- Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation (Combined or General)
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan  must include the following descriptions and estimates, as required by section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of WIOA:
 Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(iii) of WIOA
- o. State's Strategies
Describe the required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the VR and the Supported Employment programs (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act and section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)):
- o. State's Strategies
o. 3. The outreach procedures that will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities, as well as those who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program
IDVR has exceeded a ratio of minority service rate to non-minority service rate of 1.00 for a program year the first time under WIOA achieving a rate of 1.006 for PY 2020. Current data for PY 2021 show a slight regression to .974 as of December 2021. Significant gains in service outreach, an emphasis on accurate coding of race and ethnicity status, and Pre-ETS expansion and outreach are all potential contributors to this trend.
IDVR’s Administrator has championed outreach as a priority moving into 2022. By early January 2022, all Regional Managers will have developed a region-specific outreach strategy.
The identification and service estimates for minority populations in Idaho are derived from population estimates and internal agency data on customers.
The Hispanic population is Idaho’s largest minority group at 12.8 percent, and 11 percent of all Idahoans identified as having Mexican origin with 1.8 percent for all remaining Hispanic origin subcategories. (2019 ACS Demographic and Housing 1-Year Estimate). Internal agency data suggests this population remains underserved representing 8.41 percent of total applications in PY 2019 and 8.76 percent in PY 2020. The Division is aware of the sustained gap in both applications and plans for this population and has included an initiative in this plan to explore/expand Spanish language options for customers across Idaho. COVID-19 has placed this initiative on temporary hold, but the Division continues to plan for this expansion. As noted in section j, Idaho’s Hispanic population is significantly younger, and the agency should expect a significant increase service rates as the bulk of this population enters working age.
Further analysis of outreach and service delivery by race may confounded due to low populations in remaining categories, however the following table presets data for Race alone or in combination with one or more other races from latest available ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates (DP05) which best aligns with IDVRs internally available data:
|ACS 2019||PY 2019||PY 2020|
|Black or African American||1.2%||2.23%||2.41%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||2.4%||3.95%||3.30%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||0.4%||0.56%||0.68%|
|Some other race||4.5%||--||--|
Idaho’s demographics are changing, and Idaho was the second fastest growing state relative to population in the past 10 years, with the population growing over 17 percent in the decade (US Census Bureau, 2020). Idaho was the fastest growing state by percentage in the last year, growing 2.9 percent and was ninth in total numeric growth at 53,151. While Idaho is traditionally a major state for resettlement in Regions 3, 4, 7 and 8, net international migration has slowed significantly under the COVID-19 pandemic (with the primary driver of Idaho’s recent population increase coming from net domestic migration). Regardless of unique present factors, IDVR remains committed to refugee outreach efforts: In order to best understand the needs of this population, IDVR conducts joint staff training in conjunction with the Agency for New Americans. IDVR works maintains regular contact and outreach with staff at the International Rescue Committee refugee organization and all three resettlement agencies in the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley regions. The Division maintains contact with Family Medicine, a medical provider to newly arrived refugees in the in these regions to coordinate referrals.
Additionally, IDVR conducts ongoing outreach activities to meet the needs of the Spanish speaking population statewide. A number of these individuals engage in migrant seasonal farm work. The Division works collaboratively with IDOL, the Community Council of Idaho (a rural-centered, nonprofit serving Latinos in Idaho, and the Idaho Division of Hispanic Affairs to identify these individuals and processes to best conduct outreach activities.
The Division has launched its I&E priority on CRP quality improvement and rate re-evaluation. A new CRP manager has been hired and is currently in the process of project planning prior to engaging partners in preliminary efforts, including but not limited to rate re-evaluation, quality outcome payments, ACRE certification, heightened and clarified expectations, and an updated evaluation and monitoring strategy for CRPs.
IDVR is furthering Hispanic outreach efforts through increased involvement with LEAs and in rural areas across Idaho: These two strategies address the substantial concentrations of both Hispanic youth and Idaho’s Hispanic population to best leverage outreach opportunities:
Hispanic students made up 18% of K-12 enrollment in 2019-2020 but accounted for 31% of enrollment growth in the previous five years. From 2014-2015 to 2019-2020, Hispanic enrollment increased 12%, and non-Hispanic enrollment increased 5%. -The Hispanic Profile Data Book for Idaho 5th Ed. (2021).
Rural Communities: the I-84/I-86/I-15 Interstate Highway Corridors:
Hispanics are heavily concentrated in the southern part of the state but live in all 44 counties. As of 2019, 90% lived south of a line from Payette County in the west to Bonneville County in the east. Half live in just three counties: Canyon, Ada, and Bonneville. -The Hispanic Profile Data Book for Idaho 5th Ed. (2021).
Idaho Department of Labor has an existing Hispanic outreach program which conducts targeted outreach to these communities with heavy concentration of Hispanic and migrant seasonal farm worker population. IDVR plans to better understand the existing outreach efforts under IDOL and will explore opportunities for collaboration or adaptation/modification of this approach where indicated.
The Division conducts various outreach activities to identify and involve individuals with disabilities from underserved backgrounds. These include but are not limited to:
- Monthly participation in the Amigo Round Table hosted by the Mexican Consulate
- Working with community based mental health programs to identify leads for potential outreach
- Continuing meetings with Boise State University’s Hispanic equivalency recruiter
- Meeting with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s bilingual staff as well as ongoing meetings with DHW’s Targeted Service Coordinators to identify potential referrals
- Participation in the multi-partner Refugee Employment Networking and Training group hosted by the Idaho Department of Labor
- Collaboration with the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center for referral for refugees with disabilities needing VR services
IDVR also conducts tribal outreach, per agreement, in conjunction with 121 projects to the four tribes located in Idaho and the substantial American Indian population residing in the Treasure Valley.
IDVR has a representative on the Sho-Ban Job Fair and Hiring Event committee in partnership with Shoshone-Bannock VR, IDOL, tribal leadership and employers which connects prospective employees to employers.
IDVR has connected with the ESL coordinator at the College of Western Idaho who disseminates information to VR staff on free English language classes and training opportunities for customers.
IDVR regularly engages with qualified interpreters for a variety of languages to better serve VR clients with limited English proficiency.
Idaho currently has seven Community Rehabilitation Programs who hold 14(c) special wage certificates (down from eight last plan). Four are currently active with three listed as pending renewal by US DOL W&H as of December 2021. IDVR has developed a Career Counseling and Information & Referral process which is delivered multiple times per year at each certificate holder sites. To meet regulatory requirements of the Division under 397, IDVR encourages individuals as a part of ongoing Career Counseling and Information & Referral, to engage with the Division if interested in pursuing Competitive Integrated Employment as a part of their informed choice. The Division anticipates the decline in 14(c) subminimum program utilization will continue over time.