ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

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

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

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Commissioner

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

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

Commissioner

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryJames A. Rothrock

Title of SignatoryCommissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/23/2014

Assurances Certified By

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

  1. The designated state agency is a state agency that is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (Option A was selected/Option B was not selected).

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. No

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

Recommendation: During FFY 2013, there was a decrease in the number of transition-age youth served and a reduction in the percent of successful closures for this population as compared to FFY 2012. The SRC encourages the agency to evaluate these reductions to determine the possible cause and strategic steps that might be taken to address the service status and successful outcomes for this population, including work experiences for youth.

Agency Response: DARS continues to monitor the status of our transition-age consumers and their successful employment outcomes. Numerous initiatives are being undertaken to enhance service provision to this population including the expansion of Project SEARCH sites and other programs to provide work experiences for youth with disabilities.

Recommendation: The SRC encourages the agency to continue its commitment to ensuring that VR consumers achieve competitive employment. The 96.7% competitive employment rate in FFY 2013 was excellent and the SRC looks forward to seeing this rate continue to increase as the agency remains committed to placing consumers in high wage jobs.

Agency Response: DARS has set a target of at least a 97% competitive employment rate and continues to closely monitor our status. Our Business Development Managers, working in collaboration with our VR counselors and their consumers, are working diligently to identify jobs for our consumers that pay good earnings with benefits. One of the Innovation and Expansion Activities listed in the State Plan addresses our efforts to expand the development of employment opportunities for consumers by enhancing the coordination of business development activities, utilizing local and statewide labor market information in vocational evaluation and planning, and evaluation, identifying employment opportunities with federal contractors, and collaborating with State Economic Development offices and personnel.

Recommendation: With the expected retirement of a significant number of managers in DARS, the SRC supports the agency’s commitment to succession planning by developing the knowledge and skills of emerging leaders.

Agency Response: This year, DARS instituted a new employee Skills for Leadership Program for VR and WWRC staff to enhance their leadership skills preparing them for managerial and other leadership positions in the agency. Participants in this program are working as teams on projects that will enhance our service provision. We look forward to sharing with the SRC the results of those projects.

Recommendation: The Council supports the agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance consumer involvement in their VR programs. The need for enhanced consumer involvement has been documented in the consumer satisfaction survey over the years. Therefore, the SRC recommends that the agency continue with these efforts and evaluate their effectiveness.

Agency Response: Thank you for your on-going support of the Intense Consumer Engagement (ICE) and Cold Case projects that were instituted last year. We look forward to continuing to report to you on the status of these projects.

Recommendation: There continues to be an increase in the number of served consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. From FFY 2012 to 2013, there was an 18 percent increase and this trend should continue. Given the unique needs of these consumers and the success that they have shown in programs such as Project SEARCH (http://bit.ly/1j0QxEF), the SRC recommends that the agency continue its efforts to enhance service delivery for this population of VR clients.

Agency Response: The agency supports this recommendation and has included numerous initiatives in the State Plan addressing enhanced service delivery for this population.

Recommendation: The SRC recognizes and appreciates the agency’s commitment to and interagency collaborations in Virginia’s Employment First initiative. The focus on Employment First is particularly important for Virginians with intellectual disabilities and the SRC encourages the agency to remain active in helping to ensure Virginia’s progress towards Employment First implementation.

Agency Response: DARS is represented on the Employment First Task Force to create plans and policies for the implementation of Employment First in Virginia. In addition, DARS is represented on the State Employment Leadership Network and is actively promotes work incentives consultation and assistance for our VR consumers. DARS continues to review its policies and practices to support Virginia’s Employment First initiative.

Recommendation: The SRC is impressed by the professionalism, expertise and enthusiasm of the agency’s Business Development Managers and the development of this program across the Commonwealth. The new DARS employer services website, www.vdars.org, will be an excellent resource for Virginia businesses. The SRC fully supports the agency’s continued emphasis on partnering with business to provide them with qualified, dependable employees.

Agency Response: DARS appreciated the opportunity to showcase the work of our Business Development Managers at last year’s SRC Annual Retreat and will continue to keep the SRC apprised of our business development efforts. We are particularly pleased with our partnerships with the Hershey Corporation, CVS, Jiffey Lube franchises and other companies around the Commonwealth who offer work training experiences and good jobs for our consumers.

Recommendation: The SRC appreciates the goals that the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center has set to ensure the effective utilization of the Center and an on-going commitment to offer relevant and quality training services for VR consumers. Therefore, the SRC supports WWRC’s commitment to increase its training program utilization rate.

Agency Response: As represented in Goal 7 of the State Plan Goals and Priorities Attachment, WWRC is committed to ensuring that its training programs and other services meet the needs of both our consumers and Virginia business. We appreciate the support of the SRC in helping WWRC continue to offer high quality and relevant programs and services for our VR consumers leading to their successful employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:14PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2009 10:52AM by savasmith e

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

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

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

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, has provided 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 CSB service system. The program expanded in the middle of SFY 2000 from three counselors to twenty-one counselors serving 18 of the forty CSBs. DARS also provides services to individuals with serious mental illness, most of who are also served by CSBs. In addition, DARS staff serve on the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) Advisory Group 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. Overseeing the implementation of the grants is the DARS Program 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 has the two agencies working 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 24 2013 3:44PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative 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; and (3) activities of the Community of Practice and Transition Practitioners Council. -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 (PERT) at WWRC; and (3) activities of the Community of Practice and Transition Practitioners’ Council.

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. -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 and other venues to increase awareness and understanding of the Youth Councils that are 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 within 90 days of an eligibility determination unless an extension is warranted and documented. The Individualized Plan for Employment, must be developed prior to the student exiting secondary school.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:16PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

Private non-profit VR service providers apply to become Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (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 ESO Steering Committee that provides the DARS Commissioner counsel on funding and policy issues related to community rehabilitation programs and the allocation of Long Term Employment Support Services state funds. -Fostering close working relations between agency staff and ESOs. -Utilizing the Employment Services Outcome Report to assist ESOs, VR counselors and VR consumers in ensuring appropriate service provision.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:17PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

Private non-profit VR service providers apply to become Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (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 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; and • 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 DARS 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.

DARS conducts 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.

DARS continues to provide technical assistance in the maintenance of ESOs meeting CARF, the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission standards. DARS 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.

DARS ensures 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 Employment Services Outcomes Report 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.

DARS maximizes 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: - Sharing information about employment opportunities to increase client placements. -Collaborating with (NISH) staff to help ESOs secure federal services and commodities contracts through meetings and conferences.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2013 3:13PM by Elizabeth Smith

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

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, 2014 in relation to the anticipated number of individuals to be served during FFY 2015.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Counselors 190 4 26
2 Program Support 91 5 24
3 Field Directors/Managers 23 0 11
4 Placement Counselors 24 2 4
5 Vocational Evaluators 15 2 6
6 Other Service Staff 33 0 7
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 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 60 25 59
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

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 2013, thirteen practicum experiences/internships were initiated, with fourteen concluding during that same year. Of the fourteen who completed their internships, three students secured full-time VR counselor positions with the Department. Internship requests continue to come in on a regular basis from colleges including 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 University, Auburn 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. Efforts continue to expand upon the Internship Program and to encourage field offices to fully utilize the program as a VR Counselor 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. The agency’s Training Manager visited West Virginia University in March, 2014 to participate in a student intern seminar/career fair to recruit rehabilitation counseling graduate students to Virginia. 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 deaf blind. The Department’s State Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services continues to work with VCU in the development of this national program and 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 that 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.

In past year, paraprofessional staff in the VR program changed their titles to Employment Services Specialist and Employment Services Specialist Senior to more appropriately reflect their unique services that assist VR consumers in achieving their employment goals.

 

In the coming year, DARS will participate in a personnel development needs assessment survey with its Federal Region III partner states. A uniform assessment tool, developed through the Human Resources Development Specialists Learning Community facilitated by the George Washington University Technical and Continuing Education Center (TACE), will help identify training needs on a regional level that TACE can help address. In addition, the survey can be sorted by individual state and by position/role within the agency to identify individual state training needs for all levels 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 training needs assessments, 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: professional and leadership development, assistive technology, caseload management, job development and placement, and transition services for youth with disabilities. In addition, there will be training on serving specialized disability populations, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, serious mental illness and individuals receiving public support through Social Services, individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing, consumers with criminal backgrounds, consumers with substance abuse diagnoses, and consumers with significant intellectual disabilities.

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 Collaborations Conference, 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 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 Deaf and Hard of Hearing 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 continues 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.

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 two Spanish speaking counselors.

 

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.

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. Thirteen sites are active, including two new sites in Hanover County and the regional Southeastern Cooperative Education Program (SECEP) in Norfolk. 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 flow of communication allows for improved responses 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 utilizes an interactive webinar series to streamline processes and improve 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 enables teams to meet online and collaboratively draft their document.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:18PM by Elizabeth Smith

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

The 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.

DARS 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, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (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.

Employee Survey

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 DARS regions were represented in the survey. The former 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.

Stakeholder Survey

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: 2,2021 •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 and 2014 State Plans:

•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.

DARS reported the results of its CSNA in the submission of the 2013 State Plan and is in the process of conducting a CSNA, with results to be reported in the submission of the FY 2016 State Plan. If data collection efforts necessitate a change to goals or priorities prior to submission of the FY 2016 State Plan, an updated 4.11(c)(1) will be submitted.

This screen was last updated on Aug 6 2013 2:15PM by Elizabeth Smith

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

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 2015, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) expects to serve about 25,000 Virginians with disabilities with case service funds provided under Part B of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and about 600 under Part B of Title VI of the Act.

DARS will continue in order of selection in FFY 2015. 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 $500,000 577 $866
Most Significantly Disabled Title I $17,507,583 21929 $798
Significantly Disabled-2 Serious Limitations Title I $871,551 2522 $345
Significantly Disabled - 1 Serious Limitation Title I $120,866 505 $239
Non-Significantly Disabled Title I $0 0
Totals   $19,000,000 25,533 $744

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:18PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

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

Goal 1: Virginians with disabilities will achieve quality employment through consumer-focused, timely and effective VR services.

Indicators:

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 $10.00. 1.4 97% or more of consumers who achieve successful employment upon completion of their VR programs will be competitively employed. 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. 1.8 Increase employment (demand side) resources and collaborative efforts to provide VR consumers successful employment options in the current and future job market. 1.9 Based on findings and recommendations from the program evaluation on the Vocational Evaluation Program, implement an organizational structure and mechanisms in vocational evaluation to enhance the utilization of best practices, integration of services and support for the achievement of consumer employment goals. 2.0 Of the total number of VR consumers who achieve a successful employment outcome, 600 or 15% will receive comprehensive services through WWRC. 2.1 74% or more of VR consumers who graduate from WWRC training programs will achieve a successful employment outcome.

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.

Indicators:

2.1 Annual number of VR consumers served will be 20,000 or greater. 2.2 Client average daily census at WWRC will be 300 or greater. 2.4 Annual number of Individualized Plans for Employment developed will be 6,180 or greater.

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.

Indicators:

3.1 Complete of 5 or more Workforce Center accessibility surveys annually, as requested. 3.2 200 or more VR consumers, served by DARS or WWRC, will obtain a Career Readiness Certificate. 3.3 Increase the number of VR consumers jointly receiving services from the Work Force Centers and DARS. 3.4 Provide 7 Disability Resource Coordinators/Disability Program Navigators to increase access to programs and services for vocational rehabilitation consumers. 3.5 Enter into an Administrative Employment Network Agreement with 2 Employment Networks to determine the feasibility of this model for funding long term employment supports. 3.6 Maintain the department’s presence in all of the State’s Comprehensive Workforce Centers. 3.7 Increase the number of work incentive authorizations to 600. 3.8 Implement a pilot program to enhance the reassignment “hand-off” process for the Partnership Plus Employment Network Partners.

Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment.

Indicators:

4.1 WWRC and DARS will provide Assistive Technology training to 40 DARS staff annually. 4.2 Provide Assistive Technology training to 20 Employment Services Organizations and track the outcomes of this training. 4.3 The WWRC and DARS Assistive Technology Labs will have a comparable compliment of assistive technology equipment for demonstration and/or short-term loan to assure our ability to address the assessment and programmatic needs of consumers. 4.4 Complete program evaluation of rehabilitation engineering/Assistive Technology services to ascertain the effectiveness of these services, areas of needed improvement, and gaps in service provision. 4.5 Full service equipment reuse programs will be available to VR consumers in all four DRS regions. Goal 5: Continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities. Indicators:

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. 5.4 350 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. 5.6 Of the total number of VR consumers of transition age who achieve successful employment, 30% or will have received services at WWRC.

Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved.

Indicators: 6.1 Increase by 5% the number of veterans receiving VR services. 6.2 Increase by 5% 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 outcomes for consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) providing 70 clients in four 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: Utilize WWRC’s comprehensive programs and services to address the unique needs of VR consumers with multiple and complex disabilities to help them overcome barriers to employment and obtain a job and/or regain independence to return to work. Indicators:

7.1 Increase the number of consumers referred by VR counselors to WWRC by 1%. 7.2 Expand WWRC’s medical outreach to increase access for potential VR consumers with an emphasis in ‘return to work’. 7.4 WWRC’s vocational training programs and occupational family offerings will reflect workforce trends and current/projected VR consumer employment goals. 7.5 Develop and implement an effective customer satisfaction system to measure and analyze client satisfaction with services received and with their transition back to their home community and employment opportunities. 7.6 Develop and implement an effective customer satisfaction system to measure and analyze VR counselor satisfaction with services received and with VR consumers transition back to the home community and employment opportunities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:20PM by Elizabeth Smith

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

Justification for order of selection

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. 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. Subsequently, this Priority Category had to be closed. However, with $1.3 million in funds received by the 2013 General Assembly, Priority Categories I and II were opened during FFY 2014. 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
1 21,929 3,673 2,813 692 days $1,750,758
2 2,522 253 250 1171 days $871,551
3 505 74 80 1545 days $120,866
4 0 0 0 0 $0

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:20PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

1. Providing supported employment services to 500 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) 2013, 507 individuals with most significant disabilities received services through supported employment programs funded by Title VI, Part B. The Department projects to serve at least this many individuals in FFY 2015. 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) Providing ongoing training and technical assistance to VR staff and Employment Services Organizations (ESO) on long term follow along options. b) 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. c) Developing guidance for, and training, counselors to use the annual Employment Services Outcomes Report as an effective tool to assist clients in making ESO choices. 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 Vendor Performance Report, 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 23 2014 3:21PM by Elizabeth Smith

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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

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

• Co-location of a vocational rehabilitation counselor with a Disability Program Navigator in the Norfolk One-Stop Center to blend the duties of these two positions serving a caseload developed from the One-Stop Center to expand coverage and collaboration. • Enhancing services to consumers with Autism by expanding the use of hand-held technology by VR consumers with Autism, providing staff consultants with expertise in Autism, continuing the Autism Speaks Comprehensive Assessment and Services Pilot in two current locations and adding two new locations, continuing utilization of Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialists to manage and integrate the Autism Speaks Comprehensive Integrated Service model. • Collaborate with the Virginia Assistive Technology Region Sites at George Mason University and Old Dominion University to mentor job coaches in the use of assistive technology and providing loaner assistive technology devices to Employment Service Organizations for use with VR consumers. • Create new Project SEARCH sites in the Commonwealth to benefit the employment of transition age youth with Autism. • Increase the use of Aztec learning software to enhance the career readiness certificate attainment for VR consumers. • Enhance services to transition age youth by partnering the VR consumer, VR counselor, Employment Service Organization and local secondary school to identify, develop and support internship opportunities tailored to the individual needs of each consumer. • Supporting a training program at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in collaboration with the Virginia Manufacturing Association to prepare youth in transition for jobs in the manufacturing industry. • Expanding the development of employment opportunities for VR consumers by enhancing the coordination of business development activities, utilizing local and statewide labor market information in vocational evaluation and planning, identifying employment opportunities with federal contractors, and collaborating with State Economic Development offices and personnel. • Continue training and demonstrations on the new WorkWorld web-based application for WISA trained partners and vendors and VR staff as well as transition coordinators, TANF providers, Partnership Plus Employment Network Partners, and Workforce staff. • Expand External Training Opportunities, coordinated through the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, in Northern Virginia. • Create a pilot using the Career Index System, including labor market information, the GPS assessment and automated attendant “Sara” to enhance contact and case management support for VR consumers in targeted areas and programs. This project is to be integrated with DARS new Maximus/SSA Ticket hand-off pilot. • Sponsor 10 participants to the Work Incentive Specialist Advocacy Cornell training classes giving first priority to underserved areas. • Provide additional driver’s education instruction at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center to work in the Life Skills program and integrate into transition services. • Support Virginia’s Employment First initiative and implementation of the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement by collaborating with the Department for Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to establish staff positions specializing in caseloads of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to enhance their employment.

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 across the State. There also are rehabilitation fabricators located in three of the regions. Additionally, there are four Assistive Technology Specialists who provide Computer Accommodation services as well as other individualized AT assessments and worksite assessment for AT. in all parts of the state. 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 continue to 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 2013, 54.7% of clients determined eligible were Caucasian, 37.9% Black, 4.4% Hispanic, and 1.8% Asian. The minority service rate ratio was 0.938, which substantially exceeded the RSA expectation of 0.80.

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. 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.

 

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 was involved in the development of the ESO Vendor Performance Report.

 

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

A. Ensure that Priority Category 1 under the Order of Selection remains open so that all eligible consumers with most significant disabilities may be served and become successfully employed in higher paying jobs. B. Work collaboratively with the Employment Service Organizations in identifying customized employment opportunities for VR consumers. B. Have statewide coordination of Business Development initiatives to identify high wage/career track employment for our consumers and respond to Federal hiring initiatives and enhance coordination between Business Development Managers, VR counselors and Placement Counselors. 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 higher paying successful jobs. F. Continue to utilize the ESO Vendor Performance Report 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. Strategies: A. 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. B. Support Business Development initiatives to identify high wage/career track employment for our consumers and respond to Federal hiring initiatives. C. 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 quality employment outcomes. D. 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. E. Provide effective training for newly hired counselors to enhance their ability to provide appropriate VR services leading to enhanced employment outcomes. F. 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. G. 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. H. Utilize the “Cold Case” staff to locate VR consumers who have ceased communication with their counselor to re-engage them in their VR program. I. Continue utilization of the Intensive Consumer Engagement (ICE) program, 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. J. Implement the initiatives to support Governor’s Executive Order No. 55 to provide more work experiences and ultimately jobs within Virginia State Government. K. Continue with operation of the new consumer satisfaction methodology that provides information on the consumer’s VR experience at specific points of service to identify strengths and weaknesses to help consumers stay connected and reach their employment goal. L. Implement prioritized recommendations of the WWRC/DRS Project Team focused on streamlined admissions processes that support VR Consumer decisions to apply for services at WWRC. M. Continue to use ongoing communication and training tools such as the published Quarterly WWRC Director’s Report, the New Counselor Skills Training Program, and joint DARS/WWRC meetings to promote the scope and value of WWRC in helping VR consumers attain employment outcomes. N. Promote and market WWRC training program internships in a VR consumer’s home community, where feasible and appropriate, to facilitate successful employment outcomes. O. Continue to provide information about WWRC training program graduates to Business Development Managers, Regional Directors, and VR counselors two weeks prior to quarterly graduation dates. P. Effectively utilize the WWRC Rehabilitation Team, including the VR consumer and VR counselor, to facilitate successful transitions back to the home community focused on employment outcomes.

Goal 2: DARS, WWRC, and our service providers will be accountable for the achievement of employment by our consumers and the effective use of resources. Strategies: 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 Vendor Performance Report 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. Continue to utilize WWRC’s weekly Pegboard Committee to monitor client average daily census (ADC) and to develop strategies and adjust resources, as necessary, to sustain and/or increase the ADC at 300 or greater. 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. Strategies: A. Continue to provide technical assistance and training on Social Security work incentives. B. Provide leadership to the Disability Employment Initiative. C. Implement recommendations from the 2014 Skills for Leadership program cohort examining the agency’s use of the Career Readiness Certificate. D. Expand utilization of WWRC’s Career Readiness Lab to include its use as a six-week ‘stand-alone program’ focused on attainment of the CRC credential, job seeking skills, resume writing and customer service. E. Continue as a collaborative partner in the Virginia Workforce Centers. F. Ensure that VR consumers, particularly transition age youth who are attending college and other post-secondary training programs, receive work incentives and benefits counseling. G. Utilize Disability Employment Initiative grant funds to develop processes for the co-enrollment of individuals with disabilities in the VR program and the Workforce Centers H. Implement 20 active Partnership Plus Employment Network agreements to support long term employment efforts by VR consumers who receive Social Security benefits. Goal 4: Increase consumer access to affordable assistive technology (AT) to help remove barriers to employment. Strategies: A. Continue to provide, and continuously refine, annual Assistive Technology Training for VR counselors, facilitated by DARS subject matter experts, targeting 40 staff annually. B. Continue to operate WWRC and DARS Assistive Technology Labs, including the AT Loaner Program, and secure agency resources to ensure AT equipment and software products remain current and up-to-date. C. Collaborate with the state’s Assistive Technology Act program and Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS), to provide AT training to 20 Employment Services Organizations (ESO) across the Commonwealth. These trainings will improve ESO staff knowledge of AT and AT resources across the Commonwealth to improve supported employment outcomes to consumers with most significant disabilities. D. Collaborate with VATS to ensure AT devices are available statewide and that devices are tracked using common tracking/reporting procedures and to improve VR consumer access to primary or “back-up” gently-used durable medical equipment (DME) to obtain or maintain employment. E. Add an additional Assistive Technology Specialist position to improve access and the acquisition of AT for consumers. Goal 5: Continue to emphasize the employment potential of students with disabilities. Strategies: A. Expand Project SEARCH programs in Virginia to two additional school systems. B. In collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, explore the utilization of work experience models, such as “Start on Success” at Virginia Commonwealth University. 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 promote the use of WWRC’s Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT) Initial Evaluation Services for eligible youth with disabilities between the ages of 16-22 years across all Virginia school divisions and to facilitate outreach to school personnel, students, and families to educate them on the purpose and availability of PERT services. J. Continue to offer the 9-week Life Skills Transition Program at 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 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. L. Continue to promote and pilot the ‘hybrid’ Life Skills Training Program for VR consumers attending WWRC who are deaf or hard of hearing, designed to address cultural and specialized needs of this population. M. Use the weekly WWRC Pegboard Committee to monitor referrals, census, and utilization of the PERT and Life Skills Training Programs and to proactively adjust resources, as appropriate, based on identified trends and issues.

Goal 6: Expand outreach efforts to individuals with disabilities who are unserved or underserved. Strategies: A. Support the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program and serve eligible veterans referred to WWRC. 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. 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. F. Fully implement WWRC’s Autism Program designed to be planned and delivered as part of a coordinated continuum of services model with DARS for VR consumers with Autism. G. Establish a system of data analysis, to include business processes, metrics and baseline data, to measure the effectiveness of WWRC’s Autism Program and continue training on positive behavioral supports and other best practices for serving youth with Autism. H. Assign a WWRC designee to serve as standing member of the Regional Team led by the DARS Statewide Autism Coordinator, to nurture a systemic, coordinated, and sustainable service delivery model that addresses the unique employment challenges of persons with autism.

Goal 7:Utilize WWRC’s comprehensive programs and services to address the unique needs of VR consumers with multiple and complex disabilities to help them overcome barriers to employment and obtain a job and/or regain independence to return to work. Strategies: A. Strengthen and nurture the partnership between DARS and WWRC Rehabilitation Counselors focused on the coordination of information for joint VR planning and revitalized customer and sponsor satisfaction processes. B. Facilitate routine tours of WWRC for DARS staff through a structured, formalized Tour Guide Program that reinforces WWRC’s scope of services and value to the VR consumer. C. Expand WWRC’s Medical Outreach Program model to additional regional medical centers across DARS Regions. D. Integrate a utilization review of WWRC services as part of monthly Regional Director Team meetings and periodic Statewide Managers Meetings. E. Continue to publish periodic WWRC Open Windows reports highlighting program openings and availability and the quarterly WWRC Director’s Report newsletter detailing program updates and VR consumer successes. F. Use joint training opportunities such as the New Counselor Skills Training and the AT training to clarify the role and scope of WWRC leading to successful employment outcomes for VR consumers. G. Continue to participate in bi-monthly Business Development Manager meetings to gain information on new businesses across Virginia and to stay abreast of expected knowledge, skills, and abilities of Virginia’s projected workforce; understand issues facing various industries across Virginia; and develop mutual strategies for potential collaboration with WWRC to fill current and evolving workforce needs. H. Continue to participate in quarterly Employment Forums to explore current and projected issues that impact employment for WWRC graduates and to validate the feasibility and/or sustainability of potential new training program and/or curricular offerings through WWRC. I. Continue to conduct Business/Industry Advisory Committees, at least annually, for each of WWRC’s training programs to review curriculum relevancy and appropriateness of instruction that result in the attainment of workforce-driven competencies. J. Develop and implement new training options for “rapid response” curricula reflective of workforce changes. Facilitate linkages with related DARS nitiatives and use of workforce data to align curricula and graduates with jobs.

All DARS 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 23 2014 3:22PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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 or more VR consumers will achieve a successful employment outcome. There were 3,141 successful employment outcomes in FFY 2013, a 15.2% increase over FFY 2012. 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. DRS achieved a 53.77% rehabilitation rate in FFY 2013. 1.3 The average hourly earnings of our consumers will equal or exceed $9.75. In FFY 2013, DRS exceeded this target with an average hourly wage of $10.06. 1.4 95% or more of consumers who achieve successful employment upon completion of their VR programs will be competitively employed. 95% of the consumers achieved competitive employment in FFY 2013. 1.5 The VR consumer satisfaction rate will equal or exceed 82%. DRS achieved an overall consumer satisfaction rate of 78% in FFY 2013. 1.6 Annually, there will be case audits totaling 100 caseloads with 10 cases per counselor audited. In FFY 2013, 966 cases from 97 caseloads were audited. 1.7 In 95% or more of the cases, consumer eligibility will be determined within 60 calendar days of application. In FFY 2013, 96.4% of cases were determined eligible within the 60 day timeframe. This did not include cases placed in trial work, extended evaluation, or who had a waiver of the 60-day eligibility requirement. 1.8 In 85% 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 2013, 81.2 % of Employment Plans were developed within 90 days of eligibility.

Goal 2: DARS, 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 2013, 28,113 consumers were served (based on eligibility), which was a 6% increase over FFY 2012. 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. During FFY 2013, supported employment training was conducted statewide to increase counselor ability to properly utilize supported employment services including placement in integrated settings. In addition, quality case reviews continued to assess and ensure that consumers were placed in integrated settings leading to a successful employment outcome. 2.3 Client average daily census at WWRC will be 300 or greater. The average daily census at WWRC was 311 for SFY 2013. 2.4 3,000 or more cases will be served annually at WWRC. In SFY 2013, 2,706 cases 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 2013, 47.8% of WWRC consumers had successful employment outcomes. 2.6 The Employment Services Organization (ESO) Vendor Performance Report, which provides information on services provided by ESOs to VR consumers, will be implemented in collaboration with the ESOs. The ESO Vendor Performance Report has been fully implemented with annual reports being distributed over the past two years. Counselors are utilizing the reports as a resource with their with their consumers in selecting their service providers.

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 5 or more Workforce Center accessibility surveys annually, as requested. DARS staff coordinated the accessibility surveys in 10 Virginia Workforce Centers during FFY2013. The process included staff from DARS and the Departments for Blind and Vision Impaired and Deaf and Hard of Hearing and a consumer to conduct surveys according to the ADA guidelines. Surveys were conducted in the cities of Hopewell, Richmond, Chesterfield, Fredericksburg, Danville, Martinsville, Lynchburg, Richlands and the counties of Warsaw and Emporia. 3.2 150 or more VR consumers will obtain a Career Readiness Certificate. In SFY 2013, 130 consumers obtained a Career Readiness Certificate. 3.3 Provide 9 Disability Resource Coordinators/Disability Program Navigators to increase access to programs and services for VR consumers. During FFY 2013, there were 7 Disability Resource Coordinators and 1 Disability Program Navigator. The Disability Resource Coordinators are tied to the Disability Employment Initiative. The Disability Program Navigator position in Norfolk is being transitioned to a half-time DPN and half-time VR counselor. 3.4 Implement 22 active Partnership Plus Employment Network agreements to support long term employment efforts by DRS clients who receive Social Security benefits. DARS currently has 20 active Partnership Plus agreements. Two agreements were ended when the ESO lost their Employment Network Status. One of these ESOs has since begun to participate in the program through the administrative EN agreement model. 3.5 Create and implement Milestone/Outcome agreements with DRS acting as an Employment Network with three partners in order to capture SSA Milestone/Outcome payments to enhance current funding streams. DARS was able to create three agreements of this type, but due to regulatory issues with the Ticket to Work program and state VR agencies functioning as Employment Networks, only one was fully implemented. In the one instance where DARS is an Employment Network of record, DARS serves as an Employment Network in a pilot project and has received milestone payments. This has been staff time intensive. We learned that this is not a feasible model in Virginia. As a response to this challenge, DARS has worked with two vendors to create an administrative Employment Network model where DARS is not the Employment Network of record. One of these agreements has been created and two more are in process. 3.6 Maintain the department’s presence in all of the State’s Comprehensive Workforce Centers. DARS has a presence in all of the State Comprehensive Workforce Centers. A DARS field office is co-located in six of the Comprehensive Workforce Centers. In the other eight Comprehensive Workforce Centers, DARS vocational rehabilitation counselors maintain an office to do intakes of referrals from the Center. DARS is represented by staff on all of the local Workforce Investment Boards and has a representative on the Career Pathways Work Group which is developing Workforce policy in Virginia. 3.7 Increase the number of authorizations for Work Incentive Specialist Advocate benefits counseling services from 175 to 400. 700 Work Incentive Services were completed and paid for. 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. In FFY 2013, DARS provided a one-day hands-on assistive technology training to 43 staff at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center. This training initiative included a combination of online modules and follow-up regional trainings to familiarize VR counselors with agency and other regional assistive technology resources. 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. In FFY 2013, DARS provided assistive technology training to 13 Employment Services Organizations statewide with 232 training participants. In collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, Transcen, Inc., DARS has been providing 60-90 minute AT@Work trainings across Virginia, targeting Employment Service Organizations, specifically job coaches who provide supported employment services to individuals with disabilities. Additional training participants include disability service agency staff and employers. 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. DARS Occupational Therapists and the state’s Assistive Technology Act program meet regularly and work collaboratively to ensure the newest and most requested assistive technology equipment is available for demonstration and/or short-term loan in each of the four regions of the state served by DARS. AT devices are made available statewide and tracked using common reporting procedures.

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 2013, 1377 students in transition achieved a successful employment outcome; this constituted 43.8% of all successful closures. 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. The rehabilitation rate for students in transition was 51.5% in FFY 2013. 5.3 450 or more students will be served through the PERT Initial Evaluation Services. In SFY 2013, 452 students with disabilities participated in PERT Initial Evaluation Services. 5.4 250 or more students will be served through WWRC’s 9-week Life Skills Transition Program. In SFY 2013, 415 students were 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. 6.1 Increase from 700 to 750 the number of returning veterans receiving VR services. In FFY 2013, 650 returning veterans received VR services. 6.2 Increase from 1,850 to 1,950 the number of VR consumers from different ethnic backgrounds (Asian, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander). During FFY 2013, 2,008 (7.1%) of VR consumers served self-reported as being from different ethnic backgrounds (Asian, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander). This compares to 1,782 (6.7%) in FFY 2012. 6.3 Assist 20 or more consumers with criminal background histories with Fidelity Bonding to support them in the achievement of their employment goal. 133 consumers have obtained letters documenting they were eligible for the Fidelity Bonding program since its inception in November 2011. No bonds were issued in FFY 2013. 6.4 Continue program development efforts to support enhanced employment outcomes for consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) providing 35 clients in two regions and WWRC with access to customized ASD case services and supports. During the year, over 50 consumers enrolled in Autism program across two regions and the WWRC. There was the development of a new DARS Autism Subject Matter Expert in the Northern Virginia Region with planned expansion into the other three regions. In addition, WWRC significantly enhanced its wireless environment across the campus, and introduced two new evidence-based ’wrap-around supports’ to strategically address areas of social, communication and behavioral challenges for this population: evaluation and use of hand-held technologies with targeted applications; and, use of QR codes with video-modeling for skill development. WWRC also formalized its Behavior Specialist Team during to coordinate, deliver and monitor the delivery of behavior ’wrap-around supports’ for enrolled VR clients, based on identified needs. The focus of ’wrap-around supports’ is to facilitate successful transitions within the WWRC campus environment, maximize program completion rates, and deliver a smooth continuum of services back to the client’s home community, resulting in job placement and employment retention. 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. During the year, there was training for more than 150 vocational rehabilitation providers, to include Employment Service Organization job coaches and agency staff via various modalities and events to include: state and national conferences; web-based training; and one-half day workshops on Autism service models in the Northern Virginia and Richmond areas.

Goal 7: Ensure that WWRC’s programs and services benefit VR consumers, resulting in increased referrals to WWRC. 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. During FFY 2013, WWRC developed a two-year Blueprint for Direction, with prioritized objectives focused on scope clarity, streamlined admissions processes, strengthened rehabilitation teams, strategic use of ’wrap-around supports’, and specialized workforce preparation and training. The Blueprint emphasizes that WWRC exists as an arm of DARS to facilitate employment outcomes through targeted and customized assessments, transitional services, and workforce driven training. Metrics have been defined to measure the impact of these strategic changes on 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. One of the goals of the 2013-2014 Blueprint for Direction is to conduct a comprehensive quality review of WWRC’s satisfaction policy and procedures. The annual report is one mechanism used to identify patterns and trends for ongoing program and process improvements. 7.3 Utilize the WWRC Pegboard Committee as a formal operational team to monitor and develop strategies to maximize census and service opportunities for VR consumers. During FFY 2013, WWRC’s Pegboard Committee continued to meet weekly to monitor current and projected census and program utilization trends/patterns. As issues were identified, strategies were developed to address them in a timely manner. During FFY 2013, census and utilization metrics were streamlined and automated for more efficient Pegboard operations. 7.4 Enhance the utilization of remote technologies to enhance VR service coordination and targeted direct services between WWRC and VR offices. Remove technologies may include, but are not limited to, delivery formats such as video-conferencing, webinars, and on-line training options. In October, 2012, WWRC launched a three-month pilot program with Graham High School in Bluefield, Virginia to deliver a job seeking skills class using videoconference and computer technologies. Classes were broadcast from WWRC, with certified teachers providing instruction, with high school students participating remotely with on-site mentoring and supervision in their home community. The pilot program was resource-intensive for WWRC, requiring significant collaborative and technical planning with the local DRS Office and Graham High School personnel. But, it was well received in the home community. While considered a successful pilot, no further plans have been made to continue or replicate.

The Rothrock Hall Medical Rehabilitation Program provides a 24/7 therapeutic environment for VR clients to receive post-acute, short-term medical therapies, assistive technology assessments, and vocational evaluation to determine potential for vocational training or employment and/or to improve independence. Client programs are provided by a medical team to meet the comprehensive physical, cognitive, and sensory needs that occur post spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other neurological/orthopedic conditions. During FFY 2013, Rothrock Hall’s Conference Room was enhanced with video-conferencing capacity which presented opportunities for at-a-distance DRS/WWRC team consultations, from pre-admissions through discharge planning. Use of this technology for remote service coordination is starting to evolve as a viable service coordination strategy that is cost-effective and efficient.

Strategies that Contributed to the Achievement of the Goals Continuing to emphasize the value of placing consumers in jobs in the competitive labor market, even in geographic areas of high unemployment. • Intensified 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. •Utilizing established procedures to manage our caseload system so that consumers will not be unserved due to staff vacancies. •Supporting Business Development initiatives to identify high wage/career track employment for our consumers and respond to Federal hiring initiatives. •Maintaining 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. •Conserving administrative funds by: - providing opportunities for “mobile workers” - effectively utilizing video teleconferencing to increase staff collaboration and reduce staff travel time and costs. •Continuing a collaborative relationship with the Employment Service Organizations (ESO) through the ESO Steering 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 collaboration with community partners to provide medical and vocational rehabilitation for veterans with disabilities through WWRC. •Effectively utilizing WWRC’s capacity to serve VR consumers with severe disabilities through its diverse medical and vocational rehabilitation programs and services. •Continuing to implement the Work Incentive Specialist Advocates vendor program to provide Social Security work incentives for VR consumers. Coordinating accessibility surveys for the Workforce Centers. •Providing leadership to the disability navigator initiative. •Assisting VR consumers in utilizing learning software to enable them to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate. •Implementing a plan to integrate AT resources and staffing across the agency through an intensive collaboration between the DRS, WWRC and VATS. •Ensuring that the ATand computer accommodations units have up to date equipment, software and training for use in identifying AT needs and solutions. •Promoting the use of AT kits in Virginia Workforce Centers through a joint endeavor between the VR Program and Disability Program Navigators. •Utilizing the expertise of the Employment Services Support Team in helping to establish additional Project SEARCH sites around the Commonwealth. •Ensuring that there are cooperative agreements in place in every Local Education Area so that students receive the services that they need in a “seamless” process. •Providing VR counselors with the technology and other resources that they need to work more effectively in the school environment. •Continuing 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. •Maximizing the number of local school divisions across Virginia that participate in WWRC’s Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT) Program. •Continuing 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. •Collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services on VR services for returning veterans. •Implementing a program to provide effective outreach and services to individuals from different ethnic backgrounds. •Providing information and training to VR staff to help them more effectively serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. •Continuing 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 DARS 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. •Conducting shared Employment Forums for information exchange and collaborative problem-solving around issue of employment for VR consumers. Participants included statewide Placement Counselors, 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. •Successfully implemented a one-year Autism Speaks grant, awarded in January 2011 to WWRC, and delivered in partnership with DARS 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 DARS staff members, participated in a Positive Behavior Supports Certification Program offered through VCU’s Partnership for People with Disabilities. Grant partners collaborated with members of WWRC’s Autism Advocacy Partnership Team to identify ‘lessons learned’ and recommendations for enhanced WWRC services and programming for VR clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders. •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 •DARS continued to operate the majority of the year with only Priority Category 1 open under our Order of Selection policies, which seriously affected our ability to achieve our target number of successful employment outcomes and our rehabilitation rate.

In addition, the VR program continued to feel some effect of the downturn in the 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. •DARS’ 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 2013 was $9.20 as compared to $11.14 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.

 

Each year, DARS supplements its Title VI funding for supported employment with Title I funding. This strategy allows DARS to provide supported employment services to all consumers who require that service to become successfully employed. During FFY 2013, 3,054 individuals with most significant disabilities received services through supported employment programs of DARS. During FFY 2013, DARS spent 45.5% of its case service funds ($8.5 million) on supported employment services for consumers.

In addition, DARS continued its collaborative relationship with the more than 80 Employment Service Organizations (ESO) across Virginia that provide services to DARS’ most significantly disabled consumers. This was accomplished with the assistance of the ESO Steering Committee that met quarterly to provide guidance to DARS on its supported employment program. With the assistance of this Committee, DARS 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 Steering Committee has a subcommittee to review the agency’s ESO Survey that assesses the quality of service provision by the ESOs.

DARS 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 2013, DRS exceeded the Rehabilitation Services Administration performance levels for four of the six performance indicators in Evaluation Standard 1, including two of the three Priority Indicators. Evaluation Standard 1 requires DARS to assist eligible individuals with disabilities, including individuals with significant disabilities, to obtain, maintain, or regain high quality employment outcomes. DARS exceeded the performance level for Standard 2 which measures our service to minorities. The following lists the indicators and DARS’ performance on those indicators:

Indicator 1.1 Difference in the Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes: Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. RSA Standard: Must equal or exceed previous period DARS Performance: 3,141 (+415)

Indicator 1.2 Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services who had Employment Outcomes RSA Standard: 55.8% DARS Performance: 53.77%

Indicator 1.3 Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes who were Competitively Employed RSA Standard: 72.6% DARS Performance: 94.49%

Indicator 1.4 Percentage of Individuals with Competitive Employment Outcomes who had Significant Disabilities. RSA Standard: 62.4% DARS Performance: 99.87%

Indicator 1.5 Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average State Hourly Wage (Only preliminary state wage data for the first three quarters of 2013 were used along with data for the last quarter of 2012) RSA Standard: .52 DARS Performance: 0.411

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% DARS Performance: 59.10%

Standard 2.1. Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate RSA Standard: .80 DRS Performance: 0.938

 

DARS collaborated with Fairfax County in continuing a college internship program which initially began in 2012 funded through a one year American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 grant administered through DARS. The overall objective of the John Hudson Internship Program is to address unemployment and underemployment of people with disabilities in the Fairfax area by providing work experience and training opportunities, which enhance participants’ competitiveness in the job market. In 2013, DARS again provided funding of $10,000 to support internships for two consumers out of a total of five internship slots available. One consumer was hired with the County (Office of Elections). Fairfax County provided an in-kind donation of staff time for the John Hudson Internship Coordinator, who manages all aspects of the program, including the recruiting of county agencies to participate, marketing the program to potential applicants, coordinating ADA accommodations, and serving as the fiscal agent. In addition, Fairfax County provided ADA accommodations for interns.

In addition, the Portsmouth School to Work Program served 12 students with the most significant disabilities who would not be accepted into other vocational programs. A Goodwill retail store provided on-site learning and assessment of employment skills; participants gained hands-on experience in a work environment.

DARS and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) contracted with ServiceSource, an Employment Service Organization, to provide a Federal Marketing Specialist (FMS) with the role of providing greater access to federal government positions. During this period, the FMS attended a total of 44 staffings/meetings with DARS and DBVI staff to review potential referrals for federal positions. The FMS provided 15 federal resume workshops serving a total of 81 DARS and DBVI customers during the year. Additionally, the FMS made contact with 32 federal employers and actively participated in 16 federal networking meetings or job fairs resulting in 15 confirmed placements of DARS/DBVI customers.

In FFY 2013, DARS provided assistive technology trainings to 13 Employment Service Organizations statewide with a total of 232 training participants. In collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, Transcen, Inc., DARS has been providing 60-90 minute AT@Work trainings across Virginia, targeting Employment Service Organizations (ESOs); specifically job coaches who provide supported employment services to individuals with disabilities. Additional training participants include disability service agency staff and employers.

To promote and support the use of agency work incentive services to increase the use of Social Security Administration work incentives by consumers, including students in transition, training was provided to WISAs on Plan for Achieving Self-Support, Spouse-to-Spouse and Parental Deeming, special Medicaid provisions: McMahon Medicaid, Medicaid Works, Pickle Amendment, IRWE’s and Subsides, and 1619(b) and SEIE. Presentations were made at outreach and training events including the Collaborations Conference, International Transition Forum, for DBVI, DRS offices across the Commonwealth, at the Statewide Manager’s meeting in Waynesboro, Regional staff meeting for Roanoke, Christiansburg and Martinsville, and during the New Counselor Skills Training. The WorkWORLD benefits analysis program was presented to WWRC at the National Employment Network Association in Orlando and during an effective practices national webinar through Maximus and the Ticket to Work Program. Regional trainings for Virginia Workforce Centers at DEI sites were provided in Farmville, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads and Arlington. Two new WISA services were added (not yet implemented) BPQY and Overpayments. Work Incentive Specialist Position was moved to full time and fourteen additional WISAs were certified.

DARS participated in a joint effort with four other state agencies to maintain and support WorkWORLD software and benefits counseling. This was integral to the continuation of the program, as WorkWORLD was no longer supported through Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, three of the agencies combined stopgap funding for Virginia’s two CWIC programs, in danger of losing experienced benefits analysts while waiting for federal reauthorization of the CWIC program. Both activities were successful in that the use of WorkWORLD for clients showed a greater number of successful employment outcomes then when not used, and the CWICs were able to provide services from July through December 2012, serving 920 clients with disabilities.

Former Governor McDonnell’s Executive Order 55 issued November 16, 2012 mandated increased coordination between state agencies and more aggressive outreach on employment issues facing persons with disabilities. In response, DARS Business Development Managers coordinated an EO 55 “Kick Off” Summit on June 27, 2013 in Richmond attended by 100 hiring managers. In addition, regional workshops were held in Danville, Weyers Cave, Charlottesville, Richmond, Fairfax, and Virginia Beach attended by 250 hiring managers.

Innovation and Expansion funds were utilized to support 11 Project SEARCH sites during the year, with two additional sites planned for the 2013-2014 school year.

Funding supported participation and collaborative pilot research to develop strategies to improve VR outcomes for consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Fifty consumers were enrolled in Autism Programs in two regions and at the WWRC. During this time period, a new DARS Autism Subject Matter Expert in Northern Virginia was developed, with plans for further expansion; new assessment processes and tools to support service planning were developed, and access to PBS providers, services, and HHT supports expanded. Twenty Employment Service Organization job coaches and 60 agency staff were trained on successful intervention strategies. Another 150 VR providers were reached through state and national conferences, webinars, and workshops on Autism service models.

DARS collaborated with Adult Education and Literacy, the Disability Program Navigator initiative, local Workforce Investment Boards and the WWRC to use AZTEC software to enhance the career readiness certificate achievement for consumers. During FFY 2013 at the WWRC, 146 (88%) of 166 total consumers took the CRC exam and passed. Of those that passed, 28 achieved the gold level, 66 silver, and 52 bronze.

Innovation and Expansion funds also supported the State Rehabilitation Council and for the Statewide Independent Living Council.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2014 3:23PM by Elizabeth Smith

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

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

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 2013, these organizations provided supported employment services to 3,055 individuals at a cost of $8,842,000.

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 DARS supported time-limited services is accomplished after the consumer reaches stability in employment. During the 30 days before anticipated case closure, the counselor shall ensure stability based on the following: 1.Funding for extended services has been secured. 2.Job coaching and related interventions have decreased to a level necessary to maintain the client in employment. Intervention has reached a plateau or leveled out. 3.Client is emotionally or behaviorally stable. 4.Client performs expected job duties. 5.Supervisor reports satisfaction with client job performance. 6.Client is satisfied with the job and work environment. 7.Necessary modifications and accommodations have been made at the worksite. 8.Client has reliable transportation to and from work. 9.Client is compensated at or above minimum wage but not less than the customary wage paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by employees without disabilities. 10.Stability for those placed in a mobile work crew or enclave shall also include the client completing 60-day period of placement and training in which intervention is directed at training to maintain production rather than at behavioral issues.

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 23 2014 3:23PM by Elizabeth Smith