the Individualized Plan for Employment shall be completed and signed before the student leaves the school setting.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 10:00AM by Elizabeth Smith
Describe the manner in which the designated state agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers.
Private non-profit VR service providers apply to become DARS service providers. Applicants’ qualifications are evaluated based on services to be offered and criteria in the standard vendor agreement. DARS and each qualified Employment Service Organization (ESO) establish a written vendor agreement. This agreement provides assurances to DARS that each organization complies with federal and state requirements for a community rehabilitation program. By clearly defining roles, expectations, and evaluation criteria, it protects the agency, the service provider, and customers.
Other mechanisms to cooperate with private non-profit VR services providers include:
•Receiving and utilizing stakeholder input from the Employment Services Organizations (ESO) Steering Committee that provides the DARS Commissioner counsel on funding and policy issues related to community rehabilitation programs and the allocation of LTESS state funds. •Fostering close working relations between agency staff and ESOs.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 10:05AM by Elizabeth Smith
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.
Private non-profit VR service providers apply to become DARS service providers. Applicants’ qualifications are evaluated based on services to be offered and criteria in the standard vendor agreement. DARS and each qualified Employment Service Organization (ESO) establish a written vendor agreement. This agreement provides assurances to DARS that each organization complies with federal and state requirements for a community rehabilitation program. By clearly defining roles, expectations, and evaluation criteria, it protects the agency, the service provider, and customers.
Other mechanisms to cooperate with private non-profit VR services providers include: • Receiving and utilizing stakeholder input from the Employment Services Organizations (ESO) Steering Committee that provides the DARS Commissioner counsel on funding and policy issues related to community rehabilitation programs and allocation of LTESS state funds. • Fostering close working relations between agency staff and ESOs.
DARS continues to provide additional state funds to ESOs to increase the availability of extended services and reduce barriers to offering integrated, community-based employment options for persons with most severe disabilities after the DRS time limited services are completed. A total of $4,809,292 in extended services will be available through the Virginia Legislature to Employment Services Organizations through DARS under the Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) program in FY 2013.
Conducting regional meetings designed to directly enhance the quality of supported employment services to consumers with the most significant disabilities. These sessions address increasing supported employment options and consumer choice for meeting physical, behavioral, medical, and overall rehabilitation needs; and accessing and expanding placement resources.
Continuing to provide technical assistance in the maintenance of ESOs meeting CARF, the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission standards. DRS establishes and maintains written minimum standards for the ESOs used by the agency in providing VR services. The 1999 decision by DARS to require CARF standards in Virginia, include requirements regarding accessibility, physical plants, equipment, and health and safety for ESOs. In addition, the standards cover specific service delivery expectations for each approved program of service, general organizational standards, wages, hours, and working conditions. The decision to seek national standards also emphasizes integrated community employment and quality program outcomes.
Ensuring consistently high quality services for individuals with most significant disabilities by encouraging and facilitating the use of the agency’s Virginia Guide to Supported Employment and Job Coach Training.
DARS, working closely with the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports and Job Retention, identified the need for training job coaches in basics responsibilities that would be reasonable in terms of time away from the job. VCU responded with the following: ?Supported Employment Web-based Certificate Series (ACRE-certified) ?Supported Competitive Employment for Individuals with Mental Illness (ACRE-certified) ?Customized Employment
Promoting an active network of inter-agency and inter-organizational professionals working with mutual supported employment consumers, with an emphasis on increasing linkages with rehabilitation engineering and technology experts and enhancing current linkages with employers, consumers, the education community and family members.
Implementing an ESO Report Card to provide information to VR counselors and their consumers on the performance of each ESO to inform decisions regarding service provision.
Continuing to obtain stakeholder insights and assistance through the ESO Steering Committee. The Committee represents a cross-section of stakeholders and meets quarterly to: (1)Provide ideas and recommendations regarding program changes and procedures. (2)Identify and address special regional needs, unique needs of rural, suburban and urban communities, and needs of different populations of individuals with disabilities. (3)Provide information to the department and help develop priorities and initiatives.
Maximizing employment opportunities under the federal Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act, especially for individuals with most significant disabilities. JWOD contracts provide a wide variety of quality employment options to many Virginians employed by ESOs. Other activities in this arena include: (1) Sharing information about employment opportunities to increase client placements. (2)Collaborating with (NISH) staff to help ESOs secure federal services and commodities contracts through meetings and conferences.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 10:58AM by Elizabeth Smith
Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development
To determine agency personnel needs, the Department will assess: •The number and types of personnel providing VR services to agency customers in relation to the number of customers served; •The number and type of personnel currently needed by the agency to provide VR services; and •Projections of the number and type of personnel who will be needed by the agency to provide VR services in Virginia in five years based on projections of the number of customers to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and assessment of the job functions of personnel.
The chart below shows the number of personnel who were employed by the Department in the provision of VR services in relation to the number of individuals to be served. The personnel are as of March 31, 2012 in relation to the anticipated number of individuals to be served during FFY 2013.
|Row||Job Title||Total positions||Current vacancies||Projected vacancies over the next 5 years|
|6||Other Service Staff||30||1||0|
Every year, the Department collects information from state institutions of higher education on the number of students enrolled in vocational rehabilitation programs and the number of students graduating with vocational rehabilitation certification or licensure. This information helps the Department anticipate and plan for short- and long-term personnel shortages.
|Row||Institutions||Students enrolled||Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates from the previous year|
|1||Virginia Commonwealth University||139||55||21||51|
The Department cooperates with Virginia colleges and universities and higher education institutions in other states to place student interns in VR counselor, vocational evaluator, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, nursing and other appropriate professional positions. Paid internships are provided to graduate students when possible, along with unpaid practicum and internship placements. In 2011, twenty-three practicum experiences/internships were initiated, with twenty-one concluding during that same year. Of the twenty-one who completed their internships, 5 new graduates secured full-time VR counselor positions with the Department. Four graduates maintained their jobs with the Department and were promoted from Trainee to Counselor. Internship requests continue to come in on a regular basis from colleges including Norfolk State University, George Washington University, University of Maryland, West Virginia University and Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, occasional requests for internship opportunities are received from colleges outside of Virginia, including Western Oregon State, Auburn State University, and Pennsylvania State University. The Department is committed to continuing formal and informal internship programs as a workforce planning tool in an effort to attract and retain qualified professionals. This year, efforts were made to expand upon the Internship Program and to encourage field offices to fully utilize the program as a recruitment tool.
The Department continues to work closely with the Virginia Commonwealth University Internship Coordinator to coordinate placements within the public VR system wherever possible. Department staff visited West Virginia University in March, 2012 to participate in a student intern seminar/career fair to recruit rehabilitation counseling graduate students to Virginia. Department staff also presented at the National Conference for Rehabilitation Educators and conducted a session on State VR Internships. The session was highly attended by current Rehabilitation Counseling students anticipating internship needs in the coming year. A number of referrals were received as an outcome of this conference session.
In 2010, VCU received a new RSA Distance Learning Training Grant to provide RSA traineeships to highly skilled sign language users who wish to become rehabilitation counselors working for state VR agencies specializing in work with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind. The Department’s State Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services continues working with VCU to develop this program and currently serves on the advisory committee.
The Comprehensive Personnel Plan and agency recruitment and selection policies assure that all newly recruited staff meet minimum state requirements. Information from the personnel study also is used to refine job classifications, job descriptions, and performance standards. The management of the DARS Division of Rehabilitative Services will annually review newly refined performance standards to determine if they continue to meet requirements and needs, and will recommend revisions as appropriate.
The personnel standard that is used to comply with the qualified personnel requirement of the Rehabilitation Act is the educational requirements of the national CRCC or the actual CRC or CVE certifications. Currently, all VR counselors and vocational evaluators meet the requirement. At this time, no funding is committed to support CSPD coursework. However, funding continues to be available to support the CRC application and examination for those staff who choose to pursue this credential.
Human Resources screening procedures for vacant VR counselor positions allow only applicants with a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation, CRC/CVE certified, or otherwise eligible for CRC examination, to be screened in for an interview.
DARS has an exceptional process for assessing the developmental needs of its personnel. Every three years, DARS administers a personnel development needs survey, which is updated annually. The survey allows staff to provide important input into the development of training programs that will enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities. Results of the survey also are utilized to modify current training programs to ensure that they are relevant to the needs of staff.
Through the Rehabilitation Services Administration In-Service Training Grant, DARS continues to provide a comprehensive in-service training program for VR staff. The training programs contained in DARS’ grant application were identified from the needs survey, information from the VR consumer satisfaction survey, and discussions with agency management and the State Rehabilitation Council. DARS will utilize the In-Service Training Grant funds for the following training activities: counseling and negotiation skills, leadership development, assistive technology, caseload management, job development and placement, transition services for youth with disabilities, and training in serving hard-to-serve or specialized disability populations, to include Autism Spectrum Disorder, serious mental illness and individuals receiving public support through Social Services, individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing, diversity and serving an aging population.
In addition, all newly hired VR counselors are required to participate in New Counselor Skills Training, which teaches them the VR process, from referral to case closure, and the availability of other services and supports to support consumers in their rehabilitation plans. During the new counselors first few years on the job, they also are required to participate in individual training modules on caseload management, documentation, a tour and orientation to the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, assistive technology and job development/job placement.
Through participation in the Transition Forum and the Collaborations Conference, both of which are supported by DARS, VR staff will have the opportunity to receive significant knowledge about the latest research and trends in VR. DARS has a strong collaborative relationship with the Virginia Commonwealth University CRP, Rehabilitation Counseling Department, and the George Washington University TACE Program affording our staff training on current rehabilitation trends and topics. Experts in the rehabilitation and disability fields are utilized to provide training activities so that VR staff are exposed to recent research and best practices in rehabilitation.
Training opportunities through professional associations including Virginia Rehabilitation Association and Virginia Rehabilitation Counselor Association, and Virginia ACCSES (CRP professional association) are also open to VR staff with support through In-Service Training Grant funds.
DARS continues to address the communication needs of customers by having counselors who specialize in caseloads serving individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing and has other employees who can communicate in sign language. There are ten “dedicated” Regional Counselors for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing across the State. In addition, sign language and foreign language interpreters and translators are contracted as needed for employees and consumers in need of these services and counselors use other resources, including assistive technology, to communicate with consumers with special needs. All VR forms used by the public have been translated into Spanish and posted on the Internet for public use.
There are videophones located in each office of the Regional Counselors for the Deaf, State Coordinator for the Deaf, and in the Special Population Services Unit at WWRC. This allows staff and consumers to access Video Relay Services and for consumers to call in “point to point” to discuss their services with counselors.
Currently, the agency is in the process of expanding this technology for our offices, as well as the Workforce Development Centers. As technology evolves, work continue with community partners (Workforce Development Centers, Community Services Boards, the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired and Local Deaf Service Centers) to pilot software to enhance telecommunications and accommodation needs of staff via text and video services. DARS works with community partners (Workforce Development Centers, Community Services Boards, the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Local Deaf Service Centers) to pilot software to enhance telecommunications and accommodation needs of staff via text and video services.
The Department continues to develop and implement plans to enhance outreach and services to individuals with disabilities from different ethnic backgrounds, including those with Limited English Proficiency. The DARS Cultural Diversity Team develops and implements staff training and outreach plans to address the unique service needs of this population, particularly as it relates to interpreting and translation services. In addition, DARS has a Spanish speaking Counselor in Northern Virginia who has a caseload predominantly of Spanish speaking consumers.
The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) is the state agency responsible for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. DARS and DOE currently collaborate on many in-service and pre-service training activities, including annual joint training forums for educational and rehabilitation professionals. DARS will continue to collaborate with DOE on respective policies, eligibility criteria, information requirements, agency programs and services, the coordination of transition services, and the development of cooperative agreements, working relationships, and best practices in the provisions of services to students with disabilities.
One of the most important collaborative activities between DARS, DOE, and other state agencies and organizations is the Virginia Transition Forum. This annual conference, which will be in its 28th year in 2013, brings together VR counselors, school personnel, consumers, family members and community partners to discuss issues related to transitioning students and promote best practices in working with these individuals. The DRS Services Support unit provides staff to co-chair the Forum Planning Committee and provides funding support. Other agency staff serve on the various Forum committees to ensure relevant programs for VR counselors who work with transition aged consumers and networking opportunities. The 2012 Conference was held in Roanoke. The theme “Technology for Transition: Making the Connection”, inspired session content for integrating new technologies into the academic curriculum, as well as preparation for postsecondary education training and employment. This year, time was built into the schedule for Forum participants to visit the Assistive Technology (AT) Fair, an AT buffet of knowledge sponsored by the Virginia Assistive Technology System. Attendees tried out the latest in AT devices and engaged with exhibitors to learn about their latest products. Over 800 people attended the Forum; youth and families were prominently represented. Twenty-five youth leaders from DOE’s “I’m Determined” Project provided a presentation at the Forum luncheon. A successful two-part preconference session entitled “Work Incentives and SSI/SSDI: Making It All Work to Go to Work!” was held as a part of the Forum. Over 50 participants attended this event including: •Parents/guardians of transitioning students who may receive SSI/SSDI and want to work •Project SEARCH participants who may receive SSI/SSDI, family members, and staff •Agency professionals working with SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who want to work •Education professionals specializing in school-to-work transition The sessions involved a discussion of the concerns relating to loss of benefits, common myths, and ways we can better communicate the variety of work incentives available to youth receiving SSI/SSDI benefits.
DARS continues to be a stakeholder in the review of data that DOE collects to report to the Office on Special Education Programs (OSEP) to support and accomplish respective post school and employment outcomes required by the federal government and to provide meaningful data collection by each agency. DARS and DOE have joined to replicate several Project SEARCH sites. Ten sites are active, with one to be developed in Alexandria. Numerous school divisions and DRS offices have expressed interest in developing similar work experiences and employment programs.
Additional DARS and DOE collaborative activities include co-chairing the Virginia Interagency Transition Council (VITC) and the regional Virginia Transition Practitioners Councils (TPC). TPC provides a forum for transition practitioners and other interested stakeholders from school divisions, adult agencies, and community partners to engage in professional development activities, networking opportunities, and collaborative efforts that enhance the implementation of quality transition services for secondary school students with disabilities. The VITC is comprised of representatives from 14 state agencies who have leadership roles and transition as part of their responsibility in serving youth with disabilities. The Council works to stay abreast of current transition information, to identify gaps in resources, and avoid duplication of transition services. VITC has set a priority to improve communication between the state, regional, and local transition councils. It is anticipated that information will be shared with and by VITC through the regional and local Councils. This newly structured flow of communication will allow for improve response to identified needs, as well as recommendations for future efforts.
The DRS Support Team works with the Higher Education Leadership Partners (HELP) to develop products to enhance the services provided to students with disabilities at colleges and universities. HELP is looking at bringing K-12 representatives, Disability Support Counselors and VR counselors together to share information to assist with documentation needs and to look at the functional limitations and strengths of students moving to higher education. This focus will decrease the exponential cost of documentation and provide solid information to assist in retention for students with disabilities.
The DRS Support Team now utilizes an interactive webinar series to provide a new method for streamlining processes and improving communication to/from VR counselors who serve transition-age youth. The webinar series offers a timesaving alternative to the standard face-to-face training approach while simultaneously saving agency resources. Webinar topics are developed based on counselor input, leadership recommendations, and developing issues. Similar technology also is being used to craft more detailed Cooperative Agreements between school divisions and DRS. Use of the GoTo Meeting platform now enables teams to meet online and collaboratively draft their document. This new process encourages easier, more inclusive participation by local team members. Use of the new Cooperative Agreement template guides discussion through specific points of the transition process and encourages VR Counselors and school partners to more clearly establish partner roles and responsibilities. It is anticipated that this new approach will help local teams build stronger relationships and more effectively serve the increasing numbers of students seeking transition services.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 10:58AM by Elizabeth Smith
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 Department conducted a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities. To fulfill this task, the Rehabilitation Services Administration Model CSNA Guide was utilized for guidance. The Department and the State Rehabilitation Council partnered in conducting the CSNA through the use of a CSNA Steering Committee. In addition, the Department and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) initially collaborated to share information on CSNA design. For the collaboration to occur, the Department needed to conduct its CSNA over a two-year period of time, as DBVI already had completed Year One of their CSNA. In this way, the two VR agencies will be fully in-synch for the next three year CSNA process.
The CSNA is both a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities. Specifically, the Department and the SRC focused on determining the needs of (1) individuals with most significant disabilities, including their needs for supported employment services; (2) individuals who are minorities, including individuals who been unserved or underserved; and (3) individuals who are served through other components of Virginia’s statewide workforce development system. The Department also assessed the need to establish, develop, or improve Employment Service Organizations (also known as community rehabilitation programs) that potentially serve individuals with disabilities.
CSNA Work Plan
A two-year work plan was developed which contained discrete assessment activities including: (1) formation of a CSNA Steering Committee, composed of Department staff and members of the SRC, to assist in developing, implementing, and analyzing the CSNA and making recommendations; (2) development of data and information collection strategies; and (3) determination of CSNA timeframes.
Year One- 2011
The 2011 activities included a comprehensive review of external data that was gathered from national and state sources. Sources of national-level disability statistics included the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Other sources of state-level data included the needs assessments conducted and published by the Disability Services Boards in Virginia and the needs assessment report issued by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.
Also during Year One, surveys of Department employees, employees from the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, and stakeholders/advocacy groups were conducted to assess their perspective on unserved and underserved populations and geographic regions, barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities, and VR service provision. Stakeholder groups included, but were not limited to, Community Services Boards, Employment Service Organizations, Centers for Independent Living, representatives from Virginia’s workforce system, the SRC, and representatives of unserved and underserved populations.
DRS also held four public hearings throughout the year to receive stakeholder and consumer input; one of these public hearings was held at the 2011 Transition Forum in collaboration with DBVI.
Summary of Year One Review
American Community Survey Results
Information from the ACS shows that out of a population of 4.8 million it is estimated that 440,575 Virginians or 9% have at least one disabling condition identified. The disability rate for males was only slightly higher at 9.16% versus 8.89% for females. The majority or 70% are of the white race. African Americans or Blacks at 23.6%, and Asian at 2.26%. A small percentage (2.38%) identify with two or more races. Only .6% identify as American Indian or Alaskan native. In addition to race, 3.69% are of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
Among disability groups, those with hearing difficulties comprise 1.8% of the state’s total population between the ages of 18-64 and 20.23% of those with disabilities in this same age group. Persons with visual difficulties make up 1.4% of the population and 15.21 % of those with disabilities. Those with cognitive difficulties comprise 3.6% of the state’s overall population and 39.35% of those with disabilities. Persons with ambulatory difficulties comprise 4.7% of the total population and 51.74% of Virginians with disabilities. Those with difficulties in independent living comprise 2.9% of the population and a little over 32% of those with disabilities. 17.27% have a self-care difficulty. These percentages add up to more than 100% because 43.04% report having two or more disabilities and are counted in multiple groups.
The 2009 employment rate for all disabled persons 18 to 64 years of age in Virginia was 38.26% compared to the 76.7% of people without disabilities. The employment gap, which is the difference between the employment rate of persons without disabilities and those with disabilities, decreased by 5% from 2008 to 2009. Twenty-three percent of all persons with disabilities are employed full time year round compared to 55.7% of persons without disabilities, making the full time employment gap 32.6%. Within the disability groups identified by the ACS, 55.7% of those with hearing disabilities, 43.3% with vision disabilities, 27.2% with cognitive disabilities, 28.3% with ambulatory disabilities, 18.7% with self-care disabilities, and 17.9% with independent living disabilities are employed.
Out of 440,575 Virginias with disabilities, 90,090 (20.4%) are estimated to have incomes below the poverty level. This is compared to 8.8% of Virginians without disabilities. Although the poverty gap from 2008 to 2009 has lessened by 2.8%, Virginia’s poverty gap ranks 43 compared to other states and the District of Columbia. . Among persons with disabilities whose income is below the poverty level, 20.42% have hearing difficulties, 20.48% have vision difficulties, 41.12% have cognitive difficulties, 63.02% have ambulatory difficulties, 22.73% have self-care difficulties, and 43.01% have independent living difficulties. These percentages of persons with disabilities who have income below the poverty level exceed 100% because some individuals have 2 or more disabilities and are counted in multiple groups.
The ACS also provided statistics on the earnings of individuals with and without disabilities. The earnings are defined as regularly received income from salaries, wages, and self-employment before any deductions are taken out. The age group used for this calculated statistic is 16 and over. The median earnings for persons with disabilities are $21,697 compared to $32,319 earned by persons without disabilities. This results in a difference of $10,622 in median income.
The ACS estimated that out of 716,578 civilian veterans, 135,563 (18.9%) have disabilities. Compared to the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, Virginia has the lowest estimated percentage of civilian veterans with disabilities.
It is estimated that 83.5% of Virginians with disabilities have health insurance compared to 84.1% of persons without disabilities. Among persons with disabilities who have health insurance, 53.9% have private insurance and 43.1% have health insurance from public sources. Some individuals have insurance from both public and private sources.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Results
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. More than 350,000 adults are interviewed each year, making the BRFSS the largest telephone health survey in the world. With regards to disability, the survey reports the number of adults (18 years of age or older) who are limited in any activities because of physical, mental or emotional problems. In 2009, the BRFSS reported 16.8% of Virginians had limited activity due to physical, mental or emotional problems. The percentage of Virginians with limited activity as reported by the BRFSS has been relatively consistent since 2001 at 17%, with a slight increase in 2008 to 19.3% and then a return to 16.8% in 2009.
In addition, the survey reported the number of Virginians who have health conditions that require special equipment. In 2009, seven percent of the respondents stated they had a health condition that required the use of special equipment. The number of Virginians requiring special equipment, according to this survey has increased significantly since 2001.
Adults with and without disabilities were compared on health status and health behaviors based on findings from the Virginia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (VABRFSS), an annual, statewide random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone adult health behavior survey. The most current health status data on a statewide basis is only available as of 2006. Approximately 5,500 adults participated in the survey each year. About 18% of the sample ( 1.1 million adults in Virginia in 2006) report having a disability (responding “Yes” to “Are you limited in any way in any activities because of physical, mental, or emotional problems?”). Key findings are listed below for Virginia •One-in-four (26.1%) adults with a disability use special equipment (e.g., wheelchair, walker). •Disability is equally prevalent among men and women, whites, blacks and Hispanics. •Disability is more common among older adults (29.7% of adults 65 and older) and military veterans (21.8%). •Adults with disabilities tend to have lower incomes and fewer years of education. 20.4% of adults with disabilities are unable to work (compared to 0.9% of adults with no disabilities). •Although adults with disabilities tend to have health insurance coverage and a usual source of care (i.e., primary care provider) at similar rates as adults with no disability, 20.5% report difficulty in accessing healthcare when needed due to cost (compared to 9.1% of adults with no disabilities). •38.5% adults with disabilities rate their health “fair” or “poor”. They report having more days in the past month when their physical health ( 10 days) and mental health (6.1 days) was not good or when their health prevented them from doing their usual activities (6.9 days). •16.9% of adults with disabilities experience current symptoms of major depression – 3-1/2 times the rate for adults with no disability (4.8%). •24.7% of adults with disabilities smoke cigarettes, 34.6% are obese, 34.9% are overweight, and 36.6% are not physically active. •Related to the above-mentioned risk factors, 62.6% of adults with disabilities have arthritis, 14.1% have diabetes, 16% have current asthma, 45.6% have high blood pressure, and 48.8% have high cholesterol. In addition, they are four times (14.4%) more likely to have had a previous cardiovascular event (i.e., heart attack, stroke). •47.9% of adults with disabilities have no dental health insurance, and 23.7% have not visited their dentist for routine teeth cleaning. As a consequence, 58.5% report permanent tooth loss. •Adults with disabilities, particularly young adults and women, were more likely to be victims of sexual (16.2%) and non-sexual violence (36.7%). •11.2% of adults with disabilities suffered a fall with injury in the past three months. •Adults with disabilities are more likely to get their flu and pneumonia vaccinations. They are less likely to consume alcohol. •With the exception of mammography, adults with disabilities are screened for preventable cancers at similar rates as adults with no disabilities.
Disability Services Boards (DSB) Needs Assessments
As provided for in the Code of Virginia, every city and county in Virginia, either singly or in combination with others, was required to have a local DSB. One of the purposes of the DSBs was to provide information on the service needs and priorities of individuals with physical and sensory disabilities that resided within their identified geographical areas. Therefore, each DSB was required to conduct its own needs assessment. Although discontinued funding of the DSBs by the 2009 Virginia General Assembly removed this needs assessment requirement, several DSBs elected to complete an assessment that had already been initiated. For the purposes of the CSNA, DRS reviewed the DSB Needs Assessment Reports from South Hampton Roads, Fauquier County, Jefferson Area, Middle Peninsula, Chesterfield County, and Arlington County. The needs varied by region, but include: housing, transportation, employment opportunities, medical/therapeutic services, independent living, assistive technology, and personal care assistance.
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Needs Assessment
The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities conducts a triennial assessment of services and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The services assessed are primarily funded, operated, licensed, regulated, or contracted by individual state agencies. For vocational rehabilitation, transition services to enter life after high school was a need often mentioned by students with disabilities and their families. The Report recommends that Virginia schools should begin to coordinate transition services with public and private agencies that provide services to students with disabilities. Public comments indicate dissatisfaction with the time the VR program enters the transition process as well as with the frequency and scope of the services that are provided. The Report recommends that the specific agencies involved with transition conduct a formal study to identify and remove barriers to transition services.
The assessment found that the employment services system for persons with disabilities is fragmented and complex. Different agencies, including DRS, DBVI, workforce centers, and schools provide employment services. These entities have different points of entry and different eligibility requirements. Many support services in addition to job placement, are required for persons with disabilities to enter and maintain employment and many services are often inadequate. Virginia tends to rely on facility based employment that is segregated, that does not provide a competitive wage, and that does not teach needed job skills. Compounding these issues is that DRS and DBVI have entered into an order of selection, which has resulted in many persons with disabilities being placed on a waiting list for employment services. It has been suggested that a study be conducted to determine if employment services can be restructured to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
Summary of Year 2
Another component of the CSNA was the Employee Survey. The survey was administered via SurveyMonkey to approximately 312 DRS counselors, field services administrative staff, Central Office Program Directors and select Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation staff. A total of 282 surveys were completed resulting in a response rate of 90%. The largest percentage of respondents were from the general caseload counselors (26%, n= 67), followed by office support personnel (19% n=50), and transition counselors (11%, n= 30).
All DRS regions were represented in the survey. The Blue Ridge Region had the highest number of respondents with 59, followed by Central and Northern with 51, Eastern with 42, and the Southwest with 41 responses Respondents responded to a question regarding the service(s) that contribute to successful employment outcomes for consumers. A total of 244 respondents considered guidance and counseling to be very significant to a successful outcome. Likewise, 234 respondents believed job placement services to be very significant, followed by 192 who considered job seeking skills as very significant. No service was considered insignificant in successful client outcome.
Respondents rated consumers’ barriers to success. Lack of job and transportation emerged as the number one “very significant” barrier to employment for consumers with a 77% agreement followed by: lack of consumers’ marketable skills (60%), consumers unrealistic goals (42%), family influence (34%), housing (32%), lack of networking opportunities with employers (32%), financial benefits or disincentives (28%), and lack of service providers or choice of service providers (19%).
The issue of underserved populations was addressed. Individuals with serious mental impairments ranked first as underserved with 56% of the respondents denoting this population. The respondents rated the following as also underserved: individuals with criminal backgrounds (46%), individuals with Limited English Proficiency (44%), veterans (38%), individuals with Autistic spectrum disorder( 34%), those with multiple disabilities/serious mental illness and brain injury (29%), physical limitations (18%), substance abuse (16%) and transition clients (15%).
Staff believed that Hispanics were the most underserved ethnic population with 67% of respondents replying to this option, followed by Asians (44%), American Indians (33%), and African Americans (19%).
On the issue of unserved populations, staff rated veterans (47%) the highest, followed by individuals with: Limited English Proficiency (46%), criminal background history (28%), Autism or autistic spectrum disorder (13%), those on public assistance (11%), multiple impairments (11%), physical disability (11%) and those with a serious mental illness (11%). Staff believed that Hispanics were the most unserved ethnic population with 57% of the respondents choosing this option. The other ethnic groups believed to be unserved were Asians (44%), Native Americans (40%) and African Americans (13%).
With regard to whether the Employment Services Organizations needed to enhance employment services, 59% of the staff responded “yes” with another 17% responding “no” and 25% answering “do not know”. Sixty three percent of staff believed that Employment Services Organizations needed to expand employment opportunities while 19% stated there was not a need for expansion and 18% did not know.
The stakeholder survey was made available from January 19, 2011 through March 2012 for a total of 204 days. A total of 361 responses were received. The exact response rate is difficult to determine as links to the survey were emailed from stakeholder to stakeholder. However, considerably more stakeholders responded to this survey as compared to our 2010 stakeholder survey that received a total of 95 responses.
The Community Services Boards represented the largest number of respondents (25%), followed by: Supported Employment Vendors-ESO’s (18%), providers of services to those receiving Temporary Aid to Needy Families (18%), Centers for Independent Living (12%) , providers of services to transition aged clients (11%), brain injury advocacy groups (6%), deaf and hard of hearing advocates (5.9%), Workforce Centers (5%) and advocacy groups for the mentally ill (3%).
Respondents rated consumers’ barriers to success. Transportation emerged as the number one “very significant” barrier to employment with a 71% agreement followed by: lack of jobs (65%), housing (46%), lack of marketable job skills (44%), financial or benefits disincentives (42%), inadequate training opportunities (41%), lack of networking opportunities (38%), lack of service providers (36%), lack of service provider choice (36%), family influence (26%), and consumers unrealistic goals (17%).
The issue of underserved populations was addressed in this survey. Individuals with serious mental impairments ranked first as underserved with 56% of the respondents denoting this population. The respondents rated the following as also underserved: individuals with criminal backgrounds (51%), individuals with multiple impairments (49%), transition clients (44%), individuals with intellectual disabilities (44%), individuals with learning disabilities (41%), autistic spectrum disorder individuals (41%), individuals with brain injury (40%), individuals with substance abuse disorders (37%), individuals with physical disabilities (30%), individuals with Limited English Proficiency (29%), individuals on public assistance (29%), veterans (28%), and individuals with sensory disabilities (24%).
Sixty six percent of the respondents believed Hispanics to be underserved followed by African Americans (60%), Asians (27%) and American Indians (24%).
Next looking at populations that were considered unserved. The respondents found individuals with criminal backgrounds (28%) as the largest group of unserved clients followed by: individuals with a serious mental illness (35%), individuals with autism spectrum disorder (35%), individuals with substance abuse issues (32%), transition clients (30%), individuals with multiple impairments (29%), individuals with intellectual disabilities (28%), individuals with limited English proficiency (28%), and veterans (27%).
Hispanics emerged as the most unserved population with regard to ethnicity with 58% of the respondent’s vote. The following groups were also determined to be unserved: African Americans (53%), Asians (27%), and American Indians (22%).
Questions regarding Employment Services Organization were included in the stakeholder survey. Eighty three percent of the respondents believed that there was a significant need to enhance the ESO’s. Five percent did not believe there was a need to enhance ESO’s and thirteen percent did not know.
VR Data Trends
Individuals with disabilities who are minorities were a special focus of this needs assessment. DRS data show the majority of clients determined eligible to receive services 2011 were Caucasian (56.6%) followed by Blacks (37.1%) and Hispanics (3.5%). However, other ethnic races are represented, with Asians (1.4%). There was not a large increase in any ethnic population from 2010 to 2011.
In looking at specific populations of VR consumers, there was significant growth in one certain population in 2011 as compared to 2010. Individuals with Autism increased by 16.6% from 1,329 served to 1,549 served. For all other populations chosen to be examined, there was a decrease in number served. This decrease, however, is most likely a result of having all Priority Categories closed under Order of Selection. The following lists the number of special population consumers for 2011:
•Limited English Proficiency: 983 •Autism: 1,549 •Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1,709 •Veterans: 851 •Substance Abuse: 4,275 •Serious Mental Illness: 1,253 •Traumatic Brain Injury: 1,266 •Criminal Background Histories: 2,202 •Students in Transition: 14,777
Results of CSNA Addressed in State Plan
In Attachment 4.11(c )(1), the Department has an entire Goal established for expanding outreach efforts to individuals who are unserved or underserved. Strategies to achieve this Goal are contained in Attachment 4.11(d). Based on the information from the CSNA, the Department has taken the following actions in its 2013 State Plan:
•Establish a performance indicator to increase the number of returning veterans receiving VR services with strategies incorporated to assist in reaching this target. •Establish a performance indicator to increase the number of VR consumers from different ethnic backgrounds with strategies incorporated to assist in reaching this target. •Establish a performance indicator and strategies to assist consumers with criminal backgrounds to achieve their employment goals. •Establish a performance indicator and strategies to develop our efforts to more effectively serve consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. •Utilize Innovation and Expansion Funds to support research to develop strategies to improve VR consumer outcomes for consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. • Reinstate the Department’s Cultural Diversity Team to provide guidance and direction on the development of outreach and training plans to enhance service provisions to those from different ethnic backgrounds and those with Limited English Proficiency. •To continue to support, in collaboration with the Departments for Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and Social Services, dedicated VR counselors to serve consumers with substance abuse and serious mental illness disabilities and those who are TANF recipients. •WWRC to continue to emphasize the availability of its services for veterans through the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 11:01AM by Elizabeth Smith
The American Community Survey estimates that in Calendar Year 2010, 10.9% of the 7.8 million Virginians age 16-64 were disabled. The rate of disability has remained relatively constant in Virginia from 2005-2010, averaging around 11% each year. In FFY 2013, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) expects to serve 20,000 or more Virginians with disabilities with case service funds provided under Part B of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and about 830 under Part B of Title VI of the Act.
DARS will continue in order of selection in FFY 2013. The following chart shows the estimated number of consumers to be served under each priority category and the service costs for each priority category. The estimated number to be served is all clients receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment.
|Category||Title I or Title VI||Estimated Funds||Estimated Number to be Served||Average Cost of Services|
|Most Significantly Disabled||Title VI||$502,833||830||$605|
|Most Significantly Disabled||Title I||$16,261,787||17899||$908|
|Significantly Disabled-2 Serious Limitations||Title I||$875,877||1455||$601|
|Significantly Disabled-1 Serious Limitation||Title I||$343,722||607||$566|
|Non-Significantly Disabled||Title I||$18,565||49||$378|
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 11:03AM by Elizabeth Smith
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 Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) 110 Program is comprised of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center (WWRC), a residential rehabilitation program located in Fishersville, VA. Operated and maintained by DARS (including its capital improvement plan), WWRC provides individualized services to VR consumers in Fishersville, geographic areas near Fishersville, and other areas of the State where the specialized services provided by WWRC are not available.
DARS and the State Rehabilitation Council jointly reviewed the following goals and priorities for the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program and agreed to some revisions from last year’s Attachment. The strategies to achieve these goals are found in Attachment 4.11(d).
Goal 1: Virginians with disabilities will achieve quality employment through consumer-focused, timely and effective VR services.
1.1 4,000 or more VR consumers will achieve a successful employment outcome. 1.2 56% or more VR consumers will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs. 1.3 The average hourly earnings of our consumers will equal or exceed $9.75. 1.4 95% or more of consumers who achieve successful employment upon completion of their VR programs will be competitively employed. 1.4 The VR consumer satisfaction rate will equal or exceed 82%. 1.5 Annually, there will be case audits totaling 100 caseloads with 10 cases per counselor audited. 1.6 In 95% or more of the cases, consumer eligibility will be determined within 60 calendar days of application. 1.7 In 85% or more of the cases (those in which consumers are not transition age), the Employment Plan will be developed within 90 days of eligibility.
Goal 2: VR, WWRC, and our service providers will be accountable for the achievement of employment by our consumers and the effective use of resources.
2.1 Annual number of VR consumers served will be 24,000 or greater. 2.2 Training and case review processes will be implemented to ensure that consumers are placed in integrated settings leading to a successful employment outcome. 2.3 Client average daily census at WWRC will be 300 or greater. 2.4 3,000 or more cases will be served annually at WWRC. 2.5 62% of VR consumers receiving services at WWRC will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs. 2.6 The Employment Services Organization (ESO) Report Card, which provides information on services provided by ESOs to VR consumers, will be implemented in collaboration with the ESOs.
Goal 3: Ensure that the VR Program continues to be a collaborative leader in the integration of services for people with disabilities in the Workforce Centers and the use of Social Security Work Incentives.
3.1 Complete 5 or more Workforce Center accessibility surveys annually, as requested. 3.2 150 or more VR consumers will obtain a Career Readiness Certificate. 3.3 Provide 9 Disability Resource Coordinators/Disability Program Navigators to increase access to programs and services for vocational rehabilitation consumers. 3.4 Implement 22 active Partnership Plus Employment Network agreements to support long term employment efforts by DRS clients who receive Social Security benefits. 3.5 Create and implement Milestone/Outcome agreements with DRS acting as an Employment Network with 3 partners in order to capture SSA Milestone/Outcome payments to enhance current funding streams. 3.6 Maintain the department’s presence in all of the State’s Comprehensive Workforce Centers. 3.7 Increase the number of authorizations for Work Incentive Specialist Advocate benefits counseling services from 175 to 400.
Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment.
4.1 Assistive Technology training will be provided to 24 staff using a combination of online modules, a daylong hands-on training at the state rehabilitation facility and a daylong hands-on training in community settings across the Commonwealth. 4.2 Assistive Technology training will be provided to 20 Employment Services Organizations across the Commonwealth focusing on use of AT to improve supported employment outcomes and services to consumers with most significant disabilities. 4.3 Each Assistive Technology Lab at WWRC and DRS will have a comparable compliment of assistive technology equipment to assure our ability to address the assessment and programmatic needs of clients.
Goal 5: Continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities.
5.1 1,100 students in transition will achieve a successful employment outcome. 5.2 56 % of students in transition will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs. 5.3 450 or more VR consumers will be served through the PERT Initial Evaluation Services. 5.4 250 or more VR consumers will be served through WWRC’s 9-week Life Skills Transition Program. 5.5 Expand work experiences for transition age youth still in school to improve their employment at graduation.
Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved.
Indicators: 6.1 Increase from 700 to 750 or more the number of returning veterans receiving VR services. 6.2 Increase from 1850 to 1950 or more the number of VR consumers from different ethnic backgrounds (Asian, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander). 6.3 Assist 20 or more consumers with criminal background histories with Fidelity Bonding to support them in the achievement of their employment goal. 6.4 Continue program development efforts to support enhanced employment outcome for consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) providing 35 clients in two regions and WWRC with access to customized ASD case services and supports. 6.5 Provide training to 20 Employment Service Organization job coaches and 60 agency staff (including WWRC) in the use and application of research-based intervention strategies that have been successful in improving employment outcomes for youth and adults with ASD.
Goal 7: Ensure that WWRC’s programs and services benefit VR consumers, resulting in increased referrals to WWRC. Indicators:
7.1 Utilize WWRC’s Annual Blueprint for Direction to identify and target WWRC resources to attain key operational goals that result in improved employment outcomes for VR consumers. 7.2 Utilize the annual report on WWRC customer satisfaction and Sponsor Satisfaction surveys for ongoing program and process improvements. 7.3 Utilize the WWRC Pegboard Committee as a formal operational team tomonitor and develop strategies to maximize census and service opportunities for VR consumers. 7.4 Expand the utilization of remote technologies to enhance VR service coordination and targeted direct services between WWRC and VR offices. Remote technologies may include, but are not limited to, delivery formats such as video-conferencing, webinars, and on-line training options.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 11:06AM by Elizabeth Smith
- 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
An order of selection is required under Section 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, if a vocational rehabilitation agency determines that it is unable to provide services to all eligible individuals who apply for services. Due to limited financial resources, the Department has been unable to provide services to all eligible individuals since 2004. With the receipt of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Department opened all Priority Categories in 2009. However, once the ARRA funds allocated for case services were expended, the Department needed to again close categories in FFY 2011. During the 2012 Session of the Virginia General Assembly, the Department was allocated approximately $6 million for its VR program for the biennium. These additional funds allowed the Department to once again open Priority Category 1 effective June 1, 2012. The Department’s order of selection ensures that eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities receive priority.
Description of Priority categories
The established order of selection priority categories are as follows:
Priority Category I: An individual with a most significant disability. Priority Category II: An individual with a significant disability that results in serious functional limitations in two functional capacities. Priority III: An individual with a significant disability that results in a serious functional limitation in one functional capacity. Priority IV: All other individuals determined eligible for the VR program.
Definitions and Terminology: An individual with a significant disability means an individual with a disability: •who has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or more functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; •whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time (6 months); and •who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disabilities, 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. An individual with a most significant disability is an individual with a significant disability that seriously limits three or more functional capacities.
Extended Period of Time: Needing services for a duration of six months or more. Multiple Services: Two or more services needed to achieve a successful rehabilitation.
Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order
Depending upon agency resources, the categories are closed for services in order beginning with Priority Category IV, then III, then II and, finally Priority Category I. This policy does not affect consumers who began to receive services under an Individualized Plan for Employment prior to the implementation date of order of selection, or those in need of post-employment services. After a consumer is found eligible for VR services, an order of selection determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make the eligibility determination may be provided. The VR counselor, in collaboration with the consumer, determines the consumer’s Priority Category by evaluating the consumer’s serious functional limitations, anticipated services needed and the duration of those services.
All consumers must be officially notified of their individual order of selection determination. Consumers in closed categories are provided with referral services to the One-Stop Centers or other appropriate sources, and are placed on a waiting list. After 12 months, consumers are contacted to determine if they wish to remain on the waiting list or have their case closed. If they do not notify their counselor that they wish to have their case closed, they remain on the list. Consumers in closed categories may request a review of their priority category assignment by submitting evidence that their disability has become more severe.
Service and outcome goals and the time within which the goals will be achieved
The following table provides information on the service and outcome goals for individuals in the four Priority Categories: Most Significantly Disabled (MSD); Significantly Disabled with two serious functional limitations (SD-2); Significantly Disabled with one serious functional limitation (SD-1); and all other Eligible Individuals (All Other).
|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|
This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2012 2:10PM by Elizabeth Smith
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.
1. Providing supported employment services to 830 or more eligible individuals with most significant disabilities with Title VI, Part B funds.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 defines supported employment as competitive work in integrated settings for individuals with severe disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred, or for individuals for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a severe disability, and who, because of their disability, need ongoing support services to perform such work In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011, 626 individuals with most significant disabilities received services through supported employment programs funded by Title VI, Part B. This represents a 158 person decrease from 2010. Of the 626, 506 were new cases. The Department projects to serve at least 830 individuals in FFY 2012 and the same in FFY 2013.
2. Continuing to improve the quality of supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities through training and technical assistance. The Department will continue its efforts to deliver quality supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities by:
a) Updating and revising the Supported Employment Guide as a training tool for VR counselors and Employment Service Organizations (ESO’s). b) Providing ongoing training and technical assistance to VR staff and ESOs on long term follow along options. d) Conducting, on a regular basis, reviews of cases in long term follow along to ensure that appropriate quality services are being provided along with effective and efficient use of funds. e) Developing an annual “report card” for each ESO in Virginia. The report card will be based on standardized outcomes for all vendors and will summarize the outcome measurements to be used as a tool to assist consumers making decisions regarding ESO selection.
3. Providing training to ESO staff and VR counselors and other staff. The Department will continue to strengthen the skills of supported employment professionals through training conducted by Department staff and regional provider forums. Training will be developed in part based on gaps and needs identified in the ESO report card, stakeholder feedback and program evaluations. Training will include an increased emphasis on community integration and raising average hourly wages of consumers.
4. Expanding services to areas across the Commonwealth that have limited choice of provider options. a)Identify areas of the Commonwealth where supported employment services are not readily accessible. b)Establish a system to assist existing ESOs to expand into areas of the Commonwealth that are underserved.
5. Assure a full range of choices are available in order to meet the vocational needs of consumers requiring supported employment services. Virginia uses all supported employment models, including the individual placement model, the enclave model, the entrepreneurial model and mobile work crews. Individual placement is the most widely used, and generally offers higher wage rates, better benefits and more flexibility in meeting the needs of customers and employers in an integrated work setting. The group models are important options that provide for the constant presence of the Employment Specialist at the job site to support customers who need intensive supervision in order to maintain employment.
6. Explore alternative funding mechanisms for long term follow along supports for consumers needing supported employment services, including Social Security Work Incentives.
This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2012 2:12PM by Elizabeth Smith
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.
Innovation and Expansion activities designed to expand and improve services include:
1. Promoting and supporting the use of agency work incentive services to increase the use of Social Security Administration work incentives by consumers, including students in transition.
2. Participating in a joint effort with four other state agencies to maintain and support WorkWORLD software and benefits counseling.
3. Developing a pilot program to identify ways to more effectively work with employers in the hiring of consumers with substance abuse and serious mental illness disabilities, particularly those who also have criminal background histories. This activity, as it relates to consumers with criminal background histories, is to be integrated with the Governor’s initiatives on prisoner reentry.
4. Providing resources, in collaboration with the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, to support the Federal Hiring Initiative, leading to more jobs for VR consumers with the Federal Government.
5. Providing a coordinated statewide effort, utilizing the Virginia Employment Commission as a resource, to support Business Development Managers to more effectively work with employers to determine their future hiring needs and promote the hiring of VR consumers to respond to these needs. With regards to students in transition, Innovation and Expansion funding will be used to:
1. Support 10 current and 1 new (Alexandria) Project SEARCH sites around the Commonwealth to provide internship opportunities for youth with most significant disabilities (including Autism) leading to successful employment opportunities.
2. Keep transition students engaged in their rehabilitation programs and moving towards successful employment through implementation of school-based transition internship programs.
3. Support participation and collaborative pilot research to develop strategies to improve VR outcomes for consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
4. Collaborate with Adult Education and Literacy, the Disability Program Navigator initiative, local Workforce Investment Boards and WWRC to use AZTEC software to enhance the career readiness certificate achievement for consumers.
Innovation and Expansion funds also support the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Statewide Independent Living Council. The SRC is a full and active partner in the enhancement of and the evaluation of the VR program.
Additional activities designed to expand and improve services are included with the strategies listed to obtain the Goals for the VR program.
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.
There is an entire Goal, with strategies, to address the assistive technology needs of our VR consumers on a statewide basis. The Goal and strategies are listed later in this Attachment.
The VR policies provide for the provision of assistive technology at all stages of the rehabilitation process. There are five rehabilitation engineers located in each region of the State. There also are rehabilitation fabricators located in three of the regions. Additionally, there are two Computer Accommodation Labs, one in Richmond that covers the Eastern and Central Regions and one at WWRC that covers the Southwest, Blue Ridge and Northern regions. In 2010, two more Computer Accommodation Labs were developed by hiring additional Assistive Technology professionals who have expertise in computer accommodations. This has allowed for improvement in access and acquisition of assistive technology statewide.
Through the VATS Northern Virginia and Eastern Region sites, the agency will provide training and technical assistance for VR staff and Employment Service Organizations to increase the use of AT in the supported employment process. This effort is being supported with Innovation and Expansion funds.
Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.
The majority of clients determined eligible to receive services are Caucasian. However, other ethnic races are represented. In FFY 2011, 56.6% of clients determined eligible were Caucasian, 37.1% Black, 3.5% Hispanic, and 1.4% Asian. As compared to FFY 2010, there was a decrease in the number of Hispanic and Black clients determined eligible in FFY 2011. It should be noted, however, that the total number of eligible clients declined due to Order of Selection and the need to close all Priority Categories.
The minority service rate ratio was 0.945, which substantially exceeded the RSA expectation of 0.80. and was the 7th highest of all of the General Agencies in the Nation.
To respond to the VR needs of people in Virginia of different ethnic backgrounds, who also may have Limited English Proficiency, the Department has a Cultural Diversity Team composed of agency employees across the Commonwealth to provide guidance and direction on the development of outreach and training plans to enhance service provision. This Team has provided training to VR staff on cultural competency and effective means for outreach to ethnic minorities. Innovation and Expansion funds will be used to support the efforts of the Cultural Diversity Team to provide outreach and enhanced service provision to consumers with different ethnic backgrounds.
The Department utilizes contractual services to provide language interpretation or translation services as needed for consumers and/or their family members. There also is a Spanish speaking VR counselor in Northern Virginia who has developed a caseload of Hispanic/Latino consumers. In addition, consumer VR forms and standardized letters have been translated into Spanish and the agency’s website contains translation software.
Besides the strategies listed under Goal 6 below, the Department has collaborative efforts in place with the Virginia Departments of Social Services and Behavioral Health and Development Services to provide services to consumers who are Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and consumers with substance abuse and serious mental illness.
In collaboration with the SRC, the Department will continue to look for ways to increase public knowledge of the VR program, particularly for students in transition and their families. It is hoped that these mechanisms will enhance our outreach activities to unserved and underserved individuals.
The Department will be working to identify non-traditional referral sources to increase the referrals of those unserved and underserved in the Commonwealth, to include individuals with disabilities of different ethnic backgrounds and those with Limited English Proficiency.
Individuals with criminal background have been identified as an underserved and underserved group in the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. Individuals with disabilities who have in the past committed a fraudulent or dishonest act, or who have demonstrated other past behaviors casting doubt upon their credibility or honesty, very often are rejected for employment due to their personal backgrounds. More specifically, employers view these applicants as being “at-risk” and potentially untrustworthy workers. Accordingly, the department is participating in a collaborative effort with the Department of Corrections to provide Federal Fidelity Bonding to support VR consumers in their employment. The Federal Fidelity Bonding program is insurance purchased to indemnify employers for loss of money or property sustained through the dishonest acts of their employees (i.e., theft, forgery, larceny, and embezzlement). This effort is at no cost to the department as the bonds are purchased by the Department of Corrections.
WWRC is continuing to emphasize the availability of its services for veterans through the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program in Blueprint IV and will pursue the following in the coming year:
•Participation in the Executive Strategy Committee of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program. The DARS Commissioner, WWRC Director and Veterans Administration representatives are included in the membership of the Committee. •WWRC is negotiating a pilot project to meet an unmet need through a partnership with the Department of Defense to provide vocational evaluations for current soldiers that are transitioning out of the military. •WWRC saw an increase in the number of veterans enrolling in WWRC over the past 6 months of SFY 2012.
If applicable, identify plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the state.
There are approximately 85 Community Rehabilitation Programs (known as Employment Service Programs or ESOs) in Virginia. Staff in the Division of Rehabilitative Service’s Support Team Office support and enhance the unique relationship between the VR program and our ESOs. The ESO Steering Committee provides advice to the Commissioner on service delivery, policy and funding. In addition, the Department is collaborating with the ESO Steering Committee to examine the effectiveness of supported employment services, particularly the impact of supported employment on post-VR employment outcomes. The Steering Committee also has been involved in the development of the ESO Report Card.
Describe strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators.
A. Keep Priority Category 1 under the Order of Selection Priority Categories open so that consumers with most significant disabilities may be served and become successfully employed.
B. Support Business Development initiatives to identify high wage/career track employment for our consumers and respond to Federal hiring initiatives.
C. Provide effective training for all staff, to include identification of integrated employment settings, counseling and negotiation skills, job development and placement, and training in serving hard-to-serve or specialized populations such as substance abuse, serious mental illness, and individuals with criminal backgrounds.
D. Ensure timely delivery of services including eligibility determinations and IPE development.
E. Tie labor market information to the Individualized Plan for Employment goals by providing VR counselors and their consumers with local labor market information to assist in the identification of jobs in the community to lead to successful jobs.
F. Implement the ESO Report Card to assist VR counselors and their consumers in the selection of an ESO provider.
Describe strategies for assisting other components of the statewide workforce investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
The Department is actively engaged at both the state and local level in the Workforce Investment System. A memorandum of understanding is in place with each Local Workforce Investment Board and the Department works closely with One-Stop Centers to assure access to people with disabilities. The VR program currently is co-located as a One-Stop partner in Charlottesville, Chesterfield County, Roanoke, Martinsville, Danville and South Boston.
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.
Goal 1: Virginians with disabilities will achieve quality employment through consumer-focused, timely and effective VR services.
A. Keep Priority Category 1 under the Order of Selection Priority Categories open so that consumers with most significant disabilities may be served.
B.Continue to retain and recruit highly qualified VR staff by: -hiring student interns as a means of recruiting qualified VR personnel to fill staff vacancies. - providing professional development programs that strengthen the knowledge, skills and abilities of our VR staff and prepare them to move into leadership positions. - developing the new role of the Unit Supervisors, which in FFY 2012 provided eight counselors with a promotion into a supervisory role, which in turn has provided greater supervisory support to the counselors.
C.Support Business Development initiatives to identify high wage/career track employment for our consumers and respond to Federal hiring initiatives.
D.Maintain a quality assurance and accountability system that includes ongoing case reviews addressing such issues as consistency with policy, timeliness, effective counseling and guidance, effective use of resources, and appropriate employment outcomes.
E.Provide effective training for all staff, to include identification of integrated employment settings, counseling and negotiation skills, job development and placement, and training in serving hard-to-serve or specialized populations such as substance abuse, serious mental illness, and individuals with criminal backgrounds.
F.Provide effective training for newly hired counselors to enhance their ability to provide appropriate VR services leading to enhanced employment outcomes.
G.Continue to have counselors who specialize in caseloads serving individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, TANF recipients, and individuals with substance abuse or serious mental illness in order to enhance the employment outcomes of these populations.
H.Utilize the improved data literacy of the managers and staff to: • enhance their effectiveness in managing their caseloads to better serve our consumers; and •improve financial and personnel resource allocation across the state.
I.Continue implementation of the “Cold Case” initiative to locate VR consumers who have ceased communication with their counselor to re-engage them in their VR program.
J.Analyze the results of the pilot program, known as Intensive Consumer Engagement (ICE), using non-counselor VR staff to better engage our clients with actions that will foster employment success to determine its effectiveness and continuation. ICE utilizes all VR staff to have one-on-one contact with VR consumers to improve their employment outcomes. Consumers who are more engaged in their own employment activities are expected to be more successful. Goal 2: DRS, WWRC, and our service providers will be accountable for the achievement of employment by our consumers and the effective use of resources.
A.Conserve administrative funds by: - expanding opportunities for “mobile workers” - effectively utilizing video teleconferencing to increase staff collaboration and reduce staff travel time and costs. B.Continue a collaborative relationship with the Employment Service Organizations (ESO) through the ESO Steering Committee.
C.Implement and utilize the results from the ESO “Report Card”, to assist consumers in making decisions regarding ESO selection.
D.Strengthen the skills of supported employment professionals through training and regional provider forums, with an increased emphasis on community integration and raising hourly wages.
E.Effectively utilize the resources provided by other state agencies to ensure the employment of individuals with substance abuse or are TANF recipients.
F.Utilize the expertise of agency consultants to determine appropriate consumer goods and services.
G.Effectively utilize monthly data from WWRC on consumer outcomes by vocational training area and other WWRC programs to assist consumers in better planning for their WWRC training experience to enhance their employment outcomes.
H.Revise vendor agreements with ESOs to promote improved communication and collaboration between job coaches and VR counselors to improve consumer services and outcomes. Goal 3: To ensure that the VR Program continues to be a collaborative leader in the integration of services for people with disabilities in the Workforce Centers and the use of Social Security Work Incentives.
A.Increase the use of the Work Incentive Specialist Advocates vendor program to provide Social Security work incentives for VR consumers through enhanced training and technical assistance.
B.Provide leadership to the Disability Employment Initiative.
C.Assist VR consumers in utilizing learning software to enable them to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.
D.Continue as a collaborative partner in the Virginia Workforce Centers.
E.Ensure that VR consumers, particularly transition age youth who are attending college and other post-secondary training programs, receive work incentives and benefits counseling. Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment.
A.Implement Didactic/Haptic AT training for agency staff to: 1) increase awareness and understanding of the range of AT devices and services; and 2) allow for the development of strong collaborative relationships with local interagency community Rehabilitation Technology Services providers and Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center. This training will be designed increase knowledge of AT devices and services that will support improved vocational outcomes for VR clients.
B.In collaboration with the Federal AT Act program in Virginia, increase the knowledge and vocational applications of AT devices and services for ESO staff that will improve the vocational outcomes for clients in supported employment that utilize ESO services.
C.Develop a mechanism to ensure that Rehabilitation Technology Services staff have current AT devices and training so they are better able to assist in the selection and application of an array of AT that support improved vocational outcomes.
D.In a collaboration with the Federal AT Act program in Virginia (Virginia Assistive Technology System) and a number of organizations that provide services to the aging population in Virginia, explore the opportunities to develop collaborative programming that will utilize a range of AT to support access to integrated vocational opportunities for the aging population that support improved vocational outcomes.
Goal 5: Continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities.
A.Establish one additional Project SEARCH site in Alexandria, taking the number of Project SEARCH sites to eleven total.
B.Enhance outreach efforts to school personnel and students and their families to educate them on the availability and purpose of transition and PERT services.
C.Utilize a teamwork approach to service provision that includes the involvement of the student, family members, school personnel and the VR counselor.
D.Develop and implement new services models to support transition-age youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders in preparing for and becoming successfully employed.
E.Ensure that there are cooperative agreements in place in every LEA so that students receive the services that they need in a “seamless” process.
F.Provide VR counselors with the technology and other resources that they need to work more effectively in the school environment.
G.Adjust caseloads in the regions and field offices to respond to documented growth trends in the numbers of students in transition.
H.Continue to offer Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation (PERT) Initial Evaluation Services through WWRC for eligible youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 22 years, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education.
I.Maximize the number of local school divisions across Virginia that participate in WWRC’s PERT Program. J.Continue to offer a 9-week Life Skills Transition Program at WWRC and target a growing population of young adults with disabilities between the ages of 18-22 years who require intensive pre-employment and independent living skills training in addition to VR to successfully attain employment goals.
K.Provide monthly webinars to counselors with transition cases on issues affecting transition age youth to help improve service delivery.
Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved.
A.Collaborate with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Behavioral Health and Development Services on VR services for returning veterans.
B.Support the Cultural Diversity Team in its efforts to provide effective outreach and services to individuals from different ethnic backgrounds and those with Limited English Proficiency.
C.Collaborate with other state agencies to focus on individuals who have left the secondary school system, are in mental health institutions, foster care or in the criminal justice system and could benefit from VR services.
D.Continue to promote the Fidelity Federal Bonding program to VR counselors and ESO partners as a means to enhance employment opportunities for consumers with criminal background histories.
E.Provide information and training to VR staff to help them more effectively serve underserved and unserved Virginians with disabilities.
F.Implement coordinated efforts to bring additional resources, including supported employment options and Project SEARCH sites, to Southwest Virginia, an area that traditionally has fewer resources and service providers, to assist consumers in the implementation of their Individualized Plan for Employment.
G.Expand training opportunities between VR staff and CILs to enhance the services to consumers served by both organizations, particularly the underserved and unserved populations.
Goal 7: Ensure that WWRC’s programs and services benefit VR consumers, resulting in increased referrals to WWRC.
A.WWRC will host quarterly WWRC/DRS Employment Forums to mutually identify and resolve issues impacting WWRC training programs and employment outcomes and to ensure that WWRC programs and services continuously meet identified employment needs of our VR consumers.
B.The WWRC Admissions Director will have lead responsibility for the marketing of WWRC programs and services to DRS Offices, with the goal of referral development, and the identification of any systems issues and trends that impact referrals.
C.Utilize video-conference technology capacity to enhance service coordination between WWRC and DRS for referral development and pre-admissions planning. D. Assess customer (VR counselor, VR consumer) satisfaction with services and programs and ensure that satisfaction information is shared with WWRC and DRS management and other stakeholders for quality improvement purposes.
All offices are fully accessible and the agency has been instrumental in ensuring the accessibility of the Commonwealth’s Workforce Centers. In addition, the ESO’s CARF accreditation requires ADA accessibility.
The agency will continue to utilize video teleconferencing capacity and service applications, including remote interpreting and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) technological applications, to enhance direct client services and administrative effectiveness, and to improve collaboration with community partners. This initiative also supports the development of technical assistance capacity and video interpreting and video relay services for the deaf and hard of hearing and video interpreting of services for English speakers of other languages.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 11:38AM by Elizabeth Smith
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment (SE) Goals
Goal 1: Virginians with disabilities will achieve quality employment through consumer-focused, timely and effective VR services.
1.1 4000 VR consumers will achieve a successful employment outcome.
There were 3,930 successful employment outcomes in FFY 2011, a 16% increase over FFY 2010. 1.2 58% or more VR consumers will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.
DRS achieved a 51.3% rehabilitation rate in FFY 2011.
1.3 The average hourly earnings of our consumers will equal or exceed $9.02.
In FFY 2011, DRS exceeded this target with an average hourly wage of $9.75.
1.4 90% of consumers who achieve successful employment upon completion of their VR programs will be competitively employed.
94% of the consumers achieved competitive employment in FFY 2011.
1.5 The VR consumer satisfaction rate will equal or exceed 82%.
DRS achieved an overall consumer satisfaction rate of 80% in FFY 2011.
1.6 Annually, there will be case audits totaling 100 caseloads with 10 cases per counselor audited.
In FFY 2011, 10 cases from 93 caseloads were audited. In addition, there were two Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) reviews. 1.7 In 80% or more of the cases, consumer eligibility will be determined within 60 calendar days of application. In FFY 2011, 86% of cases were determined eligible within the 60 day timeframe.
1.8 In 70% or more of the cases (those in which consumers are not of transition age), the Employment Plan will be developed within 90 days of eligibility.
In FFY 2011, 72.1% of Employment Plans were developed within 90 days of eligibility. Goal 2: FRS, WWRC, and our service providers will be accountable for the achievement of employment by our consumers and the effective use of resources.
2.1 Annual number of VR consumers served will be 24,000 or greater.
In FFY 2011, 28,617 consumers were served (based on eligibility).
2.2 50% of case service funds will be utilized for services provided by community partners, to include Employment Service Organizations and Centers for Independent Living.
In SFY 2011, 40.8% of case services funds were spent on supported employment services, 9.8% on job coach training services and 5.9% on situational assessment. These are services provided by the Employment Service Organizations as vendors of DRS. In addition, .05% were spent on services provided by Centers for Independent Living.
2.3 Client average daily census at WWRC will be 300 or greater.
The average daily census at WWRC was 319 for SFY 2011.
2.4 3,000 or more cases will be served annually at WWRC.
In SFY 2011, 3,125 clients were served at WWRC.
2.5 62% of VR consumers receiving services at WWRC will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days up completion of their programs.
In SFY 2011, 52% of WWRC consumers had successful employment outcomes.
2.6 Increased referrals of veterans with disabilities served through WWRC. During SFY 2011, 40 veterans with disabilities were referred for services at WWRC.
2.7 Develop an Employment Services Organization (ESO) Report Card, in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council and ESOs, by October 1, 2011 to provide information on individual ESO services to VR consumers.
Content for the ESO Report Card was completed in early 2012 and the Report Card is being formatted to begin implementation. Drafts of the Report Card have been shared with the State Rehabilitation Council and the ESOSC who offered helpful suggestions regarding the content. The final implementation occurred during the Summer, 2012. Goal 3: To ensure that the VR Program continues to be a collaborative leader in the integration of services for people with disabilities in the Workforce Centers and the use of Social Security Work Incentives.
3.1 Complete 10 Workforce Center accessibility surveys annually.
Ten workforce accessibility surveys were completed.
3.2 Sixty or more VR consumers will obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.
One of WWRC’s 2011 Blueprint for Direction organizational objectives was to increase VR client workplace literacy and readiness skills, resulting in attainment of the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), an industry-recognized credential endorsed by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Workforce Investment System Network.
In FFY 2011, 117 clients served at WWRC were tested using WorkKeys, with an overall pass rate of 90%. Of those who passed, 35% received the Bronze Level CRC (n=41), 55% received the Silver Level CRC (n=64), 10 % received the Gold Level CRC (n=11), and one person received the Platinum Level CRC).
For the aggregate period July 1, 2008 – September 30, 2011, 392 VR clients served at WWRC were tested using WorkKeys, with an overall pass rate of 82%. Of those who passed, 41% received the Bronze Level CRC (n=132), 44% received the Silver Level CRC (n=142), 15% received the Gold Level CRC (n=47), and one person received the Platinum Level CRC.
3.3 Provide 10 or more Disability Program Navigators to increase access to programs and services for VR consumers.
During FFY 2011, the Department of Labor closed out the Disability Program Navigator grant and initiated the Disability Employment Initiative grant. DRS provided 10 Disability Program Navigators through most of the FFY to 9 Workforce Investment Boards. Towards the end of this time period, the number of Navigators was reduced as the grants closed out. DRS was successful in obtaining the Disability Employment Initiative grant and continuing efforts for continuing collaborative programming with Workforce Investment Boards.
3.4 Enhance the use of Work Incentive Specialist Advocate (WISA) vendors which will result in 40 VR consumers utilizing work incentives to reach their employment goals.
Forty-one VR consumers used work incentives. Of these, 27 were closed to the agency and 83% closed with successful employment outcomes. 3.5 Implement ten active Partnership Plus Employment Network agreements to support long term employment efforts by DRS clients who receive Social Security benefits in FY 2011.
DRS entered into 10 Partnership Plus agreements during this time period.
3.6 Create and implement Milestone/Outcome agreements with DRS acting as an Employment Network with three partners in FY 2011 in order to capture SSA Milestone/Outcome payments to enhance current funding streams.
DRS entered into one Partner Agreement with DRS serving as an Employment Network and entered into discussions with two others. Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment.
4.1 State-of-the-art assistive technologies will be showcased at biannual AT Training held at WWRC for up to 60 agency staff and/or targeted agency stakeholders.
The Assistive Technology (AT) Training, originally scheduled for April and November, 2011, was cancelled due to staffing reductions and programmatic realignments in response to budget and fiscal realities. This presented an opportunity to revisit the intended purpose of this training, the targeted audiences, and to review alignment of the curriculum to agency and community needs. The goal is to continue to offer this dynamic, highly valuable training, but possibly in a different, more streamlined format, more closely aligned with current resources and staffing patterns. A small committee has been identified to move forward with the review of the training, determine "next steps", and identify new dates to initiate the revised AT Training beginning in 2012.
4.2 Annual hands-on training will be held for up to 60 agency staff and/or targeted agency stakeholders to enhance their knowledge and understanding of AT devices, equipment, and resources.
See above evaluation response. 4.3 Utilize the AWARE Service Authorization capability to track internal services for all employees that provide direct AT services to clients, including AT Assessments, home modifications, worksite modifications and vehicle modifications. The capacity to utilize AWARE Service Authorizations to track (by individual, office and region) direct AT services to agency clients which include direct AT assessments, and home, worksite and vehicle modifications has been developed and is now deployed to track internal services to insure effective and efficient resource utilization.
4.4 Develop requirements and methodologies to consolidate AT reporting for vended services and purchase of AT devices from AWARE. Working closely with internal agency AWARE staff, and select users, a system has been developed that has consolidated the reporting of vended Assistive Technology services and purchases of Assistive Technology devices within the AWARE system. Goal 5: DRS will continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities.
5.1 1,100 students in transition will achieve a successful employment outcome.
During FFY 2011, 1,436 students in transition achieved a successful employment outcome; this constituted 36.5% of all successful closures. 5.2 59% of students in transition will achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.
The rehabilitation rate for students in transition was 46.8% in FFY 2011.
5.3 480 students will be served through the PERT Initial Evaluation Services.
In SFY 2011, 468 students with disabilities participated in PERT Initial Evaluation Services.
5.4 90% of local school divisions across Virginia will participate in the PERT Program.
During SFY 2011, 89% of local school divisions participated PERT. This is consistent with annual patterns established since 2005.
5.5 250 students will be served through WWRC’s 9-week Life Skills Transition Program.
In SFY 2011, 358 students were served through WWRC’s 9-week Life Skills Transition Program.
5.6 Project SEARCH sites in the Commonwealth will increase from 3 to 8.
In FFY 2011, DRS collaborated with 8 school systems in the implementation of Project SEARCH. Results have been positive with over 66% of the participants achieving employment outcomes. DRS is working with 10 School systems in FFY 2012.
Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved.
6.1 Conduct an examination by December 31, 2010, of the population of individuals with disabilities in the Commonwealth to provide additional planning information for service delivery. DRS spent the past two years working on its Comprehensive Needs Assessment. Results of this needs assessment, which includes population data, have been shared with the SRC and DRS management to assist in planning purposes.
6.2 Increase from 815 to 880 the number of returning veterans receiving VR services.
In FFY 2011, 780 returning veterans received VR services.
6.3 Increase from 1,500 to 1,700 the number of VR consumers from different ethnic backgrounds (Asian, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander). During FFY 2011, 1,628 (5.7%) of VR consumers served self-reported as being from different ethnic backgrounds. This compares to 1,604 (5.5%) in FFY 2010.
6.3 Provide training to 60 VR staff on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
With the Virginia Autism Council workshops, Autism Spectrum Grant webinars , and three day hands PDA training more than 60 VR staff received training in FY 2011.
Goal 7: Ensure that WWRC’s programs and services benefit VR consumers, resulting in increased referrals to WWRC.
7.1 Twice per year (minimum) contact with assigned FRS Offices by each WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor thru office visits, case consultations, etc.
The WWRC/FRS Liaison Program, designed to include at least twice per year face-to-face contact by WWRC Rehabilitation Counselors with assigned FRS Offices to develop referrals and resolve issues, has been modified to facilitate communication and collaboration using video-conferencing and other technologies as cost saving measures. Most of the pre-admissions case consultations, and other communications occur in this manner, with travel to FRS Offices approved on a case-by-case basis.
7.2 Produce and utilize an annual report on WWRC customer satisfaction and Sponsor Satisfaction surveys for ongoing program and process improvements.
The annual report summarizes data, findings, and recommendations relative to VR consumer and sponsor satisfaction with WWRC services and programs. This report is mutually reviewed by DRS and WWRC Administration for program and process improvements, as well as organizational strategic planning and development of priorities and activities included in each annual WWRC Blueprint for Direction.
7.3 Conduct three or more meetings of the WWRC/FRS Operations Committee to develop and track progress in the implementation of mutual strategies to address service delivery.
The WWRC Director now participates in monthly FRS Director/Management Team meetings as a full team member. This new structure, replacing the former WWRC/FRS Operations Committee, has been demonstrated to be more effective, with shared performance metrics, including utilization of WWRC services and accountability for VR outcomes.
7.4 Utilize WWRC’s Annual Blueprint for Direction to identify and target WWRC resources to attain key operational goals that result in improved employment outcomes for VR consumers.
WWRC’s Annual Blueprint for Direction is an operational document developed through a collaborative process of actively engaging stakeholders and service providers in identifying key operational goals for the Center. The Blueprint enables WWRC to identify how it will execute the strategic plan that guides the overall direction of the Center. It identifies organizational performance metrics, as well as key operational goals and priority objectives that will result in successful VR and employment outcomes.
Strategies that Contributed to the Achievement of the Goals
DRS operated with all Order of Selection Priority Categories open from October 1, 2010 to March 1, 2011. This occurred due to the use of ARRA funds that were expended prior to October 1, 2011. The ability to serve all eligible individuals during this timeframe assisted DRS in achieving a high level of successful employment outcomes and high performance on many of its other indicators. Effective March 1, 2011, however, all Priority Categories were closed when it became clear that there would not be sufficient funds to keep the categories open. The effect of closing all of the Priority Categories will be realized in FFY 2012.
Other strategies that helped DRS meet or exceed its established Goals include:
• Reorganized Regions and Offices to reduce administrative costs and added a new staffing structure in selected offices with the addition of a Unit Supervisor to provide closer supervision and support to the VR counselors.
• Intensified our efforts to retain and hire qualified VR staff by: -hiring student interns as a means of recruiting qualified VR personnel to fill staff vacancies. - providing professional development programs that strengthen the knowledge, skills and abilities of our VR staff. - implementing new programs to retain staff who might otherwise leave the agency for other professional opportunities.
•Utilized established procedures to manage our caseload system so that consumers will not be unserved due to staff vacancies. •Supported Business Development initiatives to identify high wage/career track employment for our consumers and respond to Federal hiring initiatives.
•Maintained a quality assurance and accountability system that includes ongoing case reviews addressing such issues as consistency with policy, timeliness, effective counseling and guidance, effective use of resources, and employment outcomes.
•Conserved administrative funds by: - expanding opportunities for “mobile workers” - reducing our real estate footprint through co-location with other agencies, WIA partners and Workforce Centers - effectively utilizing video teleconferencing to increase staff collaboration and reduce staff travel time and costs. •Continued a collaborative relationship with the Employment Service Organizations (ESO) through the ESO Advisory Committee.
•Effectively utilized the resources provided by other state agencies to ensure the employment of individuals with substance abuse or are TANF recipients.
•Effectively utilized the resources of other state agencies and collaborate with community partners to provide medical and vocational rehabilitation for veterans with disabilities through WWRC.
•Effectively utilized WWRC’s capacity to serve VR consumers with the most severe disabilities through its diverse medical and vocational rehabilitation programs and services.
•Continued to implement the Work Incentive Specialist Advocates vendor program to provide Social Security work incentives for VR consumers.
*Coordinate accessibility surveys for the Workforce Centers.
•Provided leadership to the disability navigator initiative.
•Assisted VR consumers in utilizing learning software to enable them to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.
•Implemented a plan to integrate AT resources and staffing across the agency through an intensive collaboration between the FRS, WWRC and VATS.
•Ensured that the Assistive Technology and Computer Accommodations units in the Field Rehabilitation Services Division and at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center have up to date equipment, software and training for use in identifying AT needs and solutions.
•Updated vocational evaluator knowledge of AT devices, equipment and resources and develop and pilot an integrated AT technology and vocational evaluation assessment model at WWRC.
•Promoted the use of AT kits in Virginia Workforce Centers through a joint endeavor between the VR Program and Disability Program Navigators.
•Continuation of a shared Rehabilitation Engineering position to be housed at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center that provides services at the Center and in the Field Rehabilitation Services Division.
•Utilized the expertise of the Education Field Rehabilitative Services Support Team in helping to establish additional Project Search sites around the Commonwealth.
•Ensured that there are cooperative agreements in place in every LEA so that students receive the services that they need in a “seamless” process.
•Provided VR counselors with the technology and other resources that they need to work more effectively in the school environment.
•Continued to offer Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation (PERT) Initial Evaluation Services through WWRC for eligible youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 22 years, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education.
•Maximized the number of local school divisions across Virginia that participate in WWRC’s Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT) Program. •Continued to offer a 9-week Life Skills Transition Program (LSTP) through WWRC targeting a growing population of young adults with disabilities between the ages of 18-22 years who require intensive pre-employment and independent living skills training in addition to vocational rehabilitation to successfully attain employment goals. •Collaborated with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services on VR services for returning veterans.
•Implemented a program to provide effective outreach and services to individuals from different ethnic backgrounds.
•Provided information and training to VR staff to help them more effectively serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
•Continued development of an annual WWRC Blueprint for Direction that clearly articulates expected actions to be taken, with defined lines of responsibility and accountability for outcomes. There were targeted Blueprint goals that impacted all of WWRC’s goals and indicators within the DRS State Plan.
•The WWRC Pegboard Committee continued to meet weekly to review referral, enrollment, completion, and other data trends and patterns that affect the Center’s census and utilization. The Pegboard Committee collaborates to develop and implement strategies that adjust resources and business process to address census/utilization fluctuations.
•In FFY 2010-2011, WWRC and FRS began to conduct shared Employment Forums for information exchange and collaborative problem-solving around issue of employment for VR customers. Participants included statewide FRS Placement Counselors, FRS Regional Directors, and designated WWRC Vocational Services Staff representing evaluation and training. From these discussions, adjustments in WWRC curricula evolved as well as ideas for new training programs to be offered through WWRC.
•As an “official” WorkKeys test administration site, WWRC continued to employ a dedicated 1500-hour/year Instructor to implement a Career Readiness Lab to prepare VR clients in the Life Skills Transition Program (LSTP) and vocational training programs for successful completion of the WorkKeys test, resulting in attainment of a Career Readiness Certificate. Baseline data is currently being analyzed to link literacy levels and attainment of a CRC with VR outcomes; findings are inconclusive at this point and will continue to be monitored.
•One of WWRC’s 2011 Blueprint items was to implement the Autism Speaks grant, awarded in January 2011 to WWRC, and delivered in partnership with DRS and Employment Service Organization (ESO) vendors through identified communities in specific Richmond and Northern Virginia localities. Through this grant, WWRC was able to sponsor a variety of training workshops, including a series of webinars focused on assistive technology and specialized workplace supports customized for youth/young adults with autism. Two of WWRC’s Behavior Specialists, along with five ESO and DRS staff members, participated in a Positive Behavior Supports Certification Program offered through VCU’s Partnership for People with Disabilities. We have been working with members of WWRC’s Autism Advocacy Partnership Team to identify ‘lessons learned’ and recommendations specific to WWRC that might help us strengthen how we serve VR clients with autism.
•Marketing WWRC services for veterans with disabilities through a collaborative partnership with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services/Wounded Warrior Program, and, coordination of guided WWRC tours for prospective veterans and their families as well as veterans organizations throughout the year.
Factors that Impeded the Achievement of Goals and Priorities
•The VR program continued to feel the effect of the downturn in the Commonwealth’s economy which affected the hiring opportunities for our VR consumers. The economy also affected several of the WWRC training programs, with Building Trades/construction industry the most notable; this program modified its curriculum to reflect a more home improvement focus vs. new construction reflective of industry needs. In general, because of the continued rising unemployment rate across industry sectors, WWRC training graduates had a more difficult time finding employment post-graduation and curriculum continued to be adjusted throughout the year to accommodate the need for an increase in skill-sets and credentialing required to make WWRC training graduates more competitive. Additionally, some of the training programs, most particularly noted in the Building Trades and Business/Information Technology Training Programs, have had to graduate students without the experience of an external internship program as businesses have been less willing to participate in a student internship program when they are simultaneously laying off workers due to the economy.
•DRS’ large transition population continues to affect the overall hourly wage of our consumers as this population tends to come into the workforce in entry level jobs at minimum wage. The average hourly wage for transition-age consumers during FFY 2011 was $8.66 as compared to $10.30 for the adult population.
•Loss of vocational rehabilitation counselors to other employment opportunities and difficulty filling these positions in a timely fashion, particularly in Northern and Southwest Virginia.
During FFY 2011, 2,833 individuals with most significant disabilities received services through supported employment programs of DRS. This represents a 144 person decrease from 2011. Of the 2,833, 1,465 were new cases. Each year, DRS supplements its Title VI funding for supported employment with Title I funding. This strategy allows DRS to provide supported employment services to all consumers who require that service to become successfully employed. During FFY 2011, DRS spent 57.3% of its case service funds ($10.3 million) on SE services for consumers.
In addition, in FFY 2011, DRS continued its collaborative relationship with the more than 80 Employment Service Organizations (ESO) across Virginia that provide services to DRS’ most significantly disabled consumers. This was accomplished with the assistance of the ESO Advisory Committee that met quarterly to provide guidance to DRS on its supported employment program. With the assistance of this Committee, DRS has begun to examine the effectiveness of supported employment services, particularly the impact of supported employment on post-VR employment outcomes. In addition, the ESO Advisory Committee established a subcommittee to review the agency’s ESO Survey that assesses the quality of service provision by the ESOs.
DRS maintains its goal of having Employment Services Organizations (ESO) obtain CARF…The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission national accreditation standards in order to ensure quality in employment service provision.
In FFY 2011, DRS exceeded the Rehabilitation Services Administration performance levels for four of the six performance indicators in Evaluation Standard 1. Evaluation Standard 1 requires DRS to assist eligible individuals with disabilities, including individuals with significant disabilities, to obtain, maintain, or regain high quality employment outcomes. DRS exceeded the performance level for Standard 2 which measures our service to minorities. The following lists the indicators and DRS’ performance on those indicators:
Indicator 1.1 Difference in the Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes: Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011.
RSA Standard: Must equal or exceed previous period DRS Performance: 3,930 (+540)
Indicator 1.2 Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services who had Employment Outcomes
RSA Standard: 55.8% DRS Performance: 51.38%
Indicator 1.3 Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes who were Competitively Employed
RSA Standard: 72.6% DRS Performance: 94,50%
Indicator 1.4 Percentage of Individuals with Competitive Employment Outcomes who had Significant Disabilities.
RSA Standard: 62.4% DRS Performance: 99.03%
Indicator 1.5 Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average State Hourly Wage (Only preliminary state wage data for 2009 were available in June 2010)
RSA Standard: .52 DRS Performance: .409
Standard 1.6: Difference in Percentage of Individuals Achieving Competitive Employment who Report own Income as Primary Source of Support at Closure and Application RSA Standard: 53.0% DRS Performance: 56.25%
Standard 2.1. Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate
RSA Standard: .80 DRS Performance: .945
DRS continued to participate in the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) to enhance WorkWORLD Decision Support Software and to promote its use by DRS counselors. The new Ticket to Work Coordinator participated in promoting the use of Medicaid Works and work incentives. The MIG supported the use of the Cornell training for Work Incentives with those that successfully completed the training becoming certified as Benefits and Work Incentives Practitioners, and DRS recruited Partnership Plus participants to become WISA approved vendors. Presentations were made to six DRS offices and at several regional and statewide meetings to promote the use of work incentives including Medicaid Works.
DRS promoted the use of Work Incentives at the 2011 Transition Forum by presenting a pre-conference session for Project SEARCH parents, students, teachers and VR counselors on the use of work incentives. Presenters included the SSA Area Work Incentive Coordinator, CWIC, WISA and WorkWORLD staff. The second session focused on work incentives for youth in transition. The MIG paid for parent involvement and expert speakers while DRS organized and had VR staff participate. A total of 25 individuals attended each of the two pre conference sessions.
The DRS Ticket to Work Coordinator was hired and promoted Partnership Plus agreements, developing nine by the end of this time period. DRS also began tracking outcomes on the use of WISA services, determining that there were 29 paid services with those using the services being successful 85% versus 43% for all SSDI and SSI users.
DRS successfully trained an additional 20 individuals to provide WIS. In addition to the increased capacity for services, policy changes have also occurred with the intent to increase numbers served. The Ticket to Work Coordinator continues to attend local office meetings to encourage the utilization of work incentive specialist advocates.
Partner agencies (the Departments of Medical Assistance Services and Blind and Vision Impaired) continued to provide financial support for the maintenance of the current version of WorkWORLD and progress continued on Web (WW-Web) version. The Department of Social Services continued to support the effort through its provision of training sites statewide.
The collaboration between the Disability Program Navigator and special education VR focused on working with special education students in collaboration with One Stops to obtain CRC certificates prior to completing their secondary schooling. The Department of Education provided a grant of $25,000 toward the purchase of AZTEC software to prepare students for the CRC, and towards the cost of testing non-VR clients. The award was successfully closed out February 2011.
Career Readiness Attainment for the 2011 Fiscal Year at WWRC: 112 Clients Tested with an overall pass rate of 92% 34 students received the Bronze CRC (30%) 57 students received the Silver CRC (51%) 12 students received the Gold CRC (11%) 9 students failed to reach at least the Bronze level (8%)
The DRS Autism Research Coordinator supported DRS participation and collaboration in the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Career Links Grant and other ASD projects resulting in positive employment outcomes for DRS clients with ASD and the integration of evidenced based vocational services and supports for youth and adults with ASD. All 9 DRS clients enrolled in VCU ASD Career Links Projects SEARCH site became employed in community based jobs, earning competitive wages and several are working toward transitioning off of benefits to higher levels of earnings and self-sufficiency. Other measurable outcomes include an increased use of evidenced based interventions such as positive behavioral supports, community supports services (i.e. social skills training, academic coaches and life-skills coach) and PDA enabled-job coach supports in the targeted pilot areas of Henrico, Chesterfield, Fairfax Counties and Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center.
For the school year 2010-11, Matoaca High School had 5 students and Thomas Dale High School had 5 students. The site for both schools was Lucy Corr Nursing Village. Due to new DRS staff covering these schools and Order of Selection, Chesterfield County Public Schools CCPS provided all transportation and continued the program with their own staff on a smaller scale. Monacan High School had 8 students at TJ Maxx. These students were on Modified or Standard Diplomas and needed a work experience after school hours to better accommodate their academic schedule. This school shifted the program time and held it from 2:00-4:00pm. The school bus took students to the site and Access Chesterfield vans took the students home in the afternoon. The school is very eager to continue the full internship program, particularly after school since that allows for more participation--without regard to diploma type or academic schedule.
For the 2011-12 CCPS continued the program.
There are several variations of this internship model around the state. Each has been implemented according to local needs but most of them share the basic components of hands on work experience and coverage of job seeking and job retention skills.
The career readiness certificate was successfully piloted at Thomas Dale High School and a protocol created through which a DRS staff person facilitates the connection through a memorandum of understanding or agreement between DRS and community college (testing site) for testing once the student is deemed ready by his/her counselor case manager. This project is ongoing.
We have 10 functional Project SEARCH sites. One more is being developed for the 2012-2013 school year. As of June 2011, we had 66 students graduate. DRS staff are working with Project SEARCH vendors concerning the adequacy of the benchmark payment to cover vendor costs.
I & E funds provided partial funding for training, mentoring and endorsement expenses for 8 new positive behavioral support facilitators who specialize in supporting individuals with ASD in the workplace. As of October 2011, trainees completed 10 full day classes which covered the topics of positive behavioral supports and person-centered thinking. Trainees are working on completion of PBS portfolios under the guidance of trained PBS mentors to prepare for Endorsement Board certification.
The program managed by the MARC Workshop created 11 full-time and 10 part-time jobs by December, 2010, with 20 contracts.
As a result of the I&E initiative at WWRC to integrate Assistive Technology (AT) into the Vocational Evaluation (VE) process that ended in September, 2010, changes were made to WWRC VE process as follows:
•Having had the part-time VE staff and OT staff assigned to the initiative working closely with VE staff , staff are more aware of the AT available to them, how to find it, and are able to identify what they are currently using that fits the definition of AT. •We routinely consult with OT for accommodations and AT suggestions per client need. •The OT staff are made aware of former clients that are currently in VE. The OT observes the client in the assessment area, and subsequently makes suggestions for AT and work station accommodations. •VE staff have observed accommodation evaluations for incoming clients; thus providing a better understanding of client need and ability. These observations also provide education and awareness of available AT and trends. •An AT chart has been included in the VE report indicating what AT and accommodations were implemented during the evaluation and for what purpose. •Kurzweil was updated and is still in use. •We currently offer continued VE services for clients that do not accomplish their VE goal within the 4 day service due to complexity of their disabililty(s) and AT/accommodation needs. (As of date, only one client has requested and continued their VE another week, exploring up to 4 assessment areas. •Evaluators have established reading levels of their written material within the various assessment areas and documented this within the assessment/Work Sample notebooks. •Staff have been encouraged to take advantage of down time and/or low intake weeks to complete job analyses. •Staff are meeting quarterly with training instructors within each assessment area to ensure programming is succinct, relevant to current job expectations and demands (per O*Net) and Training Advisory committees, and for client staffing if necessary. •Staff have participated in Autism Grant sponsored training with emphasis on using smart phones and personal electronic devices to enhance work productivity.
A pilot training program was developed in the Northern Virginia Region that would train DRS ESO staff in the basic principles of Assistive Technology, Universal Design and Hand handheld technologies. The role of Assistive Technology professionals and service delivery systems in supporting positive vocational outcomes was highlighted.
DRS continued to expand its use of video teleconferencing (VTC) statewide, hosting 265 VTC events and 311 virtual meetings using GoToMeeting software. This allowed 6,441 persons (average 537 persons per month) to participate electronically.
This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 11:55AM by Elizabeth Smith
- 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
Quality of Community Rehabilitation Providers
The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) requires that each of Virginia’s Employment Services Organizations (ESOs) vendored to provide vocational rehabilitation services be nationally accredited through the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF). CARF accreditation provides a host of benefits to DARS as a state-funding source, as well as to DARS consumers, and taxpayers. In addition to assuring accountability and consistent quality levels, national accreditation allows DARS to focus on program expansion, improvement and accountability.
Extent of Services
DARS currently purchase services through 87 ESOs throughout the state. During FY 2011, these organizations provided supported employment services to 2,835 individuals at a cost of $7,309,674.
Scope of Services The ESOs provide both time-limited and extended employment services, including: -Vocational evaluation and situational assessment, -Extended employment, -Follow along services -Work adjustment training, -Psychosocial rehabilitation services, -Individual and group model supported employment services, -Vocational skills training, and -Vocationally related transportation services.
Timing of Transition to Extended Services
Transition to extended services from supported time-limited services is accomplished after the consumer reaches stability in employment with intervention appropriate for the individual for a minimum of 30 days. After that time the funding is transferred from the basic federal VR grant to the state sponsored long term follow along funding. Coordination among service provider, counselor and long term support office ensures timely accountable transition.
This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2012 4:23PM by Elizabeth Smith
The following information is captured by the system.
Last updated on 08/24/2012 at 1:54 PM
Last updated by Terrence Martin
Completed on 08/24/2012 at 1:54 PM
Completed by Terrence Martin
Approved on 08/24/2012 at 1:54 PM
Approved by Terrence Martin
Published on 09/14/2012 at 7:37 AM
Published by Ken Schellenberg
The following documents have been identified as being related to the information you are viewing.
"A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities" — A blueprint for Governors has been issued by the National Governors Association (NGA).
TAC-14-02 — Submission of the FY 2015 State Plan for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and Supplement for the Supported Employment Services Program. (May 28, 2014)
DOC (247KB) | PDF (233KB)
ED-80-0013 - Certification Regarding Lobbying — 34 CFR 82.110(b) requires each State VR agency to submit for approval a signed certification regarding lobbying for each program for which federal funds are requested. In other words, one certification must be submitted for the VR program and another for the Supported Employment program.
MS Word (24KB)
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