ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

Published September 4, 2014.   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
Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 (submitted FY 2013)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation 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 Washington Department of Social and Health Services [3] agrees to operate and administer the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this State Plan [4], the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations [5], policies and procedures established by the secretary. Funds made available under Section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and the administration of the State Plan for the vocational rehabilitation services program.

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Interim Director

... 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

Interim Director

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAndres F. Aguirre

Title of SignatoryInterim Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/14/2013

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 2014No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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. Yes

  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. Yes

(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.

This attachment will address input and/or recommendations provided by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) to the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the Designated State Unit) and to the Department of Social and Health Services (the Designated State Agency) from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.

During the reporting period, the State Rehabilitation Council provided input and recommendations to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Social and Health Services. Input included summaries of feedback provided by customers at quarterly forums, formal recommendations resulting from our Customer Satisfaction Survey, analysis and input regarding draft versions of the Division’s Online Self-Assessment Tool, and State Plan development.

Input provided to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and to the Department of Social and Health Services by the State Rehabilitation Council during the reporting period

Within the reporting period the council had good access to key decision makers at DVR. We met regularly. We were joined by DVR staff including the director at our quarterly meetings. Our executive director attended the monthly statewide management team meeting. Every other month our council chair and executive director spent a half hour at DVR’s meeting of the senior leadership team. In 2012 the council was represented at the following senior leadership team meetings:

Meeting Date: January 23, 2012  - Topics Addressed: Status of survey data analysis, highlighted the mental health focus of the meeting, sought input about which data points we would jointly follow throughout the year, touched on the need to prepare for comprehensive needs assessment, and inquired about when DVR expected to hire for the long vacated quality assurance position in the state office.

Meeting Date:  February 27, 2012  - Topics Addressed: Strategy for recruiting members for open positions in 2012, April meeting plans, the departure of Rob Honan as the director of the State Independent Living Council (and how the SRC staff could be supportive during the transition period).

Meeting Date:  March 26, 2012  - Topics Addressed: Provided a snapshot of data collected from the customer satisfaction survey and discussed the comments customers provided. The SRC also shared its intention to recognize counselors who were complimented by survey respondents.

Meeting Date: April 30, 2012  - Topics Addressed: The collaboration between DVR and Employment Security regarding on the job training, and SRC input for the State Plan update.

Meeting Date: June 25, 2012   - Topics Addressed: Martin McCallum, the 2012 Customer Satisfaction and Program Evaluation Committee chair, along with the council’s executive director, presented the final customer satisfaction survey report.

Meeting Date:  August 27, 2012  - Topics Addressed: The need to make progress on a project plan for the comprehensive needs assessment. The SRC reviewed and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of the needs assessment model created by Infouse for the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

In 2012 the Washington State Rehabilitation Council was pleased to be part of the ongoing dialogue between DVR and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS.) The council chair and executive director of the WSRC met with the interim DVR director and the DSHS chief of staff in March, June, September, and December.

In 2011, decision makers within DSHS had discussed the possibility of having DVR housed under an administration within DSHS. This would mean a change in who the DVR director reports to. In March of 2012, our goal was to discuss whether a decision was made in this regard. The DSHS Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams confirmed that the decision would be left to the next administration.

In June the meeting focused on the findings of the council’s customer satisfaction survey. In September our council chair met with the DSHS chief of staff to advocate for the appointment of a permanent DVR director. This was an issue the chair had taken up in one-on-one discussion in 2011 also. In our final meeting of the year council representatives questioned why no information about DVR was included by DSHS in the transition documents for the Governor elect’s transition team. We argued for the importance of resolving the matter of the extended interim appointment for the DVR director.

Although the WSRC appreciates having an audience with DSHS leaders and values keeping the lines of communication open, we realize that our advocacy with DSHS was unsuccessful.

DSHS/DVR Response:

DSHS/DVR values regular meetings and dialog between the Senior Leadership Team, WSRC Executive Director and WSRC Chair. These meetings have provided a positive venue for information sharing and discussion of various topical issues. The division looks forward to continuing these meetings throughout FFY 2014.

The division is particularly appreciative of the dialog the WSRC has conducted with the DSHS Secretary and other senior leadership of the department. The WSRC has played a constructive role in bringing forth key organizational and other substantive issues with the department’s top leadership that affect the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services.

Customer Forums

During the reporting period, the WSRC held forums on:

 • Thursday October 21, 2011 in Spokane;

• Thursday January 26, 2012 in Seattle;

• Thursday April 19, 2012 in Wenatchee; and,

• Thursday July 19, 2012 in Kennewick.

In addition to being able to provide input about what it is like to receive services from DVR, customers in attendance seeking to address individual case concerns have an opportunity to meet with representatives of the Client Assistance Program and staff of local DVR offices to schedule follow-up.

Location: Spokane - Customers Invited:  1900  

Customers Commenting in Person: 7; Telephone Comments: 0;  E-mail Comments: 3; Postal Mail Comments: 1

Location: Seattle -  Customers Invited : 3,742

Customers Commenting in Person: 48; Telephone Comments: 68;  E-mail Comments: 23; Postal Mail Comments: 2

Location: Wenatchee -  Customers Invited : 196

Customers Commenting in Person: 1; Telephone Comments: 0;  E-mail Comments: 0; Postal Mail Comments: 0

Location: Kennewick -  Customers Invited : 549

Customers Commenting in Person: 15; Telephone Comments: 8;  E-mail Comments: 0; Postal Mail Comments: 0

During this reporting period, seven issues were most frequently mentioned by those who provided comment: lack of timely services or communication; confusion about aspects of the rehabilitation process; questions about DVR’s consistency of practice; service issues with DVR contractors/rehabilitation partners; limited access to or availability of comparable benefits (particularly community-based mental health services and supports); dissatisfaction with the level of informed choice regarding job placement or employment goal; and appreciation for good service. Statewide, customers expressed two important unmet needs: First and foremost, a lack of access to, or capacity within the mental health system; and second, reduced availability of public transportation as municipalities across the state facing declining revenue have greatly reduced fixed routes and paratransit hours or service areas. Tri-Cities customers and providers were especially vocal about the difficulty those living in surrounding rural areas have securing work without transit.

The council provided a written summary of each forum to DVR’s senior leadership team, the three Area Managers, the customer relations manager, and the supervisors of local offices near the forum location. We provided these summaries on:

• October 25, 2011

• February 8, 2012

• July 30, 2012 (which incorporated the comment provided by the one person who attended the April forum), and

• October 25, 2012.

DSHS/DVR Response:

The public forums conducted by the WSRC were regularly attended by the DSHS/DVR Interim Director and other leadership as well as local staff. DSHS/DVR staff attending the forums found them informative and insightful in to the positive and negative experiences of DSHS/DVR customers. The written summaries of each forum were reviewed by the DSHS/DVR Senior Leadership Team and used as a basis for service delivery improvement, particularly in the issue areas cited above. DSHS/DVR responded to these issues as follows:

  1. Lack of timely services or communication – Emphasis was placed on existing procedures that require DSHS/DVR staff to respond to all telephone calls, emails and other written communication within 48 hours. DSHS/DVR Area Managers and Supervisors focused on coaching VR Counselors with cases involving delayed services or other lack of progress to facilitate timely service delivery and case movement.
  2. Questions about DSHS/DVR’s consistency of practice – DSHS/DVR Area Managers and Supervisors received training to assure greater uniformity in their review of cases so that inconsistent practices are identified and corrected.
  3. Service issues with DSHS/DVR contractors/rehabilitation partners – As these issues were identified each was addressed by a DSHS/DVR Area Manager or Supervisor who followed-up with the customer to resolve their issues on an individualized basis.
  4. Limited access to or availability of comparable benefits (particularly community-based mental health services and supports) – Budget reductions across nearly all state programs have significantly reduced the availability of many comparable benefits. Reductions in community mental health services have been particularly significant. DSHS/DVR works closely with sister programs to coordinate services and maximize the availability of comparable benefits, but the reality is that the overall availability of comparable benefits is reduced and unlikely to be restored under prevailing state and federal budget constraints. DSHS/DVR is working particularly closely with the DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery to increase the availability of mental health services for individuals who are employed or want to become employed.
  5. Dissatisfaction with the level of informed choice regarding job placement or employment goal – As these issues were identified each was addressed by a DSHS/DVR Area Manager or Supervisor who followed-up with the customer to resolve their issues on an individualized basis.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

 The most significant input and recommendations offered by the SRC to DVR during the reporting period came from out Customer Satisfaction Survey project.

The council issured a final report on the customer satisfaction survey project on June 1, 2012. Mike Hudson, council chair; Martin McCallum, chair of the council’s Customer Satisfaction and Program Evaluation Committee; and Joelle Brouner, executive director, met with DVR;s senior leadership team on June 25, 2012 to discuss the report and the recommendations. During that meeting the senior leadership team asked for clarification. Some team members did not draw a connection between the story expressed by the data and the recommendations made by the WSRC. By the end of the meeting there was greater understanding. The specific recommendations were as follows:

“Further Study

We recommend that DVR encourage vocational rehabilitation counselors to provide ongoing assessment (particularly for those with plans open for extended periods) to identify the disability-specific services and supports available to address barriers that emerge following plan development. We recommend that DVR identify strategies and implement practices to improve and enhance the continuity of communication between vocational rehabilitation counselors and customers, particularly during instances of

We recommend that DVR undertake additional research and analysis to identify the root causes of the survey findings regarding: barriers to employment, skill acquisition, and employment retention after closure.

Addressing Barriers

We recommend that DVR assures that vocational rehabilitation counselors are supported by their supervisors and by administration to take the time to identify and understand the barriers to employment the customer faces.

We recommend that DVR encourage vocational rehabilitation counselors to provide ongoing assessment (particularly for those with plans open for extended periods) to identify the disability- specific services and supports available to address barriers that emerge following plan development.

We recommend that DVR identify strategies and implement practices to improve and enhance the continuity of communication between vocational rehabilitation counselors and customers, particularly during instances of delay or transitions between vendors or case transfers.

 Informed Choice

We recommend that DVR place greater emphasis on the customer’s role in the vocational rehabilitation process during intake and orientation. We encourage DVR to reinforce that emphasis over the life of the case.

We recommend that DVR supports their staff providing direct service to strengthen community resource information and referral activities during the life of a plan by developing and updating their knowledge of the resources other than DVR available to customers in local communities.

We recommend that DVR encourage staff providing direct service to clearly delineate sequential steps in the achievement of the Individual Plan for Employment. Then, celebrate or acknowledge movement from one step to the next.

Courtesy and Respect

We recommend that DVR develop and implement strategies for increasing extrinsic demonstrations of the vocational rehabilitation counselor’s desire for customer success.

 Equity

We recommend that DVR research and analyze case notes and authorizations for payment for formal education and training across each of the three areas to determine if there are variances in interpretations of policies, procedures, and practices. Use what is learned from the analysis to provide guidance and reinforcement of policy. We realize that every customer has individual interests, abilities, and job goals; however, all customers deserve equal access to skill development.

Customers of DVR confirm that the services they receive make a meaningful difference in their lives. No matter what is going well in a system, there is always room for improvement. The WSRC extends our appreciation to RDA for its excellent contribution to our understanding; DVR for its open, collaborative approach to the project; and, every one of the 402 current or former customers of DVR who took the time to respond to our survey.”

DSHS/DVR Response:

Results of the WSRC Customer Satisfaction Survey showed that customers were satisfied with many facets of the service delivery provided by DSHS/DVR, especially their working relationship with DSHS/DVR staff, involvement in selecting their employment goal, and hours worked per week. The overwhelming majority of customers who were rehabilitated indicated they were financially better off than before they received DSHS/DVR services. Survey results also identified aspects of DSHS/DVR service delivery that customers felt needed to be improved or strengthened and these areas are reflected in the WSRC recommendations. DSHS/DVR is incorporating the results of the WSRC Customer Satisfaction Survey in to the comprehensive statewide needs assessment that is being conducted as a basis for the FFY 2014 State Plan Update. WSRC recommendations emanating from the customer satisfaction survey are being addressed in DSHS/DVR’s goals and priorities for FFY 2014.

Input and Recommendations Provided by the State Rehabilitation Council to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation About the Online Self-Assessment Tool

On January 5, 2012, and January 24, 2012, on behalf of the council, Joelle Brouner, Executive Director, provided the following input on the second and third drafts of DVR’s Online Self-Assessment Tool.

 Input on Draft 2:

  1. While potential customers should understand that they will be expected to be an active participant in the vocational process, this document requires people who are making initial inquiries to answer questions that will influence their access to the vocational rehabilitation service system without the benefit of information to support basic comprehension. How does that align with demonstrating a commitment to informed choice?
  2. This document does not use plain language. It may dissuade people from following up just based on confusion or intimidation.
  3. It may be an inappropriate document to post online. These questions seem to be questions that a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor should ask the customer in person to use his or her training and professional judgment to assess.
  4. I understand that DVR likes to take a positive approach, to be strengths based, and to use Motivational Interviewing. This document seems counter to that.
  5. Question 1: The customer may not possess the expertise to anticipate the duration of his or her disability. Also, depending on where the potential customer is in his or her process of disability adjustment, he or she may be experiencing denial about permanence.
  6. Question 2: For the uninitiated potential customer there are two questions in one, here. Do I have trouble getting and keeping a job? Is my disability the reason why? Asking someone to answer that second question without the support of guidance and counseling seems to make the potential customer responsible for the work of the VR system at the starting gate.
  7. Question 3: I do not understand how this question aligns in any way with the Rehabilitation Act. Nowhere in my understanding of the law does a potential customer have to seek the agreement of his or her doctor or mental health provider to participate in the Vocational Rehabilitation process. Medical professionals possess the expertise to assess whether or not someone has a functional limitation. A Rehabilitation Counselor and a customer determine together whether a functional limitation creates a barrier to employment and decide whether a customer can actively participate to overcome it.
  8. Question 5: Although DVR is prohibited from paying for subsistence food and rent, there is no rule or law that requires someone to have these needs met before they apply for Vocational Rehabilitation services. It is easier to serve someone successfully who has these needs addressed, but severe poverty should not exclude someone from receiving Vocational Rehabilitation services.
  9. Question 6: People may have pending surgery for an extended period. They may also have conviction histories. Neither of these realities necessarily excludes a person from being eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation services. An uninitiated potential customer could be left with the impression that these experiences exclude them from eligibility automatically.
  10. Question 7: Customers who have “stable lives” before seeking services from DVR may be more likely to achieve a successful rehabilitation. It may not, however, be reasonable to expect unemployed people with disabilities to identify themselves as people with “stable lives” (a completely subjective state) as they are inquiring about services. If they were truly stable, would they need services in the first place?
  11. Question 8: A customer may identify that he or she needs assistance to go to work but it’s a lot to expect someone to know about all the services that may or may not be available in the community or through other programs. Again, this question seems to make the customer responsible for something that happens in the Vocational Rehabilitation process. Don’t VRCs help people identify comparable benefits and make referrals?
  12. My final concern is that at the top and the bottom of the document, there is emphasis on “whether DVR is the right program for you, at the right time.” This question is the point of eligibility determination. No matter what needs and challenges potential customers bring, they deserve a more personal initial interaction that builds confidence rather than undermines it.”

Input on Draft 3:

  1. Could Posting the Self-Assessment Questions Replicate the Success of the ESA Referral Tool by Decreasing the Number of Inappropriate Referrals? The self-assessment questions are similar to those included in the referral tool designed for colleagues at the Economic Services Administration (ESA) which was created at the request of the State Legislature last session. When ESA staff began using the tool, DVR saw a decrease in inappropriate referrals from them. Given the mandate DVR was given by the legislature and the target audience for the tool (professional colleagues with college degrees who are savvy about navigating systems) the questions were appropriate for that circumstance. Questions designed for one audience may not be as appropriate for another. Generally speaking, people inquiring about whether DVR can be a resource in their journey to employment have less education than a caseworker at ESA. They are not peers working in another component program of DSHS with equal access to information about how to work within systems. Those inquiring for the first time may hope to benefit from a system they may not understand. They are likely to have unaddressed disability-related barriers that may impede their ability to understand the questions. Most importantly, even if they do understand the wording of the questions, they may not know how the information they furnish will be used, or what their answers mean in the context of the vocational rehabilitation process. Based on the divergent roles of the two target audiences, the success achieved by implementing the ESA referral tool would not likely be replicated if posted online for people self-referring.
  2. Is the Field Experiencing Increased Production Demand and Requesting a Tool For Managing the Flow of Referrals? In July of 2011, DVR received blanket approvals to hire vocational rehabilitation counselors and rehabilitation technicians to serve DVR customers. I compared the numbers of applications and eligibilities DVR is processing now, with this time last year: applications have decreased by 260; and eligibilities were down by 105. Since DVR can fill vacancies in the field as needed and since applications and eligibilities are down, production pressure does not appear to be the driving factor in posting these questions online.
  3. Is this a customer-friendly tool that will motivate people with disabilities interested in becoming employed to apply for DVR services? According to Kerry Dobransky and Eszter Hargittai in their 2006 article, The Disability Divide in Internet Access and Use, which appeared in the Journal information Communication and Society, “people with disabilities are much less likely to have such a device in the home than those without disabilities. The figure is below 40 percent for those with disabilities, in stark contrast to 63.6 percent for others. The least equipped households are those with people who have such serious disabilities that they have difficulties leaving the home. Only 31percent of this subset lives in households with computers.” (Dobransky and Haragittai p. 324).

As of April of 2010, 41.8% of DVR’s customers had at least four functional limitations creating barriers to employment (this figure excludes people at application who have yet to be determined eligible. The number also differs from the figure in DVRs 911 report to RSA because RSA combines customers that DVR considers Most Significantly Disabled and Significantly Disabled.)

Given that research indicates that fewer people with disabilities have computers in their home than those without disabilities, and considering the significant percentage of DVR’s recent customer base that possess for functional barriers to employment, posting self-assessment questions online does not seem consistent with demonstrating cultural competence.

Although this draft succeeds in using plainer language the tone of the document is not encouraging. It still conveys a dissuasive tone that does not encourage a greater number of people with disabilities to become employed which is the reason why DVR exists.

Since I cannot identify any other benefits to DVR that would be realized by posting these self-assessment questions online, I will offer feedback on the substance of the draft:

  1. The draft includes the question “Are DVR Services the Right Choice for You?” near the top. The lay person making an initial inquiry about the program provide answers to these questions that would be different than if a vocational rehabilitation counselor were talking with them and getting a sense of their situation. DVR may be the right choice but the person may be ill equipped to figure it out alone.
  2. Question two is two separate questions. The person may know they have a disability and might deduce that having a disability makes finding or maintaining employment difficult, but they may not even know how DVR can help them. How could they decide if they need assistance they don’t understand?
  3. Question five seems premature. How can a person reasonably be expected to agree to attend “most appointments” when no specific appointments are scheduled?
  4. Question seven. While DVR cannot pay for customers’ rent, mortgage, subsistence food or insurance, I know of nowhere in the Rehabilitation Act that precludes DVR from serving people who are having difficulty meeting these needs. This question comes across as if DVR is saying ‘try again when your life is in order’, very unwelcoming!”

DSHS/DVR Response:

The online self-assessment tool has been operational since May 2012. All of the input provided by the WSRC Executive Director at the time the tool was being developed was incorporated by DSHS/DVR in to final design. The WSRC Executive Director played a key leadership role in helping compose final content of the self-assessment tool which is presently in use. DSHS/DVR valued this input because it contributed significantly to final design and implementation of the tool. The online self-assessment tool is available on the DSHS/DVR internet page to assist individuals in deciding if they want to make a self-referral or refer someone they know for DSHS/DVR services. The tool asks nine questions related to an individual’s situation and provides answers that inform the individual about VR eligibility requirements and other considerations to decide if they are interested in DSHS/DVR services. It includes an online referral mechanism that an individual may use to be contacted by DSHS/DVR staff to schedule an intake appointment. The results of an individual’s self-assessment are only informational for the person and are not used by DSHS/DVR in any manner to “screen” referrals. Individuals who wish to initiate an online referral for a DSHS/DVR intake appointment may do so regardless of their self-assessment results. Individuals who do not wish to use the online self-assessment tool may refer themselves or others to DSHS/DVR by other means, including telephone, mail, email, and in-person contact.

Now that the online self-assessment tool has been operational for one year, DSHS/DVR will assess its usage and determine whether additional improvements or modifications are needed. This assessment will be conducted in collaboration with the WSRC.

State Rehabilitation Council input on State Plan Development

The WSRC contributed to updating the State Plan in four ways in 2012:

  1. We encouraged DVR to expedite the hiring of a staff person to coordinate the drafting and submission of the plan;
  2. We facilitated three public forums to seek comment on the draft plan.The first occurred on May 21, in Lynnwood; the second on May 30, in Tumwater; and the third took place on June 4, in Spokane.
  3. We wrote a section of the plan reporting on our activities [Attachment 4.2(c)] from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011, which we submitted to DVR on March 23, 2012;
  4. We wrote a memo to Don Kay, special assistant to the DVR director, on March 31, 2012, in which we took a two-prong approach to contributing to the substance of the State Plan. Because the council did not know whether DVR would choose to significantly revise its plan or to instead make minor edits, we provided input for either case. We reviewed the goals and priorities included in plans prepared by 13 other states that had already received approval from RSA. Based on the council’s analysis of the program challenges facing DVR, we selected five goals from those plans to share with our colleagues for their consideration as possible additions to the State Plan update. We did not expect that all five suggested goals would appear in the final draft. With that in mind, we ranked them according to which we thought would be most likely to contribute to the agency’s success. On the chance that DVR was not considering adding new goals or strategies to the plan update, we also suggested smaller changes to the language of the existing goals.

DSHS/DVR Response:

DSHS/DVR implemented the WSRC’s recommendations for development of the FFY 2013 State Plan Update and collaborated closely with the Council in conducting State Plan Forums across the state. The WSRC Executive Director and the Chair of the Planning, Policy, and Advocacy Committee played roles in facilitating the forums. This practice is being continued for the FFY 2014 State Plan Forums.

This concludes Attachment 4.2(c) Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of Designated State Unit; and Explanation of Input or Recommendations.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on May 29 2009 1:57PM by sawavertreesp

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.

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WSDVA)

DSHS/DVR and WSDVA have procedures for referring DSHS/DVR customers with military service to WSDVA to determine whether the individual is eligible for any state or Federal Veterans’ benefits. If so, WSDVA assists the individual to obtain available benefits. This collaboration has increased the use of Veterans’ benefits as comparable services in cases where DSHS/DVR customers experience military-connected disabilities.

United States Veterans Administration (USVA)

DSHS/DVR is collaborating with the regional USVA to establish a cooperative agreement to facilitate improved service delivery for customers receiving USVA benefits by formalizing referral procedures, designating local referral liaisons, and coordinating services that contribute to the Individualized Plan for Employment.

Washington State Department of Social & Health Services

Washington DSHS/DVR is housed within the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) which is an umbrella agency for Medicaid services, alcohol and substance abuse recovery, long term care and disability services, children’s services, and economic assistance services. DSHS/DVR continues to work closely with the following DSHS programs.

  • Community Services Division (CSD) The CSD administers the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program and the Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD) Program [formerly known as the General Assistance – Unemployable (GAU) Program], both of which provide time-limited income assistance and other support services to low-income families and individuals. Washington DSHS/DVR continues to have an interagency agreement with the CSD that defines mutual roles and practices for serving joint customers.
  • Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) DBHR combines the former Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, referred to as DBHR –Chemical Dependency (DBHR-CD) with the Mental Health Division, referred to as DBHR – MH (DBHR-MH). DBHR-CD contracts with counties for the delivery of outpatient chemical dependency treatment and directly contracts for residential treatment services. DBHR-MH contracts with regional entities for the delivery of community mental health services and directly operates two state psychiatric hospitals. The following are examples of our strong partnership:

              o DSHS/DVR maintains active referral relationships with treatment providers at the local level that are funded through DBHR-CD contracts with each County in the state.

              o DBHR-MH contracts with regional entities for the delivery of community mental health services and directly operates two state psychiatric hospitals

              o DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH have jointly conducted cross-training between VR Counselors and mental health practitioners at locations across the state to highlight the key elements of both service delivery systems and support better coordination on the employment needs of MH consumers.

              o DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH continue a mutual collaboration to explore ways that mental health agencies can effectively become Employment Networks and build a revenue stream from the Ticket to Work Program that will fund extended services for those mental health consumers who require a supported employment model.

              o DSHS/DVR has assigned liaison VR Counselors that work itinerantly from several Mental Health agencies across the state. A VR Counselor works from the mental health center at least one day per week, facilitating access to VR services for mental health consumers.

  • Developmental Disabilities Administraton The DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is the primary agency that funds extended services for individuals with developmental disabilities who require supported employment. DDA contracts for these services with Washington counties, and counties sub-contract with community rehabilitation programs to provide the direct services. DSHS/DVR and DDA leadership meet on a regular basis, and are co-sponsoring several initiatives aimed at improving employment outcomes for transition youth with developmental disabilities and advancing the skills of community rehabilitation programs that serve joint DSHS/DVR and DDA customers. DSHS/DVR is represented as a member of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council.
  • Aging & Disability Services Programs (ADSP) Washington DSHS/DVR coordinates very closely with attendant care services provided through the ADSP for customers who require personal assistance. This includes coordination of attendant care services required by individuals in both school and employment settings.
  • Health Care Authority (HCA) All individuals served by Washington DSHS/DVR who receive Medicaid obtain their services through MPA. DSHS/DVR coordinates closely with MPA to assure that individuals receive medical services necessary to achieve their employment goal.
  • Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) DSHS/DVR’s Statewide Deaf Services Coordinator participates on the ODHH Advisory Committee as DSHS/DVR’s representative. This position strengthens the division’s partnership with ODHH. DSHS/DVR is working to implement the nationally recognized model state plan for serving individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hearing impaired. ODHH manages the Sign Language Interpreter Contract and values feedback from all sources to improve the quality of interpreter services. ODHH is also going to be the managing agency for DSHS/DVR’s contract for Video Relay System (VRS) and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) technologies. DSHS/DVR and ODHH continue to collaborate to increase communication access for the staff who serve this population and to provide greater accommodations for rural customers.
  • Health Care for Workers with Disabilities (HWD) The HWD is a Medicaid Buy-in Program administered by DSHS. Washington DSHS/DVR coordinates closely with HWD to assist qualified individuals in continuing to receive medical benefits after they become employed.

Tribal Programs

DSHS/DVR and the Department of Services for the Blind have a joint memorandum of understanding with Washington’s eight Tribal 121 programs that outlines how these parties and their employees work together to ensure effective communication, collaboration, coordination and cooperation in serving individuals with disabilities who are tribal members in Washington State. The agreement, updated on an annual basis, outlines procedures for referrals, joint cases, financial responsibility, shared training opportunities, information sharing and communication. Tribal 121 Directors meet annually with DSHS/DVR and DSB Directors in a government-to-government collaboration to promote partnership, to maximize resources, and to ensure high quality services for individuals with disabilities who are tribal members. DSHS/DVR continues to provide data to its Tribal partners to assist in provision of services and collaboration.

At the DSHS level, the division continues its cooperative working relationships and service delivery commitments with all Federally Recognized Washington tribes, including those that do not operate Federally funded Tribal VR programs. DSHS/DVR participates as a member on the DSHS Indian Policy Advisory Committee.

Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment

The DSHS/DVR Director participates as a member of the Governor’s Committee and partners with the Committee on various efforts.

Centers for Independent Living

DSHS/DVR currently contracts Title VII, Part B funds to four independent living centers throughout Washington State. Centers use Part B funds to enhance and expand core independent living services with a focus on youth with significant disabilities. In addition to core services, IL Centers have been focusing on outreach to increase services in unserved or underserved geographic areas including disability groups, minority groups and urban or rural populations with the focus on youth with significant disabilities and 504 plans. The goal is to create a safe environment for youth with disabilities to be able to feel comfortable and confident when talking to allies who support disabilities by enhancing youth in understanding IL philosophy, how to successfully self-advocate, and how to talk with legislators about disability issues.

Washington State Business Leadership Network (WSBLN)

The WSBLN is a network of employers who educate and support businesses to hire, retain, and improve customer service for people with disabilities.

 Community Employment Alliance

The Community Employment Alliance is a membership organization comprised of community rehabilitation programs. DSHS/DVR participates in meetings to share information, hear concerns and collaborate on issues affecting employment services for individuals referred to providers by the Division.

Traumatic Brain Injury Strategic Partnership Advisory Council

In the late 1990s, DSHS/DVR was the primary sponsor of a demonstration grant to identify gaps in providing services to individuals who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). DSHS/DVR continues to be a represented member of the TBI Strategic Partnership Advisory Council. This group discusses TBI-related policy issues, system development, and/or the need for services to meet the needs of TBI survivors, family members, prospective employers and community members. The TBI Strategic Partnership Advisory Council has identified gaps in housing, a lack of resources and a need for support group facilitator training. This Council has successfully encouraged the Washington State Legislature to pass legislation that adds fees to traffic violations, like negligent driving and speeding because these offenses tend to lead to injury accidents and TBIs. These collected fees are used to help fund TBI-related programs and resources. DSHS/DVR continues to be an active partner in addressing the needs of individuals in Washington State who have been, or will be impacted by traumatic brain injuries in the future.

University of Washington Rehabilitation Program

Since 2006, DSHS/DVR and the University of Washington Rehabilitation Counseling Unit have collaborated to maintain an on-site Rehabilitation Medicine-DSHS/DVR liaison role. This mutually beneficial relationship improves inpatient and outpatient care at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) by providing UWMC patients with direct access to DSHS/DVR services during their hospital treatment. Early introduction in the medical setting provides DSHS/DVR with comprehensive insight into patient needs and makes the referral process more efficient and seamless. This relationship provides UWMC patients with additional resources for education, support, and funding. The DSHS/DVR liaison works to coordinate DSHS/DVR orientation and intake procedures for individuals referred from UW Rehab Medicine; determines eligibility for DSHS/DVR services; provides information and referral; participates in UWMC team staffing to coordinate DSHS/DVR services with the interdisciplinary team treatment; upon release from the hospital, assists with transitioning the individual to a VR Counselor near their home; learns about extensive medical and other resources available through the UW Medical School; and shares resources with other DSHS/DVR counselors.

US Department of Agriculture

DSHS/DVR has not entered into agreements with programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

State Use Contracts

DSHS/DVR has not entered into agreements related to state use contracts.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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.

DSHS/DVR updated its agreement with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in 2011 to reflect the changes passed in amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and OSPI’s most current approach to interagency agreements. The agreement outlines each agency’s overall role and responsibilities relating to the provision of transition services to high school students with disabilities. This agreement provides for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment (IPE) before each student determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services leaves the school setting. Under this agreement, DSHS/DVR routinely consults with and provides technical assistance to high schools and educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post school activities, including vocational rehabilitation services. DSHS/DVR’s agreement with OSPI also states that DSHS/DVR will coordinate services with students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEP). The Interagency Agreement lays the groundwork for DSHS/DVR’s roles and responsibilities.

DSHS/DVR’s primary services while a student is in high school are outreach, information and referral, counseling and guidance to plan for post-school services and activities. DSHS/DVR authorizes and pays for any services needed to establish a transition student’s eligibility for DSHS/DVR services and only funds services outside the scope of the school district’s FAPE (free appropriate public education) responsibility.

The DSHS/DVR/OSPI agreement lists several procedures that are to be used to increase the number of students identified as needing transition services as well as ensuring that the services are provided as soon as possible. Some specific procedures include:

  • An OSPI representative is a member of the State’s Rehabilitation Council.
  • Assigning a VR Counselor liaison to each high school.
  • Sharing training materials developed by the agencies and extending invitations to trainings using these materials. 
  • Providing DSHS/DVR outreach to increase education about DSHS/DVR services to underserved populations and students with disabilities.
  • OSPI providing a link on their website to DSHS/DVR high school transition liaisons informing LEAs of the list.
  • Inviting DSHS/DVR’s statewide transition lead to participate in secondary transition planning meetings, as appropriate, to promote interagency collaboration.

Implementation of these elements of the agreement continues to be a “work in progress.” Personnel changes and work rearrangements at OSPI have eroded DSHS/DVR’s long term relationships with the state education agency. New linkages are in the process of being established to effectively carry out our working agreements. This continues to be a focus for 2014.

In addition, the agreement sets the expectation that DSHS/DVR will assign a VR Counselor as a liaison to every public and tribal high school in the state where there is staff capacity. A list of liaison assignments is available on several education-related web sites, as well as the DSHS/DVR and the OSPI web sites. DSHS/DVR transition liaison counselors conduct periodic outreach and ongoing consultation to teachers, students, families and others in the education community.

The DSHS/DVR Customer Services Manual provides guidance to the VR Counselor that the IPE is to be coordinated with the IEP and development of the IPE should begin, if feasible, prior to the student leaving the school setting.

The DSHS/DVR Area Managers have responsibility for working with counseling staff to ensure quality transition services are provided.

DSHS/DVR intends to carry out the following new strategies to further improve coordination of education referrals, increase local community partnerships and to generally better serve transition youth:

  • Expand the School-to-Work contract to more counties to increase the support for significantly disabled transiton aged youth also served by county developmental disability programs.
  • Publish and distribute a Youth Transition Handbook for those working with youth in transition from high school to life after high school.
  • Train DSHS/DVR staff how to use the Youth Transition Handbook to increase collaborative relationships with local school and partner personnel, including the referral of youth eligible for a Section 504 plan.
  • Further implement Transition Practical Guidance with supervisors to increase statewide consistency in DSHS/DVR provision of transition related services.
  • Develop Inter-Local agreements with specific local school districts to better define the services and responsibilities that high schools and DSHS/DVR will respectively provide to jointly serve youth with disabilities as they transition into the world of work. These agreements will include steps that will improve referral linkages for high school students with disabilities in both special education and regular education to enable them to apply for DSHS/DVR services before they graduate.
  • Engage other partners, including the State Rehabilitation Council, the State Independent Living Council, Centers for Independent Living (CIL), the Family Policy Council, DSHS partners and Workforce Development partners in designing an improved service delivery model. This model will develop stronger partnerships with Workforce Development Youth Councils, high schools, community colleges and other training and education programs.
  • Collaborate more closely with Tribal VR Programs to better serve Tribal youth including support for transition work in tribal schools.
  • Publish and distribute the DSHS/DVR Guide for High School Transition Students and improve distribution of the DSHS/DVR High School Transition DVD.
  • Assure that students, parents and school personnel receive DSHS/DVR informational material while the student is early into the high school experience.
  • Expand outreach to 504 students.

DSHS/DVR also maintains a strong liaison relationship with the Center for Childhood Deafness & Hearing Loss to refer deaf and hard of hearing students to DSHS/DVR for services and the Washington School for the Deaf (WSD). Each fall the Statewide Coordinator of Deaf Services (SCD) contacts WSD for a list of junior and senior students and distributes this information to the students’ hometown Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf (RCD). The local RCD then assumes responsibility for arranging a meeting with the student to begin the application process. SCD follows up in the spring with WSD and the local RCDs to facilitate any additional transition needs. DSHS/DVR maintains a presence on the campus of WSD through participation in the annual transition fair and periodic communications by the SCD with WSD.

Additionally, DSHS/DVR continues to focus of its Title VII, Part B funding by contracting with five Centers for Independent Living throughout Washington State to enhance and expand core independent living services with a focus on youth with significant disabilities. In addition to core services, IL Centers have been focusing on outreach to increase services in unserved or underserved geographic areas including disability groups, minority groups and urban or rural populations with the focus on youth with significant disabilities and 504 plans. The goal is to create a safe environment for youth with disabilities to be able to feel comfortable and confident when talking to allies who support disabilities by enhancing youth in understanding IL philosophy, how to successfully self-advocate, and how to talk with legislators about disability issues.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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.

Instead of cooperative agreements, Washington DSHS/DVR contracts with Private Nonprofit VR Service Providers to provide services. Within the state of Washington, the Governors’s Office of Financial Management requires all state agencies to utilize contracts in lieu of cooperative agreements for the purpose of procuring services. These contracts provide the same content as "cooperative agreements" specificed within CFR 361.31. DSHS/DVR’s Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) contract is procured through an open Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process and is renewed every two years to assure timely and responsive content to needs of DSHS/DVR customers. The RFQ defines the services, expected outcomes of service delivery, payment systems, uniform fees, and the qualifications that a prospective contractor is required to meet in order to be granted a CRP Contract. DSHS/DVR does not currently limit the number of Nonprofits responding to the RFQ and Nonprofits choose which of the contract services to provide. In some instances, the CRP contract is with a government agency and private, for-profit businesses. Currently, 125 organizations have a CRP contract with DSHS/DVR.

The services identified and defined in the contract are:

• Vocational Evaluation: one or more types of standardized vocational tests used to obtain objective information from the DSHS/DVR customer in response to specific questions presented by a DSHS/DVR Counselor about a customer’s work-related strengths and limitations;

• Trial Work Experience: contractors are responsible for arranging a real work setting(s) and assessing whether a customer is able to benefit from VR services. The results of the TWE are used to determine eligibility based on clear and convincing evidence whether the individual’s disability is too significant to benefit from VR services;

• Community-based Assessment: contractors are responsible for finding and securing positions in realistic work settings to help assess work interests and abilities and identify any employment barriers a customer may face. This process will assist in collecting information needed to determine eligibility or for identifying the nature and extent of support(s) and accommodation(s) needed for the customer to obtain and maintain competitive employment;

• Job Placement: location of and placement of a customer into a paid and integrated employment position, as mutually defined and agreed to by the DSHS/DVR Counselor, customer and CRP;

• Intensive Training (available for individuals having a Supported Employment plan): one-on-one job skills training and support provided at the supported employment job site to enable a DSHS/DVR customer to: 1) attain job stabilization in on-the-job performance, with job supports; 2) meet their employers’ expected levels of work productivity; and 3) transition to long-term Extended Services as provided by an entity other than DSHS/DVR;

• Job Retention (for individuals not having a Supported Employment plan): individualized training and support services that enable a DSHS/DVR customer to learn the essential functions of a job, meet the employer’s expected level of job performance, and retain their employment for ninety (90) calendar days past the point of Job Placement.

Some of the services in the contract are provided at various levels of intensity. Trial Work Experience, Community Based Assessment, Job Placement, Intensive Training, and Job Retention are available in three levels of intensity. The level of intensity is determined by universal and unique barriers presented by the customer that are impeding the customer from obtaining and/or maintaining employment.

All services in the contract are outcome based. This means payments are made for actual delivery of the expected result or outcome of service rather than paying for “service” as a free-standing process through a unit-of-service basis. The expected outcome is specific to the service as indicated in the definition with a report detailing the activities associated with the provision of service and outcomes attained. Incentives to pay bonus for customer employment outcomes under certain circumstances are included in the contract.

DSHS/DVR will establish a workgroup with CRP and DSHS/DVR staff to conduct a comprehensive review of the current contract model to determine improvements or modifications that may be needed. Additionally, DSHS/DVR will establish a workgroup with CRP reprenstation to collaboratively devleop an evaluation tool that includes both quantitive information and information about the quality of outcomes and process.

Also, a DSHS/DVR workgroup is being developed to establish “best practices” for VR staff to work more effectively with CRPs, including the development of training for DSHS/DVR staff and CRP staff. Additionally, the workgroup will recommend specific DSHS/DVR supported training for CRP partners to help them more effectively serve DSHS/DVR customers.

As relevant policy changes are updated in the DSHS/DVR Policy Manual, they will be shared not only with DSHS/DVR staff but also with CRPs. In addition, DSHS/DVR plans to conduct regular meetings and information sharing with CRPs at the local level to improve communication, support service delivery coordination and enhance services to customers. These meetings will assure that DSHS/DVR follows consistent practices at the local level and keeps CRPs regularly informed of relevant policy or program changes. DSHS/DVR will continuously evaluate the CRP contract model to ensure it meets the needs of DSHS/DVR customers and supports high performance at a reasonable cost for both DSHS/DVR and providers.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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.

Washington DSHS/DVR primarily provides Supported Employment services to individuals with developmental disabilities and individuals with mental illness. Of these two customer groups, individuals with developmental disabilities represent the vast majority of Supported Employment outcomes. While we continue to work with the DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery – Mental Health to identify resources for supported employment, the state has limited capacity at this time to provide extended services except in a small number of communities. This limited capacity continues to make it difficult to provide Supported Employment services to individuals with mental illness.

Diligent efforts continue to facilitate extended services for individuals with mental illness through natural supports, employers and self-pay. However, very often individuals with significant mental health disabilities require more intensive support than is available through these resources.

Efforts continue to promote and expand resources for extended services to individuals with mental illness. Washington DSHS/DVR is working in collaboration with the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery – Mental Health, the Mental Health Employment Consortium, and the Washington Community Mental Health Council to expand the availability of extended services through alternative resources and innovative approaches. The intended result of this effort will be to establish cooperative agreements with all Regional Support Networks responsible for the delivery of community mental health services at the County level by the end of FFY 2014.

DSHS/DVR continues to promote the use of Ticket to Work as a potential income source for developmental disability (DD), mental health (MH), and traumatic brain injury (TBI) service providers to build their capacity for providing extended support services.

DSHS/DVR also will renew written agreements with County Developmental Disabilities Programs and Mental Health Regional Support Networks by the end of FFY 2014 to clarify roles and responsibilities for their provision of extended services to joint customers. Efforts to renew these agreements have been ongoing since FFY 2009 and have proven to be extremely challenging. County Developmental Disabilities Programs and Mental Health Regional Support Networks are reluctant to sign any agreements for the provision of extended services due to the instability of their funding.

During FFY 2014 DSHS/DVR will meet with each County Developmental Disabilities Program and Mental Health Regional Support Network in attempts to develop a cooperative agreement for the provision of extended services. In addition, DSHS/DVR will request the DSHS Division of Developmental Disabilities and DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery to enter in to state level activities that will facilitate more successful efforts to develop local agreements.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

  • DSHS/DVR employs a total of 275 field service personnel to serve approximately 13,000 individuals per year. Personnel providing direct VR services to individuals are employed in the classifications listed below.
  • The number of personnel currently needed by DSHS/DVR to be at full staffing level to provide vocational rehabilitation services, broken down by personnel category are listed below.
  • DSHS/DVR projects a personnel attrition rate of approximately 11 per cent per year over the next 5 years. It is projected over this period that approximately 12,000 to 13,000 individuals per year will be served. Based on these projections, it is anticipated the number of positions listed below will need to be filled during this period.   

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 VR Counselor 1 11 1 6
2 VR Counselor 2 50 10 33
3 VR Counselor 3 67 8 41
4 VR Counselor 4 6 1 4
5 Rehabilitation Technician 1 79 6 47
6 Rehabilitation Technician 2 10 1 6
7 VR Supervisor 21 1 11
8 Assistive Technology & Assessment Practitioner 3 0 1
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

  • Western Washington University is the only graduate program in the State of Washington that directly prepares vocational rehabilitation professionals. 
  • Western Washington University presently enrolls 37 students per year in the Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling program. 
  • In FF7 2012-2013 Western Washington University’s Rehab Counseling program graduated 18 students. All of these graduates hold the credentials for certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor. 

 

 

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Western Washington University 37 23 19 10
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

DSHS/DVR ’s FTE allotment remains capped at 320.5 FTEs until June 30, 2013. At the time this State Plan Update is being submitted, a final 2013-2015 state budget has not been adopted by the Washington State Legislature. However, it is anticipated the division’s FTE cap will remain at 320.5 FTEs. The division is able to recruit all field service vacancies as they occur, but may not exceel the FTE cap. Since a statewide hiring freeze ended in July 2012, the division has resumed regular recruitment activities. However, approval by the DSHS Secretary is required to fill any newly established exempt or program management positions as an ongoing savings step. DSHS/DVR continues using the following strategies to fill vacant positions with qualified personnel. DSHS/DVR has well established recruitment linkages with the following institutions of higher education that offer Rehabilitation Counseling Programs.

  • Western Washington University
  • University of Idaho
  • Portland State University
  • Western Oregon University
  • San Diego State University
  • Fresno State University
  • Utah State University

DSHS/DVR will concentrate its recruitment efforts on institutions in adjacent states. Recruitment announcements will continue to be sent nationally to institutions of higher education.

Recruitment of qualified candidates in sufficient numbers to fill Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions is a continuing challenge. the national shortage of qualified VRC applicants has significantly impacted DSHS/DVR’s ability to fill vacancies in a timely manner, especially in rural locations. To address this challenge, DSHS/DVR has broadened the list of master’s degrees that qualify for a VRC position to include a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, psychology, counseling, or a field related to vocational rehabilitation (such as one that promotes the physical, psychosocial, or vocational well-being of individuals with disabilities). While the division has broadened the qualifying master’s degrees for a VRC position, the competencies that a VRC applicant is required to demonstrate have not been modified.

A particular focus of recruitment continues to be aimed at attracting candidates with African-American, Latino and American Indian backgrounds, since these are individuals who are presently under-represented among DSHS/DVR personnel. Targeted recruitment will continue to be conducted in collaboration with a wide range of Latino community-based organizations, American Indian VR Programs and other Tribal organizations, as well as African-American community based organizations.

To assure that new employees get off to a successful start, DSHS/DVR continues using a comprehensive "New Employee On-Boarding Guide." This guide is used by all supervisors when new employees are hired to assure that individuals receive adequate orientation and training to perform their roles and responsibilities.

DSHS/DVR continues to offer opportunities for staff interested in advancement and will adopt a formal succession plan by the end of FFY 2014. This plan will include a number of elements that encourage staff to prepare and compete for future advancement opportunities within the division, such as: leadership, training, introductory courses on supervision, mentoring and networking activities.

 

 

  1. DSHS/DVR response: DSHS/DVR will continue applying state-based registration requirements as the basis for satisfying CSPD personnel standards. These requirements are maintained by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries as registration standards for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. All current DSHS/DVR counseling personnel (Field Services Administrator, Area Managers, VR Supervisors, and VR Counselors) hold credentials that are consistent with either the state-based VRC registration requirements or the national certification standards of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).DSHS/DVR will continue to apply minimum qualifications for new hires into VR Counselor and VR Supervisor positions that require the following credentials:   A master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, Psychology, Counseling, or a field related to vocational rehabilitation (such as one that promotes the physical, psychosocial, or vocational well-being of individuals with disabilities); or CRCC Certification; or  master’s degree in a closely related field, plus 18-quarter (12- semester) credit hours in specified rehabilitation counseling courses at the graduate level.
  2. This requirement is not applicable to DSHS/DVR since existing standards for all personnel are based on the highest requirements in Washington State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. DSHS/DVR completes an annual Performance and Development Plan (PDP) with each employee that covers the period October 1 – September 30. The PDP is a standard tool used with all State of Washington employees to evaluate job performance and emphasize individualized staff development needs. Specific development and/or training needs are identified for each employee that should be addressed during the following year. In addition to determining individual employee training activities, these needs are compiled and used as a basis for planning overall training and developmental priorities to be conducted division- wide. While specific priorities vary year-to-year, a consistent theme continuously addresses the areas of assessment, VR counseling and vocational planning, job placement, as well as assistive and rehabilitation technology. In addition, DSHS/DVR requires all VR Counselors to participate in required in-service training on an ongoing basis that also covers these same topics. A “Rehabilitation Academy” is conducted for this purpose that features standard training modules. All VR Counselors participate in the Rehabilitation Academy as follows:

     

    Basic Curriculum – required for all VR Counselors within twelve months of being hired:

     

     

    1.    Vocational Rehabilitation Process

    2.    Special Programs

    3.    Employment Outcomes

    4.    Benefits Planning

    5.    Rehabilitation Law Review

    6.    Motivational Interviewing

     

    Advanced Best Practices – Offered to field staff on an annual basis to address specific issues identified through audits, Fair Hearings and customer complaints. The curriculum is revised each year to address new topics.

     

    DSHS/DVR continues implementation of a focused initiative to train all staff in Motivational Interviewing (MI). All field service staff have been trained and are receiving ongoing coaching to practice MI skillfully in their interactions with customers as well as one another. The use of MI skills is proving to be an important addition to the overall counseling methods used by vocational rehabilitation counselors and other staff to assist customers in making informed choices and deciding how to best achieve the employment goal.

     

    Additionally, DSHS/DVR continues to utilize video conferencing equipment at 21 office locations across the state for staff training. This technology permits larger numbers of staff to receive more timely training without the expense and logistics of travel and lodging.

     

    DSHS/DVR will establish a workgroup to complete a comprehensive review of all training requirements. The workgroup will reviw all core training curriculum and make recommendations for improvements and strategies for consistent statewide implementation. This workgroup will also establish a protocol for maintaining accurate staff transcripts including CRC requirements.

  2. DSHS/DVR continues to regularly incorporate significant rehabilitation research finding and similar information related to advances in state-of-the-art VR practices in all facets of in-service traiing. In addition, DSHS/DVR actively collaborates with the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER) which is the umbrella organization for Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) and serves on the TACE Board. This, combined with similar involvement with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) as will as University Affiliated Research and Training Centers, assures awareness and use of the most current research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSHS/DVR continues to assure full communication access for all individuals with limited English proficiency by contracting with appropriate spoken and written language interpreter and translation service providers. All forms and publications are available on a regular basis in the following languages: Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Translations in other languages are provided as needed.

 

Individuals who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing may communicate with DSHS/DVR staff at all locations via TTY and/or voice relay service, and in some cases video relay. American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters, real- time captioning, and/or augmentative listening devices continue to be provided when needed for any in-person meeting or event.

 

DSHS/DVR also continues to employ personnel in certain locations who pass proficiency tests and are fluent in ASL and various other spoken languages.

 

 

DSHS/DVR continues to work closely with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to coordinate personnel development activities and has an interagency agreement with OSPI to address mutual issues. The DSHS/DVR-OSPI agreement is at the state level and sets general parameters for collaborative service delivery to students with disabilities. These activities are aimed at cross-training DSHS/DVR and education personnel on service delivery methods and best practices that better assist students with disabilities in achieving employment outcomes after completing high school.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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.

 

Introduction

The last comprehensive statewide needs assessment (CSNA) conducted by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services/Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DSHS/DVR) was in FFY 2009 and updated in 2010. In FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR provided an assurance to conduct a comprehensive statewide needs assessment during FFY 2013 which is reflected within this attachment..

 

Results of this CSNA have been incorporated throughout DSHS/DVR’s FFY 2014 State Plan Update, particularly in goals, priorities and strategies for the coming year and beyond.

 

DSHS/DVR conducted the CSNA in partnership with the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) and the TACE Northwest and the University of Washington Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER). DSHS/DVR, WSRC, and CCER have established a joint CSNA Steering Committee to guide overall implementation of the statewide assessment and analysis of its results.

 

Sources Utilized

1.     US Census Bureau 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), 1 year estimates

 

2.     US Social Security Administration (SSA) data for 2011

 

3.     Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) data for 2011

 

4.     DSHS/DVR case service data for FFY 2011

 

5.     2011 Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC)

 

6.     WSRC Quarterly Customer Forums

 

7.     DSHS/DVR Monthly Survey of Customers with Closed Cases

 

8.     Public Comments – State Plan

 

In addition to the current CSNA results, DSHS/DVR, WSRC and CCER are continuing a deeper Identification and analysis of the VR needs of individuals with disabilities in Washington State that will be conducted during FFY 2014. This effort will include a series of targeted surveys that CCER will conduct with DSHS/DVR customers, collateral service providers, DSHS/DVR staff and individuals knowledgeable about the employment and related needs of individuals with disabilities in the state. Results from this additional assessment will be incorporated in to the FFY 2015 State Plan Update.

 

Demographic Profile

According to the 2011 ACS estimates:

 

836,500 (12.4%) individuals of all ages with disabilities were residing in Washington State. Regarding gender, disability was more prevalent for men age 64 and under (15.6%) than for women age 64 and under (13.0%).

 

708,900 (20.7%) individuals, of working age people (ages 16 to 64) in Washington State report having a disability. These working age individuals with disabilities represent the primary segment of the state population who may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services.

 

The prevalence of disability associated with race or ethnicity in Washington State indicate the highest prevalence of disability in the Native American or Alaskan Native population with 20.6%; followed in descending order by White, 15.1%; Black/African American, 12.3%; Other, 9.0%; Hispanic, 7.3%; and Asian, 7.1%.

 

Ambulatory disabilities were the most prevalent at 6.4% of the people with disabilities, followed by cognitive disability, (5.4%); independent living disability, (5.3%); hearing disability, (3.9%); self-care disability, (2.6%); and visual disability, (1.9%). Further examination and analysis are called for to discern more specifically the types of disabilities and/or conditions described as independent living and self-care disabilities.

 

163,200 (34.8%) Washingtonians with a disability age 16 – 64 are employed while 2,890,500 (71%) Washingtonians without a disability in the same age group are employed. In order to close the employment gap between those with a disability and those without a disability in Washington, an additional 59,242 individuals would need to become employed. However, further investigation needs to occur to determine whether individuals in this population have disabilities sufficiently severe to warrant DSHS/DVR services, would like to utilize the services of DSHS/DVR or are voluntarily out of the work force.

 

Comparison of DSHS/DVR Case Service Data with the 2011 ACS Data

A comparison of FFY 2011 data demographic characteristics of DSHS/DVR case service data for cases closed where eligibility was determined with ACS 2011 estimates for individuals age 16 – 64 with any disability in Washington. In FFY 2011 DSHS/DVR closed 9,744 cases. Comparing this data to ACS data shows that:

 

Male/Female

The higher proportion of DSHS/DVR cases closed for men than women is consistent with the higher proportion of men than women reporting a disability statewide. Though DSHS/DVR closed more men (57.4%) than men reporting a disability statewide (51.3%), DSHS/DVR closed fewer women with disabilities (42.6%) than women reporting a disability statewide (48.7%).

 

Race/Ethnicity

By race and ethnicity in Washington State, DSHS/DVR served a higher proportion of cases for all race/ethnicity populations reporting a disability, including Black/African American, Native American or Alaskan Native, Asian, and Hispanic.

 

Geographic Locations

ACS does not publish 1-year estimates for small subpopulations by geographic areas; however a sample of 11 counties were viewed to identify the percentage of individuals with disabilities within the county compared with the percentage of DSHS/DVR customers served within that geographic area.

 

Of the counties that were compared, three revealed significant information for DSHS/DVR service delivery:

·         King County, the largest metropolitan area in the state, comprises 7.8% of the state’s disability population, yet 24.8% of the DSHS/DVR cases closed were in that county.

·         Island County, a small rural area, comprises 12.4% of the state’s disability population, yet represented the smallest proportion (.38%) of cases closed in relation to the entire DSHS/DVR caseload.

·         Cowlitz County, a mid-sized rural area, comprises the highest percentage of people reporting a disability, 20.8%, yet only 3.1% of DSHS/DVR cases were closed in that county.

 

DSHS/DVR will conduct further analysis of disability populations by geographic area and DSHS/DVR customer populations to identify locations where service delivery needs to be adjusted to more closely reflect the needs of working-age individuals with disabilities.

 

Youth in Transition

Comparing 2011 ACS 1-year estimates for individuals age 16 – 20 years old with DSHS/DVR’s cases age 16 – 20 with eligibility, the statewide population consists of 5.7% youth with disabilities, compared to 14.7% of DSHS/DVR’s cases that were in this age range.

 

Under IDEA, Part B, Washington State reported serving 6,843 students age 18 – 21 in 2011 whereas DSHS/DVR closed 1,423 cases with eligibility determined for individuals 18 – 21 years old.

 

SSI/SSDI Recipients Age18-64

For the year 2011, estimates for Social Security disability recipients age 18 – 64 in Washington and in the DSHS/DVR caseload with eligibility determined were compared.

 

For SSI recipients:

·         2.1% of the Washington State population received SSI

·         18.5% of DSHS/DVR cases closed received SSI.

 

For SSDI Recipients:

·         4.1% of the Washington State population received  SSDI

·         38.5% of DSHS/DVR cases closed received SSDI

 

Customer Satisfaction Survey Conducted by the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) – Results

In June 2012 the WSRC published the results of a statewide customer satisfaction telephone survey. The survey was conducted by the Department of Social and Health Services Office of Research and Data Analysis and yielded a response rate of 88.4% with a margin of error +/- 1.67%

 

The focus of the survey was conducted to determine the opinions of DSHS/DVR customers in regard to whether:

1.     Services were provided in a respectful manner; and

2.     Services included in their Individual Plans for Employment were likely to assist them in becoming employed.

 

Confirmation of Many Things Done Well

·         More than 90% of all survey respondents strongly agree or agree that DSHS/DVR services were provided in a respectful manner.

·         Between 87.9% and 90% of survey respondents currently implementing an Individual Plan for Employment strongly agree or agree that their counselors want them to succeed.

 

·         Of those respondents who became employed after receiving services from DSHS/DVR, 74.6% are working as many hours as they want to work.

 

·         80.6% of respondents with closed cases affirmed that they are better off financially than before receiving DSHS/DVR services.

 

Findings that Merit Further Study or Action

·         The primary purpose of DSHS/DVR is to assist jobseekers with disabilities to address barriers to employment. Given that, it is both curious and concerning that regardless of whether a survey respondent is currently implementing an Individual Plan for Employment, or has a closed case (with or without employment), 33-39% strongly disagree or disagree that DSHS/DVR has helped them work with disability issues that have prevented them from getting a job.

 

·         It was noted that of survey respondents currently implementing an Individual Plan for Employment, those with a plan open for 961-1400 days are less certain of their next step than those in plan for 61-420 days.

 

·         Although we do not know how the survey respondents define the term “skill,” it is notable that between 29.3% and 46.4% of survey respondents strongly disagreed or disagreed that they by working with DSHS/DVR they were learning skills to get and keep a job.

 

·         Close to 29% of those who became employed after receiving DSHS/DVR services responded that they had not retained work

 

WSRC

Recommendations from the Survey

DSHS/DVR is implementing the following WSRC recommendations that emanated from the Customer Satisfaction Survey:

 

Addressing Barriers to Employment

1.     Assure that VR Counselors are supported by their supervisors and by administration to take the time to identify and understand the barriers to employment the customer faces.

 

2.     Encourage VR Counselors to provide ongoing assessment (particularly for those with plans open for extended periods) to identify the disability-specific services and supports available to address barriers that emerge following plan development.

 

3.     Identify strategies and implement practices to improve and enhance the continuity of communication between vocational rehabilitation counselors and customers, particularly during instances of delay or transitions between vendors or case transfers.

 

Customer Informed Choice

1.     Place greater emphasis on the customer’s role in the vocational rehabilitation process during intake and orientation. We encourage DSHS/DVR to reinforce that emphasis over the life of the case.

 

2.     Support staff providing direct service to strengthen community resource information and referral activities during the life of a plan by developing and updating their knowledge of the resources other than DSHS/DVR available to customers in local communities.

 

3.     Require VR Counselors to clearly delineate sequential steps in the achievement of the Individual Plan for Employment. Celebrate/acknowledge movement from one step to the next.

 

Equity od Service Provision

Further research and analyze case notes and authorizations for payment for formal education and training across the state to determine if there are variances in interpretations of policies, procedures, and practices between DSHS/DVR offices. Issue clarification and additional guidance, as needed, based on DSHS/DVR’s research and analysis.

 

WSRC Quarterly Customer Forums

Each quarter, between January 2012 and April 2013, the WSRC conducted Customer Forums at various locations across the state. These forums invited all DSHS/DVR customers with open cases within the geographic area to share feedback with the WSRC concerning their service delivery experiences. Generally, the majority of attendees at these forums came to express concerns or seek resolution to individual issues. Staff from the Client Assistance Program as well as DSHS/DVR staff were present at each forum to meet individually with customers after the event to address individualized concerns.

 

January 26, 2012 – Seattle, Washington

Three weeks before the event we sent a notice of public meeting to all customers with open cases in King County.

 

 

Total

Invited

Total Comments

(In-Person)

Total

Telephone

Comments/Inquiries

Total

E-mail

Comments

Total

Comments Sent by

Mail

3,742

48

68

23

2

Percentage of total

Customers invited

1.2%

1.8%

0.61%

.053%

 

Observations about demographics:

At this forum was a wealth of representation of American-born people of color, and immigrant or refugee customers.  Customers disclosed coming from:  Eastern Europe, Bolivia, China, Mexico, Samoa, Somalia, and Vietnam.  We were pleased that customers from varied backgrounds felt welcome and motivated to attend. 

 

The diversity among the customer base highlights that supporting DSHS/DVR staff to develop or refine competency in a range of disability cultures and immigrant cultures (with a focus on those cultures’ perceptions of disability) is becoming increasingly important to the agency’s ability to serve customers and to help them achieve rehabilitation.  Here we want to emphasize that we understand that providing culturally competent services extends beyond providing language interpreters.  We believe it involves having enough experience with a culture to understand values, mores, and customs in a disability context.  We realize this is a significant challenge.  We recognize that all VR agencies find it difficult to recruit and retain qualified staff with these competencies. 

 

The general customer feedback:

  • We noticed that fewer customers who attended this forum conveyed an understanding of the vocational rehabilitation process than those who attended recent forums; and,

 

  • A number of customers highlighted issues regarding communication. In some cases communication was infrequent, in other cases communication between DVR, the customer, a CRP, or an independent living vendor was unclear or infrequent.

 

Specific comments (sorted by topic):

Topic: Appreciation (5 related comments)

 

  1. I appreciate DVR
  2. I appreciate DVR communicating with people through video phones and interpreters – positive; thanks
  3. I am grateful to DVR for helping
  4. I started with DVR in 1980 – my counselor was very good and helpful to me – my 1st job was at General Electric – 10 years manual labor – I was told it was a stepping stone to Boeing. I worked at Boeing for 3 and half years and was laid off; another job then another lay off – Thank you DVR.
  5. I have been a client for years; I have received very good services.

 

Topic: Communication/Timeliness (15 related comments)

  1. My son signed up (for DVR services) a year ago and I haven’t heard much. That sounds somewhat usual.
  2. Everything takes months or longer; if I could do it myself, I would.
  3. I took 3 years leave from DVR.  Now I have been with DVR for 2 years looking for a job – difficult – still not working need a job to meet financial needs.  I was with DVR 5 years ago and had a small part time job.  I was not sure of my skills and went to school.  Now I have finished my degree.
  4. Communication is not always clear.
  5. It has been 21 years – nothing; I know DVR has great people, but…
  6. I signed a paper and I keep calling; I hear nothing.  I understand they are busy, but no one is answering the phone.
  7. On June 5th in Kent I had a meeting; It was a long wait – no one e-mailed back, I would go into the office – everyone busy - I called got no calls back…
  8. I call and get no response; no call backs.
  9. Started out good – put to work for 4 weeks; They paid money to write resume- case transferred – waiting for new person (don’t know if they are waiting for a new VRC or CRP staff).
  10. I have a suggestion – do partnerships with other agencies – I find poor communication with agencies; need accountability with clients some are good some are bad.
  11. It is a long wait – kept going to different offices; finally have a meeting February 13th.
  12. My assumption was that I would be guided to help me understand what would be best.  In 2002 I went to work 2 times.  On my own I found temporary work; then I found the second job on my own.
  13. I might be further along if it is understood I want a job.
  14. With DVR for 1 year; not much help; find stuff on my own.
  15. A lot of us fall through the cracks; on paper it looks good – need to know what’s really happening in our lives.

 

Topic: Understanding of the Vocational Rehabilitation Process/ Informed Choice (4 related comments)

1.     I got a letter from DVR because I was employed – service stopped.  I am not working now – had to reregister with DVR a couple of months ago I haven’t met with anyone yet.

2.     If a person does not know how to self advocate they can run into a lot of walls- If you don’t know what to ask…

3.     I was on a wait list 3 years ago; I graduated 2 and half years ago; DVR never made it clear to me what was available unless I asked; I had to ask about help with books, bus pass.  What if you do not know what to ask for?

4.     I was not informed of what services were available; I did not know what to ask for; my MH Counseling was for 6 visits that was all available.

 

Topic: Comparable Benefit Scarcity (2 related comments)

1.     Someone told me that there were 24 visits available (with a mental health counselor) ; that’s very limited.

2.     When need MH services – DVR does not provide.

 

Topic: Unspecific Challenges (1 related comment)

  1. I’ve been looking for a job with DVR for many years;  it is difficult to find work.

 

Topic: Miscellaneous (1 related comment)

1.     It would be nice if they (DVR) covered medical alternative therapies that are available.

 

Topic: Issues with Other Partners (3 related comments)

  1. Veterans Service referred me to DVR - services I have received are not what I thought they would be – “paperwork only.”
  2. Work Source was not helpful for doing a professional resume; if I had a question they don’t know the answer.
  3. At the Work Source you can only use the computer for 2 hours and at the Seattle Public Library for 1.5 hours – not enough time to do what you need to do – sometimes this may seem like a little thing but it may mean a big thing for my success.

 

April 19, 2012 – Wenatchee Washington

On April 19th the Council hosted its second quarterly forum of the year at the Red Lion Inn in Wenatchee. We produced an English/Spanish notice of invitation. Of the 196 customers in Chelan County invited to attend only one joined us.  Based on that turnout we did not garner enough feedback to produce a useful report.

 

July 30, 2012 – Richland, Washington

Three weeks before the event we sent a notice of public meeting to all customers with open cases in the Kennewick Office. This is different from our typical practice because we usually invite customers with cases open in a county. Because the Kennewick Office serves customers from more than one county we made that decision. 

 

 

 

Total

Invited

 

Total

Customers

who signed in

(In-Person)

 

Total

Telephone

Comments/Inquiries

Total

E-mail

Comments

Total Comments

Sent by

Mail

549

15

8

0

0

Percentage of total

Customers invited

2.7%

1.4%

-

-

 

Observations about demographics:

  • The Council continues to notice that Deaf customers are turning out at our forums in rural areas and cities alike.

 

  • Although it’s no surprise to those who live in Area 1, transportation access or lack thereof is a systemic issue which creates barriers to employment that may be less prevalent in communities that make greater investments in transportation infrastructure.

 

  • More Spanish speakers expressed interest in joining us than we receive in most areas.

 

  • Local people have begun to notice a sharp downturn in the economy. Although Hanford was hiring for a time and driving the economy, recently there have been layoffs. Local VRCs are noticing fewer retail positions available.

 

The general customer feedback:

  • One man with significant hearing loss talked about how pleased he was with his experience at DVR. He was trained to be a teacher and shared that he had recently interviewed for a position. He had a lot of good things to say about his services in Kennewick.

 

  • A person employed by the Department of Labor & Industries expressed confusion about who DVR serves. She also was advocating for more communication and partnering with the local office.

 

  • A Deaf woman who relocated from Tacoma to Tri-Cities addressed frustration with aspects of her vocational rehabilitation process. She experienced turnover in the VRCs providing guidance and counseling to her. She had entered Columbia Basin Community College with one career goal in mind and the hope of completing a degree. After ongoing frustration securing interpreters she will be coming away with a certificate and thinks she may need to change career goals even though it wouldn’t be her first choice.

 

  • Two advocates who work for an agency that serves people who are Deaf discussed their work and the good relationship they are cultivating with the Kennewick Office.

 

October 25, 2012 – Vancouver, Washington

Three weeks before the event we sent a notice of public meeting to all customers with open cases in the Kelso and Vancouver offices. 

 

 

 

Total

Invited

Total

Customers

who signed in

(In-Person)

 

Total

Telephone

Comments/Inquiries

 

Total

E-mail

Comments

Total

Comments

Sent by

Mail

820

15

7

1

1

Percentage of total

Customers invited

1.8%

0.85%

0.12%

0.12%

 

The general customer feedback:

We noticed a positive tone at this forum. A few speakers expressed satisfaction with the services and support they received from their counselors. When people shared having experienced difficulty or bottlenecks the concerns seemed to be more about the economy than with DVR.

 

  • The first speaker shared a depth of gratitude and satisfaction about his experience with DVR.  The customer had reduced his weight by nearly 300 lbs. He said that his counselor believed in him “until I could believe in myself again.” The customer was very inspirational and excited to return to his previous field where he worked as a hair dresser.

 

  • A man, who identified himself as an advocate for a young DVR customer working with DVR and a CRP, suggested that DVR counselors might consider talking with customers to verify whether the information included in the monthly reports from CRPs about actions taken on their behalf are accurate.

 

  • A 55 year old man who progressed from being hard of hearing to being Deaf explained multiple efforts he had made in different fields to find work after being laid off when his company was bought out. He provided two examples where it had been acceptable to have an AA but then required a BA. He expressed frustration about BA requirements and about the requirement to communicate by phone. This man also expressed deep appreciation and rapport with Kay Kennedy. He is frustrated by turnover among DVR counselors with ASL language skill and cultural competency.

 

  • The father of a young woman with a developmental disability discussed the efforts underway to help his daughter secure employment after they relocated from Seattle to Vancouver. He articulated a belief that increases in the state minimum wage resulted in reduced work opportunities for his daughter and advocated that there be arrangements for people with disabilities to earn less then minimum wage.

 

  • A man in his thirties discussed his experience with community-based assessment and the difference between the work he wanted and the kind of positions he was being assessed for. He then touched on the general difficulties of finding work.

 

  • A woman with a background in psychiatric nursing who expressed anxiety being around others, expressed difficulty finding an appropriate placement. She raised questions about reasonable accommodations.

 

  • A couple (a man and a woman) in their very early twenties who were Deaf were confused and off put by the variation in their experiences with DVR.  The man was quite satisfied with his services, with communication, and case progress. The young woman had the complete opposite experience. Their point was about consistency of practice.

 

January 17, 2013 – Sea-Tac, Washington and April 18, 2013 – Everett, Washington

On January 17 we held the first quarterly forum of the year at Red Lion, Sea-Tac Airport, Seattle, WA. Invitations were sent to roughly 3,500 customers (all customers with open cases in King County).

 

On April 18 we held our second quarterly forum of the year at the Holiday Inn, Everett, WA. One thousand ninety customers were invited to attend, all those with open cases in Snohomish County.

 

Three weeks before the events we sent a notice of public meeting to all customers with open cases in King and Snohomish Counties. 

 

 

 

Total

Invited

Total

Customers

who signed in

(In-Person)

4,590

(3,500 King Co),

(1,090 Snohomish Co)

72

(55 King Co.)

(17 Snohomish)

Percentage of total Customers invited

1.56%

 

The general customer feedback:

 

January Observations

The turnout at the January forum was significant. The room was full of energy. There were times it felt like a powder keg and times it felt like a tent revival. Our members noticed:

  • A strong representative sample of the customer issues DVR staff are presented with in their daily work;

 

  • Despite the fact that King County has more resources than less populated areas, the need for additional supports and services for people with psychiatric disabilities was plainly evident;

 

  • Recurrent theme of discussion: frustration with lack of communication between DVR staff and customers;

 

  • There was significant frustration in the room about long-term unemployment and grief expressed over the consequences (such as foreclosure, loss of confidence, general scarcity);

 

  • Some customers expressed a recognition that they needed to take ownership in their own VR process;

 

  • There was a strong contingent of customers with conviction histories discussing the layered experiences of disability and incarceration as a barrier to employment;

 

  • There was a notable presence of Deaf people from the US and other countries including Mexico and Bolivia;

 

  • Speakers at this forum generally offered lengthier personal narratives; and,

 

  • A greater number of customers disclosed a need to support children.

 

April Observations

  • The first speaker was a man with a traumatic brain injury who had been working with DVR for five or six years. He discussed a need to build confidence as part of an effort to reenter the workforce;

 

  • The second speaker had worked with two offices, Smokey Point and Lynnwood. She experienced customer service issues and concluded that one office was not “very interested in helping.” She characterized herself as one “not to give up easily.” She said that DVR was a great help with her barriers but then listed a bunch of unaddressed barriers;

 

  • The third speaker was appreciative. Her case had been open for a long time. The customer expressed that she was told she provided too much information;

 

  • The fourth speaker recounted the way that unreliable transit had cost him a job;

 

  • The fifth speaker was relatively new to the VR process, having recently been determined eligible, he just had general questions;

 

  • The next speaker articulated the value of Work Strides and Dependable Strengths. He had been through a number of assessments but was still facing barriers; and,

 

  • The final speaker discussed having started her own business and was quite positive about her experience with the division.  

 

DSHS/DVR Monthly Survey of Customers with Closed Cases

 

Each month DSHS/DVR mails a survey to all customers during that month whose case was Closed-Rehabilitated or Closed-Other, After IPE Commenced. The summary below reflects a compilation of customer survey responses from FFY 2011 and FFY 2012. During those two years a total of 9,974 surveys were mailed to customers ((5,373, Closed Rehabilitated; 4,601, Closed-Other, After IPE Commenced). The survey response rate was 26.0%, Closed Rehabilitated, and 19.0%, Closed-Other, After IPE Commenced.

 

Close Rehabilitated

 

Over 90.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         I was given enough information to understand how DVR could help me with employment

·         DVR Listened to me

·         DVR answered my questions

·         DVR understood my problems in getting and keeping a job

·         DVR treated me with courtesy and respect

 

Between 80.0% - 89.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         I chose my employment goal

·         DVR explained what services were available to me

·         DVR returned my phone calls quickly

·         I received services in my DVR employment plan quickly enough

·         I like the work I do

·         DVR does good work

·         Overall, DVR helped me

 

Between 70.0% - 79.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         DVR gave me information about other programs that could help me

·         I chose where to get services in my DVR employment plan

·         If I had complaints or concerns about services, I was satisfied with how DVR responded

·         I use my skills and abilities that are most important to me in my job

·         Overall, I am satisfied with my job

 

Between 60.0% - 69.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         My pay is enough for my basic needs

 

Between 50.0% - 59.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         I am satisfied with my employee benefits

 

Closed-Other, After IPE Commenced

 

Between 70.0% - 79.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         I chose my employment goal

·         DVR explained what services were available to me

·         DVR returned my phone calls

·         DVR treated me with courtesy and respect

 

Between 60.0% - 69.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         I was given enough information to understand how DVR could help me with employment

·         DVR listened to me

·         DVR answered my questions

 

Between 50.0% - 59.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         DVR gave me information about other programs that could help me

·         I chose where to get services in my DVR employment plan

·         DVR understood my problems in getting and keeping a job

·         I received services in my DVR employment plan quickly enough

 

Between 40.0% - 49.0% of Respondents Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the following:

·         If I had complaints or concerns about services, I was satisfied with how DVR responded

 

Respondents were asked to select the main reason they stopped DVR services before achieving an employment outcome. The following lists the number of responses to each reason.

 

·         I found a job on my own = 31

·         DVR did not have services to meet my needs = 111

·         It took too long to get the services I needed = 136

·         I was not satisfied with the services I received = 156

·         My disability worsened = 217

·         I decided not to get a job = 53

 

Respondents that indicated they were not satisfied with services were requested to select the reason for their dissatisfaction. The following lists the number of responses to each reason.

 

·         The location of the DVR Office was not convenient = 29

·         It took too long t get services = 148

·         The available services were not what I needed = 106

·         I did not get along with DVR staff = 56

·         The services were not helpful = 141

 

Public Comments – State Plan

DSHS/DVR and the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) hosted three public forums in May, 2013. These forums were held in Lacey, Everett and Spokane, Approximately forty individuals attended not including WSRC and DSHS/DVR representatives. Individuals in attendance at the public forums included DSHS/DVR customers, stakeholders, parents, providers and vendors. Representatives from other agencies included Centers for Independent Living, Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration, Disabled Students Service Coordinators in higher education WSRC council members and staff and DSHS/DVR staff.

 

DSHS/DVR also met with representatives of Washington State Tribes to review a roll-up of comments received for State Plan input and to gather additional comments from Tribal representatives.

 

Areas of comments included:

 

1.   High School Transition

·         Consider using WorkStrides with high school transition students to help them discover what they are interested in and good at doing.

·         Need to inform schools, parents/students at younger age about DVR services

·         Find better ways of connecting with 504 students

·         Increase/improve outreach to students with disabilities enrolled in Native American High School programs

 

 

2.   Mental Health

·         Lack of adequate mental health services (therapy & long term follow-along)

 

 

 

3.     Developmental Disabilities

·         Funding for long-term support is becoming a serious concern for SE

·         Increase hours worked per week for individuals with developmental disabilities

 

 

 

4.     Community Rehabilitation Programs

·         Lack of communication/coordination at local level

·         DVR counselors are not consistently following criteria for when to appropriately refer individuals for CRP services

·         Lack of understanding between DVR and mental health systems

 

 

 

5.     Independent Living (IL) & Assistive Technology (AT)

·         Better utilization of  IL and AT services to address customers’ barriers to employment

 

 

 

6.     Personnel Development

·         Develop a retention plan for paraprofessionals (Rehabilitation Technicians) to support successful vocational rehabilitation efforts

·         Involvement in professional organizations should be encouraged, but that does not seem to be happening.

 

 

 

7.     Customer Information

·         Customers need to be better informed about where they are at in the vocational rehabilitation process and whether they are making successful progress toward employment.

·         Customers receiving SS benefits require more timely and thorough benefits planning as they progress through the vocational rehabilitation process.

 

 

 

8.     Outreach/Employer Contacts

One of the bullets under Goal 4 – Increase outreach to improve and strengthen DSHS/DVR’s connection and relationship with employers is too broadly stated in that tracking tools are to be developed and implemented to quantify outputs and outcomes of all employer outreach activities and contacts. Recently, a tracking tool has been developed for this purpose with some employers, but not all

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

 

DSHS/DVR anticipates a decrease in individuals applying for Vocational Rehabilitation services. Applications are decreasing as follows:

 

Year

Number of Applications

Percent Change From Prior Year

2010

12,500

 

2011

11,198

(10.4%)

2012

10,217

  (8.8%)

 

For FFY 2013, DSHS/DVR is on target to receive 9,755 applications. This is a decrease of 4.5% from FFY 2012. DSHS/DVR expects applications will continue to decrease in FFY 2014. The decrease in applications is attributed to steps taken the past few years to improve referral coordination between DSHS/DVR and the DSHS Community Services Division (DSHS/CSD) which had implemented a practice of making it mandatory for large numbers of Aged, Blind and Disabled Assistance clients to apply for DSHS/DVR services regardless of whether individuals wanted to work or receive VR services. This practice began in FFY 2009 and ended in FFY 2012 when DSHS/CSD began only referring clients to DSHS/DVR who voluntarily asked to be referred for VR services. Prior to FFY 2009 DSHS/DVR received 10,000-11,000 applications per year. Targeted outreach will be conducted to return to that level.   

 

The number of individuals determined eligible is decreasing as follows:

 

Year

Number of Eligibility Determinations

Percent Change From Prior Year

2010

10,964

 

2011

  9,753

(11.0%)

2012

  9,007

(7.7%)

 

For FFY 2013, DSHS/DVR is on target to determine eligibility for approximately 8,453 individuals.  This is a decrease of 6.2% from FFY 2012. DSHS/DVR expects the number of eligibility determinations made in 2014 will continue to decrease in proportion to the projected decline in applications.

Outreach activities will be conducted to broaden the population of individuals with disabilities being served by DSHS/DVR. Outreach, education, and marketing efforts will be targeted to individuals with disabilities who are: already working to retain or progress in employment, previous DSHS/DVR customers who may have lost employment and want to become reemployed, college students nearing completion of their academic programs, individuals who have exhausted their Unemployment Insurance benefits, and other groups who are identified as underserved.

 

  

 

Adequate funds are available to serve all 3,390 individuals currently eligible for DSHS/DVR services and 6,769 individuals in plan status. The division also has adequate funds to cover the cost of expected eligibility determinations and post-employment services.

 

 

The average cost to support a successful rehabilitation is increasing as follows:

 

Year

Average Cost to Support a Successful Rehabilitation

Percent Change From Prior Year

2010

$5,400

 

2011

$5,727

6.1%

2012

$6,101

6.5%

  

 

The division expects the average cost to support a successful rehabilitation will increase in FFY 2013 to $6,544 or by 7.3%. This average considers the total costs of a case from application to closure for all cases closed with an employment outcome during the Federal Fiscal Year.

 

DSHS/DVR is experiencing and increase in costs related to the following services:

 

 

 

Service

Percent Increase of costs in 2012 compared to 2011

 

 

Non-CRP Assessment

16%

CRP Assessment

15%

CRP Placement & Retention

18%

Hearing Aids

28%

Transportation

17%

 

  

DSHS/DVR will look at strategies to maximize DSHS/DVR resources and serve the greatest number of eligible individuals possible.  This will include providing more VR services internally, continuing the use of comparable services and benefits, expanding best practices in case management and fiscal training, and implementing contracts that will reduce cost for the purchase of goods and services and create consistency in fee’s paid.

 

The division carried over approximately 7,175 Individual Plans for Employment (IPEs) into FFY 2013. This is a decrease from the prior year by 5.3%. 

 

Year

IPEs Carried Over From Prior Year

Percent Change From Prior Year

2010

7,600

 

2011

7,870

(3.6%)

2012

7,580

(3.7%)

2013

7,175

(5.3%)

The division set a target of 5,675 new plans in FFY 2014 based on anticipated resources. With an average expenditure per IPE per year of approximately $1,856, IPE costs will total approximately $24,600,000. This will leave the division with sufficient funds to pay for costs incurred in pre-plan and post-plan services at the current rate of 27.1% of the total expenditures. To achieve 5,675 new plans, the division will continue to build the caseload of open IPEs throughout 2013 to align the number of open plans that can be supported with available financial and staff resources. DSHS/DVR will continually monitor expenditures and caseload movement to ensure the division continues to have the resources to effectively serve all eligible individuals.

  

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Not applicable Title I $30,000,000 23,210 $1,292
Not applicable Title VI $440,000 540 $814
Totals   $30,440,000 23,750 $1,281

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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.

To collect feedback and identify goals and priorities, DSHS/DVR conducted meetings and public forums throughout the state with DSHS/DVR customers, employees, partners, providers, Rehabilitation Council members, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), tribal program representatives, school representatives and others. DSHS/DVR also completed a comprehensive needs assessment that included surveys to employers, customers, and DSHS/DVR staff. DSHS/DVR met with the State Rehabilitation Council to solicit feedback and the Council co-sponsored three public forums. Over 65 people attended the public forums.

The goals and priorities established for the 2014 State Plan Update reflect a priority on customer services and outcomes, staff development and organizational systems, partnerships and enhancing employer relations. These goals and priorities also reflect an analysis of DSHS/DVR’s performance in achieving federal Standards and Indicators. As reported in Attachment 4.11(e)(2), Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities, DSHS/DVR passed five Standards and Indicators by fairly wide margins and failed two by slim margins. The two that were missed, included 1.2, Rehabilitation Rate (54.5% vs 55.8%) and 1.5 Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average State Hourly Wage (0.49 vs 0.52). DSHS/DVR is currently passing all standards and indicators, except the ratio of average hourly wages. Activities identifed below under Goal 1 aim at increasing the average hourly wages that DSHS/DVR customers earn by providing more timely and thorough Benefits Planning so customers seek higher paying employment and enhancing services that enable customers to advance in employment to higher wages.

 

To ensure DSHS/DVR remains a vital, healthy organization building strong partnerships throughout the state and in local communities continues to be a major goal and priority.

GOAL 1: Provide timely, individualized services to DSHS/DVR customers that result in employment outcomes that meet the customer’s needs.

Goal 1 reflects DSHS/DVR’s focus on improving its service delivery to customers by providing quality services that are timely and meet the individual needs of the customer. The priorities that follow respond to needs assessment findings and stakeholder input related to the need to improve timeliness and consistency in the provision of services throughout the state. To achieve this goal, DSHS/DVR establishes the following priorities:

  • Outreach, education and marketing effots will be targeted to individuals with disabilities who: are already working to retain or progress in employment, previous DSHS/DVR customers who may have lost employment and want to become reemployed, college students nearing completion of their academic programs, individuals who have exhausted their Unemployment Insurance benefits and other groups who are identified as underserved.
  • Strengthen efforts to assist customers in learning lifelong job seeking skills so they know how to get and keep jobs when DSHS/DVR is no longer in their lives.
  • Improve communication and the continuity of communication with customers while they are implementing their Individualized Plans for Employment so that individuals better understand where they are in the VR process and know whether they are making progress towards their employment goal.
  • Place greater emphasis and reinforce the customer’s active role in the VR process.
  • Increase DSHS/DVR’s ability to assist customers to achieve higher wage jobs with health benefits.
  • Enhance and improve the statewide consistency of timely, individualized services to customers who have a broad range of needs and capabilities.
  • Develop and implement strategies to increase the number of customers who achieve an employment outcome after beginning an Individualized Plan for Employment, so that DSHS/DVR maintains a rehabilitation rate at least equivalent to the Federal standard.
  • Develop and implement strategies to increase the number of customers who retain their employment after achieving an employment outcome.
  • Improve the organizational culture to focus even more on customer service, cultural sensitivity, and addressing each individual’s impediments to employment throughout the VR process.

Performance goals for the next two fiscal years

FFY 14 Basic Grant:

IPE’s per VRC: 40

IPE’s Statewide Goal: 5,675

Rehabs per VRC: 23 (17 for new VRC)

Rehabs Statewide Goal: 2,550

Rehab Rate: 60%

FFY 15 Basic Grant:

IPE’s per VRC: 40

IPE’s Statewide Goal: 5675

Rehabs per VRC: 23 (17 for new VRC)

Rehabs Statewide Goal: 2,550

Rehab Rate: 60%

  • Continue serving racially and ethnically diverse customer populations that reflect the demographics of the state.
  • More fully utilize Indipendent Living and Assistive Technology services to assist customers in reducing or eliminating their disability barriers to employment.
  • Keep customers better informed of where they are in the VR process as they progress towards their employment goal
  • Provide more timely and thorough Benefits Planning to customers who receive Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income so they can make better informed choices about the types of jobs they seek and the amount of hours they will work.
  • Improve and expand services to enhance earnings, employee benefits and career advancement for customers with the most significant disabilities, including individuals served through supported employment.
  • Conduct annual statewide case record reviews of case service practices to determine consistency and adherence with Federa/state requirements.
  • Use case review results to identify and implement improvements in quality and consistency of services.
  • Develop a systematic approach to implementing program improvements in a timely, consistent and planful way, including a process for clearly communicating changes to employees and partners.
  • In light of the limited and highly competitive job market, make more use of available labor market and post-secondary training information to improve vocational assessments and assist customers in better selecting employment goals that match the availability of real jobs.
  • Increase collaboration within the “WorkSource One-Stop system” to improve services to unemployed workers with disabilities who are eligible for DSHS/DVR services by better leveraging DSHS/DVR services with Workforce Investment Act and other workforce development programs.
  • Play stronger roles on state and local Workforce Investment Boards to assure that DSHS/DVR customers and other individuals with disabilities are even better served by the “WorkSource One-Stop system.”
  • Increase collaboration with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to improve coordination of DSHS/DVR services with SBCTC Workforce programs and Adult Basic Education programs.

GOAL 2: Strengthen DSHS/DVR’s workforce and improve its overall organizational systems.

Goal 2 reflects DSHS/DVR’s commitment to making organizational effectiveness a high priority by establishing systems and methods to better develop, support and promote DSHS/DVR staff and improve overall retention as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizational systems used by staff. Priorities include:

  • Improve and maintain the consistency of policy interpretation, implementation and casework practices through a comprehensive quality assurance program.
  • Make service delivery improvements that are transparent, involve the right employees and partners and are based on evaluation methods that provide DSHS/DVR with timely, useful information and data.
  • Enhance and utilize Information Technology resources and tools to improve or streamline service delivery.
  • Deliver high quality training and support to provide staff with the knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively.
  • Recognize and appreciate staff throughout the Division for their contributions to DSHS/DVR’s success.
  • Use information technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of DSHS/DVR’s organizational systems.
  • Collaborate with the University of Wisconsin - Madison to evaluate the effect that Motivational Interviewing training has had on the performance of VR Counselors and Rehabilitation Technicians.

Performance goals for the next two fiscal years

  • Continue to update and deliver Advanced Best Practices training to field staff statewide to provide ongoing skill development in key service delivery operations and practices, including a strong focus on customer service, cultural sensitivity, and better addressing each customer’s impediments to employment.
  • In accordance with the DSHS/DVR Cultural Competency Plan, appoint a total of four individuals to VRC positions from minority groups: one each who is African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic. Appoint one individual to a VRC position who is a Disabled Veteran and one who is an individual with a disability.

GOAL 3: Distinguish DSHS/DVR’s role in the disability and employer communities and leverage partnerships to maximize resources and support for DSHS/DVR customers and other individuals with disabilities.

Goal 3 is intended to help DSHS/DVR increase its visibility in the community and strengthen its connection to other programs that serve individuals with disabilities as well as employers. DSHS/DVR must clearly communicate to others what it can do well, who we can serve and how we can work collaboratively with others to achieve greater outcomes for people with disabilities. This goal responds to needs assessment findings and stakeholder input that point to a need for improved collaboration between DSHS/DVR and existing partner agencies as well as outreach to potential partner agencies. Priorities include:

  • Enhance and build partnerships that advance opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rapidly obtain employment, including supported employment.
  • Develop relationships with employers to create opportunities for customers to gain work experience through internships and obtain regular jobs that pay well with benefits.
  • Market DSHS/DVR to employers by categorizing the similar employment goals of customers and strategically targeting employers in corresponding occupations.
  • Increase understanding and awareness of DSHS/DVR services in local communities.
  • Maximize DSHS/DVR local-level knowledge of community programs and services that could benefit DSHS/DVR customers.

Performance goals for the next two fiscal years

  • Collaborate with disability and employment partners to sponsor events that focus on disability recruitment, hiring and retention issues such as mentoring, disability awareness, reasonable accommodation, customized employment, transportation, independent living, benefits issues, etc.
  • Bring together employers, DSHS/DVR staff and other workforce partners on a regular basis at the local level to update trends in the job market and maintain a good understanding of employer needs, so that customers are given useful guidance and current information.
  • Support the DSHS/DVR Employer Services Team in developing ongoing employer relationships and providing job placement assistance to customers, including participation in the nationwide employer network sponsored by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation.
  • Serve on local WorkSource Business Service Teams to market DSHS/DVR job seekers to employers.
  • Conduct regular meetings and information sharing with community rehabilitation programs at the local level to improve communication and better support service delivery coordination.

GOAL 4: Increase outreach to improve and strengthen DSHS/DVR’s connection and relationship with employers.

Goal 4 addresses agency needs assessment and stakeholder input that consistently pointed out a need for more frequent, consistent, and effective outreach, education to and relationship maintenance with employers statewide in order to better position customers to obtain access to employment. Priorities include:

  • Increase DSHS/DVR’s visibility with and connection to Washington employers
  • Continue to expand the network capabilities of DSHS/DVR’s Employment Services Team.
  • Actively participate in the national employer relations model sponsored by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, and integrate these activities into state-level initiatives.

Performance goals for the next two fiscal years

  • Increase the number of customers who participate in internships in community based employment that lead to competitive employment.
  •  Actively use the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation NET system for developing employer relationships and increasing employment opportunities.
  • Market DSHS/DVR to employers by attending local employment expos, job fairs, employer association meetings, and employment events or conferences.
  • Increase the number of DSHS/DVR customers placed into state or federal government jobs and with private employers that are federal contractors.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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.

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Sep 9 2009 12:21PM by sawavertreesp

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.

DSHS/DVR will serve approximately 540 individuals in IPEs with a supported employment goal and to achieve approximately 256 supported employment outcomes.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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.

 

DSHS/DVR has established an array of goals, priorities and strategies that assure quality service delivery and maximize the number of individuals served within available resources. Specifically, the service delivery strategies along with the innovation and expansion activities within this attachment comprise the methods that will be used to expand and improve services. These strategies and activities reflect an in depth analysis of DSHS/DVR customer service data and statewide demographic data of individuals with disabilities, as well as extensive input and recommendations from the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), customers and stakeholders, and DSHS/DVR staff. DSHS/DVR closely reviews data, trends and feedback on a monthly basis to assess service delivery performance and determine the need for expanded and/or improved services. Where expansion or improvements are determined to be needed, DSHS/DVR engages the SRC, stakeholders and staff to identify a course of action, such as those identified in this attachment.

 

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.

 

Procedures are followed that require VR Counselors to inquire throughout the rehabilitation process whether a customer requires assistive technology services and/or devices to reduce or eliminate an impediment to employment. DSHS/DVR brochures and “Guide to Services” that are distributed to all customers include mention of assistive technology. In addition, DSHS/DVR employs an Assistive Technology Assessment and Practitioner (ATAP) in each of its service delivery areas that is a full-time position dedicated to assuring that assistive technology services are well integrated in to the rehabilitation process. The ATAPs provide regular consultation to VR Counselors and customers, develop and work with vendors that deliver an array of assistive technology services and devices, and routinely share assistive technology information and resources with VR personnel and customers.

 

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.

 

DSHS/DVR has well established local referral relationships statewide that assure a steady and significant flow of applicants and customers who are minorities with disabilities. Data shows that DSHS/DVR consistently serves individuals with disabilities who are minorities at rates well above their representation within the Washington State population of minorities with disabilities. For example, 10.9% of DSHS/DVR customers are African American, while this population comprises 4.1% of the state disability population; 5.6% of DSHS/DVR customers are Native American or Alaskan Native, while this population comprises 2.8% of the state disability population; 4.6% of DSHS/DVR customers are Asian, while this population comprises 3.7% of the state disability population; 8.9% of DSHS/DVR customers are Hispanic, while this population comprises 7.5% of the state disability population. DSHS/DVR continues to maintain active organizational relationships with a wide range of agencies and community groups that serve minority populations, and has formal liaison relationships with many to assure an ongoing referral of individuals with disabilities who are minorities.

 

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

 

DSHS/DVR has established a workgroup of VR staff and Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) representatives that is focusing on improvements on the following areas of improvement: better communication and coordination between local DSHS/DVR offices and CRPs; keeping CRPs better informed of changes or updates in DVR policies and procedures that affect service delivery; and assuring VR Counselors more consistently follow required procedures and criteria when referring customers for CRP services. In addition, DSHS/DVR will continue working on methods to better measure the effectiveness of CRP services with a variety of customer populations, especially individuals with the most significant disabilities and those who are minorities.

 

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

 

DSHS/DVR consistently meets or exceeds all evaluation standards and indicators except 1.5, Wage Ratio, and has struggled at times with 1.2, Rehabilitation Rate. At present, DSHS/DVR is meeting all except the wage ratio. Strategies continue to focus on assisting customers to obtain good paying jobs with benefits. Specifically, strategies are underway to intensify employer relations activities to place customers in to higher paying occupations that reflect the state’s average wage. In addition, DSHS/DVR has placed significant emphasis on developing Individualized Plans for Employment that better address customers’ barriers to employment and provide more clear steps for reaching their employment goals. This is resulting in more customers reaching employment outcomes and producing a rehabilitation rate that consistently exceeds the standard.

 

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

 

DSHS/DVR is represented on state and local Workforce Investment Boards and has played significant roles in contributing strategies and activities to state local strategic plans that aim at improving overall workforce services for individuals with disabilities. These roles at state and local levels will continue to assist the statewide workforce investment system to well serve individuals with disabilities. DSHS/DVR has specific strategies underway to: Bring together DSHS/DVR staff and other workforce partners on a regular basis at the local level to update trends in the job market and maintain a good understanding of employer needs, so that customers are given useful guidance and current information; Support the DSHS/DVR Employer Services Team in developing ongoing employer relationships and providing job placement assistance to customers, including participation in the nationwide employer network sponsored by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation; Serve on local WorkSource Business Service Teams to market DSHS/DVR job seekers to employers.

 

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.

 

Strategies to Achieve Goals and Priorities in Attachment 4.11(c) (1)

A. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 1 is to provide timely, individualized services to DSHS/DVR customers that result in employment outcomes that meet the customer’s needs.

The following strategies support improving DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.

  • Utilize demographic data from the comprehensive statewide needs assessment to target outreach within greographic communities where VR services are significantly under-utilized in proportion to the working-age disability population. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 2.1)
  • Better utilize results from an ongoing study that tracks the long term employment of DSHS clients to increase the number of DSHS/DVR customers who retain employment beyond case closure, and compare their employment retention rates to the workforce as a whole. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.6)
  • Implement an on-line Self-Assessment Tool and Self-Referral Tool to increase the customer’s ability to make an informed choice when deciding whether or not to self refer for DSHS/DVR services and to assist community partners when making referrals. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3)
  • Use results of the annual case review to

              o Determine where additional guidance and training are required;

              o Improve guidance in the policy and procedure manual; and

              o Emphasize specific areas of need in the Advanced Best Practices curriculum. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)

  • Continue to expand the availability of the DSHS/DVR WorkStrides career preparation workshop to all customers by engaging an array of partners to help deliver the workshop on a regular basis. The division will enlist Department of Social and Health Services partners, workforce development partners, community and technical colleges, mental health providers and other community based organizations that share customers with DSHS/DVR to present the WorkStrides workshop within their organizations. DSHS/DVR will train partners to deliver the WorkStrides workshop and develop agreements for the number of DSHS/DVR customers they will present the workshop to. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6)
  • Continue to broaden the population of individuals with disabilities being served by DSHS/DVR through outreach to increase the representation of underserved or unserved populations. Outreach, education, and marketing efforts will be targeted to individuals with disabilities who are already working to retain or progress in employment, previous DSHS/DVR customers who may have lost employment to become reemployed, college students nearing completion of their academic programs, individuals who have exhausted their Unemployment Insurance benefits, and other groups who are identified as underserved. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR will identify ways to improve and expand services to enhance earnings, employee benefits and career advancement for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including individuals served through supported employment. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to play a DVD that has been produced for customers in each of its office reception areas so that individuals waiting for appointments are reminded of the vocational rehabilitation services available to them, including information about the basics of the vocational rehabilitation process. Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1,1.2, 1.3)
  • A full-time Assistive Technology Assessment Practitioner (ATAP) continues to be available in each of DSHS/DVR’s three geographic Areas to provide AT assessment, consultation and support to Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors statewide in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services. This expertise and support is provided, based on the identification of assistive technology needs resulting from a standardized assessment at the time of eligibility or based on information obtained throughout the rehabilitation process. It will be emphasized that Assistive Technology services may be provided throughout the VR process to assure customers are aware of and utilize these services when required to achieve an employment outcome.(Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
  • DSHS/DVR uses foreign and sign language translation and interpreter services available on contract to communicate with individuals who are limited English speaking. DSHS/DVR has a Statewide Coordinator for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors for the deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing population. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 2.1)
  • DSHS/DVR will identify ways to work more closely with WorkSource partners so that more DSHS/DVR customers benefit from services provided through the one-stop workforce development system. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3)
  • DSHS/DVR will more clearly define the role for its staff who have primary liaison relationships with WorkSource Centers to assure that DSHS/DVR customers and other individuals with disabilities are even better served by the WorkSource one-stop system. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3)

A. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 2 is to strengthen DSHS/DVR’s workforce and improve its overall organizational systems.

The following strategies support improving DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.

  • DSHS/DVR continues to implement an action plan to address results of the 2011 DSHS/DVR Employee Survey. The action plan will reflect conversations with staff and identify follow through activities to improve the effectiveness and function of DSHS/DVR. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.4)
  • DSHS/DVR will continue to implement staff training focused on customer service, cultural sensitivity, and impediments to employment to meet the customer’s VR needs from application to case closure. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR will develop staff training to improve counseling to meet the needs of customers with both episodic and chronic mental illness. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR will develop a workgroup to establish a communication protocol for DSHS/DVR. The protocol will address the Who, What, Where, When and Why of all communication and will establish clear roles of accountability, timelines and follow up for all necessary communication. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to enhance staff counseling skills by providing training to staff at all levels in the agency in Motivational Interviewing (MI). (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to implement Advanced Best Practices training designed to provide instruction related to effective approaches to case management and service delivery for VRCs. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.4)
  • DSHS/DVR continues targeted recruitment efforts to increase the ethnic and cultural diversity of qualified DVR applicants as stated in the DSHS/DVR Cultural Competency Plan outlined in Attachment 4.11(c)(1). Key positions throughout DSHS/DVR are designated as requiring specific language competencies (including foreign and sign languages) to meet the needs of the local population. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 2.1)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to implement staff recognition and appreciation practices throughout the agency. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2.)
  • All DSHS/DVR Supervisors will complete Clinical Supervisor Training to improve management of VR counselors and service delivery outcomes. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to support supervisors to promote accountability by providing intensive coaching and direction to staff who need to develop or improve counseling skills to achieve qualitative case measures or productivity standards. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to provide supervisors with the tools needed to deliver effective, ongoing coaching for their staff. A structured coaching process has been implemented to require supervisors to review monthly performance and provide VRCs with specific feedback and support and to submit progress reports to Area Managers. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to use the Learning Management System for all personnel to better track the training needs and training records of DSHS/DVR staff. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to increase its capacity and use of technology for communications; e.g., video conferencing, video phones and long-distance learning programs, etc. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to enhance and grow its capacity related to data analysis by adding analytical tools to assist in developing data supported business decisions (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2)

 

B. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 3 is to distinguish DSHS/DVR’s role in the disability and employer communities and leverage partnerships to maximize resources and support for individuals with disabilities.

The following strategies support improving DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.

  • DSHS/DVR will develop and sustain ongoing dialogue with CRP partners for the purpose of analyzing specific practices and assessing whether the employer contacts DSHS/DVR pays for, lead to job offers to customers. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR will refine the role that local staff play which encourages them to take a more active role in connecting customers and employers. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR participates in local community organizations and events, including organizations representing diverse ethnic and disability populations, for the purpose of outreach, education and partnership building. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 2.1)
  • DSHS/DVR provides educational and marketing information in accessible formats and/or conducts outreach to organizations throughout communities that serve populations who might benefit from DSHS/DVR services. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 2.1)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to partner with WorkSource operators (aka “One-Stop” system) to improve and expand the services available to individuals with disabilities. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR partners with the State Rehabilitation Council and local disability service organizations to educate and inform legislators about services and outcomes of VR and other programs. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to expand its knowledge and use of labor market information as well as its education and training capacity to ensure the number of customers trained in an industry matches the number of expected job openings. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR continues to negotiate contractual relationships with tribal programs to assist the agency in providing culturally competent, reservation-based VR services to common customers. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 2.1)

C. DSHS/DVR’s Goal 4 is to increase outreach to improve and strengthen DSHS/DVR’s connection and relationship with employers.

The following strategies support improving DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.

  • Conduct outreach to potential employers to increase awareness and educate them about the potential benefits of employing individuals with disabilities and partnering with DSHS/DVR. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1)
  • Conduct outreach and marketing within DSHS and other state agencies related to supported employment, internships and competitive employment in state government. DSHS is launching an initiative to employ greater numbers of individuals with disabilities throughout the department; DSHS/DVR will play a key role in contributing to this effort and will assist customers in competing for these job opportunities. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
  • Create and maintain a DSHS/DVR employer network with strategies and incentives to increase opportunities for customer employment. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR will develop and implement outreach strategies targeting mid-sized and smaller employers on an ongoing basis. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6)
  • DSHS/DVR will develop and implement tracking tools to quantify outputs and outcomes of all employer outreach activities and contacts. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1)
  • Develop and focus the efforts of a statewide DSHS/DVR employment services team on increasing employer awareness, building on our partnerships with Work Source Centers and internal job development staff. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standards and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1)
  • Collaborate with employer organizations such as the Association of Washington Business, the Society of Human Resource Management, and The Net (Council of State Administrators for Vocational Rehabilitation) to expand business relations and partnerships for internships and placements. (Supports DSHS/DVR’s performance on standard and indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1)

Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

During FFY 2013 - 2014, DSHS/DVR is continuing to fund the following innovation and expansion activities:

A. Expand a high school transition model that DSHS/DVR has established with the King County Division of Developmental Disabilities to other County Developmental Disability Programs across the state. Under this model, DSHS/DVR contracts with the County instead of individual Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to place supported employment transition customers with developmental disabilities in to permanent employment when they complete high school. The County funds designated subcontractors a monthly fee to provide community based assessment, job placement, and job coaching services to a customer. When the customer is placed into employment and transitions to extended services, DSHS/DVR pays the County an outcome fee of $8500.00. This fee is approximately $3,000.00 less than what DSHS/DVR would pay to a CRP for the same outcome. All of the County subcontractors are CRPs; the advantage for them is they receive a monthly service delivery fee from the County that is not outcome-based instead of a fee from DSHS/DVR that is paid only when an outcome is achieved.

B. Continuing funding the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE) to launch and host a comprehensive series of web-based on-demand training modules for CRP Supported Employment Specialists that will increase the knowledge and skills. CRP staff attrition is very high and frequently new Supported Employment Specialists are hired with little or no experience. This significantly slows service delivery and often reduces successful outcomes. The suite of on-demand training modules that WISE produces will be created in partnership with the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation, DSHS Division of Developmental Disabilities, DSHS Division of Behavioral Health & Recovery, and a number of other supported employment partners.

C. DSHS/DVR will continue to purchase job placement services from the Employment Security Department (ESD) that includes an on-the-job training (OJT) agreement with the employer. DSHS/DVR is testing a model in six locales where ESD will place a customer in to permanent employment and prepare an OJT agreement and training plan that is signed by the employer, customer, and VR Counselor. DSHS/DVR pays an OJT training fee directly to the employer who provides monthly written training reports; ESD monitors progress of the OJT by maintaining contact with the customer and employer at least every two weeks.

D. Provide training to DSHS/DVR customers and VR Counselors on the effective use of social media to enhance job search success. The Association of Washington Business will provide this training. E. Develop and provide DSHS/DVR customers with training that will build their “soft skills,” including an assessment tool for VR Counselors to determine if an individual requires training to build their skills or some type of mental health or other clinical treatment.

E. Develop and provide DSHS/DVR customers with training that will build their "soft skills," including an assessment tool for VR Counselors to determine if an individual requires training to build their sills or some type of mental health or other clinical treatment.

F. Expand the availability of the Workstrides Career Exploration Workshop to customers on a statewide basis. It is presently available at select DSHS/DVR locations and will be expanded statewide.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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

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

 

GOAL 1:  Provide timely, individualized services to DSHS/DVR customers that result in employment outcomes that meet the customer’s needs.

Through Goal 1, DSHS/DVR assisted 2,785 individuals with disabilities to achieve gainful employment in Federal Fiscal Year 2012. This was an increase in rehabilitation outcomes of 23 (.8%) over the previous year.

In FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR developed 4, 713 new individualized plans for employment which was a decrease of 145 (3.0%) from those developed in FFY 2011.

During FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR accepted 10,217 applications which was a decrease of 981 (8.8%) from applications accepted during FFY 2011.

During FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR determined 9,007 individuals eligible for VR services, which was a decrease of 746 (7.6%) from the number of individuals determined eligible in FFY 2011.

The average case cost of a rehabilitation closure during FFY 2012 increased from FFY 2011.   

 

 

Year

 

 

Average case cost of a rehabilitation closure

 

 

Change from prior year

2009

$8,898

 

2010

$5,727

(36%)

2011

$5,637

(1.6%)

2012

$6,103

  8.3%

DSHS/DVR continues to closely monitor its fiscal resources to assure maximum case service capacity is maintained.

The continued reduction in applications and eligible individuals during FFY 2012 is attributed to decrease in the number of state Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD) Assistance clients referred by the DSHS Community Services Division (DSHS/CSD) to DSHS/DVR. Beginning in FFY 2009, DSHS/CSD started requiring significantly greater numbers of ABD clients to apply for DSHS/DVR services in order to continue receiving ABD benefits. The vast majority of these individuals applied for VR services only to retain these benefits, not because they wanted VR services to achieve an employment outcome. While most were determined eligible for VR services, the majority did not follow through beyond eligibility determination and resulted in case closure prior to development of an individualized plan for employment.

In FFY 2010, DSHS/DVR and DSHS/CSD collaborated in developing an online assessment tool used by Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD) Case Managers and revised referral practices so that ABD clients were referred only when they wanted to apply for VR services to achieve employment. This resulted in a significant decline of ABD referrals throughout FFY 2011.

Outreach activities will be conducted to broaden the population of individuals with disabilities being served by DSHS/DVR.

DSHS/DVR established the following two priorities to achieve Goal 1:

 ·         Priority 1: Increase DSHS/DVR’s ability to assist customers to achieve higher wage jobs with benefits.

Result: In 2010, the average wage earned by rehabilitated customers was $11.61 per hour. In 2011, the average wage earned by rehabilitated customers was $11.97 per hour; this decreased slightly in FFY 2012 to $11.92 per hour; this decreased slightly in FFY 2012 to $11.92 per hour.

·         Priority 2: Enhance and improve the statewide consistency of timely, individualized services to customers who have a broad range of needs and capabilities.

Result: The number of days from application to plan in FFY 2010 was 132; in FFY 2011, this number increased to 152 days, and in FFY 2012 it increased to 168 days.

In FFY 2010, the number of cases exceeding DSHS/DVR’s 120 day guideline for plan development was approximately 2,673; this number slightly decreased in FFY 2011 to 2,597; in FFY 2012 this number increased to 2,672.

A case management tracking tool implemented in FFY 2009 to assure consistent and timely service delivery continued to be utilized throughout FFY 2013. Additionally, more efficient referral processes were used including the development and use of an online self-referral form posted on DSHS/DVR’s webpage, as well as the development and use of an online assessment and referral tool used exclusively for referral of Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD) clients to DSHS/DVR.

Communication continues with DSHS/DVR partners and the general public to promote a better understanding of the services DSHS/DVR provides by supplying them with information about VR eligibility and criteria, and more clearly emphasizing that individuals who are referred to DSHS/DVR will be expected to want to work. Efforts also continue to better educate new applicants about DSHS/DVR services by continuously playing a DVD in the reception area of every field office that explains all facets of the VR program.

GOAL 2: Strengthen DSHS/DVR’s workforce and improve its overall organizational systems.

Under Goal 2, DSHS/DVR continues to implement a number of strategies designed to enhance the organizational infrastructure and skills of its staff in providing high quality VR services.

Since FFY 2010, DSHS/DVR has continued an ongoing initiative to train all employees on the use Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills. While MI is not intended to replace other counseling skills or methods, it has proven to be a promising practice for assisting individuals to make well informed choices when they are ambivalent or uncertain about whether they want to pursue an employment goal or how to most effectively participate in the VR process. Other staff training continues to provide a series of modules that includes Basic and Advanced Best Practices, Rehabilitation Law Review, a Rehabilitation Technician Training Academy, as well as other VR topics.

 

A DSHS/DVR team of internal job developers continues working to enhance individualized job development and placement for customers.

 

DSHS/DVR has continued to provide events that recognize employees for the provision of high quality VR services.

 

The last DSHS/DVR Employee survey was conducted in 2011 with a 95.0% participation rate; results continue to be utilized to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement to enhance staff support and the provision of quality services.

 

DSHS/DVR completed negotiations in FFY 2011 with the Washington Federation of State Employees to expand external capacity to deliver the WorkStrides workshop to customers statewide as a contracted service. These negotiations resulted in an agreement that DSHS/DVR employees may continue delivering the workshop at locations with sufficient staff capacity. However, at the same time, DSHS/DVR will contract with qualified vendors to deliver the workshop at locations where there is insufficient staff capacity. DSHS/DVR has funded the University of Washington Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation to train entities in delivery of the workshop so they may become WorkStrides vendors. These workshops provide individuals with more in-depth information about their strengths, interests, and capacities, enabling them to make better decisions about a suitable vocational goal and contributing to a higher rehabilitation rate.

 

DSHS/DVR continues to utilize an electronic case review tool for VR Supervisors and includes the requirement for Supervisors to review two cases per counselor per month. The results of these reviews are rolled up to the Area and Statewide level to monitor trends and identify training needs. DSHS/DVR also continues to perform a statewide case review process conducted by a team of field and state office staff. This process further enhances the ability of the agency to review and monitor compliance with Federal VR regulations, trends in case services, and areas in which training or other action is needed. The reviews are indicating substantial improvement in quality and consistency of case service practices throughout the division.

 

To improve performance reporting and accountability DSHS/DVR continues to use an extensive array of near real-time data reports that are available to all staff. This includes a set of Dashboard reports that provide a snapshot of four key performance indicators reported statewide, by area, unit and office that is easily accessible and available to all staff on our intranet web site. Additionally, staff use the technology available through iDVR SharePoint (an intranet application) to share information, communicate and collaborate about best practices, training and other related job activities.

 

GOAL 3: Distinguish DSHS/DVR’s role in the disability and employer communities and leverage partnerships to maximize resources and support for DSHS/DVR customers and individuals with disabilities.

To accomplish Goal 3, Washington DSHS/DVR has taken numerous steps to build and strengthen partnerships that maximize resources and enable DSHS/DVR to serve more people.

 

DSHS/DVR continues to assist counseling staff to better communicate the role of the agency to customers, partners, employers, and others. A “DVR Guide to Services” and informational DVDs continue to be posted on DSHS/DVR’s webpage as well as YouTube. In addition, DSHS/DVR continues playing the informational DVD about VR services continuously in the reception area of every field office.

 

DSHS/DVR continues to reach out to several agencies with populations who have not been served or have been underserved for the past several years. DSHS/DVR has strengthened its collaboration with various DSHS programs. Efforts continue at the regional level to establish streamlined referral procedures and to conduct cross-training.

 

DSHS/DVR continues efforts to build partnerships with the DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery – Mental Health (DBHR-MH), a state agency that contracts with regional entities for the delivery of community mental health services and directly operates two state psychiatric hospitals.

·  DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH staff continue to work together to jointly conduct cross- system training when requested to emphasize key elements of both service delivery systems and to support better coordination of the employment needs of mental health consumers.

·  DSHS/DVR and DBHR-MH continue a mutual collaboration to explore ways that mental health agencies can effectively become Employment Networks and build a revenue stream from the Ticket to Work Program that will fund extended services for mental health consumers who require a supported employment model.

·  Across the state, liaison DSHS/DVR counselors continue to work itinerantly from several Mental Health agencies at least one day per week to facilitate access to VR services for mental health consumers.

DSHS/DVR continues a model of service delivery in partnership with the King County Division of Developmental Disabilities (KCDDD), Snohomish County Division of Developmental Disabilities (SCDDD) and three Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) that targets supported employment services to individuals with developmental disabilities who had been in the past determined “unemployable” and not worked before. The model is based on collaborative job placement by the three CRPs. While a customer is served by a “primary” CRP, the individual is effectively served by all three CRPs working collaborative under a concerted job placement strategy. Each CRP coordinates job development activities, shares job leads, and jointly staffs each customer’s progress towards job placement with DSHS/DVR. When a customer becomes employed the individual receives ongoing support services from their “primary” CRP before transitioning to extended services provided by KCDDD. The model has resulted in an 85.0% placement rate.

 

GOAL 4: Increase outreach to improve and strengthen DSHS/DVR’s connection and relationship with employers.

To accomplish Goal 4 DSHS/DVR has forged partnerships with the Washington State Chapter of the Society of Human Resource Managers and Association of Washington Business to increase its visibility and connection with Washington employers. The DSHS/DVR Employment Services Team has continued to be active in marketing customers to local employers, attending job fairs, and participating on WorkSource (“One-Stop”) Business Services Teams.

 

 Identify the strategies that contributed to the success of the Goals

  

Goal 1:

·         Encouraging staff to achieve counselor expectations for Individual Plans for Employment (IPE) and rehabilitations

·         Expanding the delivery of the WorkStrides workshop

·         Strengthening partnerships and use of comparable benefits

·         Increasing staff skills and recognizing their accomplishments

·         Developing and using enhanced performance tracking tools and reports

 

Goal 2:

·         Continued to redesign the basic staff training modules to increase quality and efficiency of rehabilitation practices.

·         Quarterly meetings with the Senior Rehabilitation Team for communication and input from employees representing all positions and geographic areas around program priorities and changes.

·         The Chief of Field Services continued touring field offices regularly to listen to concerns and answer questions. Continued to utilize a statewide case review process.

·         DSHS/DVR will initiate the use of Lean, as applicable, to identify concerns and design strategies to address them.

·         Continued posting near real-time performance dashboards on DSHS/DVR’s intranet for easy access by all DSHS/DVR staff.

 

Goal 3:

·         Conducted public meetings to listen to partners and elicit feedback for DSHS/DVR planning and priorities.

·         Continued to refocus partnerships with the DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration and DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) to create employment opportunities that result in higher wage jobs for individuals with disabilities.

 

Goal 4:

  • Participating in employment conferences to increase DSHS/DVR’s visibility and connection with Washington employers.
  • Marketing job ready customers to local employers.
  • Attending job fairs.
  • Participating on (“One-Stop”) Business Services Teams.

 

 

Factors that impeded achievement of the goals.

Goal 1:

Because of very slow recovery from the recession and the state’s high unemployment rate that continues to hover near 8.0%, it has continued to be very difficult to assist customers in obtaining jobs that pay mid-to-high wages. However this remains a priority and continues to be a strong focus as the job market slowly improves.

 

Goal 2:

Throughout FFY 2012 DSHS/DVR continued to face challenges in maintaining its workforce and keeping morale high. During this period, all state employee pay raises have been frozen and the Washington State Legislature, as a budget savings measure, mandated a three per cent salary reduction through June 30, 2013. To offset the salary reduction, staff were awarded 5.2 hours of paid leave per month. As a result of these circumstances, workloads have remained high. A number of offices have been short of staff for extended periods as job vacancies are not easily filled. Even with these challenges, DSHS/DVR continued to provide timely services to customers in FFY2012.

 

Goal 3:

DSHS/DVR was able to accomplish all of the priorities identified in Goal 3 without any major difficulty.

 

Goal 4:

DSHS/DVR was able to accomplish all of the priorities identified in Goal 4 without any major difficulty.

 

 

 

 

DSHS/DVR’s goal in FFY 2012 was to serve approximately 275 customers in supported employment and to achieve approximately 200 successful rehabilitations. This goal was exceeded by achieving 245 supported employment rehabilitations in FFY 2012.

Identify the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals

  • Continued use of a model of service delivery in partnership with county developmental disability programs and community rehabilitation programs.
  • Continued active marketing of customers to local employers.

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goals

DSHS/DVR was able to accomplish this goal without any major difficulty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

Standard and Indicator 1.1:  The number of individuals achieving employment outcomes during the current performance period compared to the previous performance period.

For FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR achieved 2,785 employment outcomes, 23 outcomes over the number needed to pass this standard.

 

Standard and Indicator 1.2:  The percentage of individuals receiving services under an individualized plan for employment who achieve employment outcomes.

For FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR achieved a rehabilitation rate of 54.5. That was below the standard of 55.8% required to meet this standard; however, it was above the FFY 2011 level of 52.6%. Even though new applications from Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD) clients declined throughout FFY 2012 due to improved referral practices, there continued to be a significant number of ABD clients with existing cases that were closed before achieving an employment outcome.

 

Standard and Indicator 1.3:  Competitive employment outcomes as a percentage of all employment outcomes.

For FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR achieved this standard with 98.24% of employment outcomes as competitive employment outcomes.

 

Standard and Indicator 1.4:  Competitive employment outcomes for individuals with Significant Disabilities as a percentage of all employment outcomes.

For FFY 2012, 97.25% of DSHS/DVR’s competitive employment outcomes were individuals with Significant Disabilities.

 

Standard and Indicator 1.5:  The ratio of the average VR Hourly Wage to the Average State Hourly Wage.

For FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR achieved a wage ratio of 0.49 which was slightly below the standard of 0.52.

 

Standard and Indicator 1.6:  The percent of individuals achieving Competitive Employment Outcomes who report their own income as Primary Source of Support at Closure as compared to application.

For FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR passed the Federal standard by achieving 61.7%.

 

Standard and Indicator 2.1:  Access to services for Minorities as measured by the ratio of the Minority Service Rate to the Non-Minority Service Rate.

For FFY 2012, DSHS/DVR achieved a service ratio of .90 which was well above the Federal standard of 0.80.

 

 

During FFY 2012 DSHS/DVR reserved funds for funding of the State Rehabilitation Council and State Independent Living Council; however, no Title 1 grant funding was allotted for any innovation and expansion activities.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

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

Washington DSHS/DVR continues to provide supported employment services primarily to individuals with developmental disabilities and individuals with chronic mental illness. While supported employment service delivery to individuals with developmental disabilities is well established, there continue to be significant systemic challenges that must be overcome in order to improve the delivery of supported employment services to individuals with mental illness. In addition, further Washington State budget reductions in both the Developmental Disability and Mental Health service delivery systems continue to erode extended service availability. Other sources of long term support continue to be explored, such as “natural supports,” Social Security work incentives, peer support groups, and Wellness Recovery Action Plans.

Washington DSHS/DVR continues to recognize there are other individuals with most significant disabilities who require supported employment services besides those with developmental disabilities or mental illness, such as individuals with traumatic brain injury or other severe cognitive impairments. Longstanding systemic challenges within Washington State’s delivery of human services have prevented supported employment services from being provided extensively to these other populations because of inadequate resources for extended services or natural supports. These systemic challenges are being exacerbated by further reductions to the state budget in program areas that might otherwise offer supported employment extended services to these other populations. DSHS/DVR’s Employer Relations Administrator serves on the Statewide Traumatic Brain Injury Council as a general council and executive committee member and continues to explore opportunities for increased extended and natural supports for employment of people with a traumatic brain injury within the Council’s annual funding prioritization, public/private partnerships, and related brain injury support organizations.

Washington DSHS/DVR will continue seeking ways to expand the availability of extended services for all individuals who require supported employment by maintaining close collaboration with sister programs within the Department of Social and Health Services as well as local adult service providers. DSHS/DVR continues to work with various agencies to explore the option of becoming an Employment Network so they may utilize resources from Ticket-To-Work to provide extended services. This will be aimed at individuals who require supported employment but who traditionally have not had any source of extended services or natural supports.

Some customers who require extended services to support them in employment are limnited to fewer work hours. A focus duirng FFY 2014 will be to identify ways to maximize the number of hours an individual in supported employment may work.

In all cases where Washington DSHS/DVR provides supported employment services, the transition to extended services occurs within 18-months of the individual’s job placement (unless a longer period is necessary) at the point stable performance has been achieved on the job.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2013 1:24PM by Corinna Stiles

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:08/09/2013 1:24 PM

Last updated by:rscostilesc

Completed on: 08/09/2013 1:25 PM

Completed by: rscostilesc

Approved on: 08/09/2013 1:26 PM

Approved by: rscostilesc