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d. 2. D. Procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

Current Narrative:

Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR), Idaho Commission for Blind and Visually Impaired (ICBVI), and the State Department of Education (SDE) currently have a formal cooperative agreement.

The agreement stipulates that the vocational rehabilitation agency will initiate outreach and work with the LEAs to identify potential students with disabilities who need pre-employment transition services and VR transition services for students aged 14-21. This involves informing the student, or when appropriate their parent or legal guardian, as early as possible about the vocational rehabilitation program, its purpose, eligibility criteria, application procedures, and the scope of available VR services, to include pre-employment transition services.

The Division has also participated in a series of meetings in communities across Idaho including key stakeholder engagement through a series of regional special educator meetings, statewide administrator meetings, the Statewide Transition Institute, Tools for Life with parents, students, and educators, Idaho Parents Unlimited, Idaho Interagency Council on Secondary Transition, and continues ongoing discussions on student outreach with the Idaho State Department of Education.

The Division also developed a Transition Leadership Team. This team has members from each of the eight regions. These leaders provide outreach across the state.

Additionally, IDVR counselors and the Area Transition Counselors have worked with educational counterparts to significantly increase the number of potentially eligible students receiving pre-employment transition services and increase referrals for the VR program after seeing a decline due to COVID-19. Finally, in 2019 IDVR staff, the State Department of Education, the Idaho Parents Center, Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind, WINTAC, and NTACT worked to create a strategic plan for pre-employment transition services in Idaho. Although this plan was meant to be a two-year plan, with the intrusion of COVID-19 it was determined to review and renew the plan in 2022 to allow time to complete the activities currently indicated on the plan. The first goal developed by the team was to increase internal (VR staff) and external (school districts, parents, students, community partners) clarity and messaging regarding VR process and how Pre-ETS fits into the overall continuum of VR services. The following action steps were created to achieve this goal:

  • Create a process to address information sharing between school and VR counselors
  1. Service request form
  2. IEP
  3. 504
  • Develop materials to share information about VR services with parents and schools
  1. Pre-ETS
  2. VR Services
  • Options for VR Counselors to participate in the IEP process by
  1. Providing information about services
  2. Developing services to address student goals/needs
  3. Creating a timeline for initiating referral/eligibility
  • Create training and materials that will increase students’ understanding about the VR process and services
  • Complete the internal Guidance Document regarding Pre-ETS to be used by IDVR staff
  1. Accountability Measures- Outcomes for Students
  2. Develop a continuum of services reflective of Pre-ETS and Transition Services
  • Create opportunities and materials to use with families to increase their understanding of expectation of work and VR Services

The second goal is to strengthen cross agency partnerships to increase collaboration in development and implementation of Transition Services. The following action steps were created to achieve this goal:

  • Review and adjust data collection that will improve ability to better inform decision making
  1. Work with SDE to obtain break out of schools, # of students on IEP and 504
  2. Identify additional data points and how to use them
  3. Communicate to the VR field staff how to use the new data points
  4. Share IEPs using a new system
  • Regional managers are informed and engaged in how they can support VR Counselors in providing Pre-ETS and Transition Services.
  1. Identify strategies to include Regional Managers
  • Outreach strategies to rural schools are identified with steps to address student participation 
  • Outreach strategies identified for juvenile justice and Foster Care.