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                       2009 A NNUAL R EPORT
                       October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2009
Our Goal                                                  MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Raise the Employment Rate of People
with Disabilities to a Rate that is Equal     The NY State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is pleased to share this
to the Employment Rate of People              2009 Annual Report. Together, VESID and the State Rehabilitation
without Disabilities.                         Council have worked tirelessly over this past year to continue to
                                              push toward our goal of decreasing the employment gap for New
                                              Yorkers with disabilities.
Our Mission
                                              As you will note from our Committee activities, we have supported
The Council works to fulfill the intent of    VESID in developing a comprehensive plan for assessing ongoing
the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973,       needs within New York State, continued to support the
as amended. The Council works with            development, enhancement and assessment of existing vocational
the New York State Board of Regents,          rehabilitation policies, engaged employers and industry through
the Commissioner of Education, and            innovative approaches, and promoted the valued contribution that
the    Office     of   Vocational     and     employees with disabilities can make in the workplace.
Educational Services for Individuals
with Disabilities (VESID) with regard to      In 2010 we see many opportunities to embrace change, as well as
the      provision      of     vocational     explore new partnerships and approaches to achieving our
                                              mission. We welcome the anticipated contributions of our new
rehabilitation services.                      incoming Chair, Susan Dooha. New leadership, combined with the
Our Authority                                 continuing and compassionate commitment of Council members,
                                              will allow the Council to achieve our goal of
The Council was originally established
                                              supporting full participation of New Yorkers
by VESID in 1992 to fulfill the then new      with disabilities in all aspects of our society.
amendments         to   the       Federal
Rehabilitation Act. Those amendments
stressed enhanced responsiveness to           Thomas P. Golden, Chair
the consumers of service and greater          New York State Rehabilitation Council
accountability for state vocational
rehabilitation agencies to provide           STATE REHABILITATION COUNCIL MEMBERS
services.      Section 105 (of the
Amendments) created the State                Susan Barlow         Frank Graziano        Jeanne Ricigliano
Rehabilitation Council and reflected         Parent Rep           Former VR Recipient   Advocacy Rep
the expectation that state VR agencies
                                             Lisa Bayer           Howard Gross          Lisa Rosano
would be held accountable for the            CRP Rep              Business Rep          CAP Rep
delivery of services.
                                             Gregory Bell         Kathy Hoffman         Tamar Sherman
                                             Advocacy Rep         Advocacy Rep          VR Counselor
Our Duties
                                             Tina Conneely        Jason McDonald        Dora Lee Stanley
The Council performs a number of             CRP Rep              Section 121 Rep       CRC Rep
critical functions to improve VESID
service delivery.         Key functions      John DeCamilla       Joan McGovern         Francine Tishman
                                             Business Rep         Business Rep          CRP Rep
mandated         by      the     Federal
Rehabilitation Act include:        active    Susan Dooha          Ernestine McElvene    Doug Usiak
participation in the development of the      Advocacy Rep         CRP Rep               SILC Rep
State       Plan      for      Vocational
                                             Scott Ebner          Patricia McKay        Ex-Officio Members
Rehabilitation       and       Supported     Advocacy Rep         VR Counselor
Employment and annual amendments;                                                       Elaine Kost, DOL
conduct        statewide       consumer      Thomas Golden        Marianne Murphy       Rosemary Lamb, CQCAPD
                                             Advocacy Rep         Business Rep          Rob Noble, OMRDD
satisfaction    surveys      and    need
                                                                                        Nicholas Rose, DDPC
assessments, and contribute to the           Kyle Goodridge       Cynthia Printup-Harms Douglas Ruderman, OMH
development of substantive VESID             Business Rep         Advocacy Rep          Mary Ann Van Alstyne, CBVH
policy changes.
Policy and Planning                                                         Looking Forward to 2010
                                                                           PPC will provide input into the
During 2009, the Planning and Policy Committee (PPC) actively
engaged in all aspects of VESID’s policy development and                    State by assisting VESID in
implementation. The PPC lead the Council's efforts in critiquing            conducting focus groups of
proposed policy changes, implementation considerations and                  youth and underserved groups.
VESID’s policy planning process. The PPC reviewed and made
recommendations on VESID’s State Plan development from its                 PPC will serve as a partner in
inception to the final Plan. The Committee worked to ensure open
                                                                            VESID’s policy development
access and accessibility to VESID State Plan meetings and
recommended the use of targeted focus groups to broaden public              and monitor its impact.
comment. Members of the PPC were active participants on VESID
policy work teams formed to develop VESID policies in the following        PPC will collaborate with the
areas: Limited English Proficiency, Ticket to Work procedures,              SRC QAI to complete a
Technical Assistance Brief on Chemical Dependencies, Frequently             comprehensive        statewide
Asked Questions: Youth in School, Work Try Out and On the Job               assessment.
Training, Postsecondary Policies, Consumer Participation in the
Cost of Services Policy, Referral and Application. The PPC also
contributed to implementation of the Model Transition Program
(MTP) and the City University of New York’s Linking Employment
Academics and Disability Services (LEADS) initiative and Consumer
Involvement Training. The PPC members were fully engaged in the
development of vocational rehabilitation strategic priorities and
monitored policy implementation through a review of VESID data
and external sources. The PPC advanced recommendations as the
basis for the Council’s position on the reorganization of the State
Education Department and budget priorities. The PPC continues to
monitor VESID’s collaboration with the Veterans Administration and
Interagency Council on Deaf, Deaf/Blind and Hard of Hearing.
                                                                           Rebecca Cort, VESID Deputy Commissioner
                                                                           (right) presents a Media Advocate Award to
                                                                           Susan Arbetter, news correspondent WMHT
                                                                           (left) for her work highlighting the positive
Workforce Development                                                      experiences of New York employers in hiring
                                                                           of New Yorkers with disabilities.
The Workforce Development Committee (WDC) was extremely
active and benefited from the expertise of members representing
New York's public and private sector employers. One initiative             WDC will continue to support
included collaboration with a Public Broadcasting System affiliate          VESID initiatives that will lead to
WMHT-TV on the production of a “NY Now” segment that aired in
major markets statewide and featured employers of New Yorkers               increased employment of New
with disabilities. The featured employers discussed the value               Yorkers with disabilities.
workers with disabilities bring to their companies and the bottom
line. The WDC undertook a collaboration with Cornell University to         WDC will pursue opportunities
develop a web-based resource for employers who have hired, or are           to increase public awareness
interested in hiring, persons with disabilities as part of the NYS          and information dissemination
Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. In another multi-partner initiative, the
                                                                            through television programming
Committee facilitated VESID’s work with the Disability Business
Technical Assistance Center at Cornell University, and the New              and other media.
York State Rehabilitation Association in sponsoring partnership
training between providers and employers. The Committee also               WDC and Cornell will complete
partnered with VESID at employer recognition events throughout the           the    Employer               Resource
State as part of the National Disability Employment Awareness                Website.
Month (NDEAM).
                                   Paris is an engaging gentleman who is fulfilling his dream to work
 Meeting Consumer                  in a professional office. Upon graduation from a special education
                                   high school program in 1984, he began attending a local day
 Expectations                      habilitation center. Part of Paris’ day habilitation program included
       Member Bill                 a skills enrichment program. While there, Paris realized he
                                   wanted MORE. Although he enjoyed being with other people with
                                   disabilities, his goal was to be competitively employed, where he
                                   could make a contribution. The job Paris dreamed of meant
                                   working in a professional environment around people with and
                                   without disabilities.    Attention to detail along with excellent
                                   communication and self advocacy skills served as the foundation
                                   for Paris’ work in a professional environment.

                                   Paris found a way to pursue his dreams when his service
                                   coordinator referred him to the VESID Buffalo District Office. After
                                   extensive vocational counseling and guidance and on the strength
                                   of the independent vocational profile, the VESID counselor
                                   recognized Paris’ potential for success in community employment.
                                   VESID and his community rehabilitation program service
                                   coordinator worked with Paris to draft an individualized plan for
                                   employment to assist him in reaching his integrated supported
                                   employment goal. Supported employment assumes that all
                                   persons, regardless of their disability, have the capacity and
Paris Wanted More!                 should have the opportunity to engage in competitive employment
                                   with appropriate support services. Because Paris was already
                                   involved with Aspire of WNY, he and his VESID counselor decided
                                   that Specialized Support Services at Aspire would be the best
  Attention to detail along with   program for him. VESID coordinated these services until Paris
 excellent communication and       obtained suitable employment and was able to perform his
 self advocacy skills served as    assigned job duties independently.
 the foundation for Paris’ work
                                   Paris and his job developer decided to look for a job that would
in a professional environment.     involve working with people, utilize his organizational skills and
                                   was based in an environment where he could feel positive about
                                   himself. A number of job opportunities were considered before
                                   locating a position at the Assigned Counsel Program. The
                                   Assigned Counsel Program is a project of the Bar Association of
                                   Erie County. The Program coordinates the assignment of
                                   attorneys to represent individuals who are charged with a crime
                                   that could result in incarceration and who cannot afford to retain
                                   an attorney. During his interview, Paris impressed the employer
                                   with his sincere enthusiasm for being employed in a professional
                                   setting. He was subsequently offered a part time position as an
                                   office assistant assembling new case document packets,
                                   processing and delivering mail, shredding sensitive documents
                                   and maintaining the office. Paris’ organizational skills, precision
                                   and personality made him perfect for the job. Paris was delighted
                                   to be accepted as part of the Assigned Counsel team and he has
                                   been working there since 2001. Paris continues to enjoy his job
                                   and is seen as a valued employee. According to his job coach,
                                   Ellie Metzger, Paris was recently assigned a new responsibility as
                                   a courier of case documents to the various court buildings in
                                   downtown Buffalo.
Quality Assurance and Improvement                                       Looking Forward to 2010
 VESID provided data to the Quality Assurance and Improvement
(QAI) Committee on consumers who receive Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance          2010 Comprehensive Needs
(SSDI) and their service utilization patterns, average wages, and        Assessment - The QAI will
functional limitations. The QAI Committee recommended VESID              provide counsel and support
utilize these data to improve services and outcomes for these            for VESID in implementing a
consumers and as a means to improve VESID’s performance on               comprehensive needs assess-
RSA performance indicators. It is clear from the data that               ment based on the draft
SSI/SSDI beneficiaries earn less in average wages and cost more          guidelines published by RSA
for a successful outcome. Strategies to improve outcomes for this        by September 2010.
population were suggested which include:
                                                                        QAI will continue to pursue
    Increased use of benefits planning services;                        improved outcomes for the
    Analyzing data for services that are correlated with                SSI/SSDI      population   by
     successful closures for this population;                            strengthening the connection
    Using Consumer Satisfaction Surveys of closed cases to              between outcomes and best
     ask about whether SSI/SSDI beneficiaries are more or less           practices for counselors and
     satisfied than other recipients of public benefits; and             contractors     serving   this
    Utilize other sources of information about successful               population. Included in this
     practices with this population through wage reporting data          effort will be a focus on
     and surveys of District Managers and Counselors.                    pursuing data and guidelines
                                                                         around initiatives related to
The QAI Committee spent a considerable amount of time in 2008-           new Ticket to Work rules and
09 providing counsel and support to VESID on the next scheduled          Partnership Plus.
Comprehensive Needs Assessment. The Committee grappled
with the release of RSA guidelines that are complex and outlined        QAI will provide feedback and
new approaches available to VESID in conducting a statewide              advice on the design and
needs assessment.               QAI’s contribution focused on            implementation of the Vendor
recommendations that lead to a VESID needs assessment                    Report Card for Supported
process that can be replicated over time and is focused on future        Employment Services.
demand for services.           The Committee recommended that
assessments focus on the needs of consumers currently served in         QAI will explore with VESID
addition to traditional efforts to identify unserved and underserved     opportunities to combine data
populations.                                                             from disability agencies and
                                                                         VESID data. QAI would like to
As part of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment, the QAI                   move data collection and
Committee also recommended that Consumer Satisfaction                    quality improvement efforts
Surveys include not just closed cases but also opened consumer           from    an     emphasis     on
cases. Another recommendation focused on the importance of               regulatory compliance to a
assessing consumer satisfaction and needs at each stage of the           focus on the impacts of VESID
service delivery process. Data mining and data-based decision            services on people’s lives.
making would reveal trends and serve as the basis for future
quality improvements. Specifically, VESID was encouraged to
assess consumer satisfaction after an eligibility determination,
assessment, IPE development, and goal achievement.            In
addition, the QAI Committee provided counsel and support to
VESID on strategies for securing stakeholder input on the State
Plan. Finally, QAI had representation on the interagency Chapter
515 Supported Employment Workgroup that developed a process
for monitoring Supported Employment providers and their efforts
to assess consumer needs and satisfaction.
                                                    Data Reflects Our Success
                                                     & Needed Improvements
           Job Placements for VESID Consumers in Integrated Settings

 During FFY 2009 VESID showed a slight decline in placement of VESID consumers within
  integrated settings.

                               VR Performance Indicators
                                    FFY 2005 to FFY 2009

 In most cases, VESID exceeded performance indicators established by the Rehabilitation Services
  Administration with the exclusion of indicator 1.1, 1.2 and 1.5 which VESID is addressing through
  the State Plan.
 In most cases VESID exceeded performance indicators established by the Rehabilitation Services
  Administration with the exclusion of indicator 1.1, 1.2 and 1.5 which VESID is addressing through the
  State Plan.

  The overall number of youth with disabilities (individuals who applied for VESID VR services prior to
   age 22) increased significantly, by almost 3,000 individuals during 2009.

  Youth with disabilities now make up 44.4% of the total number of consumers served by the VR
   Program (who are eligible and/or receiving services). In 2009, this represented 26,717 individuals.

  In FFY 2009, youth who achieved an employment outcome (Status 26) was 34.6% of all employment
   outcomes, representing 4,202 individuals. This is an increase of 62 individuals when compared to the
   previous year.

  The increase in outcomes for youth, while small, is significant in a year where the overall employment
   outcomes for VESID consumers decreased. It is an indicator that changes in VESID policy and
   practice with transition age youth are having an impact on performance.
 Individuals with mental health diagnosis have consistently made up 19.5% of the total number of
  consumers served by the VR Program (who are eligible and/or receiving services). In 2009, this
  represented 11,717 individuals.

 The overall number of individuals with psychiatric disabilities who are eligible and/or engaged with a
  plan for employment increased by close to 1,000 additional persons during 2009.

 In FFY 2009, the percent of individuals with psychiatric disabilities who achieved an employment
  outcome (Status 26) was 18.6% of all employment outcomes, representing 2,261 individuals. This is a
  decrease of 175 individuals when compared to the previous year and mirrors an overall decrease in
  employment outcomes.
              Summary SSI/SSDI Consumers Served by VESID

         70,000                                               60,234
         30,000                     15,465
                                         13,236                        15,818
         20,000                                                                 12,151
         10,000                 28.1%             3,691             26.3%          3,216
                                             27.9%                               26.5%
                                  2008                               2009

                          Total Active Cases (10-24)
                          SSI/SSDI Active Cases (10-24)
                          Total Closed Rehabilitated (26)
                          SSI/SSDI Closed Rehabilitated (26)

 Individuals receiving SSI or DI comprised 26.5% of the total number of individuals served by the VR
  Program (who are eligible and/or receiving services). In 2009, this represented 15,818 individuals.

 The overall number of individuals receiving SSI or DI who are eligible and/or engaged with a plan for
  employment increased by more than 350 during 2009.

 In FFY 2009, the percent of individuals receiving SSI or DI who achieved an employment outcome
  (Status 26) was 26.5% of all employment outcomes, representing 3,216 individuals. This is a
  decrease of 475 individuals when compared to the previous year and mirrors an overall decrease in
  employment outcomes.

 On a positive note, the percentage of individuals receiving SSI or DI who are eligible and/or receiving
  services matched the percentage achieving employment outcomes, indicating that individuals may be
  achieving employment outcomes at a rate commensurate with their overall participation in VR
Characteristics of People Served
From October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009, VESID
served a total of 109,728 consumers.

   The largest percentage (78%) were working-age adults
    between the ages of 20-64 (n=85,240).

   Approximately one-fifth (n=23,554) of those served were
    of transition age (under the age of 20).

   Individuals classified as “most significantly disabled”
    represented over 55% of VESID’s caseload (n=60,748).
                                                              “From October 1, 2008
   59% of consumers served were male.
                                                              through September 30,
   41% of consumers served were female.
                                                              2009, VESID served a total
   2% percent of consumers served reported only
    elementary education or no formal schooling.              of 109,728 consumers.”
   31% of consumers reported having attended secondary
    school without receiving a diploma.

   Approximately 16% of individuals served came to
    VESID as special education students.

   Approximately 27% were high school graduates or had
    equivalency degrees.

   22% of consumers served          had   some   form   of
    postsecondary education.

   As outlined below, the ethnic and racial diversity of
    those who participate in VESID services reflect the
    unique diversity of the general population in New York

     29.1% Black or African-American
     13.3% Hispanic
     1.9% American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut
     2% Asian-American
     0.6% Pacific Islander

   15.1% of individuals served came to VESID as SSI
    recipients and 12.3% came to VESID as SSD

   2.0% of individuals served came to VESID as TANF
    recipients and 12.7% came to VESID as Safety Net
             The Council Seeks Your Input

                    REHABILITATION COUNCIL
                    YOU CAN CALL:               YOU CAN WRITE:

                    1.518.474.1711 (voice)      Chair, NYS Rehab Council
                    1.518.474.5652 (TTY)        One Commerce Plaza
                    1.800.222.JOBS              Room 1605
                                                Albany, New York
                    YOU CAN E-MAIL:             12234



                    All New York State Rehabilitation Council meetings and
                    forums are open to the public. Meetings are conducted
                    quarterly during the months of March, June, September
                    and December. Dates and location of meetings are
                    available online at:



                    Council members are appointed by the Board of Regents.
                    If you are interested in becoming a member of the
                    Council, please submit in writing to the address above to
                    the attention of the SRC Membership Committee Chair.
                    Please include your resume.

New York State Rehabilitation Council 2009 Annual Report

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