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Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan

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					     STATE PLAN FOR THE STATE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
                      SERVICES PROGRAM

                                     AND

STATE PLAN SUPPLEMENT FOR THE STATE SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT
                    SERVICES PROGRAM

                                    FY00-01

Introduction:

The Department of Rehabilitative Services works in partnership with the State
Rehabilitation Council to develop an annual state plan, required by Title I of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998. The plan is submitted to
the Federal oversight agency, the Rehabilitation Services Administration. This
process ensures that Virginia’s vocational rehabilitation and supported
employment programs meet Federal guidelines. The plan is posted to provide
consumers of these programs and citizens of the Commonwealth an opportunity
to review and comment on the plan.

The State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Supported
Employment follows a predetermined format provided by the Rehabilitation
Services Administration, which provides assurances regarding the components
of the programs. This is followed by attachments which provide further
information regarding the agency's plans and programs.

Should you wish to provide comments, you may send comments to Katherine
W. Lawson, DRS Planner, at lawsonkw@drs.state.va.us, or you may contact
her by calling one of our toll free phone numbers: 1-(800)-552-5219 or
TTY(804) 662-9040.

Should you wish to appear before the State Rehabilitation Council to provide
public comment, quarterly meetings are scheduled to occur in December 2000,
February 2001, May 2001, August 2001 and November 2001. For more
information on the State Rehabilitation Council, visit http://www.va-src.org/



March 30, 2000

Dr. Ralph N. Pacinelli, Regional Commissioner
Rehabilitation Services Administration, Region III

The Wanamaker Building, Suite 512

100 Penn Square East

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Dear Dr. Pacinelli:

I am forwarding to you the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) State Plan for
Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment. This Plan will be effective on July
1, 2000. While the Commonwealth of Virginia has elected to submit a State Unified Plan
under Section 501(b) of the Workforce Investment Act, DRS will not be included in the
Unified Plan this year. I request your approval of the agency’s Plan, which includes the
following:

State Plan Pre-Print

Attachment 4.9(c) Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities

Attachment 4.11 (b) Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Attachment 4.12 Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities; Strategies; and Progress
Reports

Attachment 4.16(b)(2) Mediation and Impartial Due Process Hearing Procedures

Attachment 7.3 Quality, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services

Attachment 4.2(c) Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State

Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State

Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or

Recommendations

Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(B) Explanation to Support the Decision Not to Establish an

Order of Selection

Attachment 6.9(c)(2) Services Subject to Financial Needs Test

Dr. Ralph N. Pacinelli
March 30, 2000

Page 2

Attachment 4.12(d)(3) Methods to Overcome Identified Barriers Relating to Equitable
Access and Participation

Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility
Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

DRS is administering its vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs in
accordance with those provisions of its currently approved Title I State Plan and its Title
VI, Part B Supplement that remain in effect. I look forward to your approval of this Plan.

Sincerely,



H. Gray Broughton, CRC, CCM

HGB/ees

Attachment: State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment
effective July 1, 2000




      STATE PLAN FOR THE STATE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
                       SERVICES PROGRAM

                                          AND

STATE PLAN SUPPLEMENT FOR THE STATE SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT
                    SERVICES PROGRAM

STATE: Virginia

AGENCY: Department of Rehabilitative Services

AGENCY TYPE: GENERAL X BLIND COMBINED

SECTION 1: LEGAL BASIS AND STATE CERTIFICATIONS
1.1 The Department of Rehabilitative Services (name of designated State agency or
designated State unit) is authorized to submit this State plan under title I of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended1 and its supplement under title VI, part B of the
Act.

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title I, part B of the Act for the
provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the Department of Rehabilitative Services
(name of the designated State agency)3 agrees to operate and administer the State
Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this
State plan4, the Act, and all applicable regulations5, policies, and procedures established
by the Secretary. Funds made available under section 111 of the Act are used solely for
the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under title I and the administration of
this State plan.

1.3 As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title VI, part B of the 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 plan6, the Act, and all applicable regulations7,
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.

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.

1.5 The State legally may carry out each provision of the State plan and its supplement.

1.6 All provisions of the State plan and its supplement are consistent with State law.

1.7 The Commissioner (title of State officer) 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 Commissioner (title of State officer) 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.

1.10 The effective date of this State plan and its supplement is July 1, 2000.

H. Gray Broughton, CRC, CCM

(Signature) (Typed Name of Signatory)
Commissioner

(Date) (Title)
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, "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 Act may be awarded without an approved State plan in
accordance with section 101(a) of the 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 Act may be awarded without an approved
supplement to the title I State plan in accordance with section 625(a) of the Act.
7
 Applicable regulations include the EDGAR citations in footnote 5, 34 CFR part 361,
and 34 CFR part 363.

SECTION 2: PUBLIC COMMENT ON STATE PLAN POLICIES AND
PROCEDURES

2.1 Public participation requirements. (Section 101(a)(16)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR
361.20(a)(1) and (2), (b), and (d), and 363.11(g)(9))

(a) The designated State agency, prior to the adoption of any 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 amendment to such 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, and actively consults with the Director of the
client assistance program carried out under section 112 of the Act, and, as appropriate,
Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations on the policies or
procedures.

(b) The designated State agency provides adequate notice of the meetings in accordance
with State law governing public meetings, or, in the absence of such State law, in
accordance with procedures developed by the State agency in consultation with the State
Rehabilitation Council, if the agency has a Council.
2.2 State review process. (34 CFR Part 79)

If the State plan, its supplement, or amendment to the State plan is subject to the State
review process, such materials are reviewed and commented on in accordance with the
provisions of Executive Order 12372, and comments provided by the State review
process are transmitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

This State plan and its supplement are subject to the State review process.

Yes No X




SECTION 3: SUBMISSION OF THE STATE PLAN AND ITS SUPPLEMENT

3.1 Submittal of the State plan, its supplement, and revisions to the plan and its
supplement. (Sections 101(a)(1), (23) and 625(a)(1) of the Act)

(a) The State submits to the Commissioner a State plan for vocational rehabilitation
services that meets the requirements of section 101 of the Act and a State plan
supplement for supported employment services that meets the requirements of section
625 of the Act on the same date that the State submits a State plan under section 112 of
the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

(b) If the State submits a State unified plan under section 501(b) of the Workforce
Investment Act of 1998 that includes the State plan for vocational rehabilitation services
and its supplement for supported employment services in the unified plan, the State
submits to the Commissioner the State plan for vocational rehabilitation services and its
supplement for supported employment services on the same date that the State submits its
unified plan under section 501(b) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

(c) 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 of the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

(d) The State submits to the Commissioner at such time and in such manner as the
Secretary 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) requirements under title I, part B or title VI, part B of the Act.

(e) The State plan and its supplement are in effect subject to the submission of such
modifications as the State determines to be necessary or as the Commissioner may
require based on a change in State policy, a change in Federal law, including regulations,
an interpretation of the 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 Act,
until the State submits and receives approval of a new State plan or plan supplement.

3.2 Supported employment plan. (Sections 101(a)(22) and 625(a) of the Act; 34 CFR
361.34 and 363.10)

The State has an acceptable plan for carrying out part B of title VI of the Act, including
the use of funds under that part to supplement funds made available under part B of title I
of the Act to pay for the cost of services leading to supported employment.

SECTION 4: ADMINISTRATION OF THE STATE PLAN

4.1 Designated State agency and designated State unit. (Sections 101(a)(2) of the Act;
34 CFR 361.13)

(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.

(2) The designated State agency is:

X primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other
rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities; or

not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other
rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities.

(3) 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, the
State agency includes a vocational rehabilitation bureau, division, or other organizational
unit that:

(A) is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other
rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities, and is responsible for the designated State
agency's vocational rehabilitation program, including those responsibilities specified in
subparagraph (5) of this paragraph of the State plan;

(B) has a full-time director;

(C) has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full time on the rehabilitation
work of the organizational unit;

(D) 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; and

(E) at a minimum, has the following responsibilities that cannot be delegated to any other
agency or individual:

(i) all decisions affecting eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, the nature and
scope of available services, and the provision of services;

(ii) a determination that an individual has ended participation in the vocational
rehabilitation program and achieved an employment outcome after receiving vocational
rehabilitation services;

(iii) policy formulation and implementation; and

(iv) allocation and expenditure of vocational rehabilitation funds.

(2) The name of the designated State unit is .

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

The State plan must contain one of the following two assurances.

(a) The designated State agency is an independent commission that:

(1) is responsible under State law for operating, or overseeing the operation of, the
vocational rehabilitation program in the State;

(2) is consumer-controlled by persons who:
(A) are individuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit major life
activities; and

(B) 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;

(3) includes family members, advocates, or other representatives, of individuals with
mental impairments; and

(4) undertakes the functions set forth in section 105(c)(4) of the Act;

or

(b) X The State has established a State Rehabilitation Council that meets the criteria set
forth in section 105 of the Act and the designated State unit:

(1) jointly with the Council develops, agrees to, and reviews annually State goals and
priorities, and jointly submits annual reports of progress with the Council, consistent with
the provisions of section 101(a)(15) of the Act and section 4.12 of this State plan;

(2) regularly consults with the Council regarding the development, implementation, and
revision of State policies and procedures of general applicability pertaining to the
provision of vocational rehabilitation services;

(3) includes in the State plan and in any revision to the State plan, a summary of input
provided by the Council, including recommendations from the annual report of the
Council, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other reports prepared by
the Council, and the response of the designated State unit to such input and
recommendations, including explanations for rejecting any input or recommendation; and

(4) transmits to the Council:

(A) all plans, reports, and other information required under title I of the Act to be
submitted to the Secretary;

(B) all policies and information on all practices and procedures of general applicability
provided to or used by rehabilitation personnel in carrying out this State plan; and

(C) copies of due process hearing decisions issued under title I of the Act, which are
transmitted in such a manner as to ensure that the identity of the participants in the
hearings is kept confidential.

(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 subsection of the State plan, the response of the
designated State unit to the input and recommendations, and explanations for the
rejection of any input or any recommendation.

4.3 Consultations regarding the administration of the state plan. (Section
101(a)(16)(B) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.21(a))

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

(a) individuals and groups of individuals who are recipients of vocational rehabilitation
services, or in appropriate cases, 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 such a Council.

4.4 Non-federal share. (Section 101(a)(3) of the Act; 34 CFR 80.24 and 361.60(b))

The non-Federal share of the cost of carrying out this State plan is 21.3 percentum and it
is provided through the financial participation by the State, or if the State elects, by the
State and local agencies.

4.5 Local administration. (Section 101(a)(2)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.15)

(a) The State plan provides for local administration and each local agency is under the
supervision of the designated State unit and is the sole local agency responsible for the
administration of the program within the political subdivision that it serves.

Yes No X

(b) IF YES, Attachment 4.5 identifies each local agency and describes the methods each
local agency uses to administer the vocational rehabilitation program in accordance with
this State plan.

4.6 Statewideness and waivers of statewideness. (Sections 101(a)(2)(A) and (4)(A) of
the Act; 34 CFR 361.25 and .26)

The State plan is in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, except in the case
when:
(a) The State unit is providing 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 and the:

(1) non-Federal 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; and

(2) 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.

(3) If the State is providing services that meet the provisions of subparagraphs (a)(1) and
(2) of this subsection, Attachment 4.6(a)(3) requests a waiver of statewideness in
accordance with the requirements in 34 CFR 361.26(b); or

(b) Earmarked funds are used toward the non-Federal share and such funds are
earmarked for particular geographic areas within the State contingent on the State
notifying the Commissioner that it cannot provide the full non-Federal share without the
use of such earmarked funds.

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

(a) The designated State agency is carrying out a joint program involving shared funding
and administrative responsibility with another State agency or a local public agency to
provide services to individuals with disabilities.

Yes No X

(b) IF YES, Attachment 4.7(b) describes the:

(1) nature and scope of the joint program;

(2) services to be provided;

(3) respective roles of each participating agency in the provision of services and their
administration; and

(4) share of the costs to be assumed by each agency.

(c) If the joint program provides services in one or more political subdivisions of the
State, the State requests a waiver of statewideness in accordance with the provisions of
34 CFR 361.26 and subparagraph 4.6(a)(3) of this State plan subsection.
4.8 Third-party cooperative arrangements involving funds from other public
agencies (Section 12 of the Act; 34 CFR 361.28)

(a) The designated State unit has entered into a third-party cooperative arrangement for
providing or administering vocational rehabilitation services with another State agency or
a local public agency that is furnishing part or all of the non-Federal share.

Yes No X

(b) IF YES:

(1) The services provided by the cooperating agency are not the customary or typical
services provided by that agency but are new services that have a vocational
rehabilitation focus or are existing services that have been modified, adapted, expanded,
or reconfigured to have a vocational rehabilitation focus.

(2) The services provided by the cooperating agency are only available to applicants for,
or recipients of, services from the designated State unit.

(3) Program expenditures and staff providing services under the cooperative arrangement
are under the administrative supervision of the designated State unit.

(4) All State plan requirements, including the State's order of selection, if an order is in
effect, apply to all services provided under the cooperative program.

(c) If the third-party cooperative program provides services in one or more political
subdivisions of the State, the State requests a waiver of statewideness in accordance with
the provisions of 34 CFR 361.26 and subparagraph 4.6(a)(3) of this State plan.




4.9 Cooperation, collaboration, and coordination. (Sections 101(a)(11) of the Act; 34
CFR 361.22, .23 and .24)

(a) Cooperative agreements with other components of statewide workforce
investment systems.

The designated State agency has cooperative agreements with other entities that are
components of the statewide workforce investment system of the State in accordance
with the provisions of section 101(a)(11)(A) of the Act.

(b) Replication of cooperative agreements.
The designated State agency replicates the cooperative agreement identified in paragraph
(a) of this subsection of the State plan at the local level between individual offices of the
designated State unit and local entities carrying out activities through the statewide
workforce investment system.

(c) Interagency cooperation with other agencies and entities.

Attachment 4.9(c) describes the:

(1) interagency cooperation with, and utilization of the services and facilities of the
Federal, State, and local agencies and programs, including programs carried out by the
Under Secretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture
and State use contracting programs, to the extent that such agencies and programs are not
carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment system;

(2) coordination, consistent with the requirements of paragraph 4.9(d) of this subsection,
with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school
to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services;

(3) manner in which the designated State agency establishes cooperative agreements with
private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers, consistent with the
requirements of paragraph 5.6(b) of the State plan; and,

(4) efforts of the designated State agency 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, consistent with the requirements of subsection 7.5 of the
supplement to this State plan.

(d) Coordination with education officials.

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 this State plan are described in Attachment 4.9(c)(2) which
also includes 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 post-school activities, including
vocational rehabilitation services;

(2) 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;

(3) the roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency,
including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel
responsible for transition services; and

(4) procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need
transition services.

(e) 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 Act, and the independent living centers described in part C of title VII
of the Act within the State have developed working relationships and coordinate their
activities.



(f) 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 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 NoX

(2) IF YES, the designated State agency has entered into a formal cooperative agreement
with each grant recipient in the State that receives funds under part C of title I of the Act.
The agreement(s) describes strategies for collaboration and coordination in providing
vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with
disabilities, including:

(A) strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that assist in eligibility
determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;

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

(C) 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.
(g) Reciprocal referral services with a separate agency for individuals who are
blind.

In those States in which there is a separate designated State unit for individuals who are
blind and also a designated State unit for all other individuals with disabilities, the two
State units:

(1) have established reciprocal referral services;

(2) use each other's services and facilities to the extent feasible;

(3) jointly plan activities to improve services in the State for individuals with multiple
impairments, including visual impairments; and

(4) otherwise cooperate to provide more effective services, including, if appropriate,
entering into a written cooperative agreement.

4.10 Methods of administration. (Sections 101(a)(6) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.12, .19 and
.51(a) and (c))

(a) General.

The State agency employs methods of administration found by the Commissioner to be
necessary for the proper and efficient administration of this State plan.

(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 title I of the Act, 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 Act.

(c) Written standards for providers of services.

The designated State agency has established, maintains, makes available to the public,
and implements written minimum standards for the various types of providers used by the
designated State unit in providing vocational rehabilitation services under this State plan.

(d) Facilities.

Facilities used in connection with the delivery of services assisted under this State plan
comply with the provisions of the Act entitled "An Act to insure that certain buildings
financed with Federal funds are so designed and constructed as to be accessible to the
physically handicapped", approved on August 12, 1968 (commonly known as the
"Architectural Barriers Act of 1968"), with section 504 of the Act and with the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
4.11 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Act;
34 CFR 361.18)

(a) The designated State agency has implemented a comprehensive system of personnel
development that meets the requirements of section 101(a)(7) of the Act and 34 CFR
361.18.

(b) Attachment 4.11(b) describes the designated State agency=s policies, 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 addresses the
following requirements:

(1) collection and analysis on an annual basis of data on qualified personnel needs and
personnel development consistent with the provisions of 34 CFR 361.18(a);

(2) plan to address the current and projected needs for qualified personnel including the
coordination and facilitation of efforts between the designated State unit and institutions
of higher education and professional associations to recruit, prepare, and retain qualified
personnel, including personnel from minority backgrounds, and personnel who are
individuals with disabilities;

(3) establishment and maintenance of personnel standards meeting the requirements of 34
CFR 361.18(c) to ensure that personnel, including professionals and paraprofessionals,
are adequately trained and prepared, including:

(A) 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 that apply to the profession or discipline in which such
personnel are providing vocational rehabilitation services; and

(B) to the extent that such 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 to retrain or hire personnel within the designated
State unit so that such personnel meet standards that are based on the highest
requirements in the State;

(4) standards to ensure the availability of personnel within the designated State unit or
other individuals who are, to the maximum extent feasible, trained to communicate in the
native language or mode of communication of an applicant or eligible individual;

(5) staff development to ensure that all personnel employed by the designated State unit
receive appropriate and adequate training; and

(6) coordination of its personnel development system with personnel development under
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
4.12 Annual state goals and reports of progress. (Sections 101(a)(15), 105(c)(2) and
625(b)(2) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(b))

(a) Assessments and estimates.

(1) Attachment 4.12(a) documents the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment,
jointly conducted by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council (if the
State has such a Council) every 3 years, and:

(A) describes the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the
State, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:

(i) individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported
employment services;

(ii) 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

(iii) individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide
workforce investment system, as identified by such individuals and personnel assisting
such individuals through the components.

(B) provides an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community
rehabilitation programs within the State.

(2) For any year in which the State revises the assessments, the designated State unit
submits to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding revisions to the
assessments.

(b) Annual estimates.

The designated State agency annually submits Attachment 4.12(b) that includes, State
estimates of the:

(1) number of individuals in the State who are eligible for services under this State plan;

(2) number of such individuals who will receive services provided with funds provided
under part B of title I of the Act and under part B of title VI of the Act, including, if the
designated State agency uses an order of selection in accordance with paragraph 6.4(c) of
this State plan, estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority
category within the order; and

(3) costs of the services described in subparagraph (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 4.12(c)(1) identifies the goals and priorities of the State in carrying out
the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs and also identifies any
revisions in the goals and priorities for any year the State revises the goals and priorities.

(2) Order of selection.

(A) If the State agency is operating on an order of selection, Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(A)
shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational
rehabilitation services and provides a justification for the order, the service and outcome
goals, and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each
priority category consistent with the provisions of paragraph 6.4(c) of this State plan.

(B) If, however, the agency assures in paragraph 6.4(a) of this State plan that it can
provide the full range of services identified in subsection 5.1 of this State plan to all
eligible individuals, Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(B) satisfies all of the provisions identified in
paragraph 6.4(b) of the State plan.

(3) Goals and plans for distribution of title VI, part B funds.

Attachment 4.12(c)(3) specifies, consistent with subsection 7.4 of the State plan
supplement, the State=s goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds
received under section 622 of the Act for the provision of supported employment
services.

(4) Basis.

The goals and priorities are based on:

(A) the analysis of the comprehensive assessment and any revisions in the assessment
consistent with the provisions of paragraph 4.12(a) of this State plan;

(B) the performance of the State on the standards and indicators established under section
106 of the Act; and

(C) other available information on the operation of the vocational rehabilitation and
supported employment programs, including reports from the State Rehabilitation
Council, if the State has a Council, and the findings of monitoring activities carried out
by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

(5) In accordance with the provisions of section 101(a)(15)(C)(ii) and (iii) of the Act, the
goals and priorities, including any revisions to the goals and priorities, are jointly
developed, agreed to, and reviewed annually by the designated State unit and the State
Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council.

(d) Strategies.

Attachment 4.12(d) describes the strategies, including those identified in section
101(a)(15)(D) of the Act and the innovation and expansion activities of paragraph 4.13(a)
of this State plan, the designated State agency will use to:

(1) address the needs identified in the assessment conducted under paragraph (a) of this
subsection and achieve the goals and priorities identified in paragraph (c) of this
subsection;

(2) carryout outreach activities to identify and serve individuals with the most significant
disabilities who are minorities consistent with the provisions of subsection 7.6 of the
State plan supplement; and

(3) 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.

Attachment 4.12(e) describes the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the
vocational rehabilitation program, and includes an annual joint report of the designated
State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, to the
Commissioner on the progress made in improving the effectiveness of the program from
the previous year. The description includes:

(1) an evaluation of the extent to which the goals identified in subparagraph (c) of this
subsection plan were achieved;

(2) an identification of the strategies that contributed to achieving the goals;

(3) to the extent to which the goals were not achieved, an explanation of the factors that
impeded that achievement;

(4) an assessment of the performance of the State on the standards and indicators
established pursuant to section 106 of the Act; and

(5) a report consistent with paragraph 4.13(c) of this State plan on how the funds reserved
for innovation and expansion activities were utilized in the preceding year.

4.13 Innovation and expansion. (Section 101(a)(18) of the Act)
(a) The designated State agency reserves and uses a portion of the funds allotted to the
State under section 110 of the Act:

(1) for the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and
improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities
under this State plan, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities,
consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of the
State identified in paragraphs 4.12(a) and (c) of this State plan; and

(2) to support the funding of the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a
Council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under section 105(d)(1) of the Act,
and the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council, consistent with the
resource plan prepared under section 705(e)(1) of the Act.

(b) Attachment 4.12(d) describes how the reserved funds identified in paragraph (a) of
this subsection of this State plan will be utilized.

(c) Attachment 4.12(e) describes how the reserved funds were utilized in the preceding
year.

4.14 State-imposed requirements. (Section 17 of the Act; 34 CFR 361.39)

The designated State unit identifies upon request those regulations and policies relating to
the administration or operation of its vocational rehabilitation and supported employment
programs that are State-imposed, including any regulations or policy based on State
interpretation of any Federal law, regulations, or guidelines.




4.15 Protection, use, and release of personal information. (Sections 12(c) and
101(a)(6)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.38)

The designated State agency and the designated State unit have policies and procedures
that are consistent with the provisions in 34 CFR 361.38 to safeguard the confidentiality
of all personal information, including photographs and lists of names.

4.16 Mediation and impartial due process hearing. (Section 102(c) of the Act)

(a) Fair hearing board.
There is a fair hearing board, established by the State prior to January 1, 1985, that is
authorized under State law to review determinations or decisions made under the Act and
to carry out the responsibilities of the impartial hearing officer.

Yes X No

(b) Mediation and review procedures.

IF THE ANSWER TO (a) IS ANO@:

(1) The designated State agency has established procedures consistent with the
requirements of section 102(c) of the Act for mediation of and procedures for the review
through an impartial due process hearing of determinations made by personnel of the
designated State unit that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to
applicants or eligible individuals.

(2) Attachment 4.16(b)(2) contains the procedures for mediation; the procedures for
review through an impartial due process hearing; and, the procedures to seek an impartial
review of the decision of the hearing officer, including the standards for reviewing
decisions of an hearing officer, if the designated State agency has elected to implement
such review procedures.




IF THE ANSWER TO (a) IS AYES@:

(1) The designated State agency has established procedures consistent with the
requirements of section 102(c) of the Act for mediation of determinations made by
personnel of the designated State unit that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation
services to applicants or eligible individuals.

(2) Attachment 4.16(b)(2) contains the procedures for mediation.

4.17 Reports. (Section 101(a)(10) of the 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 ensures the confidentiality of the
identity of each individual.

SECTION 5: SCOPE OF THE STATE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
SERVICES PROGRAM

5.1 Scope of vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities.
(Section 103(a) of the Act)

Vocational rehabilitation services provided under this State plan are any services
described in an individualized plan for employment necessary to assist an individual with
a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome
that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities,
interests, and informed choice of the individual, including:

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

(b) 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 Act and subsection 5.3 of this State plan;

(c) referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies through
agreements developed under section 101(a)(11) of the Act and subsection 4.9 of this State
plan, if such services are not available under this State plan;

(d) job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention
services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;

(e) vocational and other training services, including the provision of personal and
vocational adjustment services, books, tools, and other training materials, except that no
training services provided at an institution of higher education shall be paid for with
funds under this State plan unless maximum efforts have been made by the designated
State unit and the individual to secure grant assistance, in whole or in part, from other
sources to pay for such training;

(f) to the extent that financial support is not readily available from a source (such as
through health insurance of the individual or through comparable services and benefits
consistent with section 101(a)(8)(A) of the Act and subsection 6.8 of this State plan),
other than the designated State unit, diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental
impairments, including:

(1) corrective surgery or therapeutic treatment necessary to correct or substantially
modify a physical or mental condition that constitutes a substantial impediment to
employment, but is of such a nature that such correction or modification may reasonably
be expected to eliminate or reduce such impediment to employment within a reasonable
length of time;

(2) necessary hospitalization in connection with surgery or treatment;

(3) prosthetic and orthotic devices;

(4) eyeglasses and visual services as prescribed by qualified personnel who meet State
licensure laws and who are selected by the individual;

(5) special services (including transplantation and dialysis), artificial kidneys, and
supplies necessary for the treatment of individuals with end-stage renal disease; and

(6) diagnosis and treatment for mental and emotional disorders by qualified personnel
who meet State licensure laws;

(g) maintenance for additional costs incurred while participating in an assessment for
determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs or while receiving services
under an individualized plan for employment;

(h) transportation, including adequate training in the use of public transportation vehicles
and systems, that is provided in connection with the provision of any other service
described in this subsection and needed by the individual to achieve an employment
outcome;

(i) on-the-job or other related personal assistance services provided while an individual is
receiving other services described in this subsection;

(j) interpreter services provided by qualified personnel for individuals who are deaf or
hard of hearing, and reader services for individuals who are determined to be blind, after
an examination by qualified personnel who meet State licensure laws;

(k) rehabilitation teaching services, and orientation and mobility services, for individuals
who are blind;

(l) occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stocks and supplies;

(m) technical assistance and other consultation services to conduct market analyses,
develop business plans, and otherwise provide resources, to the extent such resources are
authorized to be provided under the statewide workforce investment system, to eligible
individuals who are pursuing self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small
business operation as an employment outcome;

(n) rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory, and other
technological aids and devices;
(o) transition services for students with disabilities that facilitate the achievement of the
employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;

(p) supported employment services;

(q) services to the family of an individual with a disability necessary to assist the
individual to achieve an employment outcome; and

(r) specific post-employment services necessary to assist an individual with a disability to
retain, regain, or advance in employment.

5.2 Written policies governing the provision of services to individuals with
disabilities. (Sections 12(c) and 101(a)(6)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.50)

(a) The State unit has written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the
vocational rehabilitation services specified in section 103(a) of the Act and subsection 5.1
of this State plan and the criteria under which each service is provided.

(b) The policies are consistent with the provisions in 34 CFR 361.50 and:

(1) ensure that the provision of services is based on the rehabilitation needs of each
individual as identified in that individual's individualized plan for employment; and

(2) do not establish any arbitrary limits on the nature and scope of services to be provided
to the individual to achieve an employment outcome.

5.3 Opportunity to make informed choices regarding the selection of services and
providers. (Sections 101(a)(19) and 102(d) of the Act)

Applicants and eligible individuals, or, as appropriate, the applicants' representatives or
the individuals' representatives, are provided information and support services to assist
the applicants and eligible individuals in exercising informed choice throughout the
rehabilitation process, consistent with the provisions of section 102(d) of the Act.



5.4 Services to American Indians. (Section 101(a)(13) of the Act)

Except as otherwise provided in part C of title I of the Act, 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.

5.5 Scope of vocational rehabilitation services to groups of individuals with
disabilities. (Sections 101(a)(17) and 103(b) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.49, .61 and .62)
(a) The State plan provides for the following optional vocational rehabilitation services
for the benefit of groups of individuals with disabilities.

(1) X The establishment, development, or improvement of community rehabilitation
programs, including, under special circumstances, the construction of a community
rehabilitation facility, that are used to provide services to promote integration and
competitive employment.

If the State elects to use the authority to construct a facility for a community
rehabilitation program, 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
Act for that fiscal year.

(B) The provisions of section 306 of the 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.

(2) X Telecommunications systems, including telephone, television, satellite, radio, and
similar systems, that have the potential for substantially improving service delivery
methods of activities described in this section of this State plan and developing
appropriate programming to meet the particular needs of individuals with disabilities.

(3) Special services to provide nonvisual access to information for individuals who are
blind, including the use of telecommunications, Braille, sound recordings, or other
appropriate media; captioned television, films, or video cassettes for individuals who are
deaf or hard of hearing; tactile materials for individuals who are deaf-blind; and other
special services that provide information through tactile, vibratory, auditory, and visual
media.

(4) X Technical assistance and support services to businesses that are not subject to title I
of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that are seeking to employ individuals
with disabilities.

(5) Small business enterprises operated by individuals with significant disabilities, the
operation of which can be improved by the management services and supervision of the
designated State agency, along or together with the acquisition by the designated State
agency of vending facilities or other equipment and initial stocks and supplies.

(A) If the State unit provides small business enterprise services, only individuals with
significant disabilities are selected to participate in this supervised program.
(B) If the State unit sets aside funds from the proceeds of the operation of the small
business enterprises, it has a description of the methods used in setting aside funds and
the purposes for which funds are set aside.

(C) Under its small business enterprises, the State unit provides:

(i) only the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program;

(ii) only a program or programs other than the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility
Program;

(iii) both the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program and another program(s).

(6) X Consultative and technical assistance services to assist educational agencies in
planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school
activities, including employment.

(7) X Other services that promise to contribute substantially to the rehabilitation of a
group of individuals but that are not related directly to the individualized plan for
employment of any one individual with a disability.

(b) If the State plan provides for any of these services to groups of individuals with
disabilities, the designated State unit has:

(1) written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the vocational rehabilitation
services it provides and the criteria under which each service is provided; and

(2) information to ensure the proper and efficient administration of those services in the
form and detail and at the time required by the Secretary, including:

(A) the types of services provided;

(B) the costs of those services; and

(C) to the extent feasible, estimates of the numbers of individuals benefiting from those
services.

5.6 Contracts and cooperative agreements. (Section 101(a)(24) of the 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 Act, upon the determination by the designated State agency that such for-profit
organizations are better qualified to provide such vocational rehabilitation services than
non-profit agencies and organizations.



(b) Cooperative agreements with private non-profit organizations.

The manner in which the designated State agency establishes cooperative agreements
with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers is described in
Attachment 4.9(c)(3).

SECTION 6: ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVISION OF VOCATIONAL
REHABILITATION SERVICES

6.1 Record of services. (Section 101(a)(6)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.47)

The designated State unit maintains for each applicant or eligible individual a record of
services that satisfies the requirements of 34 CFR 361.47.

6.2 Referrals and applications. (Sections 101(a)(6)(A) and 102(a)(6) of the Act; 34
CFR 361.41)

(a) The designated State unit has standards for the prompt and equitable handling of
referrals of individuals for vocational rehabilitation services. These standards include
timelines for making good faith efforts to inform individuals of application requirements
and to gather information necessary to initiate an assessment to determine eligibility and
priority of services.

(b) Once an individual has submitted an application for vocational rehabilitation services,
an eligibility determination is made within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 60
days, unless:

(1) exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the designated State
unit preclude making an eligibility determination within 60 days and the designated State
unit and the individual agree to a specific extension of time; or

(2) the designated State unit is exploring an individual=s abilities, capabilities, and
capacities to perform in work situations under section 102(a)(2)(B) of the Act.




6.3 Information and referral services. (Section 101(a)(20) of the Act)
The designated State agency has implemented an information and referral system that is
adequate to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided accurate vocational
rehabilitation information and guidance, using appropriate modes of communication, to
assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment, and
are appropriately referred to Federal and State programs, including other components of
the statewide workforce investment system in the State.

6.4 Ability to serve all eligible individuals; order of selection for services. (Sections
12(d) and 101(a)(5) of the 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 Act and subsection 5.1 of this State plan, as appropriate, to all eligible
individuals with disabilities in the State who apply for services.

Yes X No

(b) IF YES, Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(B) contains an explanation that satisfies the
requirements of 34 CFR 361.36(a)(2) or (3) and describes how, on the basis of the
designated State unit's projected fiscal and personnel resources and its assessment of the
rehabilitation needs of individuals with significant disabilities within the State, it will:

(1) continue to provide services to all individuals currently receiving services;

(2) provide assessment services to all individuals expected to apply for services in the
next fiscal year;

(3) provide services to all individuals who are expected to be determined eligible in the
next fiscal year; and

(4) meet all program requirements.

(c) IF NO:

(1) Individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for vocational
rehabilitation services before other individuals with disabilities.

(2) Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(A) contains:

(A) the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational
rehabilitation services; and

(B) a justification for the order of selection.

(3) Eligible individuals who do not meet the order of selection criteria are provided
access to the services provided through the designated State unit's information and
referral system implemented under section 101(a)(20) of the Act and subsection 6.3 of
this State plan.

6.5 Assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services. (Sections
7(2)(A)(i) and (D), 7(20)(A), 101(a)(12) and 102(a)(1)(A), (2)(B) and (4) of the Act)

(a) To determine whether an individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services
and the individual's priority under an order of selection for services, if the State is
operating under an order of selection, the designated State unit, to the maximum extent
possible consistent with the requirements of this State plan, uses existing and current
information, including information available from other programs and providers,
particularly information provided by education officials and the Social Security
Administration, and information provided by the applicant and the family of the
applicant.

(b) To the extent that existing information is unavailable or insufficient, the designated
State unit provides appropriate assessment activities to obtain necessary additional
information to make the determination regarding the applicant's eligibility, and, if
applicable, the applicant's priority under an order of selection.

(c) The State unit's determination of an applicant's eligibility for vocational rehabilitation
services is based only on the following requirements.

(1) A determination that the applicant has a physical or mental impairment.

(2) A determination that the applicant's physical or mental impairment constitutes or
results in a substantial impediment to employment.

(3) A presumption, in accordance with section 102(a)(2)(A) of the Act and paragraph (d)
of this subsection of the State plan, that the applicant can benefit in terms of an
employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

(4) A determination that the applicant requires vocational rehabilitation services to
prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

(d) The designated State unit presumes that an applicant who meets the eligibility
requirements in subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this subsection of this State plan can
benefit in terms of an employment outcome unless the designated State unit can
demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is incapable of
benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services
due to the severity of the individual=s disability. In making such a demonstration, the
designated State unit first explores the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to
perform in work situations through the use of trial work experiences consistent with the
provisions of sections 7(2)(D) and 102(a)(2)(B) of the Act.
(e) If there is appropriate evidence that establishes the applicant's eligibility for Social
Security benefits under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act, the designated
State unit:

(1) presumes the applicant to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under this
State plan (provided that the individual intends to achieve an employment outcome
consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities,
interests, and informed choice of the individual) unless the designated State unit can
demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is incapable of
benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services
due to the severity of the disability of the individual in accordance with the provisions of
section 102(a)(2) of the Act and paragraph 6.5(d) of this State plan; and

(2) considers the applicant to be an individual with a significant disability consistent with
the provisions of section 7(21)(A) of the Act.

(f) In the application of the eligibility criteria, the following requirements are met.

(1) No duration of residence requirement is imposed that excludes from services under
the plan any individual who is present in the State.

(2) No applicant or group of applicants is excluded or found ineligible solely on the basis
of the type of disability.

(3) The eligibility requirements are applied without regard to the age, gender, race, color,
creed, or national origin of the applicant.

(4) The eligibility requirements are applied without regard to the particular service needs
or anticipated cost of services required by an applicant or the income level of an applicant
or applicant's family.

6.6 Procedures for ineligibility determination. (Section 102(a)(5) of the Act; 34 CFR
361.43)

If the State unit determines that an applicant is ineligible for vocational rehabilitation
services or determines that an individual receiving services under an individualized plan
for employment is no longer eligible for services, the State unit:

(a) makes the determination only after providing an opportunity for full consultation with
the individual or, as appropriate, with the individual's representative;

(b) informs the individual or, as appropriate, the individual=s representative, in writing,
supplemented as necessary by other appropriate modes of communication consistent with
the informed choice of the individual, of the ineligibility determination, including:

(1) the reasons for the determination; and
(2) the description of the means by which the individual may express, and seek remedy
for, any dissatisfaction with the determination, including the procedures for the review by
an impartial hearing officer consistent with the provisions of section 102(c) of the Act
and subsection 4.16 of this State plan;

(c) provides the individual with a description of services available from the client
assistance program and information on how to contact that program; and

(d) reviews any ineligibility determination that is based on a finding that the individual is
incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of
vocational rehabilitation services within 12 months and annually thereafter, if such a
review is requested by the individual or, if appropriate, by the individual's representative,
except when the:

(1) individual has refused the review;

(2) individual is no longer present in the State;

(3) individual's whereabouts are unknown; or

(4) individual=s medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal.

6.7 Closure without ineligibility determination. (Sections 12(c) and 101(a)(6)(A) of the
Act; 34 CFR 361.44)

The State unit does not administratively close an applicant's record of services prior to
making an eligibility determination unless the:

(a) applicant declines to participate in, or is unavailable to complete an assessment for
determining eligibility and priority for services; and

(b) State unit has made a reasonable number of attempts to contact the applicant or, if
appropriate, the applicant's representative to encourage the applicant's participation.

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

(a) Prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation services, except those services
identified in paragraph (d) of this subsection, 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) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program and are available to
the eligible individual at the time needed to achieve the provisions of the individual's
individualized plan for employment, the State unit uses those comparable services or
benefits to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of vocational rehabilitation services.

(c) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program, but are not available
to the individual at the time needed to satisfy the provisions of the individual's
individualized plan for employment, the State unit provides vocational rehabilitation
services until those comparable services and benefits become available.

(d) 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;

(2) 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 Act;

(3) referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies through
agreements developed under section 101(a)(11) of the Act, if such services are not
available under this State plan;

(4) job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention
services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;

(5) rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory, and other
technological aids and devices; and

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

(e) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection also 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;

(2) an immediate job placement; or

(3) provision of such service to any individual who is determined to be at extreme
medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate qualified medical
professional.
(f) The Governor of the State in consultation with the designated State vocational
rehabilitation agency and other appropriate agencies ensures that there is an interagency
agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination that meets the requirements
of section 101(a)(8)(B)(i)-(iv) of the Act between any appropriate public entity, including
the State medicaid program, public institution of higher education, and a component of
the statewide workforce investment system, and the designated State unit so as to ensure
the provision of the vocational rehabilitation services identified in section 103(a) of the
Act and subsection 5.1 of this State plan, other than the services identified in paragraph
(d) of this subsection, that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an
eligible individual, including the provision of such services during the pendency of any
dispute that may arise in the implementation of the interagency agreement or other
mechanism for interagency coordination.

6.9 Participation of individuals in cost of services based on financial need. (Section
12(c) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.54)

(a) No financial needs test is applied and no financial participation is required as a
condition for furnishing the following vocational rehabilitation services:

(1) assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services, except those non-
assessment services that are provided during an exploration of the individual's abilities,
capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations, consistent with the requirements
of sections 7(2)(D) and 102(a)(2)(B) of the Act;

(2) assessment for determining vocational rehabilitation needs;

(3) counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an
individual in exercising informed choice;

(4) referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies through
cooperative agreements under section 101(a)(11) of the Act and subsection 4.9 of this
State plan, if such services are not available under this State plan; and

(5) job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention
services, follow-up services, and follow-along services.

(b) The State unit considers the financial need of eligible individuals, or individuals who
are receiving services during an exploration of an individual=s abilities, capabilities, and
capacity to perform in work situations consistent with subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a)
of this subsection, in order to determine the extent of the individual=s participation in the
costs of vocational rehabilitation services.

Yes X No

(c) IF YES:
(1) The State unit has written policies on the determination of financial need that are
consistent with the provisions of 34 CFR 361.54 and these policies:

(A) are applied uniformly to all individuals in similar circumstances; and

(B) ensure that the level of the individual's participation in the cost of vocational
rehabilitation services is:

(i) reasonable;

(ii) based on the individual's financial need, including the consideration of any disability-
related expenses paid by the individual; and

(iii) not so high as to effectively deny the individual a necessary service.

(2) Attachment 6.9(c)(2) specifies the services for which the designated State unit has a
financial needs test.




6.10 Development of the individualized plan for employment. (Sections 7(2)(B),
101(a)(9), and 102(b)(1) and (2) of the Act)

(a) The designated State unit conducts an assessment to determine the vocational
rehabilitation needs for each eligible individual, including the need for supported
employment services, or, if the State is operating under an order of selection, for each
eligible individual to whom the State is able to provide services, for the purpose of
identifying the provisions to be included in the individualized plan for employment that
meets the requirements of section 102(b) of the Act.

(b) The development of the individualized plan for employment meets the following
procedural requirements.

(1) The individualized plan for employment is developed and implemented in a timely
manner subsequent to the determination of the eligibility of the individual for services
under this State plan, except if the State is operating under an order of selection, the
individualized plan for employment is developed and implemented only for individuals to
whom the State is able to provide services.

(2) The designated State unit provides to the eligible individual or the individual's
representative, in writing and in an appropriate mode of communication, information on
the individual's options for the development of the individualized plan for employment,
including:
(A) information on the availability of assistance, to the extent determined appropriate by
the eligible individual, from a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor in developing
all or part of the individualized plan for employment for the individual, and the
availability of technical assistance in developing all or part of the individualized plan for
employment for the individual;

(B) a description of the full range of components that must be included in an
individualized plan for employment;

(C) as appropriate,

(i) an explanation of agency guidelines and criteria associated with financial
commitments concerning an individualized plan for employment;

(ii) additional information the eligible individual requests or the designated State unit
determines to be necessary; and

(iii) information on the availability of assistance in completing designated State agency
forms required in developing an individualized plan for employment;

(D) a description of the rights and remedies available to the eligible individual, including,
if appropriate, recourse to mediation and the impartial due process hearing consistent
with the provisions of section 102(c) of the Act and subsection 4.16 of this State plan;
and

(E) a description of the availability of the client assistance program and information
about how to contact the program.

(3) The individualized plan for employment is developed as a written document prepared
on forms provided by the designated State unit and is developed and implemented in a
manner that affords eligible individuals the opportunity to exercise informed choice in
selecting an employment outcome, the specific vocational rehabilitation services to be
provided under the plan, the entity that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services,
the settings in which the services will be provided, the employment setting, and the
methods used to procure the services consistent with the provisions of section 102(d) of
the Act.

(4) The individualized plan for employment is agreed to and signed by the eligible
individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, and approved and signed by
a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the designated State unit with
a copy of the individualized plan for employment provided to the individual or, as
appropriate, to the individual's representative, in writing and, if appropriate, in the native
language or mode of communication of the individual or, as appropriate, of the
individual's representative.
(5) The individualized plan for employment is reviewed at least annually by a qualified
vocational rehabilitation counselor and the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the
individual's representative and amended, as necessary, by the individual or, as
appropriate, the individual's representative, in collaboration with a representative of the
designated State agency or a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor, as determined
to be appropriate by the individual.

(6) If there are substantive changes in the individualized plan for employment with
respect to the employment outcome, the vocational rehabilitation services to be provided,
or the providers of the services, such amendments to the individualized plan for
employment do not take effect until agreed to and signed by the eligible individual or, as
appropriate, the individual's representative, and by a qualified vocational rehabilitation
counselor employed by the designated State unit.

6.11 Mandatory components of the individualized plan for employment. (Sections
101(a)(9), 102(b)(3), and 625(b)(6)(C),(E), and (F) of the Act)

(a) Each individualized plan for employment includes, at a minimum, the following
mandatory components describing the:

(1) specific employment outcome that is chosen by the eligible individual, consistent with
the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and
informed choice of the eligible individual, and, to the maximum extent appropriate,
results in employment in an integrated setting;

(2) specific rehabilitation services that are:

(A) needed to achieve the employment outcome, including, as appropriate, the provision
of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, and personal assistance
services, including training in the management of such services; and

(B) provided in the most integrated setting that is appropriate for the service involved and
is consistent with the informed choice of the eligible individual;

(3) timelines for the achievement of the employment outcome and for the initiation of
services;

(4) entity chosen by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's
representative, that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services, and the methods
used to procure the services;

(5) criteria to evaluate progress toward achievement of the employment outcome;

(6) terms and conditions of the individualized plan for employment, including, as
appropriate, information related to the:
(A) responsibilities of the designated State unit;

(B) responsibilities of the eligible individual, including those related to:

(i) the achievement of the employment outcome;

(ii) participation, if applicable, in the paying the costs of the plan; and

(iii) applying for and securing comparable benefits consistent with the requirements of
section 101(a)(8) of the Act and subsection 6.8 of this State plan; and

(C) responsibilities of other entities as the result of arrangements made pursuant to
comparable services or benefits requirements as identified in section 101(a)(8) of the Act
and subsection 6.8 of this State plan; and

(7) projected need for post-employment services, as determined to be necessary.

(b) The individualized plan for employment for individuals with the most significant
disabilities for whom an employment outcome in a supported employment setting has
been determined to be appropriate also contains the identification of the:

(1) extended services needed by the eligible individual; and

(2) source of the extended services or, to the extent that the source of extended services
cannot be identified at the time of the development of the individualized plan for
employment, the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that extended
services will become available.




6.12 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 Act)

(a) The designated State unit:

(1) conducts an annual review and reevaluation of the status of each individual with a
disability served under this State plan who has achieved an employment outcome either
in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or any other
employment under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 214(c)) for 2
years after the achievement of the outcome (and annually 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; and
(2) 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 subparagraph (a)(1) in engaging in competitive
employment.

(b) The individual with a disability, or, if appropriate, the individual's representative has
input into the review and reevaluation, and acknowledges through sign-off that such
review and reevaluation have been conducted.

STATE PLAN SUPPLEMENT FOR THE STATE SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT
SERVICES PROGRAM

SECTION 7: PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

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

The designated State agency for vocational rehabilitation services identified in subsection
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 Act.




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

Attachment 4.12(a) describes the results of the comprehensive, statewide needs
assessment conducted under section 101(a)(15)(a)(1) of the Act and subparagraph
4.12(a)(1) of the title I State plan with respect to the rehabilitation needs of individuals
with significant disabilities and the need for supported employment services, including
needs related to coordination.

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

Attachment 7.3 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.

7.4 Goals and plans for distribution of title VI, part B funds. (Section 625(b)(3) of the
Act; 34 CFR 363.11(d) and .20)

Attachment 4.12(c)(3) identifies the State's goals and plans with respect to the
distribution of funds received under section 622 of the Act.
7.5 Evidence of collaboration with respect to supported employment services and
extended services. (Sections 625(b)(4) and (5) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(e))

Attachment 4.9(c)(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.

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

Attachment 4.12(d)(2) describes the designated State agency's outreach procedures for
identifying and serving individuals with the most significant disabilities who are
minorities.




7.7 Reports. (Sections 625(b)(8) and 626 of the 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 Secretary may require and collects the information required by section
101(a)(10) of the 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 Act.

SECTION 8: FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

8.1 Five percent limitation on administrative costs. (Section 625(b)(7) of the 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 Act for administrative costs in carrying out the State Supported
Employment Services Program.

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

(a) Funds made available under title VI, part B of the 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 of the 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 Act are not used to provide
extended services to individuals who are eligible under part B of title VI or title I of the
Act.

SECTION 9: PROVISION OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

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

(a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in section 7(36) of the
Act.

(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.

9.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Section
625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 363.11(g)(2))

The comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities, including the
assessment of rehabilitation, career, and employment needs, conducted under section
102(b)(1)(A) of the Act and paragraph 6.10(a) of this State plan and funded under title I
of the Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate
employment outcome.

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

(a) An individualized plan for employment that meets the requirements of section 102(b)
of the Act and subsections 6.10 and .11 of this State plan is developed and updated using
funds under Title I.

(b) The individualized plan for employment:

(1) specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

(2) describes the expected extended services needed; and
(3) 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.

ATTACHMENTS REQUIRED OF ALL AGENCIES

Attachment 4.9(c): Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other
Entities

(1) Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment
System and with Other Entities

(2) Coordination with Education Officials

(3) Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service
Providers

(4) Evidence of Collaboration Regarding Supported Employment Services and Extended
Services

Attachment 4.11(b): Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Attachment 4.12 Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities; Strategies; and Progress
Reports

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

(b): Annual Estimates of Individuals to Be Served and Costs of Services

(c)(1): State=s Goals and Priorities

(c)(3): Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds

(d): State=s Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activiities

(1) To Address Needs Identified in the Comprehensive Assessment and to Achieve
Identified Goals and Priorities
(2) To Carryout Outreach Activities to Identify and Serve Individuals with the Most
Significant Disabilities Who are Minorities

(3) To 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.

(e): Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and
Use Of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

Attachment 4.16(b)(2): Mediation and Impartial Due Process Hearing Procedures

Attachment 7.3: Quality, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services

ATTACHMENTS CONTINGENT ON OPTIONS SELECTED

The following attachments identified by an "X" are also submitted as part of the State
plan.

X Attachment 4.2(c): Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State
Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for
Rejection of Input or Recommendations

__ Attachment 4.5: Local Administration

__ Attachment 4.6(a)(3): Request for Waiver of Statewideness

__ Attachment 4.7(b): Shared Funding and Administration of Joint Program

Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(A): Order of Selection

XAttachment 4.12(c)(2)(B): Explanation to Support the Decision Not to Establish an
Order of Selection

_XAttachment 6.9(c)(2): Services Subject to Financial Needs Test



                                   Attachment 4.9(c)

             Interagency Cooperation with Other Agencies and Entities

This attachment describes the: (1) interagency cooperation with, and utilization of the
services and facilities of the Federal, State and local agencies and programs, to the
extent that such agencies and programs are not carrying out activities through the
statewide workforce investment system: (2) coordination with education officials to
facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of
vocational rehabilitation services; (3) manner in which the agency establishes
cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service
providers; and (4) efforts of the agency 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.



Interagency Cooperation

In addition to partnerships currently being established and enhanced through
development and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) system in
Virginia, DRS continues to emphasize the importance and necessity of cooperating with
other community partners (federal, state and local agencies and programs) to assist in
providing comprehensive and effective services for VR customers. One of the most
successful cooperative relationships has been with the Virginia Department of Mental
Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS) to provide
services to individuals with substance abuse and with long-term mental illness. The
relationship with DMHMRSAS continues to grow and the data shows the success to our
customers brought about by this relationship.

In FY 2000, DMHMRSAS provided DRS with fiscal and personnel resources to increase
the number of vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors in the Community Services
Boards (CSBs). The CSBs provide services to individuals with substance abuse and long-
term mental illness. The resources that are being contributed by DMHMRSAS will allow
DRS to serve more individuals with substance abuse in the VR program. In addition,
DRS conducts an annual forum for DRS and CSB Clubhouse staff to promote a common
understanding of the strategies and practices to serve individuals with long-term mental
illness, to enhance collaborative activities among these professionals, to increase
consistency in rehabilitation methods, and provide skills training for staff.

DRS also has established a collaborative relationship with the Virginia Department for
the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to provide funding for interpreter services for consumers
accessing services at the Centers for Independent Living. DRS also collaborates with
local community colleges in the provision of interpreter services designed to enhance
access of VR consumers who are deaf to college resources and services.



Coordination with Education Officials Regarding Students in Transition

DRS continues to provide leadership in transition in collaboration with the Virginia
Department of Education (DOE), and other state and local agencies, organizations and
individuals. Specific activities to address the needs of students in transition include:
Continuing to provide staff support and programmatic leadership to Virginia's
Intercommunity Transition Council (VITC), a statewide council composed of
representatives of 14 state agencies, parents, consumers and employers, and seeking to
promote, in collaboration with VITC, participation of underrepresented agencies, service
providers, and community/ advocacy groups in VITC.

Continuing to provide staff support and programmatic leadership to the Higher Education
Workgroup (composed of college and university faculty and staff, the State Council on
Higher Education in Virginia, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), the
Association of Higher Education and Disability, consumers and disability agency
personnel). Also, in collaboration with VITC, DOE, the State Council of Higher
Education, the Association of Higher Education and Disability and other partners,
developing statewide guidelines for Disability Documentation at the post-secondary
level, as well as improvement of transition from secondary to post-secondary institutions.

Continuing to promote collaboration among DOE, the Department for the Visually
Handicapped, the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, DRS (including the
Virginia Assistive Technology System and the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center)
and other interested partners to increase the appropriate utilization of assistive technology
for students with disabilities in Virginia.

Aligning all current and future transition activities, when appropriate, with the WIA
system.

Continuing to collaborate with Adult Education and Literacy programs, DOE, the
Department of Social Services and other partners in pursuing creative models of
providing assessment and screening for learning disabilities among clients of the
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.

Continuing to coordinate Virginia's annual Transition Forum, a statewide training
conference that is planned and sponsored in collaboration with DOE and related
professional associations, and promoting and implementing regional school counselor
meetings.

Producing transition-related products (e.g., newsletters, brochures, power point
presentations, and posters) with examples of current legislative information, best
practices and problem solving.

Collaborating with staff of the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Program at DRS to
increase awareness of PAS services for students in transition, especially in postsecondary
institutions.

Collaborating with employment services organizations staff to increase awareness of
local vendor programs that could provide services to schools and transition age youth.
Collaborating with DOE to utilize VITC, the Transition Forum and other venues to
increase awareness and understanding of the Youth Councils that will be part of the local
Workforce Investment Boards established under the WIA system. Encouraging disability
professionals, consumers and advocacy groups to submit applications for appointment to
the local Youth Councils.

Looking to expand the Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT)
Program statewide to all 136 school divisions.

Continuing to provide the Youth in Transition service line to supplement and enhance
services to high school youth enrolled at WWRC.

Continuing the two-year training institute at WWRC that offers workshops designed to
enhance staff skills in providing services to students with disabilities and youth in
transition.

Continuing to ensure the development of local cooperative agreements between DRS and
local education entities. In FY 1999, thirty-four cooperative agreements were current and
twenty-six were in the development process.

DRS also is exploring the feasibility of collaborating with local schools or groups of
schools who are interested in increasing the availability of rehabilitation services in their
schools, to provide "Transition Liaison" staff in the schools. These staff positions would
provide services to include vocational evaluation, career exploration, job seeking skills,
job retention skills (including social and behavioral skills), consultation with teachers and
family members, information documentation, and attendance at IEP meetings.

Establishment of Cooperative Agreements with Private-Non-Profit VR Service
Providers

Private non-profit VR service providers apply to become DRS service providers.
Applicants’ qualifications are evaluated based on services to be offered and criteria in the
standard vendor agreement. DRS and each qualified employment services organization
(ESO) establish a written vendor agreement. Updated annually, this agreement provides
assurances to DRS that each organization complies with federal and state requirements
for a community rehabilitation program. By clearly defining roles, expectations, and
evaluation criteria, it protects the agency, the service provider, and customers.

Other mechanisms to cooperate with private non-profit VR services providers include:

Receiving and utilizing stakeholder input from the ESO Advisory Committee.

Fostering close working relations between DRS VR staff and ESOs.

Issuing an annual Request for Proposals (RFP) allowing ESOs to identify local needs and
intentions to support new, expanded or modified rehabilitation services and facilities.
Efforts to Identify and Make Arrangements with Other State Agencies and Entities
for Supported Employment and Extended Services for Individuals with the Most
Significant Disabilities

Providing additional state funds to ESOs to increase the availability of extended services
and reduce barriers to offering integrated, community-based employment options for
persons with most severe disabilities. In FY 1999, the Virginia General Assembly
approved a $1,875,000 General Fund appropriation for Long-Term Employment Support
Services (LTESS) for the state biennium. In FY 2000, the Assembly appropriated an
additional $1,750,000 for LTESS. A total of $3,625,000 is now administered by DRS
under the LTESS program.

Conducting regional forums designed to directly enhance the quality of supported
employment services to consumers with the most severe disabilities. These sessions, to be
conducted through collaboration with the agency's regional resource teams and regional
Supported Employment specialists, will address increasing supported employment
options and consumer choice for meeting physical, behavioral, medical, and overall
rehabilitation needs; and accessing and expanding placement resources.

Continuing to provide technical assistance in the implementation of the plan to have
Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) meet CARF, the Rehabilitation
Accreditation Commission standards. DRS will complete on-site Pre-CARF standards
reviews of all ESOs that provide both supported employment and traditional community
rehabilitation programs prior to January 2001. Per federal regulation, DRS establishes
and maintains written minimum standards for the ESOs used by the department in
providing VR services. The September 1999 decision by DRS to require CARF standards
in Virginia, include requirements regarding accessibility, physical plants, equipment, and
health and safety for community rehabilitation programs. In addition, the standards cover
specific service delivery expectations for each approved program of service, general
organizational standards, wages, hours, and working conditions. The decision to seek
national standards also emphasizes integrated community employment and quality
program outcomes.

Continuing training to increase the availability of qualified supported employment job
coaches who are fluent in sign language. Existing supported employment programs do
not serve persons who are deaf because of communication barriers. Supported
employment personnel must be capable of training employers about the special needs of
persons who are deaf, including communication techniques, resources, and assistive
devices. They must also be knowledgeable of the psychosocial implications of deafness,
be able to work with other concurrent disabilities that such individuals may have, and be
knowledgeable of vocational assessment for individuals with hearing impairments.

Ensuring consistently high quality services for individuals with most severe disabilities
by encouraging and facilitating the use of the agency's Virginia Guide to Supported
Employment and Job Coach Training. Supported employment resource teams will
provide local and regional training and technical assistance to direct line supervisors,
counselors, and supported employment service providers.

Promoting an active network of inter-agency and inter-organizational professionals
working with mutual supported employment consumers, with an emphasis on increasing
linkages with rehabilitation engineering and technology experts and enhancing current
linkages with employers, consumers, the education community and family members.

In close collaboration with ACCSES, DRS will continue to co-sponsor training programs
to increase the level of the quality of service offered consumers through the network of
CRPs. The initial CARF training in June and August 1999 was very successful.
Collaboration on the CARF mentorship program created by Virginia ACCSES and
supported by DRS will greatly assist small and medium ESOs to achieve CARF national
accreditation. In addition, this collaboration will:

Identify and address special regional needs; unique needs of rural, suburban and urban
communities; and needs of different populations of individuals with disabilities.

Provide information to the department and help develop priorities and initiatives.

Help the department develop and analyze statewide studies, such as the statewide needs
assessment and inventory of ESOs.

Continuing with the statewide inventory of ESOs as a tool to maximize the use of ESOs
in the Commonwealth. The completed inventory provides:

A list of ESOs and available services.

A description of the utilization potential and patterns of each organization.

ESOs determination of local intentions to support new, expanded or modified
rehabilitation services and facilities.

Continuing to obtain stakeholder insights and assistance through the ESO Advisory
Committee. The committee represents a cross-section of stakeholders. Committee
members include individuals with disabilities, representatives of ESOs, representatives of
the Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs and Virginia
Association for Persons in Supported Employment, DRS staff, and representatives of
other state agencies. The committee meets quarterly to:

Provide ideas and recommendations regarding program changes and procedures.

Identify and address special regional needs, unique needs of rural, suburban and urban
communities, and needs of different populations of individuals with disabilities.

Provide information to the department and help develop priorities and initiatives.
Help the department develop and analyze statewide studies, such as the statewide needs
assessment and inventory of ESOs.

Maximizing employment opportunities under the federal Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD)
Act, especially for individuals with most severe disabilities. JWOD contracts provide a
wide variety of quality employment options to many Virginians employed by ESOs. In
1998 (the latest statistics available), Virginia ESOs provided jobs under these federal
contracts to more than 2,294 individuals with severe disabilities, ranking first in the
nation. That same year, Virginia ranked second nationally in total wages paid (over $13.6
million) and third nationally in total sales (over $45 million). Other planned activities in
this arena include:

Sharing information about employment opportunities to increase client placements.

Continuing to use state economic development funds to award grants to eligible ESOs
through a competitive RFP process in support of new JWOD contracts.

Collaborating with (NISH) staff to help ESOs secure federal services and commodities
contracts through meetings, conferences and inviting NISH participation on the agency
ESO Advisory Committee.

                                   ATTACHMENT 4.11(b)

   Procedures and Activities Regarding the Establishment and Maintenance of a Comprehensive
                                System of Personnel Development

Assurance: This Attachment describes the 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 agency. The description includes: how the agency
collects and analyzes annually data on qualified personnel needs and personnel
development; plans to address the current and projected needs for qualified
personnel including the coordination and facilitation of efforts between the agency
and institutions of higher education and professional associations to recruit,
prepare, and retain qualified personnel, including personnel from minority
backgrounds, and personnel who are individuals with disabilities; establishes and
maintains personnel standards meeting the requirements of 34 CFR 361.18(c) to
ensure that personnel, including professionals and paraprofessionals, are
adequately trained and prepared; maintains standards to ensure the availability of
personnel within the agency or other individuals who are, to the maximum extent
feasible, trained to communicate in the native language or mode of communication
of an applicant or eligible individual; implements staff development activities to
ensure that all personnel employed by the agency receive appropriate and adequate
training,; and coordinates the agency’s comprehensive system of personnel
development with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act.
Introduction

The Department of Rehabilitative Services’ (DRS) human resource development function supports and
promotes the agency's mission to maximize the employment, independence, and full inclusion into society
of individuals with disabilities. Although many staff come to the agency with good experience and
credentials, on-the-job training in specific position skills, knowledge areas, values, and attitudes is essential
to ensuring a stable cadre of qualified and motivated staff. In addition, a comprehensive, well managed, and
ongoing recruitment and staff development program is critical to the agency's efforts to expand and
enhance customer services, particularly for customers who are unserved or underserved and those with
severe disabilities who have more complex rehabilitation needs. To ensure an adequate supply of qualified
staff, DRS continues to develop and implement plans that address:

Recruitment of qualified staff;

Continuing education of existing staff;

Coordination with other Virginia entities concerned with the availability and training of rehabilitation
professionals and paraprofessionals.




Annual Collection and Analysis of Data on Personnel Needs and Personnel
Development

DRS' long-standing intensive recruitment efforts have placed the agency in a strong
position for attracting highly qualified vocational rehabilitation (VR) staff. The agency's
staffing pattern at all levels is strongly representative of women, minorities and persons
with disabilities. This is a result of aggressive recruitment and equal employment
opportunity efforts. DRS remains committed to effective outreach to schools and
organizations which can serve as resources to attract applicants from minority groups and
persons with disabilities so that agency staffing patterns continue to represent both the
general population and our customer population.

To determine agency personnel needs DRS assesses:

The number and types of personnel providing VR services to agency customers in relation to the number
of customers served;

The number and type of personnel currently needed by the agency to provide VR services; and

Projections of the number and type of personnel who will be needed by the agency to provide VR
services in Virginia in five years based on projections of the number of customers to be served, including
individuals with significant disabilities, number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and
assessment of the job functions of personnel.

In addition, the agency has an exceptional process for assessing the development needs of
its personnel. To help ensure the ability of personnel to work with diverse customer
populations and to be on the cutting edge in their knowledge of rehabilitation programs,
methods, technology, disability-specific information, and legislative mandates, the
agency administers to all personnel a triennial personnel development needs survey. This
survey, which is updated annually, allows staff to provide important input into the
development of training programs that will enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities.
The survey also serves an important function of assisting in the modification of training
programs to ensure that they are relevant to the needs of staff.

The survey data are supplemented by needs assessment information gathered through other activities such
as a consumer satisfaction survey and information from the State Rehabilitation Council, as well as agency
management and supervisory staff. In addition, feedback from individual staff performance evaluations is
used to target additional training and development needs and to modify existing training curricula.

Plan to Address the Current and Projected Needs for Qualified Personnel

To obtain information regarding the supply of rehabilitation professionals, the department will triennially
assess any reported difficulties filling certain professional and/or paraprofessional position classifications.
Where recruitment difficulties are identified, the Human Resource Office will survey Virginia's graduate
and undergraduate programs for rehabilitation professionals, including but not limited to the Virginia
Commonwealth University’s Department of Rehabilitation Counseling and physical, speech and
occupational therapy programs and the University of Virginia’s physical and speech therapy programs and
rehabilitation engineering center. Between the triennial assessments, DRS will conduct a brief annual
review to determine the need for changes in the numbers, job classifications, and work assignments for
rehabilitation personnel based on significant changes and trends in programming. The triennial survey will
assess the following:

The number of students enrolled in these programs; and

The number of students graduating per year who meet the appropriate certification or licensure
requirements or with educational requirements to meet the appropriate certification or licensure
requirements;

Plans and projections regarding scope and size of the graduate training programs.

DRS will use the information gathered from the needs assessments to develop and to annually update a plan
to assure an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals. Responsibility
for developing and implementing the personnel plan and for routinely reporting progress to the DRS
Commissioner is shared by the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Field Rehabilitation
Services and is reviewed and commented upon by the State Rehabilitation Council. The Director of Human
Resources will lead the development of this Comprehensive Plan that will include the following:

Staff Recruitment: The department's plan for recruiting qualified staff includes outreach to professional
organizations, historically black colleges and universities, colleges and universities with strong programs
for and/or representation of individuals with disabilities, and colleges and universities with curriculums in
rehabilitation counseling or related fields.

The agency continues to cooperate with Virginia colleges and universities to place student interns (paid and
unpaid) in Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Rehabilitation Vocational Evaluator, Physical Therapy,
Occupational Therapy, Audiology, and other appropriate professional positions. A special Cooperative
Agreement was developed with Norfolk State University, a historically black university, DRS, and the
Department for the Visually Handicapped (DVH). Under this agreement DRS and DVH provided up to six
300-hour VR Counselor Intern positions for the 1998-1999 school year. These students are currently in the
Masters degree program in Severe Disabilities with a concentration in Rehabilitative Services focusing on
job development and job placement services. This Cooperative Agreement also provides for the placement
of up to six wage paid Post Graduate Internships (same degree program) to work in the VR program or
Disability Determination Services. Under the terms of this unique agreement, DRS and DVH provide VR
expertise by participation in Rehabilitation Counseling Forums and provide first year financial support to
the development of an Academic Advisement and Advancement Center for students in this Masters
program. The term of this Cooperative Agreement is July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2003.

Outreach and recruitment information is provided to minority owned and operated publications and
organizations which represent and advocate for minorities and persons with disabilities.

Staff Qualifications and Performance Standards: The comprehensive personnel plan and agency
recruitment and selection policies will assure that all newly recruited staff meet minimum state
requirements. Information from the personnel study also will be used to refine job classifications, job
descriptions, and performance standards consistent with the agency's mission and values and the
Rehabilitation Act Amendments. The Director of Field Rehabilitation Services and Regional Directors will
annually review newly refined performance standards to determine if they continue to meet requirements
and needs, and will recommend revisions as appropriate.

Establishment and Maintenance of Standards to Ensure That Personnel are Adequately
Prepared and Trained

The personnel standard that DRS uses to comply with the qualified personnel requirement of the
Rehabilitation Act is the educational requirements of the national CRC or the actual CRC or CVE
certifications.

In 1999, an assessment of the department's current VR counselors, vocational evaluators, and VR program
field managers was conducted to determine the number of staff that would need additional educational
training or certification to meet the qualified rehabilitation provider standard. The following information
was obtained from this assessment:

133 Staff Require a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling

49 Staff Require supplemental masters level courses to be eligible to sit for the CRC exam

51 Staff Possess a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling but do not have a CRC

38 Staff Possess CRC credentials

6 Staff Possess CVE credentials

All VR counselors, vocational evaluators, and VR managers (hereinafter referred to as "employees"),
submitted verification of their educational credentials or CRC or CVE certification. Employees who did not
possess a masters degree in rehabilitation counseling or a CRC/CVE submitted a copy of their academic
transcript noting their degree and coursework taken towards this degree. This information was submitted to
the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CCRC) to determine whether the degree meets
the CRC educational requirement and, if not, what additional coursework or degree would need to be
obtained to meet the educational requirement.

DRS has established an innovative and multi-faceted program to ensure that all VR counselors, vocational
evaluators, and VR managers meet the qualified rehabilitation provider standard by FY 2008. The
following section describes the components of this program.
For those employees who meet the standards because they have a CRC or CVE certification, DRS will
reimburse them for the cost of their next certification renewal. Employees who were previously certified
may qualify for recertification by submitting verification of their most recent applicable employment
experience in rehabilitation counseling to the CRCC. The department will reimburse these employees for
the cost of the initial certification. Although it is anticipated that employees will be required to maintain
certification at their own expense, the department is exploring the feasibility of assisting staff with the cost
of maintaining this certification.

For employees with masters degrees in rehabilitation counseling or a closely related field, DRS is strongly
encouraging them to obtain a CRC or CVE certification. This certification will assist these employees in
their career advancement and will demonstrate DRS' commitment to employing the most highly qualified
staff to provide services to persons with disabilities. The department will reimburse employees for the cost
of successful completion of the certification exam.

In order to provide the necessary training for employees to meet the educational requirements of the CRC,
DRS has entered into a collaborative agreement with the Rehabilitation Counseling Department at Virginia
Commonwealth University (VCU). In this agreement, employees will (1) complete selected coursework to
meet the CRC educational requirements or (2) complete the VCU masters of science degree program in
rehabilitation counseling and secure their CRC upon successful completion of the degree.

For employees with masters degrees in fields closely related to rehabilitation counseling, CRCC evaluated
these employees' academic transcripts to determine what, if any, graduate level courses would be required
to meet the CRC educational requirements. For certain employees, it was determined that they could meet
the requirements by attending a three-semester hour course in Individual Counseling Approaches and
Rehabilitation. VCU provided this course, during work hours, to these employees on April 19-23, 1999, at
the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center. Employees who could not participate in the April 19-23 course
or who required additional graduate level courses to meet the requirements will attend a VCU on-campus
course or take the courses at a later date or at another institution.

For the remainder of the employees, it was determined that a masters degree in rehabilitation counseling
would be required to meet the CRC educational requirement. VCU, through its collaborative agreement
with DRS, is providing the necessary academic training for these employees to secure this degree and their
CRC certification. All employees requiring this degree and who hold a bachelor's degree will be accepted
into this collaborative educational program. Those with an undergraduate grade point average below 2.7
will be admitted provisionally and must earn an A or B on the first three courses to remain in the program.
No admissions testing (e.g. GRE) is required.

The masters degree program consists of 48 credit hours to be completed in five semesters. Thirty hours of
the program are taught using a web-based environment. Ten hours of the curriculum, individual and group
counseling courses are taught in a classroom setting. In addition, there will be six credits of Supervised
Clinical Practice at a DRS location with job restructuring to insure that new learning occurs.

DRS is paying for the cost of tuition and fees for the program. VCU and the agency are attempting to
secure grant funding to support the program. Until such funding is received, however, the cost is being
absorbed out of 110 funds and the In-Service Training Grant. Employees participating in the program must
sign an agreement to remain in the employment of the agency for at least one year per 12 credit hours of
education paid by the agency or reimburse the agency for tuition paid.

Staff may choose to attend programs other than that developed with VCU. The courses must be from an
accredited college or university and must lead to a masters degree in rehabilitation counseling, vocational
evaluation, or a closely related field. The agency will reimburse tuition and fees up to the amount charged
by VCU for the same courses. The same employment agreement will be required of employees choosing
this option.
DRS has developed new policies and procedures for the hiring of VR counselors, evaluators and VR
managers. Under the new policies, all covered position classifications will be advertised with the following
statement: "Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or closely related field or current CRC or CVE
credentials is preferred. Masters level transcripts or copy of current certification, if applicable, must
accompany application." If the applicant pool includes individuals who meet the CSPD educational
requirements, these will be the only applicants submitted for interviewing. If the first pool of applications
does not generate any applicant with these credentials, the job will either be re-advertised or screened
further to include other applicants. This will be based on the number and quality of applications received
after discussion between the HR staff and the hiring manager.

If the second advertisement yields no applicants meeting these credentials, the applicants may be
interviewed or the position may be re-advertised again. If the individual hired does not meet the credentials,
the individual must enroll, within six months of the employment date, in a program to become certified as a
CRC/CVE or obtain a masters degree in either Rehabilitation Counseling or Vocational Evaluation, as
appropriate, or take the courses needed to be eligible to sit for the CRC examination. DRS will reimburse
these individuals for the educational expenses necessary to meet these requirements.

If the applicant pool includes individuals who meet the RSA CSPD educational requirements, these
applicants must be interviewed. After these applicants are interviewed, if one of the applicants is qualified
for the position (i.e., able to meet job requirements within 6 months with training), then one these
applicants must be offered the position. If, however, after the interview process, the hiring manager
believes that there are no applicants meeting the RSA standards who could sufficiently handle the duties of
the position, he must provide sufficient written documentation to justify this decision to the Division
Director and Human Resource Director.

Besides the above-described certification and educational program, DRS continues to provide a
comprehensive in-service training program for VR staff. All newly hired VR counselors are required to
participate in a two-week intensive training program entitled "New Counselor Skills Training". This
program is designed to train new counselors on the entire VR process, including policies, procedures, and
best practices in working with customers. In addition, staff participate in the numerous in-services training
programs, many of these are found in the agency’s RSA In-Service Training Grant. The annual
comprehensive training plans are jointly developed by an agency team representative of the Office of
Human Resource Development, the Field Rehabilitative Services Division, and the Policy and Planning
Division. The team approach is also regularly used to develop specific training curricula. Staff at all levels
are provided an opportunity to influence the content and design of many training efforts.

Among the current plans for the coming year is the provision of training and development activities in the
following areas:

Rehabilitation Technology

Vocational evaluation

Vocational assessment and transition forum

Law and policy

Automation

Leadership training

Substance Abuse training
Staff continuing education needs are also addressed through a strong technical assistance system which
provide staff easy access to experts in supported employment, transition services, personal assistance
services, and the resources needed by individuals with acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury.

Communication Needs of Customers

The agency continues to address the communication needs of customers by having counselors who
specialize in deaf caseloads and other employees who can communicate in sign language. The agency also
has staff who are Spanish speaking where the population requires that skill to communicate with customers.
In addition, sign language interpreters are contracted as needed for employees and customers in need of
interpreter services and counselors use other resources, including assistive technology, to communicate
with customers with special needs.

Staff Evaluations

DRS annually reviews performance standards for rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals to
determine if they are consistent with actual job functions, agency values and Rehabilitation Act mandates.
The performance standards for VR counselors include expectations regarding the number of successful
closures, the percentage of those which are competitive closures, the percentage of open cases deemed
significantly disabled, the average weekly earnings at closure, and the numbers of Individual Plans for
Employment initiated. Annually, VR counselors are evaluated on these standards. The agency has an
excellent record of serving individuals with the most significant disabilities and these individuals have a
high competitive employment record, comparable with those with less severe disabilities.

Coordination with the Virginia Department of Education

The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) is the state agency responsible for implementing the
Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. DRS and DOE currently collaborate on many in-service and
pre-service training activities including annual joint training forums for educational and rehabilitation
professionals. DRS will continue to collaborate with DOE on respective policies, eligibility criteria,
information requirements, agency programs and services, the coordination of transition services, the
development of cooperative agreements, working relationships, and best practices in the provisions of
services to students with disabilities.

                                         ATTACHMENT 4.12(a)

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

Assurance: This attachment documents the results of a comprehensive, statewide
assessment, jointly conducted by the designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation
Council every 3 years, and A) describes the rehabilitation needs of individuals with
disabilities residing within the State, particularly the vocational rehabilitation service
needs of i) individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for
supported employment services; ii) 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 iii) individuals with
disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment
system, as identified by such individuals and personnel assisting such individuals through
the components, and B) provides an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or
improve community rehabilitation programs within the State.

Comprehensive Statewide Assessment

DRS and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) use a system of both periodic and ongoing components to
assess consumer rehabilitation needs and the need to establish, develop, or improve community
rehabilitation programs (Employment Services Organizations, or ESOs). In FY 2000, a statewide survey of
people with disabilities needs assessment, which was jointly developed by DRS and the Council, was
administered in Virginia. This survey replicated some components of the 1990 statewide survey of
employment status and vocational rehabilitation (VR) service needs of individuals with disabilities, and
developed new components it to capture data for individuals with the most significant disabilities.

While the final survey report will not be available until April 2000, preliminary findings of the survey have
been shared with agency management and the SRC. The survey found that approximately 514,000
working-age Virginians (11.8% of the working-age population in Virginia) have a disability that limits their
work or housework activities. The survey also found that a substantial proportion – almost half (46%) – of
these individuals are currently working, and are therefore not likely to seek DRS services. Among
Virginians with disabilities who are seeking employment or seeking to advance in employment, the most
common need (identified by over three-fourths of all respondents) is for training in advanced technical
skills. The second most common need, identified by almost two-thirds of respondents, is for job placement
services. Improved transportation services were identified as a need by a substantial proportion (almost
25%) of all survey respondents, both those who were currently employed and those who were seeking
employed.

Other components of the assessment system include the following: biennial assessments of service needs
and priorities for people with physical and sensory disabilities by the 41 local Disability Services Boards
across the state; targeted needs assessment for specific disability groups; ongoing reviews of available
national disability statistics data (e.g., from the U.S. Census Bureau) for Virginia; analysis of customer
satisfaction information gathered through various methods; program and service pilot projects and program
evaluations; and review and analysis of input from various sources: state plan public meeting comments,
advice from DRS advisory bodies (including the SRC), constituent inquiries, routine case monitoring, and
fair hearings.

Supported Employment and Community Rehabilitation Programs

DRS will continue to identify the need for additional ESOs, new services, and expansion of existing
services through a variety of ongoing methodologies. These methodologies continue to include the annual
Request for Proposals (RFP) process that allows ESOs to identify local needs and intentions to support
new, expanded or modified rehabilitation services and facilities; prioritized list of community rehabilitation
projects to be funded to achieve short-range DRS goals; on-going statewide inventory of ESOs; stakeholder
input through quarterly meetings of the ESO Advisory Committee; and close working relationships
between program management staff, VR counselors, and ESO staff. Case review feedback sessions with
VR counselors and ESO staff also helps improve service delivery.

Based on a past needs assessment which indicated a need for job coaches who are fluent in sign language,
DRS provided funds to ESOs to train existing job coaches in sign language and to train fluent signers in job
coaching skills. Due to the high ESO job coach turnover rate, the DRS State Coordinator of the Deaf and
Hard of Hearing Services will evaluate the effectiveness of this program and, if warranted, will investigate
alternative methods to achieve the goal.

Need for Extended Services
The greatest demand for extended services will continue to come from youth in transition. A 1999 study by
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) concluded that there are still approximately 700 youth, aged
18-22, leaving special education each year with a potential need for extended services. A second group
needing extended services is individuals whose cases were closed in supported employment who need
extended services to maintain employment. In FY 1999, DRS closed 698 cases successfully in supported
employment. A third group is individuals on ESO waiting lists because of a lack of funding for extended
services. VCU estimated in their 1999 study that 480 individuals are in this group.

Under federal law, extended services must be funded by sources other than the Rehabilitation Act. A
predominant source of funding for extended services in Virginia continues to be state general fund
allocations to Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS), Supported Employment for the
Physically Disabled (SEPD), Extended Employment Services (EES), and the Community Service Board
system funded by the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse
Services. DRS administers $3,625,000 in LTESS funds for FY 2000.




Needs of Minority and Unserved or Underserved Populations

VR program statistics for State Fiscal Year 1999 indicate the continued success of DRS’ minority outreach
efforts. The percentage of African-American customers in DRS’ VR program (31%) is significantly higher
than the percentage of African-Americans in the overall State population (23%). However, findings from
the Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) indicate that the rate of disability in
the U.S. for people age 15 to 64 is higher for African-Americans (21%) than it is for whites (18%),
suggesting that this difference does not constitute an "overrepresentation" of African-Americans in DRS'
service population. The percentage of Native Americans is the same in DRS’ customer base as it is in the
general population (less than one percent). Asian/Pacific groups are under-represented (one percent of
customer base compared to three percent of the general population). Self-reports indicate a culturally based
reticence among these latter two groups to access government assistance.

Links with Statewide Workforce Investment Act System

DRS is among the state agencies collaborating to implement the new Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
system in Virginia. One of the first decisions will concern the role ESOs will play in the WIA system.
Virginia has established a statewide board and is in the process of designating the local areas and
appointing the local boards. DRS will have a policy-making representative on the statewide board and each
local board.

                                         ATTACHMENT 4.12(b)

                  Annual Estimates of Individuals to Be Served and Costs of Services

This attachment shows the estimates of the 1) number of individuals in the State who are eligible for
services under this State plan; 2) number of such individuals who will receive services provided with funds
provided under Part B of Title I of the Act and under Part B of Title VI of the Act, including, if the
designated State agency uses an order of selection in accordance with paragraph 6.4(c) of this State plan,
estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority category within the order; and 3)
costs of the services described in subparagraph (1), including, if the designated State agency uses an order
of selection, the service costs for each priority category within the order.
Virginia DRS is not operating under an order of selection. Therefore, DRS serves all individuals who are
certified eligible for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Supported Employment Services Programs.
(See attachment 4.12(c)(2)(B) for description of how Virginia DRS provides the full range of services to all
individuals certified eligible.)

The recently completed statewide comprehensive needs assessment survey commissioned by DRS and the
State Rehabilitation Council found that approximately 514,000 working-age Virginians (11.8% of the
working-age population in Virginia) have a disability that limits their work or housework activities. The
survey also found that a substantial proportion – almost half (46%) – of these individuals are currently
working, and are therefore not likely to seek DRS services. Also, a large proportion (29.8%) of those who
are not currently working indicated that they are unable to work because of their disability.

DRS projects that approximately 32,000 individuals will apply for services each year as of July 1, 2000. Of
these, DRS projects that at least 24,000 will receive vocational rehabilitation services (Title I Part B section
110 funds) or supported employment services (Title VI Part B funds). These projections are based on
continuation of yearly service levels comparable to those for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) ending June 30,
1999. [From the June 30, 1999 Caseload Management Report. The 32,000 figure is based on the total of all
cases served in all statuses. The 24,000 figure reflects all clients served in statuses above 08] DRS has
budgeted $52 million for SFY 2000 to provide vocational rehabilitation and supported employment
services. [This amount includes case service dollars to purchase services from vendors; salaries of DRS
field staff who provide vocational rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation engineering, vocational
evaluation, job placement, and other services; and funds allocated to Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation
Center to serve vocational rehabilitation consumers.]

                                      ATTACHMENT 4.12(c)(1)

                                     State’s Goals and Priorities

This attachment identifies the goals and priorities of the State in carrying out the
vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs and also identifies any
revisions in the goals and priorities for any year the State revises the goals and priorities.



DRS’ vocational rehabilitation (VR) and supported employment (SE) programs continue
to focus on increased quantity and quality of employment outcomes for VR consumers
(particularly those with the most significant disabilities, including their need for SE
services). To judge success, DRS and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) have
established performance measures and annual target goals for the VR program. DRS’
achievement towards attaining the goals are reported to the SRC at its quarterly meeting.
The performance measures and FFY 2000 target goals are:

                                                      Meets                     Exceeds                Exceptional
                                                    Expectation                Expectation             Performance
                 Measure

Successful (Status 26) Closures                          3469                       3815                     4058

Employment Plans Initiated                               6105                       6716                     7327
Average Weekly Earnings                       $240                  $265                  $290

Percent Significantly Disabled                74%                   77%                   80%

Percent Competitively Employed                85%                   87%                   90%

DRS’ focus will be on attaining "exceptional performance" on each measure.

In addition, DRS and the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget have established
eight additional performance measures with target goals. The five pertaining to VR and
SE services are:

                                 Measure                                          Target
Percent of clients employed within 180 days of completing vocational               55%
training services at WWRC
Number of clients served by vocational evaluation services at WWRC                 1020
Number of clients served by medical evaluation services at WWRC                    989
Percent of VR consumers who enter competitive employment and                       62%
remain employed for 90 days after case closure with average weekly
wages of $200 or more
Number of VR consumers with an employment outcome who remain                       3700
employed after 90 days

DRS and the SRC have jointly developed goals to achieve the above priority and
performance measure targets and to support the agency’s mission to provide high quality,
cost effective services for VR consumers. The goals were developed based on an analysis
of the results of the comprehensive statewide needs assessment, DRS’ previous
performance on the standards and indicators, input from consumers and stakeholders, and
other available information on the operation of the VR and SE programs. These goals are
to:

Increase the visibility of DRS in businesses and in the community in order to enhance the
prospects of employability for DRS’ consumers.

Improve and increase collaboration between DRS and federal, state, and local partners
and other service providers to ensure the highest quality services for DRS’ consumers.

Build on partnerships with federal, state and local governments by participating as a
partner and a leader in the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act.

Improve DRS’ technological capability to provide more effective and cost efficient
services to consumers.
Recruit, train, and retain qualified personnel to effectively serve our consumers.

Explore and make available innovative uses of assistive technology for consumers to
create new opportunities for employment.

Enhance service delivery and high quality outcomes by our service provider partners.

                              ATTACHMENT 4.12(c)(2)(B)

     Explanation to Support the Decision Not to Establish an Order of Selection

Assurance: This Attachment contains an explanation that satisfies the requirements of 34
CFR 361.36(a)(2) or (3) and describes how, on the basis of our agency’s projected fiscal
and personnel resources and its assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with
severe disabilities within the State, the agency will: (1) continue to provide services to all
individuals currently receiving services; (2) provide assessment services to all individuals
expected to apply for services in the next fiscal year; (3) provide services to all
individuals who are expected to be determined eligible in the next fiscal year; and (4)
meet all program requirements.



The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) does not currently, and did
not in the preceding fiscal year, operate under an Order of Selection. DRS has continued
to ensure that services can be provided to all eligible individuals by:

providing assessment services to all applicants and the full range of services, as
appropriate, to all eligible individuals;

making referral information and materials widely available throughout the state;

conducting outreach efforts to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have
been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation system; and

not delaying through waiting lists or other means, determination of eligibility, the
development of Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs) for individuals determined
to be eligible, or the provision of services for eligible individuals for whom IPEs have
been developed.

Strategies and Methods to Ensure Services to All Eligible Individuals

The agency continues to review its ability to serve all eligible individuals. Factors that
continue to support the decision not to implement an Order of Selection include the
following:
DRS will maintain at least level funding for direct customer services in the upcoming
fiscal year. DRS anticipates a 1.5% increase in Title I funds for FY 2001 and identified
additional sources of general fund match which allows for greater federal fund
expenditures. The agency is committed to ensuring, as much as possible, that all available
dollars are allocated to direct customer service.

DRS will continue to allocate all appropriate personnel resources to direct customer
services and will continue to take proactive actions to ensure appropriate staffing and
case load levels.

DRS continues to direct more fiscal resources into customer case services. The agency
continues, as appropriate, to relocate selected offices to less expensive office space in
order to provide more case services resources.

All the field offices are automated. This efficiency measure allows the VR counselors to
operate more effectively in the provision of customer service.

All VR counselors have access to the Internet from their office that enhances their ability
to search for comparable benefits and employment opportunities for VR customers.

There have been no factors during FY 00 which point to the need to make specific
changes in current procedures related to eligibility determination or service planning, or
to suggest any need to revisit the agency’s decision not to implement an Order of
Selection.

Strategies that DRS will employ to ensure that the agency continues to serve all eligible
individuals include:

Using on-going monitoring and reporting systems that provide information on consumer
services and cost to allow the agency to allocate agency resources to meet consumer
needs;

Continuing to monitor "processing times" for customers to determine the timeliness of
services;

Providing extensive training to staff to enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities to
serve customers and ensuring compliance with federal and state mandates;

Initiating and maintaining service links and service integration to achieve collaborative
program development and operations with other state agencies and organizations to
enhance DRS’ ability to maximize external resources;

Using comparable services and benefits to the maximum extent possible prior to the
expenditure of Title I funds, when the search for such services and benefits will not create
unreasonable delays in the provision of services;
Continuing to provide automated tools to counselors and evaluators to improve caseload
management and achieve greater efficiencies;

Continuing to review policies, procedures and processes to streamline activities;

Implementing strategic planning initiatives to improve collaborative activities, customer
service and service quality, cost expenditures, and foster innovation and better utilization
of resources;

Redirecting agency fiscal/personnel resources as appropriate to the provision of direct
services; and

Continuing to assess customer satisfaction, service needs, and available resources to meet
customer needs.

Given the agency’s review of current data and the strategies described above, DRS does
not plan to implement an Order of Selection in FY 2001. Should the results of the
agency’s on-going monitoring reveal that DRS is not able to serve all eligible individuals,
or should trends emerge which preclude services to all eligible individuals, appropriate
measures will be taken immediately. Such measures may include the establishment of an
Order of Selection, or identification of additional resources to enable the agency to serve
all eligible individuals. In the event that DRS determines that Order of Selection is
required, DRS will confer with the State Rehabilitation Council on this decision and will
hold public hearings for input on the decision. The State Plan then will be modified to
respond appropriately to the situation.

                               ATTACHMENT 4.12(c)(3)

              Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds

Assurance: This attachment specifies, consistent with subsection 7.4 of the State Plan
supplement, the agency'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.



Provide supported employment services to eligible individuals with most significant
disabilities at a level no lower than FY 1999 .

In State Fiscal Year (FY) 1999, a total of 3,472 individuals with most significant
disabilities received services through Supported Employment programs of the Virginia
Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS). This is an 11% increase from those served
in the same time period in 1998. Of this number, 1,152 were new cases. It is our intention
to continue serving individuals during FY 2000 at a comparable level, while maintaining
high quality service and increasing the number of customers who are successfully
employed.
Continue to improve the quality of supported employment services to individuals with the
most severe disabilities through training and technical assistance provided by regional
Supported Employment Resource Teams (SERT).

The four regional resource teams continue to play a key role in the agency’s efforts to
deliver quality supported employment services to individuals with the most severe
disabilities. Each team is composed of a State Supported Employment (SE) Coordinator,
DRS Employment Specialists (job coaches), and community resource specialists. The
teams provide technical assistance and training to SE professionals throughout the state in
order to improve the quality and consistency of supported employment services. The
regional resource teams have accomplished several projects within the last year
consistent with the State Plan’s objectives, including:

Continuing involvement in Regional SE Forums on quality case service provision, best
practices, insuring consumer choice, and involvement in service delivery and planning,
development of long-term and natural supports in SE job placement and other SE topics.

Continuing revisions to the SE billing and reporting forms and planning for training and
dissemination of same.

Conducting Job Coach Training Services case reviews to gather information on usage,
insuring that customer base is appropriately those with more severe disabilities and
quality indicators.

Continue training on Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) for DRS staff,
as well as staff of employment services organizations (ESOs), to promote collaboration
and consistency.

Planning for general SE training to field staff and ESOs to promote consistency,
teamwork and collaboration.

Planning for statewide training to ESOs and DRS staff on consumer choice, teamwork
and SE best practices.

Planning for increased marketing of the SERT as a resource as well as the Supported
Employment for Individuals with Physical Disabilities (SEPD) program.

Provide training to supported employment professionals through collaboration with
other agencies and organizations.

In addition to using the regional resource teams to enhance quality services, DRS will
continue to strengthen the skills of SE professionals through regional training conducted
by state and national employment specialists. Training curricula are based on stakeholder
feedback, program evaluations, and needs assessment results. To date, training programs
have included, but are not limited to, Essential Employment Specialist Skills Training,
Advanced Employment Specialist Skills Training, Diversity and Disability in the
Workplace, Job Development Strategies for Individuals with Challenging Behaviors, and
Executive Leadership Skills. DRS has collaborated with the Virginia Chapter of APSE,
VCU-RRTC, and the University of Maryland to provide these various SE training
opportunities. Future training programs will continue to focus on increasing supported
employment options and customer choice and addressing case management, placement
and support issues.

Expand the scope of and enhance supported employment services to individuals with the
most severe disabilities.

SE serves people with the most severe disabilities, defined as people (1) who have a
physical or mental impairment that seriously limits three or more functional capacities
(including, but not limited to, mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction,
interpersonal skills, work skills or work tolerance) in terms of an employment outcome;
and (2) whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple core
vocational services over an extended period of time (six months or more).

DRS recognizes the importance of offering SE services statewide and therefore uses state
economic development funds as well as establishment grant funds to establish and
expand SE programs in existing ESOs that are eligible for these funds (i.e. are approved
DRS vendors and maintain a DOL certificate). In the current grant year, three ESOs were
approved for grants to aid in expanding services or adding new SE service options to
serve an unmet need.

DRS will now require accreditation for ESOs to insure quality in employment service
provision. In addition, a performance-based system of funding SE services is slated for
pilot in an attempt to promote more efficient and effective customer service. The
emphasis is on providing services to more individuals in need of supported employment,
while maintaining quality services.

Efforts continue in assisting with coordinating personal assistance services and
rehabilitation assistive technology for individuals with severe disabilities. Technical
assistance is provided on an ongoing basis to ESOs and DRS staff, with emphasis on
placement and support issues.

Strengthen linkages between DRS and the local community services boards (CSBs) to
develop expanded resources for extended services

Increasing the availability of extended service funding for SE customers is an agency
priority. Federal regulations and the Rehabilitation Act amendments permit initiation of
SE services, if there is a basis to reasonably expect that extended service funds will be
available. However, DRS believes that to appropriately serve individuals in SE, we must
work with entities to ensure there is adequate extended funding. One entity that has been
a major partner in this endeavor has been the Community Services Boards (CSBs) of the
Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services.
Funding for long-term follow-along has traditionally been supported with discretionary
funds administered by the CSBs.

Virginia has been successful in securing additional state funding for the long-term
component of extended services. These Long Term Employment Support Services
(LTESS) funds have had a major impact on the availability of services to SE customers
and continue to make a difference in many cases. Over the last six years these funds have
grown to over $4 million.

In response to requests and identified needs, refresher training on the allocation process
and the history and practical usage of LTESS is provided on a local level. Where
possible, this training is provided to both ESO and DRS staff jointly to promote
collaboration.

Continue use of a full range of supported employment models.

Virginia uses all SE models, including the individual placement model, the enclave
model, the entrepreneurial model and mobile work crews. Individual placement is the
most widely used, and generally offers higher wage rates, better benefits and more
flexibility in meeting the needs of customers and employers in an integrated work setting.
The group model is another important option that provides for the constant presence of
the employment specialist at the job site to support customers who need intensive
supervision in order to maintain employment. During the current fiscal year, at least five
ESOs made changes to their Purchase of Service agreements to either expand their
services to include a group model option, expand to other regions of the state or initiate
completely new vendor arrangements with the agency. DRS will continue to encourage
vendors to better meet customer needs by providing more supported employment options
through the annual request for proposals.

                                ATTACHMENT 4.12(d)

State’s Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

Assurance: This attachment describes the strategies, including those identified in section
101(a)(15)(D) of the Act and innovation and expansion activities of paragraph 4.13(a) of
this State plan, the designated State agency will use to 1) address the needs identified in
the assessment conducted under paragraph (a) of this subsection and achieve the goals
and priorities identified in paragraph (c) of this subsection and 2) carry out outreach
activities to identify and serve individuals with the most significant disabilities who are
minorities consistent with the provisions of subsection 7.6 of the State plan supplement.



Current and proposed activities designed to support the development and implementation
of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational
rehabilitation (VR) services include:
Enhancing job placement services by adding additional placement contract resources and
piloting vendorships for speciality placement services for deaf consumers.

Sponsoring workshops for state agencies and working with other disability agencies to
develop methods to support the hiring of persons with disabilities in state government.

Funding half of the Virginia Assistive Technology System Creative Initiative Awards, for
systems-change activities to benefit VR customers, especially outreach to unserved and
underserved disability populations.

In partnership with Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Employment Services
Organizations (ESOs), and other community providers, establishing a pool of trained
professionals who can provide life skills and behavior intervention services to VR
customers with brain injury and challenging behaviors.

Developing document-imaging sites where images can be scanned and stored into
databases, and exploring converting stored documents to electronic media.

Having an improved VR data base system that is more user-friendly and that provides the
agency with more complete data for planning and evaluation.

Operating the toll-free number that provides 24-hour recorded information (on
employment, assistive technology, rights, higher education, independent living, and
financial assistance) and an option during business hours to speak with an information
and referral specialist.

Continuing to research and implement distance learning options for instructional
purposes and exploring possible community based partnerships for instructional delivery.

Providing outreach to persons with disabilities who are minorities by offering graduate
and post-graduate internship experiences for minority students who are matriculating or
have matriculated from the Norfolk State University graduate program in Severe
Disabilities.

Continuing to support the development of a community-based approach to brain injury
services by contributing to the development of a brain injury clubhouse in Richmond,
Virginia.

Providing financial and staff support to the State Rehabilitation Council and the
Statewide Independent Living Council.

Issuing mini-grants through a Request for Proposal process to existing and new
community partners to provide transportation resources to increase the access to VR
services for VR customers.
Presently, the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) is assisting in the purchase
of surplus state vehicles for TANF recipients in rural areas to aid in their employment
capabilities. DRS will explore the feasibility of collaborating with the DSS on vehicle
purchases for TANF recipients who are VR consumers in rural areas. DRS' participation
could help expand this program to more TANF recipients, specifically those who are or
will be entering the VR program.

Exploring the feasibility of collaborating with a community partner, to create an assistive
technology demonstration site for staff and public information and education. The site
would encompass the rehabilitation engineering fabrication activities and the Woodrow
Wilson Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) satellite computer accommodation laboratory as
well as showcase assistive technology devices. The demonstration site would be used by
VR staff and consumers in the development of assistive technology services and would
provide a central location opportunity for current and potential employers and community
partners to experience the value, capabilities, and alternatives of assistive technology for
individuals people with disabilities.

A gap in the supported employment system for individuals who are deaf and hard of
hearing is interpreter accessibility. DRS plans to expand its supported employment
system to these individuals by working with ESOs to train job coaches in sign language
skills or interpreters to serve as job coaches.

DRS is in the developmental stage of a program to support VR consumers seeking to
establish self-employment enterprises (SEE) as a vocational outcome. The expansion of
this program will provided needed assistance to consumers and VR counselors in support
of their SEE plan. DRS plans to continue with the development of its SEE program
utilizing the skills and expertise of the SEE Coordinator to assist DRS in improving its
SEE policy, providing assistance to VR consumers in the development of their SEE plans
and securing private funding for the proposed enterprise.

Begin a pilot "Milestones" project to establish a supported employment fee structure
based on successful consumer outcomes. With this new measure, participating ESOs will
be held more accountable for their activities with VR consumers. The initial Innovation
and Expansion cost will be for training programs to prepare the participating ESOs for
this new fiscal and programmatic arrangement.

Explore the feasibility of expanding its program of working with the Virginia Department
of Education (DOE) to assist students in transition from school to work. Under the
proposed program, DRS would collaborate with local schools or groups of schools, who
are interested in increasing the availability of rehabilitation services in their schools, to
provide "Transition Liaison" staff in the schools. These staff positions would provide
services to include vocational evaluation, career exploration, job seeking skills, job
retention skills (including social and behavioral skills), consultation with teachers and
family members, information documentation, and attendance at IEP meetings.
WWRC continues to serve persons with spinal cord injuries. Based on research through
19 focus groups across the state, the need for WWRC to expand the spinal cord injury
services was documented. Accordingly, DRS will seek to expand and enhance its spinal
cord injury program to better meet the needs of VR consumers.

Expanding interpreter services for consumer who are deaf and hard of hearing by creating
a pilot interpreter position in Southwest Virginia to ensure communication access,
increasing the number of job coaches who are qualified interpreters for the deaf and hard
of hearing, ensuring consumer accessibility to the classroom by providing funding for
interpreter services, creating a pilot placement program for consumers who are deaf or
hard of hearing.

Ongoing agency interest in streamlining work processes, procedures, and paperwork have
led to the development of a project designed to explore opportunities for efficiencies and
create solutions. A project team was formed to solicit input from staff throughout the
agency and develop recommendations for process improvements. Workgroups were
established to assess ideas for efficiencies in the following areas: Audit/Casework
Process; Contracts and Purchasing; Fiscal; Human Resources; Policy & Planning; and
Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center. The ideas put forth from each of the workgroups
are currently being reviewed. All feasible recommendations for process improvements
will be considered and implemented.

Ensuring that VR managers, counselors, and evaluators meet the qualified rehabilitation
professional standards through support for obtaining a master’s degree in Rehabilitation
Counseling or a closely related field and/or obtaining their Certified Rehabilitation
Counselor certification.

Developing a program at WWRC to assist students leaving WWRC to locate appropriate
housing and needed support services in their home communities. Expanding the
transitional living center approach, through a contract with a community partner. This
expanded program will provide residential living and training in basic life skills for
consumers who are employed or ready for employment and are relocating to the
Richmond-area following their training program at WWRC or other VR training
programs.

                                ATTACHMENT 4.12(e)

Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and
           Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities



Assurance: This attachment describes the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of
the vocational rehabilitation program, and includes an annual joint report of the
designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council,
to the RSA Commissioner on the progress made in improving the effectiveness of the
program from the previous year. The description includes: 1) an evaluation of the extent
to which the goals identified in subparagraph (c) of this subsection plan were achieved; 2)
an identification of the strategies that contributed to achieving the goals; 3) to the extent
to which the goals were not achieved, an explanation of the factors that impeded that
achievement; 4) an assessment of the performance of the State on the standards and
indicators established pursuant to section 106 of the Act; and a report on how funds
reserved for innovation and expansion activities were utilized in the preceding year.



A goal of the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program at the Virginia Department of
Rehabilitative Services (DRS) has been to refocus resources on successful employment
outcomes for VR consumers. To accomplish this, emphasis has been placed on ensuring
that all available and appropriate resources are dedicated to assisting our consumers,
particularly those with significant disabilities, in obtaining and maintaining employment.
In the last few years, DRS instituted performance measures to judge achievement of this
goal. The measures are established on an annual basis to track the performance year (the
federal fiscal year), and achievement of the measures is shared with the State
Rehabilitation Council at each quarterly meeting. DRS met, if not exceeded, its VR
program performance targets for FFY 1999 on all but one measure. The following
summary provides the achievement towards the target goals:

  Measure                                               Target             Achievement
  Successful (Status 26) Closures                        3469                 3851
  Employment Plans Initiated                             6788                 6752
  Average Weekly Earnings                                $220                 $275
  Percent Significantly Disabled                         74%                  87%
  Percent Competitively Employed                         85%                  90%

DRS, including the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center (WWRC), and the Virginia
Department of Planning and Budget have established eight additional performance
measures, five of which pertain to VR and supported employment services. These are
established and reported on a state fiscal year basis. The following summary provides the
achievement towards these target goals for SFY 99:




                                                                  Target      Achievement

Measure

Percent of clients employed within180 days following               55%            97%
completion of vocational training services at WWRC
Number of clients at WWRC served by vocational                       1020            992
evaluation services

Number of clients at WWRC served by medical                           989            1212
rehabilitation services

Percent of VR customers that enter competitive employment            62%             65%
and remain employed for 90 days after case closure with
average weekly wage of $200 or more

Number of consumers of VR services with an employment                3,700          3,755
outcome who remain employed after 90 days

Number of persons with severe disabilities supported by the           824            801
Extended Employment Services Program

Strategies that Contributed Towards Achieving the Goals

The main factor that continues to contribute to DRS’ success in meeting its performance
measures is the increased focus and support for people to achieve their employment
goals. The following, however, are some specific strategies that have been implemented
that have had a positive effect on the agency’s achievements:

Increased use of job development staff and contractors for job placement.

Increased use of employment resource centers and the addition of Program Support
Technician Senior staff to work with customers in these resource centers.

Increased use of vocational evaluation services and the involvement of the vocational
evaluation staff in the entire VR process.

Increased public awareness of the VR program through the use of marketing specialists to
develop employment opportunities in the private sector and increased collaboration and
interaction with business leadership networks.

Training in rehabilitation technology for VR and vocational evaluation staff and
increased use of job analysis as a part of evaluations for VR customers.

An endorsement by senior management of competitive job placements with good wages
for individuals with severe disabilities with clear targets established for all offices on all
five performance measures.

Effectively utilizing Employment Services Organizations (ESOs) to maximize services.
Specifically, implementing the CARF accreditation program; continuing the Free Market
Rate Pilot Project; working towards a pilot performance-based funding system;
continuing to use the full range of supported employment models; and assisting ESOs in
obtaining Essential and Advanced Employment Specialist training.
The increased provision of specialized services, particularly personal assistance services,
ESO services for deaf consumers, availability of long term employment support services,
and supported employment services for persons with brain injury.

Service improvements at WWRC that resulted in improved employment outcomes and
increased census at the Center.

Explanation of the Factors that Impeded Achievement of the Goals

For FFY 99, DRS had a target to initiate 6,788 employment plans with VR consumers
and achieved 6,752 initiated plans. This minor difference was due to a couple of factors.
First, the employment plans target was based on a preliminary estimate of the number of
plans that would need to be initiated for every consumer who achieved a successful
employment outcome. Since this time, we have learned that we require fewer employment
plans to be initiated to reach our desired employment outcome goals. Second, through
staff development programs, our counselors have developed more expertise and become
more proficient in successful plan development. Therefore, fewer initiated plans were
needed to meet the overall goal for successful VR case closures.

For FFY 99, DRS achieved 97% of the target for serving persons with severe disabilities
through the Extended Employment Services (EES) program. DRS’ achievement of this
target was affected due to budget shortfall in EES funds. The current funding deficit
prevents the ESOs from continuing to add new customers. Also, because of the increase
in Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) funding, the ESOs aggressively
sought LTESS and avoided EES. Later in the year with the knowledge of the additional
$1.75 million in LTESS, the ESOs started preparing for the FY2000 by adding customers
to LTESS. DRS is currently seeking approval to revise this performance measures to
capture our achievements in both EES and LTESS. It is believed that this would more
accurately reflect our performance in the area of support services to individuals with
significant disabilities.

For SFY 99, DRS had a target to serve 1020 clients in vocational evaluation services at
WWRC. The actual performance for the period was 992. One of the issues leading to the
performance in vocational evaluation services was the 40% to 50% vacancy rate among
vocational evaluators that persisted many months extending into the performance cycle.
Aggressive recruiting resulted in filling all but one of the vacant positions. However,
WWRC was then faced with having to orient new employees who needed training prior to
being able to accommodate a full caseload. In addition, the vocational evaluation
department at WWRC is being restructured to improve program quality.

Achievement Under the Standards and Indicators

The Standards and Indicators for the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 have not
yet been published. As a result, this section will be completed at a later date.

Preceding Year’s Innovation and Expansion Activities
The following describes DRS’ use of Innovation and Expansion funds:

Piloting vendorships for job placement.

DRS used vendorships with community rehabilitation programs to increase placement
opportunities for VR consumers. The payments for the vendorships were based on
outcomes in placements and milestones up to 120 days after placement.

Sponsoring workshops for state agencies and working with other disability agencies to
develop methods to support the hiring of persons with disabilities in state government.

An agency leadership study group is developing recommended implementation
procedures for workshops for other state agencies on the hiring of people with
disabilities. The group will be making its recommendations in the Spring, 2000. DRS also
has been working with the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped (DVH) to
sponsor training opportunities for students at Norfolk State University, a historically
Black university, to attract graduate students from the university into VR positions at
DRS and DVH.

Funding half of the Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS) Creative Initiative
Awards, for systems-change activities to benefit VR customers, especially outreach to
unserved and underserved disability populations.

These funds were not expended because VATS received only one application from a
community organization and the application did not respond to the criteria for selection
and, therefore, was not advanced to the next level of review.

In partnership with Centers for Independent Living (CILs), ESOs, and other community
providers, establishing a pool of trained professionals who can provide life skills and
behavior intervention services to VR customers with brain injury and challenging
behaviors.

In 1998, the first statewide Life Skills Trainer (LST) program was conducted. Of the 75
people who attended, 35 chose to pursue the requirements for a "Certificate of
Completion" and over 25 certificates were awarded. The second training, conducted in
October, 1999, had an attendance of 80 people, 25 of whom have chosen to pursue a
certificate. Since 1998, eight vendors of LST services have been approved. Due to the
time and labor intensive nature of developing and conducting the LST program, the
agency decided not to conduct a separate program for behavior intervention specialists.
One of the LST program components includes presentations on addressing challenging
behaviors. A competent Life Skills trainer will conduct with a behavior specialist, as
appropriate, when providing LST services to DRS customers.

Continuing contracts with selected CILs to provide pre-placement and employment
support during the VR process between placement and case closure.
DRS continued to improve vendor and contractual arrangements with the CILs to provide
support for customers in the VR process through placement support and computer
training support.

Developing document-imaging sites where images can be scanned and stored into
databases, and exploring converting stored documents to electronic media.

DRS has established two pilot sites for document-imaging – Richmond/Henrico field
office and WWRC preadmissions. The pilots will provide the agency with the
opportunity to assess the feasibility of the software and help refine application system
requirements.

Improving the VRIS system to make it more user-friendly and continuing to devise a
long-range plan for converting the entire VRIS database to a user-friendly system.

DRS has established user teams and defined a schedule for the requirements definition of
a new system. The agency anticipates the release of a Request for Proposals to contract
for the new system in the Summer, 2000.

Adding a third Employment Resource Center within the Roanoke City Enterprise Zone,
in the Lincoln Terrace Training Center, to provide career exploration and job seeking
skills to minority youth and adults, as well as renewing the part-time Program Support
Technician Senior position responsible for the Center’s operations. This position offers
job search assistance, resume-writing assistance, and classes in job seeking/keeping skills
and life skills. The funds will also support (i.e., phone lines and office equipment) the
volunteer coordinator position provided through the Blue Ridge Independent Living
Center in Roanoke. The Employment Resource Center will serve the Roanoke City
Enterprise Zone.

DRS has added a third center and has continued with the necessary staff position to
support the Center’s operations.

Operating the toll-free number that provides 24-hour recorded information (on
employment, assistive technology, rights, higher education, independent living, and
financial assistance) and an option during business hours to speak with an information
and referral specialist.

DRS continues to support the toll-free number information system. The agency has
aggressively marketed the system with posters and bookmarkers. The listing of the
number also has been placed in the State’s telephone books.

Continuing to research and implement distance learning options for instructional
purposes and exploring possible community based partnerships for instructional delivery.

Several exploratory efforts are underway to identify funds and systems that enable
distance learning, telemedicine, interpreting for the deaf and evaluation of our
consumers. Through the Rehabilitation Center Consortium, a project with the federal
government was demonstrated at WWRC in February, 2000 to determine its feasibility
for full incorporation in service delivery. The agency is also pursuing a grant through
through the Department of Education called "Learning Anywhere, Anytime" that will
support distance education.



Providing outreach to persons with disabilities who are minorities by offering graduate
and post-graduate internship experiences for minority students who are matriculating or
have matriculated from the Norfolk State University graduate program in Severe
Disabilities.

The internship program with Norfolk State University has continued and DRS and DVH
have sponsored 6-8 student interns each year and DRS has placed up to 6 master’s
graduates in year long training opportunities each year.

Continue to support the development of a community-based approach to brain injury
services by contributing to the development of a brain injury clubhouse in Richmond,
Virginia.

The Choice Group in Richmond, Virginia was awarded $100,000 a year for two years to
establish and operate the first clubhouse for people with brain injuries in the State. The
clubhouse is located in Richmond and currently has 18 members.

Providing financial and staff support to the State Rehabilitation Council and the
Statewide Independent Living Council.

DRS continued to provide financial and staff support to the State Rehabilitation Council
and the Statewide Independent Living Council.

Issue mini-grants through a Request for Proposal process to existing and new community
partners to provide transportation resources to increase the access to VR services for VR
customers. The grants will average between $5,000 to $15,000.

An agency leadership study group is developing recommended implementation
procedures to provide non-traditional transportation resources for VR consumers. The
group will be making its recommendations in the Spring, 2000.

Presently, the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) is assisting in the purchase
of surplus state vehicles for TANF recipients in rural areas to aid in their employment
capabilities. DRS will explore the feasibility of collaborating with the DSS on vehicle
purchases for TANF recipients who are VR consumers in rural areas. DRS' participation
could help expand this program to more TANF recipients, specifically those who are or
will be entering the VR program.
The agency has not been able to progress on this activity as there are not sufficient TANF
recipients who VR consumers in rural areas.

Explore the feasibility of collaborating with a community partner, to create an assistive
technology demonstration site for staff and public information and education. The site
would encompass the rehabilitation engineering fabrication activities and the WWRC
satellite computer accommodation laboratory as well as showcase assistive technology
devices. The demonstration site would be used by VR staff and consumers in the
development of assistive technology services and would provide a central location
opportunity for current and potential employers and community partners to experience
the value, capabilities, and alternatives of assistive technology for individuals people with
disabilities.

A workgroup consisting of experts on assistive technology has pursued the potential
design of the demonstration center.

Partner with Centers for Independent Living or ESOs to serve as vendors for the
provision of computer assistive technology training for VR consumers under a fee-for-
service arrangement. DRS' commitment will be the purchase of equipment and training
services to afford this training to VR consumers. DRS will utilize a "train the trainer"
approach in working with the individuals identified by the CILs and ESOs who will be
providing the computer assistive technology training to VR customers.

DRS has purchased and installed computers for eight CILs and has provided assistive
technology training for CIL staff at WWRC. DRS plans to provide follow-up training for
the staff.

DRS operates a state funded program to provide personal assistance services (PAS) to
Virginians with disabilities who meet the program eligibility requirements. The eligible
individuals are people with most significant disabilities who require PAS to live
independently. The program is presently operating with a waiting list of approximately
115 individuals, some of whom (10 to 12) could be eligible for VR services with proper
assistance. Accordingly, DRS plans to collaborate with the CILs to provide prevocational
training and assistance to individuals on the PAS waiting list who, with this training and
assistance, could benefit from VR services. DRS will support the identified individuals
from the PAS waiting list with PAS services and contract with the CILs to provide the
prevocational training for these individuals.

Due to a five-month vacancy in the VR PAS Coordinator position, no progress has yet
been made to identify individuals on the State-funded PAS waiting list who could be
eligible for VR services with supports.

A gap in the supported employment system for individuals who are deaf and hard of
hearing is interpreter accessibility. DRS plans to expand its supported employment
system to these individuals by working with the ESOs to train job coaches in sign
language skills or interpreters to serve as job coaches.
This pilot program has been provided over the last four years. DRS plans to evaluate the
program to determine whether this program should continue.

DRS is in the developmental stage of a program to support VR consumers seeking to
establish self-employment enterprises (SEE) as a vocational outcome. The expansion of
this program will provided needed assistance to consumers and VR counselors in support
of their SEE plan. DRS plans to contract with an individual knowledgeable in small
business development, especially micro-loan development, to assist DRS in improving its
SEE policy, providing assistance to VR consumers in the development of their SEE plans
and securing private funding for the proposed enterprise, and developing a loan-funding
mechanism to provide venture capital for VR consumers whose vocational goal is self-
employment.

DRS has reallocated a position to carry out the SEE project rather than contracting for
all the activities. The agency, however, has contracted for business plan development
skills and plans to expand services with an additional vendor.

Begin a pilot "Milestones" project to establish a supported employment fee structure
based on successful consumer outcomes. With this new measure, participating ESOs will
be held more accountable for their activities with VR consumers. The initial Innovation
and Expansion cost will be for training programs to prepare the participating ESOs for
this new fiscal and programmatic arrangement.

DRS has provided training to staff of the ESOs on outcome-based systems. The agency
has developed a Milestones Workgroup to develop the project with the pilot to begin in
the Fall, 2000.

Explore the feasibility of expanding its program of working with the Virginia Department
of Education to assist students in transition from school to work. Under the proposed
program, DRS would collaborate with local schools or groups of schools, who are
interested in increasing the availability of rehabilitation services in their schools, to
provide "Transition Liaison" staff in the schools. These staff positions would provide
services to include vocational evaluation, career exploration, job seeking skills, job
retention skills (including social and behavioral skills), consultation with teachers and
family members, information documentation, and attendance at IEP meetings.

DRS has begun the process of negotiating these positions with several local schools.
Continuation of this activity will be decided based on funding availability.

WWRC continues to serve persons with spinal cord injuries. Based on research through
19 focus groups across the state, the need for WWRC to expand the spinal cord injury
services was documented. Accordingly, funding will be provided to WWRC for a Spinal
Cord Injury Program Manager to expand and enhance the spinal cord injury program to
better meet the needs of VR consumers.

The implementation of this activity has been delayed due to funding constraints.
                                    ATTACHMENT 4.16(b)(2)

                             Mediation and Impartial Due Process Hearing

Assurance: This attachment contains the procedures for mediation; the procedures for review through an
impartial due process hearing; and, the procedures to seek an impartial review of the decision of the
hearing officer, including the standards for reviewing decisions of an hearing officer, if the designated
State agency has elected to implement such review procedures.




Consumer Appeals System and Cost

The consumer appeals system consists of four avenues: an informal administrative
review, the Client Assistance Program (CAP) through the Department for Rights of
Virginians with Disabilities, mediation, and a fair hearing. The consumer is not charged
for the mediator’s/fair hearing officer’s fee and expenses or for reasonable
accommodation, such as an interpreter for the deaf. The consumer may be reimbursed for
personal transportation costs to and from the mediation/fair hearing location and any pre-
hearing conference location. The consumer, at his/her own cost, may obtain
representation from an attorney or other advocate during the appeals process. DRS shall
not institute a suspension, reduction or termination of services planned and initiated
(including evaluation and assessment services and plan development), unless the
consumer or consumer’s representative requests it or unless the service has been obtained
through misrepresentation, fraud, collusion, or criminal conduct on the part of the
consumer or the consumer’s representative.

Consumer Notification of Consumer Appeals System

The consumer is notified, in writing and using appropriate modes of communication, of the four avenues of
appeal (including the availability of CAP), the names and addresses of individuals to contact, and the right
to proceed directly to a fair hearing. Notification is made at the time of application; an ineligibility
determination; development of the Individualized Employment Plan and any substantial amendment; the
annual Employment Plan review; service reduction, suspension or termination; and when the consumer and
the counselor cannot reach a mutually acceptable decision regarding any aspect of the consumer’s
vocational rehabilitation (including a mediation meeting or decision of an informal administrative review.)

Informal Administrative Review

DRS continues to elect, as is our option under federal law and regulations, to provide an informal
administrative review as an avenue of consumer appeal. In an informal administrative review, the
supervisor works with the consumer and the counselor to assist them in resolving the disputed issue(s).




Mediation

Mediation services may be requested at any time during the rehabilitation process, not just when a fair
hearing is requested. However, the issue must have risen unresolved through the supervisor’s office.
Participation in mediation is voluntary. Therefore, the applicant/consumer and DRS must both agree that
mediation is an appropriate avenue for resolving the specific issues and jointly submit a written request.
Mediation cannot be used to delay, deny or appeal a fair hearing. The DRS appeals coordinator maintains a
pool of mediators who meet federal qualification requirements. The mediator is responsible for scheduling
a date, time and place convenient to both parties; obtaining necessary intake information; explaining the
mediation process and the roles and responsibilities of the participants and mediator to both parties;
facilitating the mediation meeting; and notifying the appeals coordinator (for RSA reporting purposes)
whether a written agreement was reached. The applicant/consumer may bring a representative to the
mediation meeting and may submit evidence and information to support the position of the
applicant/consumer in the mediation session. Discussions that occur during the mediation process are
confidential, are not included in the case file, and cannot be used in any subsequent fair hearing or civil
proceeding. The parties are required to sign a confidentiality pledge before the mediation. If the parties
resolve the issues through meditation, the agreement shall be put in writing, signed by both parties, and
maintained in the case file.

Fair Hearing

Upon receipt of a written request for a fair hearing, the DRS appeals coordinator randomly selects a fair
hearing officer from a pool of qualified and impartial hearing officers. The fair hearing officers are
identified jointly by the State Rehabilitation Council and DRS and meet federal qualification requirements.
Both parties may submit written information to the hearing officer before the hearing and up to seven
calendar days after the hearing. Ex parte communication is not allowed and each party receives a copy of
the written material submitted by the other party. The hearing officer schedules the hearing for a date
within the 45-day federal time period to complete the hearing. Within 30 calendar days after the hearing is
completed, the hearing officer mails a written decision, including the grounds for the decision, to the
individual (and individual’s representative, if any) and DRS Commissioner. This decision becomes the
final decision and is implemented within 30 calendar days of the decision date, unless one of the parties
requests a review.

Review of Fair Hearing Officer Decision

Virginia has elected, as is our option under the Rehabilitation Act, to establish a process
to have the hearing officer’s decision reviewed by a designated official from the
Governor’s office. Within 20 calendar days after the date of the hearing officer’s written
decision, either party may submit a written request for review. DRS forwards the fair
hearing record to the reviewing official and both parties may submit additional relevant
information in writing for the reviewing official’s consideration. Within 30 calendar days
of the request, the reviewing official sends a final written decision, including the grounds
for the decision, to the individual (and individual’s representative, if any) and DRS
Commissioner. The reviewing official’s decision is final unless either party brings a civil
action.

Standards for Review of Fair Hearing Officer Decision

When conducting the review, the reviewing official shall ensure that the fair hearing officer’s decision
complies with the approved DRS state plan, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, federal
vocational rehabilitation regulations, state law and regulations, and agency policies and procedures which
are consistent with federal requirements, and the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.

The review will consider all relevant issues of fact, law and written procedures.

If the review issue involves questions of federal law, regulation or procedures, the reviewing official may
consult with appropriate federal officials and consider their interpretations.
If the review issue involves questions of state law, regulation or procedures, the reviewing official may
consult with the Office of the Attorney General and consider its interpretation.

The reviewing official’s review shall provide the individual (or if appropriate, the individual’s parent,
guardian or other representative) and DRS an opportunity to submit additional written evidence and
information relevant to the final decision.

The reviewing official, as a result of the review, may affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the fair
hearing officer in whole or in part or refer or remand the case to the fair hearing officer for further
proceedings.

The review may result in reversing or remanding the decision of the fair hearing officer when the record of
hearing or decision contains one or more of the following, and the decision is found to be:

(1) In violation of constitutional, statutory, regulatory, or written policy provisions;

(2) In excess of the statutory authority of the agency;

(3) Made upon unlawful procedures;

(4) Affected by other errors of law, regulation, or written policy;

(5) Not reasonably supported by the evidence; or

(6) Arbitrary, capricious, or characterized by abuse of, or clearly unwarranted, exercise of discretion.

The reviewing official shall not overturn or modify a decision, or part of a decision, of a fair hearing officer
that supports position of the individual unless the reviewing official concludes, based on clear and
convincing evidence, that the decision of the fair hearing officer is clearly erroneous on the basis of being
contrary to the approved DRS state plan, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, federal
vocational rehabilitation regulations, or state regulations or agency policies which are consistent with
federal requirements.

                                         ATTACHMENT 4.2(c)

  Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council;
 Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or
                                Recommendations

Assurance: This attachment provides a summary of input provided by the Council,
including recommendations from the annual report of the Council, the review and
analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other reports prepared by the Council; the
response of the agency to the input and recommendations; and explanations for the
rejection of any input or recommendations.



Advice provided by the Council
The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) provides the following advice to the Virginia
Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) on the State Plan for Vocational
Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment Services:

Enhance the services provided to people with disabilities in Virginia by:

Strengthening the provision of personal assistance services (PAS).

Strengthening the provision of assistive technology (AT) services.

Continuing to work with consumers, community-based organizations, and other federal,
state, and local agencies to develop additional resources for deaf consumers.

Continuing to work with consumers, community-based organizations, and other federal,
state, and local agencies to develop additional resources for persons with brain injury.

Continue working to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in the vocational
training and employment services provided under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
by:

Strengthening its relationships, both with the agencies and programs consolidated by
WIA and with other federal, state, and local agencies and programs, through cooperative
agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).

Continuing to support and encourage agency field staff in their participation in local-level
planning and implementation of the one-stop system.

Helping to bring about the appointment of people with disabilities and their advocates to
the local Workforce Investment Boards and Youth Councils.

Developing methods to continue the provision of transition services to youth, and to
encourage early referral of students to DRS.

Enhance the two-way communication between DRS, the SRC, and the public, by:

Continuing to work with consumers, other state agencies, and community-based
organizations to increase awareness of the services available in Virginia for people with
disabilities.

Developing a more innovative and effective system for obtaining public input.

DRS response

DRS is committed, not only to improving and expanding the agency’s own services to
people with disabilities, but also to working with consumers, community-based
organizations, and other federal, state, and local agencies, to develop additional resources
for consumers. Specific areas of program improvement and expansion are detailed below.

Enhancing the services provided to people with disabilities in Virginia

Strengthening the provision of PAS: In addition to providing a pay increase in May 1999
for personal assistants in the consumer-directed PAS program, DRS has also added 45
consumers to the state-funded PAS program since July 1999. DRS has a position
designated to provide training and technical assistance to VR counselors on PAS for VR
consumers. The staff person currently in this position is a former VR counselor herself,
and is developing a packet of information for VR counselors to use as a resource in the
provision of Title I-funded PAS services. Also, as a result of a recently-completed PAS
program review, the PAS program manager is developing strategies to update the
program’s business practices, information materials, and training programs.

Strengthening the provision of AT: DRS has recently concluded an extensive training
program for VR staff on assistive technology. This training program, developed and
implemented by DRS AT experts, was well-received by staff throughout the agency, and
there are plans to provide further training to staff in the form of periodic updates on AT
development. Also, a module on AT has been added to the agency’s two-week New
Counselor Skills Training (NCST) program.

DRS is also exploring the feasibility of collaborating with a community partner to create
an assistive technology demonstration site for staff and public information and education
(see Attachment 4.12(d)). This demonstration site would be used by VR staff and
consumers in the development of assistive technology services, and would provide a
central location for current and potential employers and community partners to
experience the value, capabilities, and alternatives of assistive technology for individuals
people with disabilities.

DRS has also collaborated with eight Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout
the state in the provision of computer AT training for VR consumers under a fee-for-
service arrangement (see Attachment 4.12(e)). DRS purchased and installed computers
for the eight CILs, and included CIL staff in the recently-completed AT training program.
DRS plans to provide follow-up training for these staff.

Developing additional resources for deaf consumers: Ongoing efforts to develop
additional resources for the deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) include

continuing funding for interpreter services designed to ensure customer accessibility to
the classroom, through a joint venture between DRS and two Virginia community
colleges (New River Community College and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College);

continuing to enhance supported employment services for individuals who are deaf by
working with Employment Services Organizations (ESOs) to train job coaches in sign
language skills or interpreters to serve as job coaches;
working with the Postsecondary Education Consortium (PEC) and its affiliates to provide
training and technical assistance statewide in support of PEPNet, the national
collaboration of the four Regional Postsecondary Education Centers for Individuals who
are Deaf and Hard of Hearing; and

collaborating with the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH)
to provide funding for interpreter services for consumers accessing services at the CILs.

Developing additional resources for persons with brain injury: In partnership with CILs,
ESOs, and other community providers, DRS has established a pool of trained
professionals who can provide life skills and behavior intervention services to VR
customers with brain injury and challenging behaviors. Since 1998, when the first
statewide Life Skills Trainer (LST) program was conducted, eight vendors of LST
services have been approved (see Attachment 4.12(e)).

DRS has also supported the development of a community-based approach to brain injury
services through a two-year contract to establish and operate the first clubhouse for
people with brain injuries in the State. The clubhouse is located in Richmond and
currently has 18 members (see Attachment 4.12(e)).

Ensuring inclusion of people with disabilities in the WIA System

Strengthening relationships: DRS recognizes the importance and necessity of
collaborating with other community partners in order to provide vocational rehabilitation
services effectively and to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in the programs
and services provided under WIA. As noted in Attachment 4.9(c), DRS has established
successful cooperative relationships and agreements with many partners, including local
education entities, CILs, ESOs, local Community Services Boards, the Virginia
Intercommunity Transition Council (VITC), the State Council of Higher Education, and
other state agencies (including the Department of Education (DOE), VDDHH, and the
Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services). DRS
will build on these relationships through the programs and services described in this State
Plan.

DRS has been an active participant in the planning and development of vocational
training and employment services to be provided through the WIA system in Virginia.
DRS staff served on several policy advisory groups involved in the development of
Virginia's Unified Plan for WIA, and have provided input on the final draft of this plan.
DRS will continue to be an active partner in the further development and implementation
of WIA, both at the state and local levels.

Supporting VR staff in planning for implementation of the one-stop system: All VR local
office managers are knowledgeable of WIA. They have just completed training on the
establishment of MOUs with the local Workforce Investment Boards, which will have
responsibility for designing and implementing the WIA one-stop centers. Further training
will focus on providing staff with the skills they will need to work collaboratively with
WIA partners, to help ensure the effectiveness of the system in providing employment
services to consumers with disabilities. Newly-hired staff will receive information
regarding the provisions of the WIA, and its implementation in Virginia, during the
NCST program.

Appointment of people with disabilities to local Boards and Youth Councils: In
collaboration with DOE, DRS plans to utilize VITC, the Transition Forum and other
venues to increase awareness and understanding of the Youth Councils that will be part
of the local Boards established under the WIA system. DRS is encouraging disability
professionals, consumers and advocacy groups to submit applications for appointment to
the local Youth Councils. DRS also encourages SRC members to take an active role in
ensuring that people with disabilities secure appointments to the local boards.

Developing methods to enhance the provision of transition services: As detailed in
Attachment 4.9(c), DRS continues to work collaboratively with DOE, as well as other
state and local agencies, organizations and individuals, to address the needs of students in
transition. Also, as described in Attachment 4.12(d), DRS is exploring the feasibility of
working with DOE to develop a program to provide "Transition Liaison" staff in local
school divisions. These staff positions would provide services to include vocational
evaluation, career exploration, job seeking skills, job retention skills (including social and
behavioral skills), consultation with teachers and family members, information
documentation, and attendance at IEP meetings.

Enhancing communication between DRS, the SRC, and the public

DRS understands that it has an important role to play in communicating information of
interest and importance to VR customers and other people with disabilities. In addition to
traditional written materials, such as press releases, fliers, and brochures, DRS regularly
uses electronic media, including e-mail, HandiNet, and its Internet Web Site to
disseminate important information in a timely fashion and to reach as wide an audience
as possible. DRS also recognizes the importance of maintaining good communications
with the SRC. To that end, the agency continues to raise major agency planning and
implementation issues at SRC meetings, and communicates critical issues that may arise
in the interim through mailings, faxes, and e-mail to Council members. DRS staff will
continue to provide reports to the SRC committees to keep them apprised of
developments that are occurring, the impact of policy changes, and steps that the agency
has taken to address the advice and guidance given by the SRC members.

Increasing awareness of the services available in Virginia for people with disabilities: As
a result of Governor Gilmore’s Executive Order 51 (Implementing Certain
Recommendations by the Governor's Commission on Information Technology), DRS is
developing plans for delivering current and expanded services through the Internet. This
year, DRS placed its VR Policies and Procedures Manual on the Internet to provide
public access to these policies. In the coming year, more information will be placed on
the agency's Web Site to provide customers with information on agency activities and
events, and to provide easier access to agency services. The agency is also working to
expand its marketing activities to increase awareness of agency services throughout the
state, for both people with disabilities and other agency customers, including employers.

Developing a more innovative and effective system for obtaining public input: DRS has
begun to make greater use of existing advisory groups, public meetings, and annual
events (such as the Transition Forum) to seek public input throughout the year for agency
planning and program development. DRS will continue to look for opportunities to
coordinate with other agencies and organizations when scheduling public meetings

                               ATTACHMENT 4.12(d)(3)

     Methods to Overcome Identified Barriers Relating to Equitable Access and
                                  Participation

This attachment describes the strategies the designated State agency will use to 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.

The Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) ensures equitable access to and
participation of individuals in its vocational rehabilitation and supported employment
programs. The following are the steps taken by DRS to overcome the identified barriers
to equitable access and participation:

Collaborating with federal, state, and local agencies and programs to assist in providing
comprehensive and effective services.

Working closely with numerous advisory councils and committees to improve services
and service delivery.

Conducting a needs assessment of Virginians with disabilities to determine their
rehabilitation needs and utilizing information from assessments conducted by other state
entities to assess the needs of Virginians with disabilities. Ensuring that the design of the
needs assessment ensure equitable access to all individuals with disabilities.

Ensuring that vendors of services comply with appropriate laws and regulations regarding
equitable access.

Reviewing policies and procedures to ensure equitable access to, and participation of,
individuals with disabilities in the agency's programs.

Ensuring that DRS' financial participation policy is applied uniformly to all individuals in
similar circumstances.

Publicizing meetings of the State Rehabilitation Council and DRS public hearings to
solicit input from all individuals with disabilities on the agency's programs and services.
Continuing to strengthen the provision of personal assistance services and assistive
technology services to persons with disabilities.

Conducting a consumer satisfaction survey with of a random sample of approximately
400 consumers who have completed their VR program to obtain detailed information
about satisfaction with DRS and utilizing information from almost thirty different studies
conducted by and for DRS on consumer satisfaction of agency and local programs.
Ensuring that the survey procedures are designed to ensure equitable access for all
participants.

Publicizing that DRS does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of gender,
race, national origin, color, disability, or age and enforcing this provision.

Continuing to develop outreach activities and programs for minority youth and adults.

Continuing to provide access to vocational rehabilitation field offices throughout the
state.

Ensuring that all offices and locations for public meetings are accessible to persons with
disabilities.

Providing having vocational rehabilitation staff who specialize in deaf caseloads and
other employees who can communicate in sign language. The agency also has staff who
are Spanish speaking where the population requires that skill to communicate with
consumers.

Utilizing a mobile computer accommodation laboratory to perform assessments and
evaluations in differing parts of the state, on a regulator and as needed basis.

Providing transportation services to consumers in referral status to better enable them to
apply for vocational rehabilitation services.

In the 1998-2000 State Plan, DRS identified specialty service units and/or areas that have
staff with expertise in serving individuals with significant disabilities and most
significant disabilities, and described their plans and activities for improving and
expanding services to these individuals. The FY99 State Plan provided an additional
update on the activities occurring regarding these plans. Many of these activities, which
have not been concluded, are continuing.

Personal Assistance Services

An internal audit indicated that it is often difficult for persons with the most significant
disabilities to obtain and retain the quality personal assistance services that are often
necessary for entering and maintaining employment. Therefore, DRS increased the
hourly rate of pay for personal assistance services with the expectation that this will allow
persons with disabilities to hire the best candidates for their needs and be able to retain
these persons as assistants.

Individuals with Substance Abuse

DRS entered into a collaborative agreement with the Department of Mental Health,
Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS) to provide enhanced
services to VR consumers with substance abuse. Under the cooperative arrangement,
DMHMRSAS will provide DRS with financial resources and positions for 12 additional
VR counselors to assist VR consumers served in the local Community Services Boards.



Students in Transition

DRS continues to provide leadership in transition in collaboration with the Virginia
Department of Education (DOE), and other state and local agencies, organizations and
individuals. Specific activities to address the needs of students in transition include:

Continuing to provide staff support and programmatic leadership to Virginia's
Intercommunity Transition Council (VITC) and seeking to promote, in collaboration with
VITC, participation of underrepresented agencies, service providers, and
community/advocacy groups in VITC.

Continuing to collaborate with VITC, DOE, the State Council of Higher Education,
AHEAD and other partners in the development of statewide guidelines for Disability
Documentation at the post-secondary level and the improvement of transition form
secondary to post-secondary institutions.

Continuing to promote collaboration with DOE, the Department for the Visually
Handicapped, the Department of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Virginia Assistive
Technology System, and the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center and other interested
partners in the pursuit of increasing the appropriate utilization of assistive technology for
students with disabilities in Virginia.

Pursuing creative solutions and collaborations that will lead to improved outcomes for
youth at risk of early school exit due to the increase in academic standards in Virginia.

Pursuing creative models of providing Learning Disability Assessment and screening for
TANF recipients.

Continuing to coordinate Virginia's Transition Forum, a yearly statewide training event
planned and sponsored in collaboration with DOE and several related professional
associations, and promoting and implementing regional school counselor meetings.
Producing a Transition Newsletter via e:mail for agency staff with examples of current
legislative information, best practices and problem solving.

Looking to expand the Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT)
Program statewide to all 136 school divisions.

Continuing to provide the Youth in Transition service line to supplement and enhance
services to high school youth enrolled at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center.

Beginning in August, 1999, the PERT Program will initiate a two-year training institute
at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center to provide a series of workshops designed
to enhance staff skill in providing services to students with disabilities and youth in
transition.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A gap in the supported employment system for individuals who are deaf and hard of
hearing is interpreter accessibility. DRS plans to extend its supported employment system
to these individuals by working with the Employment Services Organizations to train job
coaches in sign language skills or interpreters to serve as job coaches.

Brain Injury

The Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center is enhancing community integration services
for consumers with brain injury through community based linkages for long term
successful employment and independent living. An employment specialist and transition
specialist have been hired to ensure successful community reintegration and contracts
have been implemented with community providers for life skills coaches to work with
our WWRC consumers when they return home. Frequent face to face interaction with VR
field counselors is required of each Brain Injury Services counselor to ensure
communication and service to consumers.

The development of a plan for training for community providers as life skills trainers to
work with DRS consumers with traumatic brain injury has taken precedence over the
training of providers to serve as behavioral consultants.

A preliminary review of the utilization data for the purchase of cognitive rehabilitation
services has been conducted. This utilization data review is looking at trends regarding
the purchase of these services.

VR staff has received training in the new process for the purchase of psychological
services. Including in this training was the purchase of neuropsychological services.

                               ATTACHMENT 6.9(c)(2)

                          Services Subject to Financial Needs
Assurance: This attachment identifies services for which there is a financial needs test.



Services Subject to Customer Financial Participation Test

The following services provided by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
(DRS) are subject to a financial needs test:

maintenance, except when necessary for diagnostic and evaluation purposes

occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and Self Employment Enterprise initial stocks
(including livestock) and supplies

personal assistance services, except for diagnostic and evaluation purposes

physical and mental restoration

post-employment services

rehabilitation technology, including rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology,
except for diagnostic and evaluation purposes

services to family members

training (including supported employment) except on-the-job training and unpaid work
experience

transportation, except when necessary for diagnostic and evaluation purposes

other goods and services not specifically exempt

Services Exempt From Customer Financial Participation Test

The following services provided by DRS are not subject to a financial needs test:

diagnostic and evaluation services, including needs assessment for rehabilitation
technology services and personal assistance services*

vocational rehabilitation counseling, guidance, and referral*

job placement services*

on-the-job training

interpreter services or other communications accommodations*
unpaid work experience

services necessary to assist in the diagnostic and evaluation process, such as
transportation and maintenance

                                  ATTACHMENT 7.3

            Quality, Scope and Extent of Supported Employment Services

Assurance: This Attachment describes the quality, scope, and extent of supported
employment services to be provided to individuals with the most severe disabilities.



Quality of Community Rehabilitation Providers

The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) decided in September 1999 to
require national accreditation standards for the state’s Employment Services
Organizations (ESOs). In November of that year, an implementation plan requiring the
use of the national Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF) standards was
published, and is presently being followed. The CARF accreditation provides a host of
benefits to DRS as a state-funding source, as well as to DRS consumers, the SOS, and
taxpayers. In addition to assuring accountability and consistent quality levels, national
accreditation allows DRS to focus on program expansion and improvement in this era of
"rethinking and downsizing" of government. In the past, DRS have accepted CARF
accreditation in lieu of completing a state review of compliance. However, DRS will now
require CARF accreditation as the agency standard.

Extent of Services

DRS currently purchase services through 89 ESOs throughout the state. During FY 1999,
it is estimated these organizations provided vocational services to over 10,000
individuals. That same year DRS purchased $11,412,000 of vocational services from
these approved ESOs. Of that figure, DRS counselors spent $6,237,677 in basic VR time-
limited programming. The balance, $5,174,837 in state general funds, was spent on long-
term supports administered by DRS, after time-limited programming was completed.

Scope of Services.

The ESOs provide both time-limited and extended employment services, including:

 Vocational evaluation and situational assessment,

 Extended employment,

 Work adjustment training,
 Psychosocial rehabilitation services,

 Individual and group model supported employment services,

 Vocational skills training, and

 Vocationally related transportation services.

				
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