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 for the Blind and Vision Impaired State Plan for Fiscal Year 2015 (submitted FY 2014)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired 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 the Blind and Vision Impaired [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 SignatoryRaymond E. Hopkins

Title of SignatoryCommissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/20/2014

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.

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) collaborate to develop the DBVI State plan and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) policies and procedures. DBVI and the SRC also obtain input from individuals who are blind and vision impaired and other stakeholders through public comment, satisfaction surveys, and tri-annual needs assessments.

During the spring of 2014, the SRC Executive Committee consisting of the Chairman, Vice Chair, and the Past Chair assisted DBVI in preparing the 2015 State plan. The Executive Committee reviewed State plan drafts and provided input to ensure the plan was consistent with the SRC and VR program goals, objectives, and policies. The full SRC discussed the State Plan draft at its June 14, 2014 quarterly meeting and determined that DBVI would submit the Plan pending a final review by DBVI staff.

In preparation for development of the 4.2 (c) the SRC reviewed the 2012 DBVI Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment which encompassed a three year review of internal and external data regarding individuals who are blind, vision impaired, and deafblind, Public Comment from the fall of 2013, and recommendations of the SRC throughout the year.

1. The SRC continues to recommend DBVI remain focused on the six goals and priorities contained in the 2015 State plan attachment 4.11 (c) (1).

DBVI supports the SRC recommendation to remain focused on six of the six goals and priorities that exist in the 2015 State Plan Attachment 4.11 (c) (1)

2. The rehabilitation community recognizes that a key factor in successful employment outcomes depend greatly on the active participation of the individuals in their rehabilitation program. In order to achieve full participation, individuals must be educated on their rights and responsibilities as recipients of rehabilitation services before embarking on a program. Therefore, SRC recommends that DBVI develop a document to be provided to all perspective consumers of services which outline individuals’ rights and responsibilities and the ways they can and should actively participate in their rehabilitation program. If such documentation already exists, the SRC recommends that DBVI provide it to the Council for review and comment at the first SRC meeting in FY2015.

DBVI believes that the agency presently provides such information to consumers; however, the agency is willing to work with the SRC in FFY 2015 to review, revise, and if appropriate, produce a new document describing individual rights and responsibilities.

3. Informed choice is an area of concern for the SRC and other stakeholders. SRC members, and individuals making public comment, indicated DBVI should ensure applicants and recipients of services are informed and guided by DBVI staff about their rights to make informed choices and given sufficient information about options available to them in order to facilitate informed choice regarding their vocational goals and the goods and services they are eligible to receive to accomplish those goals.

DBVI accepts and embraces that informed choice is a fundamental part of the VR process and routinely trains personnel regarding the philosophy and practice of informed choice. The agency does not have evidence that individuals do not have the opportunity to make informed choices.

4. The SRC recommends the following related to consumer satisfaction data. a. Consumer Satisfaction survey data is collected annually or on a rolling basis. b. The SRC also recommends that DBVI establish a quarterly reporting cycle whereby consumer satisfaction data and analysis is provided to the SRC at each scheduled meeting (a minimum of four times each year). c. That DBVI ensure that its existing data collection, storage, and security mechanisms and policies are written such that no one person has sole access to this data, and provide this documentation to the SRC for review and comment. d. That DBVI work collaboratively with the SRC on the development and administration of the CSNA in 2015.

DBVI will provide quarterly updates on the consumer satisfaction survey data collection and will provide a full report annually. DBVI will ensure that appropriate individuals within the quality assurance and VR programs will have access to consumer satisfaction data. Data security and availability are compliant with federal and state guidelines for handling such information.

5. Since 2009, the SRC and DBVI Liaison have been providing new SRC members with an orientation. Since 2011, the SRC has conducted an annual Retreat to identify projects and focus areas, and develop action steps to accomplish these objectives. Both of these activities have proven useful for the effective operation of the SRC. Therefore, the SRC recommends that DBVI provide continued support for these two activities to include: participation in New Member Orientation, and the provision of a dedicated staff member whose sole responsibility is to capture notes and key action items from the Annual Retreat for distribution to the SRC no later than two weeks following the event.

DBVI is pleased to provide administrative support for an active engagement in SRC meetings and events as it has since the 1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. DBVI will continue to collaborate with the SRC to provide an orientation to new SRC members and to facilitate the conduct of an annual Retreat based on available funding to sponsor such an event. Administrative and financial support requested is included in the resource plan identified 4.11 (d).

6. The SRC recommends DBVI continue steps in 2015 to recruit and hire qualified individuals who are blind or vision impaired; make job position announcements available to consumer groups; and, develop other strategies to recruit qualified blind individuals. The SRC recommends that DBVI report on their progress in their efforts at each scheduled SRC meeting (a minimum of four times each year).

DBVI will continue to recruit and hire qualified personnel including individuals who are blind or vision impaired as part of State Plan Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development.

7. The SRC recommends DBVI continue in FY 2015 to conduct regional public meetings with regional or state meetings of consumer organizations. It is recommended that the public comments and agency responses from those meetings continue to be shared with the SRC at each scheduled SRC meeting. Also, it is recommended the information be posted on the DBVI website and the designated channel for Virginia on Newsline.

DBVI will continue to conduct a minimum of four public meetings at least three of which will be conducted in conjunction with consumer group organization meetings. DBVI will continue to post summaries of public comment and agency responses on the DBVI website, will share this information with the SRC by e-mailing an electronic copy to SRC members and will post on Newline.

8. The SRC recommends that DBVI make job development, job placement, job coaching training to counselors a very high priority for 2015, and include mentoring as one of the training strategies. The SRC recommends that DBVI report on these efforts at each scheduled SRC meeting (a minimum of four times each year).

DBVI will provide training to VR staff in appropriate job develop and placement strategies. The agency will make the SRC aware of training efforts. Where job development and job coaching services are purchased, DBVI will not train VR Staff to perform these functions.

9. The SRC recommends that DBVI review their current strategies for conducting marketing and outreach to individuals and potential consumers, and present them to the SRC at their first scheduled meeting of FFY 2015. Following this meeting, it is recommended that DBVI work collaboratively with the SRC to incorporate both new and existing marketing and outreach strategies and activities into a marketing plan that includes goals, target audiences, and milestones. The SRC recommends that the marketing plan be presented to the Council for their education and advice in early FFY 2015. The SRC also recommends they be kept apprised of the implementation and results of the marketing plan. The Department is looking to strengthen marketing and outreach efforts with the intention of developing, with professional assistance, a marketing plan and will provide the SRC with updates on the development and implementation of this plan on a quarterly basis.

10. Consumer satisfaction results in other states support the SRC’s belief that more face-to-face time spent by VR counselors with their clients will improve the quality of services, as well as consumer satisfaction. Since DBVI does not currently keep statistics on administrative versus client interaction percentages, the SRC recommends that DBVI develop a mechanism for tracking and reporting on the percentage of time VR counselors spend on administrative versus client interaction activities on a monthly basis. The SRC recommends that DBVI present their proposed tracking mechanism to the SRC at its second quarterly meeting in FY2015 for review and comment.

DBVI concurs with the SRC assertion that interaction between counselors and individuals receiving services contributes to successful employment outcomes. However, the department does not perceive significant value in asking direct service personnel to devote time in tracking time spent on various job functions. The agency is willing to discuss with the SRC methods for assuring that consumer and counselor interactions are meaningful and productive but is unwilling to devote resources to devising an additional tracking system.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 9:59AM by Susan Payne

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen has never been updated.

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

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

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

The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) improves customer service delivery through interagency cooperation with various federal, state, and local agencies. This collaboration, which includes the use of services and facilities, is carried out with formal and informal agreements.

DBVI has formal agreements with the following agencies that are not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System:

• The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities • The Office of Veterans Affairs • The Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy • The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing • The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services • The Virginia Department of Education • The Department of Social Services

The Commonwealth of Virginia (Section 2.2-1117 of the Code of Virginia) has a state use contracting program for services performed, along with articles and commodities produced by persons, and in schools or workshops, under the supervision of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI). This section of the code refers to the Virginia Industries for the Blind which is under the supervision of DBVI and includes items including but not limited to mattresses, uniforms, pens, pencils, and other goods.

In addition, Section 2.2-1118 of the Virginia Code allows for the purchase of items or services from Community Rehabilitation Providers (known as Employment Service Organizations in Virginia) without competitive procurement with certain requirements.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 10:03AM by Susan Payne

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 the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) maintains a collaborative relationship with state and local education officials. Interagency partnering includes developing and implementing cooperative agreements with the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) and each local school division. These agreements establish collaboration and coordination efforts to help blind, visually impaired, and deafblind students fully participate in school. One of the primary goals of these agreements is to transition students from school to work, post-secondary education, and independent living.

The cooperative agreement between DBVI and DOE identifies each agency’s respective and joint responsibilities. DOE is the lead agency assuring eligible students with disabilities receive free appropriate public education.

DBVI prepares and delivers a program of special education services in addition to those provided in the public school system. DBVI works with students eligible for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services and school systems to plan and provide services to students.

This state-level cooperative agreement specifies that DBVI:

• Assists DOE staff and other facilities with developing “child find” efforts to identify and locate students who are blind, visually impaired, and deafblind; • Assists DOE staff to plan for the assistive technology needs of eligible students; • Assists DOE staff in planning for Virginia’s statewide testing program; • Invites DOE staff to DBVI meetings that address major issues affecting children who are blind, visually impaired, and deafblind; and • Provides information and educational materials defining DBVI services and procedures.

The DBVI education services program director works directly with the DOE and is responsible for:

• Ensuring DBVI education services coordinators serve as liaisons to public schools and parents of children with visual disabilities; • Serving on DOE committees where expertise on visual disabilities is needed.

Local cooperative agreements, developed annually between DBVI and each public school division, ensure DBVI will:

• Assist school divisions in identifying children from birth through age 21 who have visual disabilities; • Provide consultation and technical assistance to help school divisions determine students’ eligibility for services; • Provide consultation and technical assistance to help students, their parents, and their school divisions develop the student’s Individual Education Plans (IEPs); and • Participate with students, aged 14 and older, their parents, and their school division in planning vocational rehabilitation transition programs and services.

DBVI is a member of Virginia’s Intercommunity Transition Council (VITC). VITC provides opportunities to coordinate transition planning and services for youth who have disabilities with leaders in education, rehabilitation, and other adult service agencies. The Lead Transition Counselor represents DBVI on the VITC.

DBVI also collaborates with DOE, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DRS), and other stakeholders to develop and implement an annual Transition Forum.

DBVI has signed the Commonwealth of Virginia Plan of Coordinated Transitional Services for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities, often referred to as Virginia’s Transition Plan. The plan serves to strengthen transition services for youth with disabilities across Virginia by ensuring individualized transition planning and service opportunities. The plan is based on the premise that coordination of services assists students in achieving productive adult lives.

DBVI conducts outreach aimed toward students and their families by using the agency case management system to identify students who are turning age 14. The parents of these students are contacted via mail and provided with general information regarding VR services and the name of a VR counselor from their locality. Within ten days of the date on the letter, the VR counselor makes contact with the student and their parents to discuss VR services. These students, along with eligible students referred to the VR program, may receive vocationally oriented services while in high school. Based on an individual student’s needs, these services may include, but not necessarily be limited to:

• Vocational guidance and counseling; • Vocational exploration, evaluation, and assessments; • Rehabilitation technology evaluation; • Adjustment to blindness training; • The Summer Adjustment Program at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VRCBVI); • The College Preparatory Program at VRCBVI; • A Transition Seminar; and • A Summer Work Program.

The DBVI Education Services and Vocational Rehabilitation programs serve a much larger group of students with visual disabilities than are identified under Section 618 (b) (3) of the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendment of 1983. Some students, whose vision is their secondary disability, are identified by the local school divisions and DOE under other disability categories.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 10:06AM by Susan Payne

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.

Through an interagency agreement between the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), DBVI may purchase services from one or more of the Community Rehabilitation Services programs (CRPs) that have been approved by DARS. The CRPs are private, non-profit organizations providing services, such as work evaluation, work adjustment, and/or sheltered employment for persons with significant disabilities. The majority of consumers for whom DBVI may purchase services from CRPs are individuals who have multiple disabling conditions and may require intensive one-on-one support and services. While some CRPs offer services and support to integrated work settings, most employment outcomes achieved through CRPs are in non-integrated settings with consumers receiving non-competitive wages. DBVI will not utilize funds under the establishment authority to establish, develop, or improve these private, non-profit CRPs.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 10:18AM by Susan Payne

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.

DBVI and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) maintain an interagency agreement ensuring extended supported service for blind, deafblind, or visually impaired individuals with mental disabilities as long as funds are available. Services are provided through local community service boards (CSBs) receiving targeted funds for extended employment services. These CSBs sign individual agreements verifying available funds for ongoing support for blind, deafblind, or visually impaired individuals with mental disabilities.

Virginia continues to appropriate state funds for extended employment services to individuals with physical disabilities. Blind, deafblind, and visually impaired individuals, who also have a secondary physical or mental disability, will have supported employment available as an employment outcome in FY 2015.

Natural supports will be incorporated for extended services based on the individualized needs of the consumer. The use of natural supports and other extended support services assist blind, deafblind, and visually impaired individuals maintain employment. Currently, DBVI has two deafblind specialists providing extended support services to deafblind consumers. The salaries of these individuals are funded with state general funds.

DBVI requires a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with providers of extended employment support services. The MOU is required prior to the use of Title VI, Part B funds.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 10:26AM by Susan Payne

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Qualified Personnel Needs

Personnel projections are based on an estimate of the number of DBVI personnel expected to retire or leave state service, assessment of personnel job functions, and the projected number of individuals to be served, including those with significant disabilities. Projections are based on the number of individuals served during FFY 2012-2013.

Over the next five years, DBVI expects up to 10 VR service personnel will retire. These retirements could include one vocational rehabilitation counselor, one vocational rehabilitation assistant, five administrative assistants, two professional staff at the VRCBVI, and one program director.

Incorporating a multi-disciplinary approach to providing VR Services, DBVI will maintain regional offices in Bristol, Roanoke, Staunton, Richmond, Fairfax, and Norfolk. DBVI headquarters and the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VRCBVI) are located in Richmond.

DBVI projects approximately 137 full-time and 14 part-time staff will be needed to provide services to individuals receiving VR services in 2014. Staffing will include:

• One deafblind program director and one deafblind specialist; • Five full-time and one part-time rehabilitation technology specialists; • Six regional managers providing direct supervision to VR counselors and other field staff; • Fourteen professional positions at headquarters consisting of two program evaluators and support team members, clerical positions, and administrators; • Fifteen full-time clerical staff in the regional offices; • Six job development assistants in the regional offices; • Eighteen VR counselors; and • Twenty-six classified full-time and thirteen part-time positions at the VRCBVI. The twenty-six classified positions include instructors, vocational rehabilitation counselors, orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists, rehabilitation technology specialists, nurses, work evaluators, clerical, and three administrators. The thirteen part-time positions include instructional staff, administrative support staff, drivers and six part-time dorm staff.

Additionally, 23 rehabilitation teachers, six education services coordinators, and 14 orientation and mobility instructors in the regional field offices are available to provide as needed ancillary services to VR customers.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Deafblind Specialists 2 0 0
2 Rehabilitation Technologist Specialists 5 0 1
3 Regional Managers 6 1 0
4 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 18 0 1
5 Professional Positions in DBVI Headquarters 14 0 1
6 Rehabilitation Teachers 23 0 0
7 Education Specialists 6 0 0
8 Orientation and Mobility Instructors 14 0 0
9 Rehabilitation Center staff 26 0 2
10 Clerical support - field offices 15 0 5

 

Academic Preparation Programs in VR Virginia is fortunate to have two accredited schools offering degree programs in vocational rehabilitation. The degree programs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond and George Washington University (GWU) in Washington D.C. fulfill CSPD requirements. Annually, DBVI gathers data from VCU and GWU on the number of students enrolled in VR programs and the number of students graduating with VR certification or licensure. This information helps DBVI anticipate and plan for short-term and long-term personnel shortages.

The VCU Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling (48hours) prepares students for the CRC certification upon graduation and is accepted by the Virginia Board of Counseling as a Counseling Master’s degree because it is CORE accredited. The VCU Post-Master’s Certification in Professional Counseling is for students who already have a Counseling Masters but need 60 credit hours for state licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In academic year 2013, 107 students were enrolled in the Master of Science in counseling program and 32 were enrolled in the Post Master’s certificate program.

During the 2013 academic year, a total of 49 students graduated from VCU with a Master of Science degree that is accepted by the Board of Counseling as a “Counseling Masters; eighteen in December 2012, fourteen in May 2013, and seventeen in August 2013. All of the Master of Science degree graduates were CRC eligible. In the Post-Master’s Certification program four graduated in May 2013, and two in August 2013; all of the Post-Master’s Certificate graduates were eligible for the Licensed Professional Counselor certification.

At GWU, in the 2013 academic year, 38 students were enrolled in the Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from the GWU Graduate School of Education Counseling which included on-campus Human and Organizational Studies, distance CSPD programs and distance non-CSPD programs. Eight students participating in the online CSPD program graduated, and one from the online hybrid program, and eight from the on-campus program. Twelve students were enrolled in the Master’s in Vocational Evaluation hybrid program that included online and off campus classes with one individual graduating.

Also at GWU, a total of nine students were enrolled in the Certification in Job Development and Job Placement program, nine in the online program; eight students graduated. One individual received a Certificate in Brain Injury. In FFY 2013, each of DBVI’s 18 counselors held a Master’s Degree in either VR Counseling or in a closely related field; all counselors met the educational requirements to be eligible for the CRC. This staffing resulted from DBVI’s close proximity to VCU and GWU and the agency’s successful national recruiting efforts. DBVI routinely collaborates with GWU and VCU on internship opportunities for students interested in VR counseling careers.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 0 0 0 0
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Recruitment and Selection of Staff, Including Minorities

DBVI recognizes the importance of having well-trained personnel providing additional services to VR consumers.

DBVI supports VR staff in obtaining the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Within DBVI’s 18 member VR staff, some Counselors have the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) while others have either met the CRC course requirements or are eligible to take the CRCC exam. Four of the six regional managers have either their CRC or Certified Vocational Evaluator credentials.

DBVI will reimburse VR counselors and O&M specialists for fees required to obtain certification. Although DBVI rehabilitation teachers are not required to obtain certification, DBVI provides financial assistance to rehabilitation teachers who become certified.

Within DBVI’s 18- member VR staff, some Counselors have the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) while others have either met the CRC course requirements or are eligible to take the CRCC exam. Four of the six regional managers have either their CRC or Certified Vocational Evaluator credentials.

DBVI has 14 full time classified O&M instructor positions. All of the fourteen individuals now employed as O&M specialists hold a nationally recognized O&M certification.

 

DBVI recognizes the importance of having well-trained personnel providing additional services to VR consumers.

DBVI supports VR staff in obtaining the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Within DBVI’s 18 member VR staff, some Counselors have the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) while others have either met the CRC course requirements or are eligible to take the CRCC exam. Four of the six regional managers have either their CRC or Certified Vocational Evaluator credentials.

DBVI will reimburse VR counselors and O&M specialists for fees required to obtain certification. Although DBVI rehabilitation teachers are not required to obtain certification, DBVI provides financial assistance to rehabilitation teachers who become certified.

Within DBVI’s 18- member VR staff, some Counselors have the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) while others have either met the CRC course requirements or are eligible to take the CRCC exam. Four of the six regional managers have either their CRC or Certified Vocational Evaluator credentials.

DBVI has 14 full time classified O&M instructor positions. All of the fourteen individuals now employed as O&M specialists hold a nationally recognized O&M certification. DBVI has adopted, as a minimum standard, the educational standards established by the Commission of Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and supports counselors in becoming Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC). For the past 11 years, all of DBVI’s VR Counselors and Regional Managers have met the CRCC education standards. Currently, fourteen Counselors and four Regional Managers are Certified Rehabilitation Counselors.

DBVI’s hiring practice is, if there are no applicants meeting the educational standards adopted by DBVI for VR Counseling positions, DBVI is to re-advertise until qualified applicants are identified.

DBVI maintains a Personnel Policies Handbook containing procedures for recruiting, advertising, screening applications, interviewing, hiring decisions, and applicant notification. DBVI specifically emphasizes advertising geared to attract qualified minorities, females, and individuals with disabilities. DBVI supports recruiting and hiring qualified blind people to provide rehabilitation services. DBVI provides job announcements directly to consumer groups, Newsline, the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind central offices. To attract minorities to rehabilitation careers, DBVI collaborates with historically black colleges and universities for recruitment. DBVI maintains a cooperative agreement with Norfolk State University to allow students to complete internships with DBVI. Additionally, DBVI provides or sponsors VR staff training to improve cultural awareness and sensitivity. DBVI sponsors eligible blind and vision impaired individuals attending any of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s four historically black colleges and universities: Hampton University in Hampton, Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia State University in Petersburg, and Virginia Union University in Richmond. DBVI maintains contact with these schools through VR consumers, counselors, the Human Resources office, and other agency staff. DBVI will continue to expand its outreach activities with these colleges and universities

 

DBVI maintains a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) to meet immediate and long-range training and staffing needs.

Personnel Development

In 2015, DBVI will continue several key workforce training activities focusing on improving services and developing and maintaining collaborative partnerships with individuals receiving services. DBVI workforce planning includes:

• Analyses of the changing workforce; • Analyses of demographic information and agency staffing; • Assessment of future needs; • Determination of gaps between current and future staffing needs; and • Job Development and Job Placement.

During FFY 2015, DBVI will continue with succession activities including a two-year leadership development program entitled “Investing in Our Workforce” (IOW) available to all DBVI classified staff. The program has two components. The first, "Managing Virginia’s Program,” is an 18-month, self-paced on-line program consisting of 54 one-hour training modules. Participants completed modules at their own pace. The second component, “Managing the DBVI Program,” is a two-year program of monthly one-hour classes conducted via videoconferencing. In 2013, members of the 2009 cohort began work on three projects including the development and implementation of a Successful Outcomes Rescue Team, the development and implementation of an agency- wide Staff Meeting that was conducted in the spring of 2014, and plans to conduct a second IOW session during 2013 through2015.

DBVI will continue to conduct a monthly training program designed to ensure that new and seasoned VRCs and Regional Managers have basic VR counseling and service delivery skills. This Video Teleconferencing- based program entitled ” Making a Difference” or M.A.D. is conducted on a monthly basis by trainers, internal and external to the agency. Topics include a broad range of subjects including the VR process, cultural competence, caseload management and documentation, informed choice, quality customer service, developing quality partnerships between consumers and VR Counselors, transition, disability specific information, agency business practice, the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Program, and best practices for service delivery. During FFY 2015, a new planning team will be convened to discuss VR staff satisfaction with the overall program and to develop a continuation of the “back to basics” approach to providing VR services with a special focus on job development and job placement, marketing, and developing and continuing meaningful partnerships with consumers and consumer advocacy groups.

Training Needs Assessment and Individual Training Plans

DBVI annually conducts a comprehensive training needs assessment to assist VR staff and supervisors identify training areas provided with In-Service Training Grant Funds. During this reporting period a new Training Evaluation questionnaire was created as a product of the Mid- Atlantic Training Coordinator Learning Community collaboration. DBVI has adapted this instrument to be used as an online survey in Survey Monkey, to be completed as a word document form on a pc or to be completed on a printed page. The transition to the new format began during this reporting period.

Job Placement and Job Development is the number one training need identified by VR staff and administrators. This need is supported by public comment, SRC input and recommendations, consumer satisfaction surveys, and the 2012 CSNA report. Subsequently, DBVI will provide staff with targeted job development and job placement training, including the use of supported employment as a service option, in order to address the ever changing needs of business to meet their human resource needs. This strategy ultimately addresses the mission and vision of the agency by using creative and innovative approaches to improve services to blind, deafblind, and visually impaired individuals leading to increased employment outcomes.

DBVI Employee Work Plans (EWPs) are developed and reviewed annually by the employee and supervisor to identify individual training needs. Additionally, DBVI uses staff EWPs to identify statewide training needs, implement training recommendations, provide cost-efficient training programs, and obtain feedback on the quality of various staff training programs. In-Service Training Grant

DBVI develops and submits a required In-Service Training Grant Application to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). All grant activities ensure VR program employees are properly trained to meet CSPD requirements. The grant’s major objective is to increase VR staff competencies in providing quality VR services to individuals with visual impairments. The current grant emphasizes training in the following areas: • Enhancing recruitment and retention of qualified personnel, succession planning, and leadership development by updating VR core skills, and advancing leadership skills; • Improving performance in the use and knowledge of technology, including low vision devices; • Providing the most appropriate adaptive equipment to facilitate employment for blind and visually impaired individuals; • Improving the recording, managing, and reporting of data to more effectively manage caseloads using the Integrated Case Management System; • Enhancing knowledge, skill, and ability to work with targeted populations of individuals, including those who are deafblind, have multi-disabilities, and students transitioning from high school to post-secondary activities such as college, training, and work; and • Enhancing understanding of the Workforce Investment Act, including Title IV (1998 Amendments and subsequent amendments to the Rehabilitation Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and SSDI/SSI legislation, including Ticket to Work.

During 2013, VR counselors, regional managers, administrative staff, management analysts, and rehabilitation engineers received training during the course of the grant cycle. During the 2014 and 2015 IST grant cycle, DBVI’s training goals continue to include 1) improving partnerships between staff and individuals seeking or receiving services leading to richer employment outcomes based on consumer choice; 2) expanding and enhancing services to underserved or unserved individuals, especially those with most significant disabilities and students in transition; 3) meeting the standards of DBVI’s Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) identified in the agency’s state plan and approved by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA); and 4) providing core vocational rehabilitation skills training to seasoned and new staff. Orientation and Training for New Staff

DBVI continues to develop and improve upon an agency and program wide orientation for new staff. This orientation includes developing an understanding of the VR and Independent Living programs, as well as education, orientation, low vision, rehabilitation technology, and deaf blind services. Employees will also be oriented to the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the DBVI Library and Resource Center, and the Virginia Industries for the Blind.

 

Interpreters

Deafblind individuals and persons who do not speak English are provided translators by DBVI during the application and receipt phases of VR services.

 

Collaboration with Education Services

Collaboration with Education Services

VR Counselors routinely partner with students, their families, and teachers to ensure eligible students aged 14 to 21 receive vocational rehabilitation services. In response to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), DBVI’s education coordinators provide support and technical assistance at the local level to children, their parents, school division administrators, and itinerant teachers for the visually impaired. The goal is to further students’ involvement in academics and extracurricular school activities. DBVI has five education coordinators located in regional offices. Education Coordinators have graduate level training and participate with VR staff in joint training initiatives per DBVI’s Personnel Development Plan.

Transition Services

DBVI maintains a cooperative agreement with the State Department of Education (DOE) that identifies each agency’s transition responsibilities. The vision of the cooperative agreement is consistent with the IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and ensures visually impaired students leaving public schools have the opportunity to participate in meaningful and productive post-secondary lives. DBVI’s education services coordinators and VR counselors, itinerant public school teachers for the visually impaired and other service providers participate in training opportunities at the annual Transition Forum and/or classes or workshops provided at the local level.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 12:18PM by Susan Payne

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.

Results of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities and Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs

When the 2012 State Plan was developed, DBVI intended to conduct the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) over a three- year period beginning in FFY 2013. DBVI developed a work plan that identified specific tasks to be completed during each year resulting in a final report being completed by the close of FFY 2015. Details regarding internal and external activities and work associated with the work plan were included in the 2013 State Plan. With the development of the 2015 State Plan, of which this attachment is a part, DBVI is reporting that no activities associated with the CSNA have been conducted at this time due to lack of sufficient internal human resources to perform the work.

Subsequently, DBVI has determined to hire an outside consultant to assist with and potentially fully conduct the CSNA which is due to be completed by September 30, 2015. DBVI will ensure that a full CSNA of the rehabilitation needs of individuals, who are blind, visually impaired, and deafblind will be completed within the required timeframe. Additionally, DBVI and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) will partner to conduct the CSNA with the assistance of an outside consultant and will ensure that the CSNA will be in compliance with requirements of 34 CFR 361.29.

Work Plan A work plan will be developed in FFY 2014 that will, 1) identify populations to be assessed; 2) identify and detail data collection strategies; 3) determine CSNA timeframes and action steps; and 4) identify key staff and stakeholders who would assist with developing, implementing, and analyzing the CSNA and make recommendations to DBVI.

The DBVI CSNA will be a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the vocational rehabilitation needs of blind, deafblind, and visually impaired individuals age 14 and older. Specifically, DBVI and the SRC will focus 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 have been unserved or underserved; and 3) individuals who are served through other components of the Virginia’s statewide workforce development system. DBVI also will assess the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs that potentially serve blind, deafblind, and visually impaired individuals.

Data Collection Strategies Data collection strategies will include identification and analysis of internal DBVI data, external VR agency data obtained from the RSA MIS website (http://rsa.ed.gov/MIS/choose.cfm) and other external disability statistics from state and national sources. Data will be gathered from existing disability population statistics and disability population estimates from available federal and local reports in addition to the use of existing DBVI agency data, studies, and experiences.

The CSNA will include focus groups conducted with individuals with disabilities, representatives of partner agencies that serve individuals with disabilities, consumer advocacy groups, businesses, and DBVI staff. Focus group participants will be identified by DBVI and the SRC and will be voluntary.

Personnel Resources In addition to a paid consultant, DBVI will conduct the CSNA using internal staff including the Vocational Rehabilitation Director, and three staff from the agency’s Evaluation Unit. The agency Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner will also provide guidance and support. Other internal staff resources will be available as needed to include representatives from IT, regional field offices, and administrative assistants.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 12:25PM by Susan Payne

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

During FFY 2013, 1,449 individuals received vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. Thirty six of those individuals received supported employment services provided under Part B of Title VI of the Act. During FFY 2015, an estimated 1,500 individuals will be served by the DBVI VR program; 28 of those individuals are expected to receive supported employment services in some form.

During FFY 2013, DBVI expended $2,789,272 in case service funds for VR services to eligible individuals. Another Forty-five thousand, six hundred seventy-nine dollars and seventy cents ($45,679.70), Title VI, Part B funds were spent on time-limited services for individuals in supported employment.

During FFY 2015, $ 3, 300,000 in case service funds are budgeted to purchase VR services for eligible individuals. Additionally, $89,825, Title VI, Part B funds are scheduled to purchase time-limited services for individuals in supported employment.

During the last quarter of FFY 2004, DBVI initiated an order of selection (OOS) with three categories. At any given time, DBVI’s closing of OOS categories does not impact the number of individuals served under Part B of Title VI or the projected supported employment funds.

During FFY 2013, DBVI provided services to individuals in all three categories. DBVI has no plans to close categories in FY2015.

$ 3,300,000 is projected to be used to purchase case services in FFY 2015 with all OOS categories remaining open.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
All categories open Title I $3,300,000 1,472 $2,241
All categories open Title VI $89,825 28 $3,208
Totals   $3,389,825 1,500 $2,259

This screen was last updated on Jul 15 2014 3:10PM by Susan Payne

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.

Goals and Priorities The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) with assistance from the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) developed six goals and priorities for the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment programs for 2014 and is continuing with those goals and priorities into 2015. Initial collaboration and partnership to develop these goals and priorities included conduct and consideration of public meetings and public comments, recommendations from the 2012 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessments, and the Performance Standards and Indicators for FFY 2011 and 2012, and preliminary results from FFY 2013.

In preparing goals and priorities for the State Plan for 2015, DBVI has continued to be guided by the recommendations from the 2012 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, in addition to new recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council addressed in attachment 4.2 (c) of the State Plan proposed for 2015, and by comments made by the public during FFY 2014 Public Meetings. DBVI also continues to evaluate and consider the Performance Standards and Indicators from FFY 2013 and preliminary results from FFY 2014 in developing the goals and priorities

The six goals and priorities for FFY 2015 include:

1. Increasing competitive employment outcomes and ensuring high consumer wages in integrated work settings;

2. Passing the annual Standards and Performance Indicators evaluation;

3. Consistently achieving a high level of consumer satisfaction on choice, needs, and good service delivery;

4. Providing rehabilitation technology to consumers to facilitate their success in training and employment;

5. Expanding transition services for secondary school students seeking employment and/or post-secondary training; and

6. Increasing public awareness of services for the blind in Virginia.

The SRC assisted DBVI in developing the strategies in Attachment 4.11(d).

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 12:44PM by Susan Payne

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

Federal regulations require the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program to identify the order individuals will be served when all eligible individuals cannot receive services due to limited program funding. Individuals with the most significant disabilities are served first. DBVI operates an Order of Selection (OOS) with three service categories and has no plans to eliminate or discontinue operating under an OOS due to uncertain financial resources. DBVI will continue to set aside sufficient funds to purchase services necessary to determine vocational rehabilitation eligibility.

 

Description of Priority categories

During 2015 the DBVI OOS requirements will include: 1. Closing categories if limited resources prevent DBVI from providing services to individuals who are eligible for VR services. 2. Providing written notification through the VR Program Director to regional offices regarding the date for closing or opening an OOS category. 3. Ensuring an OOS category closure does not apply to individuals who have an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) on the category closure date and that the individual’s VR services will be completed with all necessary amendments. 4. Accepting applications for VR services without restrictions and providing assessments for individuals to determine their eligibility for VR services. 5. With the exception of funds for eligibility assessment services, ensuring funds will not be expended for services to individuals who do not meet criteria of the OOS category being served. If an individual does not meet the OOS category being served, a "no cost" IPE cannot be written. 6. Maintaining a waiting list based upon the VR services application date when DBVI cannot serve all eligible individuals in a given category. Individuals eligible for VR services that do not meet the criteria for the OOS category being served and have not requested case closure from application will be placed on the waiting list. Individuals on the waiting will have a completed certificate of eligibility. 7. Ensuring individuals remain on the waiting list until they either meet the criteria of the OOS category being served, the category they are in is being served, or they request their DBVI case be closed. 8. Placing individuals in the most appropriate OOS category based on the individual’s level of vision, number of functional limitations, and duration of services. 9. Ensuring individuals know they may appeal OOS classification or reclassification decisions in accordance with the DBVI’s standard appeal procedures.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

DBVI’s OOS includes the following three categories. Category 1 - Eligible Individual with the Most Significant Disabilities: The individual has no functional vision or is significantly visually impaired and has a secondary disability which, in terms of achieving an employment outcome, profoundly limits functioning in two or more major life activities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance or work skills).The individual’s vocational rehabilitation requires three or more VR services over an extended period of time (one year or more). Category 2 - Eligible Individual with a Significant Disability: The individual has no functional vision or is significantly visually impaired and has a secondary disability which, in terms of achieving an employment outcome, profoundly limits functioning in two or more major life activities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance or work skills). The individual’s vocational rehabilitation requires two or more substantial VR services over an extended period of time (minimum of three months). Category 3 – All Eligible Individuals: The individual meets basic eligibility criteria for services but is not identified as an individual with a most significant or significant disability as defined in OOS Category 1 or 2. Definitions for OOS "Profoundly Limits" - The individual cannot use vision, with or without visual aids, to perform major life activities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance or work skills), and has not acquired the adaptive skills to compensate for the lack of functional vision. "Severely Limits" - The individual has some functional vision, with or without visual aids, to perform major life activities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance or work skills), and has not acquired the adaptive skills to compensate for the lack of limited functional vision.

 

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

Goals for individuals to be served in FFY 2015:

DBVI estimates serving over 1,500 individuals in 2015 with all categories for services remaining open and projects $3,300,000 in case service expenditures for all categories, including supported employment federal and non federal funds.

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 0 0 0

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 12:49PM by Susan Payne

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

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

The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) uses funds received through Title VI, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to purchase supported employment services (SE). DBVI purchases SE using a fee-for-services structure from a statewide network of about 70 approved SE vendors.

In FFY 2015, DBVI will use Title VI, Part B funds to purchase and provide SE support services for eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities who do not typically benefit from traditional VR services. These support services include job training, situational assessments and/or supplemental assessments that will be provided during the time-limited phase of SE. When necessary to meet an individual’s specific needs, DBVI also may purchase supplemental services.

On average, DBVI expects to spend between $50,000 and $70,000 annually providing time-limited services for eligible individuals.

During FFY 2013, DBVI provided 34 individuals with SE services and fully expended SE grant funds. During FFY 2015, DBVI projects 25 individuals will be served. Most individuals participate in an individual placement model. Although some of those individuals may require services in enclaves, entrepreneural settings, and mobile crews, DBVI expects most will receive SE through an individual placement model.

During FFY 2015, DBVI expects to expend all of its available SE funds. However, any unspent funds will be transferred to the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to support individuals with disabilities served by that agency.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 12:54PM by Susan Payne

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.

Goal 1. Increasing competitive employment outcomes and ensuring high consumer wages in integrated work settings Strategy 1. In 2015, One hundred ninety nine individuals will work in integrated settings; 20 of those individuals will work in self-owned businesses as independent homemakers, unpaid family workers, and in supported employment settings.

Measurement - To annually increase the number of cases closed in integrated work settings and reduce the number of cases closed as homemakers or unpaid family workers.

Strategy 2. In FFY 2015, DBVI will strive to ensure that individuals who successfully obtain or maintain employment will earn an average hourly wage commensurate with the cost of living index. It is DBVI’s goal for those individuals to work at least an average of 32 hours per week at closure.

Measurement - Annual increases in hourly earnings of individuals with successful employment outcomes will raise commensurate with the cost of living index.

Strategy 3. DBVI will continue emphasizing staff and consumer education on enhanced work incentives via the Social Security Reimbursement program. Each SSDI and/or SSI recipient will be provided information about work incentives and the Ticket-to-Work program.

Measurement –DBVI will strive to maintain the number of ticket assignments and Social Security reimbursements at the 2013 level or above, in 2015.

Strategy 4. DBVI will continue collaborating with mandated partners in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). To assist the One Stop Centers in meeting accessibility needs of blind and vision impaired customers, DBVI staff will serve on local workforce boards, and provide technical assistance and support to the Virginia Workforce Network.

Measurement - DBVI will respond to all local One Stop Career Center requests for technical assistance on making services accessible for individuals who are blind or vision impaired. DBVI Regional Managers will serve on at least one local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB).

Strategy 5. To help ensure individuals with disabilities are served by the One Stop system, DBVI will collaborate with the Workforce Development Council and mandated partners to provide training and technical assistance to the Virginia One Stop system .

Measurement - DBVI will continue collaborating with mandated partners to ensure blind and vision impaired individuals have access to One Stop programs and services.

Strategy 6. DBVI will place a high priority on addressing needs associated with job placement and job development.

Measurement - Job development and placement training for VR counselors will continue be provided in FFY 2015. This will include ongoing training in job placement with a focus on successful employment outcomes and informed choice. DBVI will include the SRC, VR counselors, regional managers, and outside consultants in developing other strategies to enhance job development, job placement, and job retention services.

Strategy 7 – DBVI and the SRC will partner to establish and maintain a business advisory council to facilitate successful employment outcomes.

Measurement – During 2015, DBVI will establish a Business Advisory Council.

Strategy 8. DBVI VR counselors will partner with and support individuals to develop realistic vocational goals resulting in successful employment outcomes in integrated settings offering maximum wages and benefits. VR counselors will ensure individuals are aware of employment options in the Randolph-Sheppard program or in integrated positions in the Virginia Industries for the Blind.

Measurement – DBVI will monitor the monthly case management report to ensure IPEs are developed by individuals and their VR counselors no later than 90 days after eligibility determination. The vocational rehabilitation director will continue working with regional managers and counselors to identify tools VR counselors can use to help consumers make realistic vocational choices. DBVI will continue to provide training to regional managers and VR counselors regarding informed choice.

Strategy 9. To support the Vocational Rehabilitation program focus on employment, DBVI will continue to ensure other agency programs provide services to individuals who want to acquire independent living skills. Consumers not interested in employment will receive DBVI services from programs other than VR based on eligibility for those programs. This strategy will help reduce the need for vocational rehabilitation to serve independent homemakers and unpaid family workers.

Measurement – DBVI will use general funds to provide services such as orientation and mobility, low vision, and rehabilitation teaching instructions to individuals who require those services for independent living but not for an employment outcome.

Strategy 10. DBVI will ensure that individuals who require supported employment to achieve competitive employment in an integrated setting, have access to those services.

Measurement – During FFY 2015 VR staff will receive supported employment training including long term follow-along services required by individuals after their VR case is closed.

Strategy 11. DBVI will expand and enhance comprehensive services to individuals who participate in evaluation and training at VRCBVI by renovating portions of the facility and ensuring that the cafeteria and recreation building are ADA compliant .

Measurement – Renovation of the VRCBVI Recreation Building will be completed during the fall of 2014 in order to address outstanding ADAAG issues surrounding the accessibility of the locker rooms, restrooms, and entrances in the building. The facility, built in 1971, is currently outfitted with the original shower and restroom facilities.

The pool and the area surrounding the pool in the Recreation Building are scheduled for repairs. In addition, to meet the updated ADAAG requirements for public pools, there is a planned addition of a lift device for the pool.

The restrooms and entry way of the Cafeteria building will undergo renovation to address ADAAG requirements. The ceiling and lights, as well as the windows are also scheduled for replacement. The roof top units (RTU’s) for the HVAC system and miscellaneous piping and pumps are also scheduled for replacement.

The Library Resource Center’s existing EPDM roof will be replaced with a new EPDM roof. This is a state construction pooled project, with bond funding, so approvals at each phase make scheduling difficult to project. A design engineer proposal was selected in May 2013.

DBVI will also complete the installation of a security camera system for the interior and exterior areas of the Azalea Avenue campus in Fiscal Year 2014. The agency also has plans to install a new door control system for the Azalea Avenue campus, excluding the VRCBVI Administrative and Activities (AA) building. The AA building door control system was replaced as a part of the AA building renovation.

Strategy 12. Feedback will be obtained by DBVI from internal and external stakeholders to generate a strategic plan to make VRCBVI based services more employment focused and responsive to customer’s needs.

Measurement –DBVI will develop a strategic plan for VRCBVI during 2015.

Goal 3. Consistently achieving a high level of consumer satisfaction on choice, needs, and good service delivery Strategy 1. Achieve a 25 to 35% response rate to the satisfaction survey feedback from individuals whose VR cases were closed after they had been determined eligible for services. Achieve a 50% response rate to the satisfaction survey feedback from individuals who attended VRCBVI.

Measurement – Individuals whose VR cases were closed after they had been determined eligible for services and individuals who have participated in evaluation, assessment, or training at VRCBVI will be given an opportunity to participate in a satisfaction survey by phone, e-mail, or paper survey. Individuals who participated in evaluation, assessment, or training at VRCBVI will be provided the opportunity to participate in a satisfaction survey at the end of their participation at VRCBVI. Response data will be reported to the Rehabilitation Council annually; updates will be provided quarterly. Strategy 2. Based on satisfaction survey results, DBVI’s goal is to achieve an overall satisfaction rating of 85 for provided services.

Measurement – During FFY 2015, DBVI will review and revise as needed the score measuring overall consumer satisfaction ensuring that the methodology of assessing consumer satisfaction is reliable and valid. DBVI will provide an accounting of consumer satisfaction to the SRC annually and as requested.

Strategy 3. To ensure timely services and quality control, approximately ten percent of active VR cases will be reviewed annually by DBVI Headquarter staff and Regional Managers in the local field offices.

Measurement – DBVI Headquarters staff and Regional Managers will will review ten percent of open VR cases in 2015.

Strategy 4. Annually, DBVI will hold at least four public meetings throughout the State to gather additional customer satisfaction feedback.

Measurement - At least four public meetings will be scheduled in fall of 2014 . SRC members will participate in conducting public meetings.

Strategy 5. DBVI will review existing agency materials pertaining to consumer rights and responsibilities including the VR application and IPE to determine revisions or clarification of the information is required in effort to ensure that consumers of services are well informed.

Measurement – DBVI will revise existing agency materials as necessary to adequately ensure that consumers of services understand their rights and responsibilities. As needed, the agency will develop a new stand-alone document to more clearly communicate these rights and responsibilities to consumers and other interested stakeholders.

Goal 5. Expanding transition services for secondary school students seeking employment. Strategy 1. DBVI will continue to sponsor a Summer Work program for high school students.

Measurement – In FFY 2015, DBVI will continue assisting high school students who want to participate in a Summer Work program. The number of participating students will be reported to the DBVI headquarters office.

Strategy 2. DBVI will identify potentially eligible students at an earlier age (14).

Measurement – DBVI case management system data will enable an automatic VR program referral within 30 days after a student reaches age 14. DBVI will send outreach letters to students and their families in order to provide information regarding DBVI services.

Strategy 3. DBVI will provide vocational rehabilitation staff with training opportunities on the topic of transition.

Measurement – During FFY2014, DBVI will provide VR staff at least onetransition training opportunities. Training options will include the statewide transition conference

Strategy 4. Summer Transition programs for high school students will continue as a VRCBVI priority.

Measurement - VRCBVI will provide Summer Transition programs during the summer of 2015. These programs will include a four-week transition program entitled Living Independently Feeling Empowered (L.I.F.E) and a Summer College Assessment program.

Strategy 5. The DBVI education services and Vocational Rehabilitation programs will work together to ensure transition services are available to blind and vision impaired students in Virginia.

Measurement - During FFY2015, collaboration among the VR and education services program directors will be emphasized in policy directives and staff training.

 

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.

Goal 4. Provide rehabilitation technology to consumers to facilitate their success in training and employment.

Strategy 1. DBVI will continue to consider the need for and provision of rehabilitation technology services and devices to individuals at all stages of the rehabilitation process.

Measurement - Individual case records will reflect the need for and provision of rehabilitation technology services and devices considered and/or provided at all stages of the rehabilitation process. The DBVI VR Policies and Procedures Manual makes this a requirement. The Rehabilitation Technology Program Director will provide a report identifying the number of individuals receiving rehabilitation engineering services during 2015.

Strategy 2. DBVI will upgrade devices and computers as part of its efforts to provide rehabilitation technology services to individuals participating in evaluation and training at VRCBVI.

Measurement – DBVI will upgrade rehabilitation technology devices and computers as needed to provide those services to individuals participating in evaluation and training at VRCBVI.

Strategy 3. Rehabilitation technology services will be provided on a statewide basis.

Measurement – Individuals receiving services will have access to DBVI rehabilitation technology staff, and technology labs in the regional offices, central office, and VRCBVI. DBVI will continue budgeting financial resources to ensure equipment and software upgrades are available for assessments and training. DBVI will expend case service funds to provide the assistive technology services necessary for an individual’s participation in vocational training and/or employment.

Strategy 4 – In providing services to groups, DBVI will conduct regional rehabilitation technology seminars.

Measures – During FY 2015 DBVI and VRCBVI will conduct six regional rehabilitation technology seminars in the regional offices.

Strategy 5. DBVI will provide training opportunities on new and improved technology to rehabilitation technology specialists.

Measurement - During FFY 2015, the chief rehabilitation engineer will conduct and/or arrange training on new and improved technology for the rehabilitation technology staff.

Strategy 6. DBVI will continue to commit resources to keep current technology labs at the VRCBVI, regional offices, and central office.

Measurement - During FFY 2015, DBVI will identify funds, including SSA reimbursement funds, as needed, to upgrade the technology labs.

 

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.

Goal 6. Increasing public awareness of services for the blind in Virginia

Strategy 1. Each regional office will be required to participate in outreach activities including, but not limited to, employer education, job fairs, job clubs, and education presentations to consumer organizations and communities.

Measurement - During every quarter of FFY 2014, DBVI regional office staff must participate in at least six outreach activities. These outreach activities may include, but are not limited to: • VR counselors attending network meetings at the One Stop Centers; • VR counselors conducting marketing activities, such as job development/placement with employers; • Staff attending community job fairs; • Regional managers and counselors attending quarterly Local Workforce Investment Board meetings; • Providing sensitivity training and information for various employers as needed/requested; • Attending Workforce Development meetings; • Participating in site review compliance visits for One Stops; • Attending consumer organization and support group meetings; and • Contacting various community referral sources, such as physicians and service organizations.

Strategy 2. DBVI will continue enhancing its website to better promote services to blind individuals, employers, and service providers.

Measurement - This will be an ongoing activity including updates as needed.

Strategy 3. During FFY 2015, DBVI and the SRC will continue to work together in developing strategies for increasing public awareness about DBVI and VR services.

Measurement - This will be an ongoing activity involving the SRC and the agency and will include DBVI consideration of implementation of SRC recommendations identified in State Plan Attachment 4.2 (c).

Strategy 4. The DBVI brochure will be widely distributed to help increase public awareness about DBVI programs and services. The brochure is available in print, Braille, and electronic format.

Measurement - During FFY 2015, DBVI will provide staff with printed agency brochures for outreach and increasing public awareness. Braille and electronic copies of the brochure will be available.

Strategy 6. DBVI will continue outreach activities to identify individuals with the most significant disabilities who may be unserved or underserved by the agency. The agency brochure will be widely distributed by DBVI staff to reach potentially unserved or underserved individuals. Consumer organizations of the blind, which include minorities and all age groups, will help DBVI reach underserved groups. To further reach underserved or unserved groups, DBVI will continue educating service organizations and other entities. DBVI also will closely monitor statistical reports to ensure minorities and all age groups are being served by vocational rehabilitation. Measurement – Incorporating methods identified in Strategy 6, there will be an agency-wide effort during FFY 2015to identify individuals with significant disabilities who are underserved or who have not been served. By closely monitoring statistical reports, the agency expects an increase in services to minorities that may be underserved. DBVI will use Comprehensive Needs Assessment data acquired through surveys to consumers, employers/business, DBVI staff, and other interested stakeholders to identify and develop further strategies to reach unserved and underserved individuals and individuals with most significant disabilities.

Strategy 7. DBVI will expand and enhance outreach activities to individuals who are blind and vision impaired, their families, and other interested stakeholders including the use of the VRCBVI administration building meeting spaces for small and larger groups of people internal and external to the agency.

Measurement – Increased use of VRCBVI facilities, including meeting rooms and recreational spaces, by individuals who are blind and vision impaired, their families, and other interested stakeholders.

Strategy 8. DBVI will utilize the designated channel for Virginia on Newsline as another resource to expand and enhance outreach activities to individuals who are blind and vision impaired. The SRC will assist DBVI in identifying the process and some of the information to be added and maintained.

Measurement - This will be an ongoing activity involving at least monthly updates.

 

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

 

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

Goal 2. Passing the annual Standards and Performance Indicators evaluation

Strategy 1. DBVI will produce quarterly Standards and Indicator Reports to enable staff to monitor progress in Standards 1 and 2. The report will reflect totals for the state, regional offices, and counselors.

Measurement – The Standards and Indicators will be online and available to staff at the beginning of each quarter. Strategy 2. Elements from annual Standards and Indicator Reports will continue to be included in the employee performance standards for supervisors and counselors.

Measurement - Key elements from the annual Standards and Indicator Reports will be included in employee performance standards in 2015.

Strategy 3. The Rehabilitation Council will be provided quarterly updates on the Standards and Indicators Reports.

Measurement – DBVI will present a Standards and Indicator Report at quarterly SRC meetings.

Strategy 4. DBVI administration including the Deputy Commissioner and the VR Director will review quarterly and annual Standards and Indicators for the agency and each region. Quarterly reports will reflect agency and regional office progress toward achieving the annual Standards and Indicators.

Measurement – DBVI administrators and regional managers will review all quarterly reports and recommend actions to improve performance when it is needed to pass performance indicators. Recommendations will be implemented consistently at the regional and state level.

 

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

 

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

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

Innovation & Expansion Activities

Innovation & Expansion Activities DBVI will budget $60,000 to carry out innovation and expansion activities in FY 2015. The VR program director will monitor expenditure of these funds.

Goal 1. To enhance existing rehabilitation technology services available to persons with visual disabilities. These strategies will help address some barriers to assistive technology services that were identified by VR consumers in public meetings and the comprehensive needs assessment.

Strategy 1. Two thousand dollars ($2,000) will be budgeted for adaptive technology training for community service providers to make training more accessible for individuals who are blind. Additional service providers will increase personal choice opportunities for consumers.

Measurement - Increased number of qualified assistive technology trainers/tutors.

Strategy 2. One thousand dollars ($1,000) will be budgeted in FFY 2015 to provide new training materials available for loan to VR consumers. This strategy does not meet the needs or choice of all VR consumers, but helps provide another option to enhance the availability of adaptive technology training in the regional field offices and the VRCBVI.

Measurement – In the beginning of FFY 2015, DBVI will conduct a survey to determine the most needed training materials. Those materials will be purchased prior to the end of 2015.

Strategy 3. Five thousand dollars ($5,000) will be budgeted for the provision of up to four technology training seminars for VR consumers. Funds for these seminars will be available to regional offices outside the Richmond area for computer users who would benefit from technology training. Training may involve an introduction to new or upgraded software to enable individuals to successfully participate in vocational training and/or employment.

Measurement - Up to four assistive technology training seminars will be planned and conducted to address unmet needs.

GOAL 2. To enhance transition and mentoring services for blind individuals in Virginia by providing blind and vision impaired students and adults with real-life experiences, interaction with positive role models and information to better equip them for self-advocacy and realistic informed choices regarding their post-secondary training and/or employment.

Strategy 1. DBVI will budget $6,875 to provide up to three local transition activities for students. In those activities, regional office staff will present blind and visually impaired people who are positive role models.

Measurement - Up to three regional transition programs will be supported utilizing these special innovation and activity funds.

Strategy 2. DBVI will budget $6,875 to provide a minimum of two regional career seminars.

Measurement - Regional office staff will plan and implement a minimum of two career seminars in FFY 2015.

Strategy 3. DBVI will budget $2,500 to support transition and mentoring activities at VRCBVI or in DBVI field offices.

Measurement – VRCBVI and DBVI field offices will identify activities and submit budget requests to access these funds for the special transition/mentoring programs at VRCBVI during FFY 2015.

SRC Resource Plan

Support for the Rehabilitation Council

Twenty-four thousand two hundred dollars ($24,200) will be budgeted for FY 2015 SRC activities.

Strategy 1. DBVI will budget $8,000 to provide administrative support for the Council.

Measurement - This will be measured by fully accounting for the hourly cost of the wage employee who performs SRC administrative functions.

Strategy 2. DBVI will budget $5,500 to reimburse Council members for travel expenses incurred for attending quarterly Council meetings.

Measurement - This will be measured by the number of members attending SRC meetings and expense accounts submitted.

Strategy 3. DBVI will budget $2,500 to reimburse blind Council members for paid drivers.

Measurement - This activity is measured by the number of blind members who attend meetings and claim the compensation allowed for paying drivers.

Strategy 4. DBVI will budget $1,000 to provide group lunches for Council members.

Measurement - This expense is measured by the number of lunches purchased for members, staff and approved guests, such as drivers for blind members.

Strategy 5. DBVI will budget $5000 to provide interpreter services during the Council meetings.

Measurement - This activity is measured by the cost for providing an interpreter for quarterly meetings when one is requested prior to the meeting.

Strategy 6. DBVI will budget $5,000 for individual and/or group training activities to assist the Council in carrying out its responsibilities, including sponsoring a representative to attend the spring and fall Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), the National Council of State Administrators of the Blind conferences and National Council of State Rehabilitation Council activities.

Measurement - This activity is measured by the associated cost for providing support for the SRC to carry out its responsibilities.

Strategy 7. DBVI will budget $1,000 for new Council member orientation training.

Measurement - This activity is measured by the number of new SRC members and the cost of their travel and lodging. Strategy 8. DBVI will budget $200 for SRC networking conference calls.

Measurement - This activity will be measured by the need for conference calls required by the SRC to conduct its business.

Strategy 9. DBVI will budget $1,000 to reimburse the DBVI SRC representative for travel expenses associated with attending the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) SRC meetings.

Measurement - This activity is measured by the travel cost required for the representative to attend the meetings.

Strategy 10. DBVI will budget $3,000 to support the Rehabilitation Council with new initiatives. These may include assistive technology, public relations, transition, mentoring, and/or employment initiatives.

Measurement - This activity is measured by the projects proposed and costs approved by the agency for these special activities.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 1:10PM by Susan Payne

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

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

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) evaluate and report on progress made by the DBVI Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program by:

1. Reviewing and monitoring progress toward achieving the goals and priorities established in Attachment 4.11(c) (1) at quarterly SRC meetings. DBVI reports progress annually in State plan Attachment 4.11(e) (2).

2. Monitoring the strategies to achieve goals and priorities and use of Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities identified in Attachment 4.11(d). DBVI reports progress annually in State plan Attachment 4.11(e) (2). EVALUATION AND REPORT OF PROGRESS IN ACHIEVING GOALS AND PRIORITIES

I. Competitive employment outcome is the number one priority for the VR program

1. DBVI projected a goal of 180 successful rehabilitations for FFY 2013. Twenty of those individuals would work in self-owned businesses, as independent homemakers, as unpaid family workers, and in supported employment settings.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013 DBVI exceeded the number of successful rehabilitations projected rehabilitations with 195 individuals having successful employment outcomes: 147were employed in competitive jobs; three were employed in the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Program; 23 were self-employed; 14 were independent homemakers; and 7 were in a supported employment setting. DBVI did not close any cases of individuals as unpaid family workers.

2. DBVI projected average hourly earnings of $16.14 for all individuals closed employed in FFY 2013 with a goal to increase hourly wages by 5% from FFY 2012. It was DBVI’s goal for those individuals to work at least an average of 32 hours per week at case closure.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, the average hourly wage including all individuals whose cases were closed employed was $17.42. There was a 13.8% increase or decrease in hourly wages from FFY 2012. The average number of hours worked was 27.

3. DBVI’s goal in FFY 2013 was to have at least 70% of vocational rehabilitation consumers achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.

Report of progress: In 2013, 41% of vocational rehabilitation consumers achieved their vocational goals. In 2012, 30% of individuals achieved their vocational goals.

4. DBVI will continue to emphasize staff and consumer education on enhanced work incentives from the Social Security Reimbursement program for SSDI and/or SSI recipients desiring to return to work.

Report of progress:

During 2013, DBVI submitted 405 SSI/SSDI recipient names to Maximus and requested that individuals’ SSA ticket status be established as “in use” with DBVI. DBVI submitted claims totaling $766,739 and received $446,131 in SSA reimbursements for successfully rehabilitating SSDI and/or SSI recipients. Also, during the FFY 2013, DBVI partnered with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to provide training to VR staff regarding the potential to expand resources by accessing WISAs, Work Incentives, Work WORLD, Labor Market information, Cost Reimbursement and Ticket to Work.

5. DBVI will continue to participate in Workforce Investment Act (WIA) activities to ensure accessibility for blind and vision impaired customers at the One Stop Centers. DBVI will continue serving on local workforce boards and providing technical assistance and support to the Virginia Workforce Network.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, DBVI staff remained actively involved with Virginia’s WIA programs. The six DBVI regional managers served on approximately 12 Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) and Memorandums of Understanding have been developed with 17 LWIBs. DBVI provided technical assistance to Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) offices on assistive technology for individuals who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired as requested. Several VEC offices are co-located One Stop Career Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. DBVI VR Counselors participated on several committees advising One Stop Career Centers across the state.

DBVI Rehabilitation Engineers continued to support the One Stop Centers through assessment of accessibility at the facilities as needed. In FFY 2013, DBVI provided one consultation and two onsite technical assistance visits resulting in written reports, and ongoing telephone consultation and support to One Stop Center staff throughout the Commonwealth as needed.

6. DBVI will collaborate with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) in providing training and technical assistance to the network of Disability Program Navigators (DPN) and the Virginia One Stop staff to help ensure individuals with disabilities are served by the One Stop system.

Report of progress: During FFY 2012, the Deputy Commissioner for Services for DBVI served on the DPN executive committee to provide input regarding DPN training. In this capacity, DBVI effectively advocated for program accessibility to One Stop programs and services for individuals who are blind or vision impaired.

7. DBVI will place a high priority on addressing needs associated with job placement and job development.

Report of progress: In an attempt to facilitate an increase in successful employment outcomes for blind, deafblind, and visually impaired consumers, DBVI created six part-time Job Placement positions during FFY 2011. These non-federally funded positions continued to be sponsored through SFY 2013; however, as the positions became vacant due to attrition, the agency chose not to fill them because number of employment outcomes DBVI achieved did not appear to be directly impacted by these positions. Only one of these positions remains.

In FFY 2013, DBVI local field office staff continued to participate in their local networks specific to potential employment opportunities. In the Northern Virginia area, Fairfax office staff routinely participates in hiring events with representatives from the federal government and business sector.

DBVI continued to share job leads with the VR staff and the DBVI State Rehabilitation Council. The job leads are generated by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of the Navy, and other public and private agencies and organizations.

As part of addressing this strategy, DBVI developed a monthly teleconference based training to address the need for VR staff to go “back to basics” in delivering VR services. This monthly training, which was and continues to be required for VR Counselors and Regional Managers was launched in April of 2012 and was conducted throughout FFY 2013. These monthly trainings are entitled “Making a Difference in People’s Lives” and abbreviated as M.A.D. An example would be, M.A.D. About Documentation. 8. The Rehabilitation Council will be consulted on strategies to enhance competitive employment outcomes, including eliminating barriers to full consumer participation in vocational training and supported employment. Report of progress: In FFY 2013, DBVI continued to report competitive employment outcomes to the SRC on a quarterly basis and as requested, though “strategies to enhance competitive employment outcomes” did not become an ongoing agenda item for the SRC as initially described in the 2013 State Plan.

9. With an emphasis on vocational evaluation and career guidance and counseling, VR counselors will partner with and support consumers to develop realistic vocational goals in integrated settings offering maximum wages and benefits. The vocational goal for some consumers may include employment in the Randolph-Sheppard program or many of the integrated positions in the Virginia Industries for the Blind.

Report of progress: At the local office level, VR counselors use career planning tools, including web-based interest inventories and self-directed search tools, to assist individuals in making educated career goals leading to maximum wages and benefits. DBVI also partners with The NET (CSAVR employment network) and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services to learn of job leads. DBVI continued to conduct job clubs in regional offices. Through the M.A.D. training program VR staff became more fully informed about the Randolph-Sheppard program.

DBVI continued to monitor monthly case management reports to ensure that IPEs are developed in a timely manner, no later than 90 days unless the individuals being served are high school students or additional time is required to determine an appropriate vocational goal for the individual. Informed choice continued to be a theme woven into VR Staff meetings at the state and regional level, in M.A.D. trainings, and in the staffing of individual VR cases between VR Counselors, Regional Managers, and agency administrators.

10. To support the Vocational Rehabilitation program focus on employment, DBVI will continue to ensure other agency programs provide services to individuals who want to acquire independent living skills. Consumers who are not interested in employment but may be interested in other DBVI services will receive those services dependent on eligibility criteria and availability of funds.

Report of progress: During 2013, DBVI continued to provide orientation and mobility, low vision services, and rehabilitation teaching instructions to individuals requiring those services to function independently, but who may not be interested in an employment outcome. Additionally, 14 individuals achieved successful employment outcomes as homemakers in 2013 and it is highly likely that those individuals received other agency services in addition to VR.

11. See number 2 of this section related to supported employment.

12. See number 2 of this section related to supported employment.

13. DBVI will expand and enhance comprehensive services to individuals who participate in evaluation and training at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VRCBVI) by renovating the administration building where vocational rehabilitation services are provided. Report of Progress: During FFY 2013, DBVI completed two projects. The first, which began in the spring of 2011, was the replacement of the Fire Alarm Systems on the DBVI main campus. The second was the replacement of the HVAC system in the Virginia Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired Dining Room,which began in fall of 2012.

II - reported in number 3 of this section related to Standards and Indicators.

III. Achieving a high level of consumer satisfaction regarding choice, needs, and good service delivery, is a high priority for the VR program.

1. DBVI’s goal is to achieve a 50% response rate to the satisfaction survey from customers with closed VR cases, and a 50% response rate to the satisfaction survey feedback from individuals who attended VRCBVI.

Report of progress: During part of 2011 and until June of 2013, the Analyst position at DBVI that is responsible for the VR Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) was vacant. In order to minimize the amount of time that CSS results were unreported, in June of 2013 DBVI elected to implement the survey for eligible VR cases closed beginning Oct 1, 2012.

As a result of the time delay in implementation and distribution of surveys, the response rate was anticipated to be lower than historical rates of between 30-40%. This was the case, with a reported response rate of 22% for FFY 2013. However, the response rate was higher than the standard rate for customer satisfaction surveys of 10-15% and also higher than the industry standard rates reported from other VR agencies of 5-10%. An additional factor in the delayed timing of this cohort of surveys was the contact ability of consumers.

In FFY 2013, VRCBVI conducted a survey of satisfaction of individuals who participated in VRCBVI Technology Seminars The survey link was emailed to 30 participants with 15 individuals responding for a 50% response rate.

Additionally, student interviews were conducted on the final day of the LIFE 2013 program to assess customer satisfaction. The LIFE Exit Survey was given to 12 students all of whom provided feedback for a 100% response rate.

2. DBVI’s goal is to achieve an overall satisfaction rate of 90 for vocational rehabilitation services provided by DBVI.

Report of progress: As previously described, the Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) was implemented in June 2013 to include eligible VR cases closed beginning Oct 1, 2012. Questions regarding overall satisfaction and satisfaction with particular services are designed using the Likert scale. When responding to the Likert questionnaire items, respondents specified their level of satisfaction in terms of five-level options. The range of options includes: Very Dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied, Satisfied to Very Satisfied.

The DBVI CSS is conducted with a diverse population of individuals. There are several key variances among regional offices and geographical areas in terms of the number of survey respondents, the number of VRCs and economic indicators, i.e. employment status, job opportunities, wages and transportation. With these variances in mind, the overall consumer satisfaction score has been calculated with a weighted mean. A baseline of 86.29 was established in SFY 2011 (July 2010-December 2010) by assigning the following values to measure levels of satisfaction: Very dissatisfied=20, Dissatisfied=40, Neutral=60, Satisfied=80, Very satisfied=100 and NA=0.

The Overall consumer satisfaction score for the services received from the VR program during the October 2012 through the September 2013 survey period was 82.22. The previous baseline established in 2011 was 86.29. There was no score for FFY12 to be used for comparison.

The breakdown of Overall consumer satisfaction score for individuals whose VR case outcome was Rehabilitated was 86.05 and for individuals whose VR case outcome was Other than Rehabilitated the score was 74.00.

In terms of the Likert scale, 79.4% consumers were either “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied.”

DBVI is working toward the goal of achieving an overall satisfaction rate of 85 for vocational rehabilitation services provided, by continuing to focus on the rehabilitative needs of the individuals served. In order to focus on the needs of the individuals served, DBVI is targeting three specific areas for continuous improvement: case review of VR case files, improved methods of obtaining feedback for individuals served by the VR program and effective training of VR staff. In partnership with the SRC, DBVI will continue to strive to reach the 90% rate for overall satisfaction, but perhaps more importantly, increase the rate of rehabilitation for individuals served and assist individuals in obtaining their vocational goals.

3. To ensure timely services and quality control, approximately ten percent of active VR cases will be reviewed annually by the central office staff to ensure timely services and quality control.

Report of progress: Due to the vacancy of the DBVI VR Compliance and Satisfaction Analyst position during most of 2013 and lack of sufficient human resources to accomplish this task, no progress was made on this strategy. However, DBVI Managers at each of the six regional offices conducted routine case file reviews quarterly, randomly, and as needed for the purpose of ensuring compliance with federal regulations, state policy, and maintaining high quality provision of vocational rehabilitation services. Case file reviews included review of file documentation in the AWARE system and in a paper file maintained in the field office.

During the last 2 months of FFY2013, DBVI began the process of developing a new case review instrument to be used for reviewing VR case files in all stages of the VR process. The case review instrument was used by Regional Managers, the Program Analyst, VR Director and the Deputy Commissioner. VR staff also had the opportunity to utilize the case review instrument for the purpose of their own case load reviews.

4. A minimum of four public meetings were conducted throughout the State during fall and spring 2013.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, DBVI conducted a total of five public meetings. One meeting was conducted in a DBVI regional office. Three meetings were held in conjunction with a consumer advocacy group,state or monthly meetings. One meeting was held at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired. DBVI responded to questions or concerns posed during these meetings informally and formally in writing. Written summary of public comments and agency responses are posted on the agency website and provided to the SRC.

5. In FFY 2013, the satisfaction survey will include a component to measure consumer satisfaction on information provided in accessible formats.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, consumer satisfaction surveys provided to individuals who have received VR services included a question regarding satisfaction with access to alternative formats.

The question regarding accessible format was developed in partnership with the SRC. Seventy-eight percent of respondents commented that they did receive information from DBVI in an accessible format; 12% responded that they did not and 10% were unsure. A question regarding the availability of a translator/interpreter was also included in the FFY13 survey. Seventy-seven percent of respondents were informed about the availability of a translator/interpreter; 13% were not and 10% were unsure.

This information has been shared with DBVI Management. Training continues to be provided to VR staff to ensure enhanced communication between the VR staff and the individuals DBVI serves.

IV. Assistive Technology Services

1. DBVI will continue to consider the need for and provide assistive technology services and devices to individuals at all stages of the rehabilitation process.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, DBVI continued to ensure that assistive technology was considered for individuals receiving VR services throughout their participation in services. These considerations were documented in individual case file records. Rehabilitation engineers provided services and devices statewide to 191 individuals at all stages of the rehabilitation process in FFY 2013.

2. DBVI will enhance and expand assistive technology services to individuals participating in evaluation and training at VRCBVI. This effort will include upgrades to devices and computers.

Report of Progress: During FFY 2013, VRCBVI hired a second computer instructor and upgraded JAWS, Zoom text, and Duxbury, and installed Window-eyes and the latest internet explorer on all our student computers. Additionally, a Victor Reader Stream 2nd Generation was purchased in order to demonstrate for students the abilities of a digital recorder and playback device.

3. Assistive technology services will be provided on a statewide basis.

Report of Progress: Regional rehabilitation engineering labs continued to be operational statewide for customer use and evaluations.

4. The Rehabilitation Council will continue to work with the agency to identify and implement new strategies to help meet the technology needs of blind and vision impaired individuals.

Report of progress: No progress was made during 2013.

5. DBVI will provide training opportunities for rehabilitation technology specialists on new and improved technology.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013 DBVI continued provide training opportunities for rehabilitation technology specialists by engaging assistive technology vendors in to demonstrate the newest technologies in the field of assistive technology. Predominant technology training fell under low vision CCTV equipment. 6. DBVI will commit resources to update technology labs at VRCBVI, in regional offices, and at the DBVI Headquarters.

Report of progress: DBVI did not need to update equipment in the field office technology labs in 2013.

During FFY 2013, DBVI determined to establish a state-of-the-technology resource room at the headquarters in Richmond as a means to provide demonstration and evaluation of individual consumer needs in the use of newly developed technology. Additionally, this resource room serves as a training venue for staff and to increase public awareness of the various low to high level technologies used by individuals who are blind, deafblind, and vision impaired to work and live independently. Equipment in the resource room may loan to the regional labs for the purpose of demonstration and evaluation of consumer needs.

During FFY 2013, VRCBVI hired a second computer instructor and upgraded JAWS, Zoom text, and Duxbury, and installed Window-eyes and the latest internet explorer on all our student computers. Additionally, a Victor Reader Stream 2nd Generation was purchased in order to demonstrate for students the abilities of a digital recorder and playback device. VRCBVI also provided training to field staff and consumers in Norfolk on iOS, as well as seminars on excel accessible media and iOS.

V. Transition Services for Students

1. DBVI will continue to sponsor a Summer Work program for high school students.

Report of progress: Four of six DBVI regional offices participated in assisting students in identifying summer work opportunities. A total of 47 students participated in the summer work program, 20 earned hourly wages, three were paid in lump sums, one worked in an unpaid internship, and 23 worked as volunteers. 46 public and private businesses/employers hired these students for summer work. Attached to this memorandum is a chart that captures the data referenced in this memorandum.

The average hourly wage of the 20 students who earned hourly wages was $8.50; the lowest hourly wage was $7.25 and the highest was $15.00. Additionally, one consumer worked as a camp counselor and earned $350.00 per month; two other consumers earned $1,500 and $2,400 respectively throughout the duration of the Summer Work Program. Lastly, 23 were volunteers.

2. DBVI will identify potentially VR eligible students at an earlier age.

Report of progress: DBVI continued to identify potentially eligible transition-aged youth through the DBVI case management system during 2012. This system identifies students who reach age 14. Such students and their parents are contacted by DBVI via letter to provide information about vocational rehabilitation and transition services.

3. DBVI will provide more transition training opportunities to vocational rehabilitation staff.

Report of progress: DBVI sponsored 13 staff to participate in the 2013 Virginia Transition Forum. Staff included vocational rehabilitation counselors, education services specialists, rehabilitation technologists, regional managers, and two agency program directors.

4. VRCBVI will continue to make Summer Transition programs for high school students a priority.

Report of progress: In Summer 2013, Fifteen (15) students participated in the LIFE (“Learning Independence, Feeling Empowered”) program at VRCBVI. LIFE is a four-week residential transition program for blind and vision impaired high school students who want to have fun and make new friends while gaining non visual skills and work experience to assist in the transition from high school to the rest of their lives. Funding for the program came from DBVI’s VR budget, and also from VRCBVI’s operating budget. Students participated in skills of blindness classes, including Orientation and Mobility, Braille, Keyboarding, Access Technology, Personal and Home Management, Physical Fitness, Issues of Blindness, and Job Readiness. Students participated in part-time community based work experiences during the last two weeks of the program, as well.

VRCBVI did not conduct the College Assessment program due to lack of referrals.

5. The DBVI Education Services and the Vocational Rehabilitation programs will collaborate to ensure transition services are available to blind and vision impaired students in Virginia.

Report of progress: Collaboration between vocational rehabilitation and education services staff occurs at both the central office and regional office levels.

VI. Mentoring Services for Adults and Students

A mentoring program will be developed to allow interactions with positive blind role models, is an important component of rehabilitation for blind youth and adults.

Report of progress: In FFY 2013, DBVI continued to discuss ways to implement a solid mentoring program. No program has been implemented to date due to lack of identification of mentors who are interested in participating in a formal program.

VII. Public Relations and Outreach

1. Each regional office will be required to participate in outreach activities including, but not limited to: employer education, job fairs, job clubs, and education presentations to consumer organizations and communities.

Report of progress: In FFY 2013, regional office staff continued to participate in numerous outreach activities throughout the state. Outreach included, but was not limited to: • VR counselors and Regional Managers attending network meetings at the One Stop Centers and serving on local One Stop committees; • VR counselors facilitating job clubs and support groups related to employment; • Collaborating with local colleges and universities to educate rising freshman about college life; • VR counselors conducting marketing activities with employers, such as job development and placement; • Conducting and/or participating in regional disability awareness activities, including those events specifically designed to focus on assistive technology; • Marketing DBVI services to local eye care physicians; • Staff attending job fairs in the community; • Regional managers and counselors attending quarterly LWIB meetings; • Providing sensitivity training and information for various employers as needed/requested; • Attending Workforce Development meetings; • Participating in site review compliance visits for One Stops; • Presentations to Veterans or Veteran’s Services Organizations to educate regarding VR services; • Attending consumer organization and support group meetings; and • Contacting various community referral sources, such as physicians and service organizations.

2. DBVI will continue to enhance its website to better promote services to blind individuals, employers, and service providers.

Report of progress: This is an ongoing activity that has included updating information and materials in DBVI’s program areas.

3. During FFY 2013, the SRC will work with the agency to develop strategies for increasing public awareness about DBVI and VR services.

Report of progress: During this reporting cycle, the SRC continued to discuss the need for community outreach to increase public awareness. DBVI ensured that the SRC Annual Report and agency response to public comment were posted on the agency website in FFY 2013 and the agency developed and implemented a Facebook page during this period.

4. The agency brochure will be widely distributed to increase public awareness about DBVI programs and services. The brochure is available in print, Braille, and electronic format.

Report of progress: DBVI staff continued to distribute the agency brochure to business partners, potential customers, colleges, universities, post-secondary educators, and other stakeholders. In 2013, the brochure distribution occurred during outreach activities at state and local conferences, meetings, and disability awareness activities. Braille and electronic copies of the brochure were available.

5. The DBVI will continue to develop strategies and materials to enhance marketing and public relations.

Report of progress: No significant progress was made due to lack of adequate budget and personnel to focus on this strategy.

6. DBVI will conduct outreach activities to identify individuals with the most significant disabilities who may be unserved or underserved by the agency.

Report of progress: During 2013, DBVI staff continued to distribute agency brochures to business partners, potential customers, colleges, universities, post-secondary educators, and other stakeholders during outreach activities at state and local conferences, meetings, and disability awareness activities.

 

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) evaluate and report on progress made by the DBVI Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program by:

1. DBVI will work to ensure supported employment as an employment option is used by individuals who need support on the job to “achieve competitive employment in an integrated setting.”

Report of progress: During 2013, DBVI continued to provide supported employment services to individuals who required support to obtain or maintain employment. These services included job development, placement, and training and included non-federally funded supported employment follow-along services at case closure. Though DBVI staff did not receive specific training regarding the provision of supported employment because of a delay in scheduling, they did receive guidance from Regional Managers and agency administrators when determining when individuals might require supported employment and the Agency Management Analyst provided training and support to accurately identify and report on the provision supported employment services.

2. DBVI projected that 15 individuals in FFY 2013 would receive supported employment services and planned to place emphasis on accurately identifying individuals who would benefit from supported employment.

Report of progress: Thirty-six individuals received supported employment services during FFY 2013.

 

Standards and Indicators

1. DBVI will continue to produce quarterly reports showing progress toward achieving the Standards and Indicators. The Standards and Indicators Report will reflect totals for the state, regional offices, and counselors.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, DBVI continued to produce the quarterly reports and made them available to counselors and managers.

2. Elements from Standards and Indicators will continue to be included in the employee performance standards for supervisors and counselors.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, DBVI continued to include key elements from the Standards and Indicators in the job performance standards for counselors and managers.

3. The Rehabilitation Council will be provided quarterly updates regarding the Standards and Indicators Reports.

Report of progress: The Deputy Commissioner for Services or the VR Director provided the SRC quarterly updates regarding DBVI accomplishment of Standards and Indicators elements throughout FFY 2013.

4. Passing the Annual Standards and Indicators is DBVI’s goal for the agency and each region. Quarterly reports will reflect agency and regional office progress toward achieving the annual Standards and Indicators.

Report of progress: DBVI’s internal tracking report for Standards and Indicators reflect all six regions and the agency as a whole passed RSA standards and indicators in 2013.

5. It is DBVI’s goal to pass all the RSA Standards and Performance Indicators. For agencies serving blind and vision impaired individuals, these performance measures reflect services provided over a two-year period.

Report of progress: DBVI passed the federally required Standards and Indicators for the two-year period of October 2011 through September 2013.

 

USE OF TITLE I FUNDS FOR INNOVATION AND EXPANSION

Innovation & Expansion Activities

I. Expand Rehabilitation Technology Services to Persons with Visual Disabilities, Employers, Other Agencies, and Organizations

1. DBVI will continue to seek assistance from the Rehabilitation Council to develop strategies to address technology needs of VR consumers.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, the SRC chairperson participated as a voting member of the Virginia Assistive Technology System Council (VATS). Serving in this capacity, the SRC maintains it active role in assuring Virginia considers the assistive technology needs of blind, deafblind, and vision impaired individuals. The SRC will continue to be represented on the VATS Council in 2015.

2. Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) was budgeted for regional offices to purchase computers, adaptive equipment and/or software to make community training centers and technology labs in regional offices more accessible.

Report of progress: During 2013, DBVI purchased a laptop for rehabilitation engineers to use for the purpose of conducting demonstrations and evaluations for eligible individuals.

Additionally, DBVI determined to establish a state-of-the-technology resource room at the headquarters in Richmond as a means to provide demonstration and evaluation of individual consumer needs in the use of newly developed technology. Additionally, this resource room served as a training venue for staff and to increase public awareness of the various low to high technologies used by individuals who are blind, deafblind, and vision impaired to work and live independently. 3. Five thousand dollars ($5,000) was budgeted for regional offices to assist with adaptive technology training in the community to help service providers make training more accessible for individuals who are blind. Additional service providers will increase opportunities for consumers to make choices.

Report of progress: Throughout FFY 2013, rehabilitation engineers trained one individual to become a technology tutor in order to make services more fully accessible to individuals who are blind or vision impaired. Additionally, DBVI ensured tutors on the DBVI Technology Tutor Network had access to the rehabilitation engineering regional labs to enhance their skills and/or learn new programs and devices. Technology tutors also have been trained by Rehab Engineering staff in assistive technology. There were no additional funds spent in this area.

4. Two thousand dollars ($2,000) was budgeted to provide new training materials on loan to VR consumers. The materials included tutorials for regional offices and VRCBVI. This technology training method is one of many strategies to enhance the availability of adaptive technology training.

Report of progress: In FFY 2013, no funds were spent for this activity.

5. DBVI staff will be available to provide technical assistance to One Stop Centers and required partners of One Stop Centers to make their services and information accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Report of progress: In FFY 2013, the chief rehabilitation engineer, other rehabilitation technology staff, counselors, and other DBVI staff provided technical assistance to One Stop Center staff throughout the Commonwealth as needed.

6. Five thousand dollars ($5,000) is budgeted to provide technology training seminars for VR consumers. The seminar funds will be available to regional offices outside the Richmond area and will target those individuals who are already computer users and who would benefit from technology training. The training may involve introductions to new or upgraded software that may enable an individual more successful participation in vocational training and/or employment. Report of progress: In FFY 2013, no funds were spent in this area.

Overall, in the area of Expanding Rehabilitation Technology Services to Persons with Visual Disabilities, Employers, Other Agencies, and Organizations generally, not accounting for costs related to specific individuals receiving VR services, DBVI expended $23,641.36 during FFY 2013.

II. Enhance transition and mentoring services for blind individuals in Virginia

1. Six thousand eight hundred seventy-two dollars ($6,872) will be budgeted for regional offices to provide local transition activities for students. Regional office staff will be strongly encouraged to include blind people who are positive role models.

Report of progress: During the summer of 2013, DBVI staff from the six regional offices developed and implemented a Field Summer Transition event that was held on the campus of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (VSDB). This cadre of staff included regional managers, vocational rehabilitation counselors who specialize in transition services, orientation and mobility instructors, rehabilitation teachers, and education services specialists. Based on the provisions of a Memorandum of Understanding between DBVI and VSDB, DBVI provided financial sponsorship and staff resources to conduct a 2 ½ day transition program that provided nine youth, aged 14 through 19 who are receiving vocational rehabilitation services from DBVI, with opportunities to participate in vocational interest inventories and career exploration, job seeking and interviewing skills training. The program also included orientation and mobility instruction combined with recreational activities, and information sessions on bullying and preparing for the future. Students also participated in mock interviews.

Also during FFY 2013, 16 students being served out of the DBVI Norfolk Office had the opportunity to work with DBVI staff, including staff members who are blind and visually impaired, in a special transition workshop. Entitled, Charting Your Course to the Future, this three-day workshop was designed to provide students with training and presentations related to job seeking, organizational skills, vocational exploration, advocacy, assistive technology, personal health, travel skills, safety, and positive work behaviors. Approximately $1,200 was spent to conduct this program.

Additionally, in the Norfolk Office, 15 students participated in a College Transition Workshop which included completion of the Self-Directed Search instrument, development of advocacy skills, and learning how to access accommodations from college Disability Services offices. Approximately $150 was spent on this activity.

2. Six thousand eight hundred seventy-two dollars ($6,872) was budgeted in FFY 2008 to provide a minimum of two regional career seminars.

Report of progress: In FFY 2013, funds were not used for this activity.

3. Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) will be budgeted to support special transition and mentoring activities at VRCBVI.

Report of progress: No funds were expended in this area in 2013.

4. One thousand dollars ($1,000) will be budgeted to provide training and other materials for students and/or adults participating in the Gain Independence, Opportunity Explorations (GOAL) program.

Report of progress: The GOAL program was not conducted in 2013.

III. Support for the Rehabilitation Council.

Twenty-two thousand three hundred dollars ($22,300) was budgeted for FY 2013 SRC activities.

During 2013, eight thousand dollars ($8,000) will be budgeted to provide clerical support for the Council.

Report of progress: During 2013, $6,878 was spent to provide clerical support for the SRC.

Reimbursement of Council members for expenses required to attend meetings and costs associated with the conduct of SRC meetings

1. Five thousand five hundred ($5,500) will be budgeted to reimburse Council members for travel expenses incurred to attend Council meetings and to provide lodging.

Report of progress: During 2013, $1,984 was spent to reimburse members to attend meetings. Three thousand, three hundred, sixty-two dollars ($3,362) was spent for lodging.

2. In 2013, DBVI will not compensate Rehabilitation Council members for attending Council meetings.

Report of progress: No compensation provided to SRC members.

3. Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) will be budgeted to reimburse blind Council members for paid drivers.

Report of progress: During 2013, $686 was spent to reimburse blind members for paid drivers.

Identify all other expenses related to the operation of the Council 1. One thousand ($1,000) will be budgeted to provide group working lunches for Council members.

Report of progress: During 2013 $994 was spent on group working lunches.

2. Two hundred dollars ($200) will be budgeted to provide interpreter services during the Council meetings.

Report of progress: During 2013, no funds were spent to provide interpreter services.

3. Four thousand dollars ($4,000) will be budgeted for individual and/or group training activities to assist the Council in carrying out its responsibilities, including sponsoring a representative to attend the Spring and Fall CSAVR conference.

Report of progress: During FFY 2013, $3,995 was expended to facilitate the SRC Chair’s participation in the CSAVR meetings and Department of Rehabilitation Services SRC activities.

4. One thousand ($1,000) will be budgeted for new Council member orientation training.

Report of progress: During 2013, DBVI expended $789 to conduct new member orientation to include travel expenses, lodging, and meals.

5. Three thousand dollars ($3,000) will be budgeted to support the Rehabilitation Council with transition, mentoring and/or employment initiatives.

Report of progress: During 2013 no funds were spent for these initiatives.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 1:36PM by Susan Payne

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, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services

Supported employment (SE) services provided under Title VI, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, will be available to consumers served by the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI).

The time limited services provided under supported employment include:

1. Job coaching for blind , deafblind, and visually impaired individuals with other disabilities who previously have not been eligible for VR services, have been limited to sheltered employment or activity centers, or have had interrupted or intermittent employment due to severe disabilities.

2. Support services such as adaptive equipment/assistive technology devices, transportation, interpreter service for persons with dual-sensory impairments, etc. needed to sustain the individual in a time limited phase of supported employment.

DBVI uses the services of a statewide network of vendors for supported employment. Those vendors meet the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services’ (DARS) facilities standards for supported employment.

DBVI purchases Supported Employment (SE) from vendors on a fee-for-service basis during the time limited phase. DBVI provides training to job coaches when needed to increase their understanding of visual impairments and ability to provide quality services to the blind, deafblind, and visually impaired individuals. Generally, the time limited phase of supported employment is not authorized until the extended services funding has been identified. An exception can be made when there is a reasonable expectation that extended services funding will be identified at the point time-limited services are ready to end. Normally, the time limited services will not exceed 18 months.

Extended services funding is available for some blind, deafblind, or visually impaired individuals who have intellectual disabilities confirmed through the local Community Services Boards (CSBs). A special state appropriation provides extended services funds for individuals with physical disabilities who are not eligible for CSB funding or the use of natural supports. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is required when costs are associated with either SE services or the use of natural supports which could be provided free. The VR counselor authorizes the services for the time limited support phase from Title VI, Part B and receives monthly progress reports from the vendor to ensure quality services are provided.

Sponsorship termination for time limited DBVI services occurs when the consumer has stable employment and their VR case has been closed. Specific indicators of job stability are: 1) consumer satisfaction; 2) employer satisfaction; 3) job coach completion of training, adjustment, and fading activities; and 4) when the job coach’s intervention time is less than 20 percent of the consumer’s working hours over a 30-to-60-day period.

An individual’s case is closed when the following two criteria are met: 1) competitive employment is performed for the established hours per week for a period of 90 days after the transition from the time-limited phase to the extended services phase, as specified on the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE); and 2) the individual’s work is performed in an integrated work setting where the individual has regular contact with persons without disabilities.

The transition from time limited to extended services will be provided without any service interruption due to the aforementioned commitment by third-party funding for extended services.

Following the time-limited phase, discrete post-employment services are available when limited intervention is needed to help the individual maintain the job placement and the necessary services are not available from the extended service provider.

In most instances, the job coach providing time-limited services continues face-to-face extended services at least twice monthly, on-site or off-site. During this extended services phase, the job coach must contact an employer at least once per month.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2014 1:37PM by Susan Payne