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2 Year Modification

Indiana PYs 2018-2019 Published

Located in:

d. 2. L. ii. Identify the Goals and Priorities in Carrying Out the Vr and Supported Employment Programs.

Current Narrative:

GOAL 1: Purposefully collaborate with the WIOA core programs and other appropriate agencies to provide a client-centered approach to service delivery to assist individuals with disabilities achieve their employment outcomes.

Priority 1.1: Develop a common understanding among WIOA core programs and other appropriate agencies (e.g., Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services and Department of Education) of Vocational Rehabilitation and the services it may provide to eligible consumers, in varying capacities, in order to provide integrated service delivery and improve employment outcomes for consumers. VR Leadership will continue discussions with appropriate agencies throughout FFY 2016 and develop and/or revise written agreements in FFY 2016.

Priority 1.2: Continue systems modernization efforts, including development of a web-based VR case management system to improve the efficiency and enhance the mobile working environment of VR field staff and enrich the data utilized by VR to make informed program decisions. The system will also ensure appropriate system integration and data-sharing to align resources, collect common consumer information, increase efficiencies, track effectiveness of the program, and ultimately to improve the consumer’s experience in VR in meeting his/her employment goal. Develop a project plan and process flow in FFY 2016 and begin design of a new case management system in FFY2017. Efforts toward system modernization will also include identifying strategies to streamline billing procedures and improve efficiency of staff time, such as exploration of an electronic vendor claims payment system. Strategies will be identified by FFY17 and implemented in FFY18.

Priority 1.3: Develop and enhance processes and procedures to ensure proper and consistent referrals to and from VR and WIOA core programs (and other appropriate programs) in order to maximize the service options and service delivery for individuals with disabilities. Develop and conduct cross-training for VR and DWD staff in FFY 2017.

Priority 1.4: Ensure VR staff is trained, highly knowledgeable, and are providing information on services across WIOA core programs, and other appropriate programs that may assist individuals with disabilities achieve their employment outcome. New staff will participate in both web-based and classroom-based training throughout, at minimum, the first year of employment.

Priority 1.5: Work in partnership with WIOA core programs to strategically enhance employer engagement and work-based learning opportunities for individuals with disabilities. This includes expanding VR employer engagement to develop appropriate disability-related information and resources (e.g., disability awareness training, business-to-business resources for beginning disability hiring initiatives, etc.) for employers. A plan for joint data collection will be developed by the end of FFY17.

GOAL 2: Increase the number of people with disabilities in competitive, integrated employment.

Priority 2.1: Develop a coordinated process with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services and State and local educational agencies in assisting individuals with disabilities, especially youth with disabilities who are considering subminimum wage employment or who are already employed, at a subminimum wage, to maximize opportunities to achieve competitive integrated employment. Provide initial career counseling and information and referral (CCIR) services, and appropriate documentation, to youth seeking sub-minimum wage employment as well as ensure that all individuals employed at sub-minimum wage receive CCIR services by July, 2017, an annually thereafter.

Priority 2.2: Identify best practices, create strategies, and partner with other agencies to better serve students and youth with disabilities to ensure a pathway and appropriate services to meet their employment outcomes. This includes ensuring that pre-employment transition services are available to students with disabilities statewide and meeting the 15% earmarking requirement.

Priority 2.3: In collaboration with the Transition Advisory Council, Department of Education, and other stakeholders, ensure that required pre-employment transition services (pre-ETS) activities are widely available in all 92 Indiana counties by the end of FFY 2018.

Priority 2.4: Continue development of blind entrepreneurs through the Business Enterprise Program and increase trainees of the program. At least 50% of trainees will secure employment as licensed vendors within 6 months of completing training.

GOAL 3: Develop program initiatives and training that adequately support VR staff and community rehabilitation providers in the provision of quality services.

Priority 3.1: Conduct a systematic review of the new Employment Service Model (effective July 1, 2015) to identify best practices and determine necessary system revisions to ensure the quality of services and employment outcomes. Review trends in service provision and employment outcomes on a quarterly basis throughout FFY 2016, and continue to meet at least quarterly with the Employment Advisory workgroup to review strengths and identify areas of improvement.

Priority 3.2: Continue development of VR staff through professional development and training, including both face-to-face training, one-on-one mentoring, and the ongoing enhancement of web-based training modules (VR Leadership Academy) to increase knowledge about VR service delivery and to build skills of VR staff. VR will introduce new training by March 2016 that will aim to increase focus on counseling and guidance. BRS will continue to evaluate employment outcomes to determine whether enhanced training has impact on the quantity and quality of employment outcomes in FFY17 and FFY18, compared to prior years.

Priority 3.3: Develop training and technical assistance opportunities to community rehabilitation programs (CRP) and staff (e.g., program managers and employment specialists) to ensure best practices and improve the quality of employment services, including supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. BRS will continue to evaluate employment outcomes to determine whether enhanced training and technical assistance has impact on the quantity and quality of employment outcomes in FFY17 and FFY18, compared to prior years. Additionally, BRS will collaborate with VR Commission members who represent the business community to better understand needs of businesses, and identify necessary training to build and enhance skills of CRP staff in engaging with the business community while assisting VR participants with job development, placement and coaching activities.