- Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation (Blind)
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
f. Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services
Describe the designated State agency’s efforts to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other State agencies and other appropriate entities in order to provide supported employment services and extended employment services, as applicable, to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities.
In 2018, ICBVI relinquished all of its Title VI, Part B funds to the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR). As a result, IDVR now manages the supported employment (SE) program for the state.
ICBVI and IDVR agree to the following:
- ICBVI and IDVR agree to collaborate on all supported employment (SE) cases when the individual has a disability profile which includes blindness or visual impairment meeting the eligibility criteria of ICBVI.
- ICBVI agrees to fund services related to addressing the visual disability.
- IDVR agrees to fund employment related services.
Furthermore, ICBVI has adopted IDVR’s policies around SE, which include service provider standards.
The VR program policy around the arrangement of supported employment services and extended employment services includes:
Supported employment means competitive integrated employment (CIE), including customized employment (CE), or employment in an integrated work setting in which an individual with a most significant disability, including a youth with a most significant disability, is working on a short-term basis toward competitive integrated employment that is individualized, and customized, consistent with the unique strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual, including ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. SE can be provided by the state VR programs for a period of time not to exceed 24 months, unless the VRC and client jointly agree to extend the time to achieve the employment outcome identified in the IPE.
SE refers to support services (such as job coaching) provided after placement and before the individual reaches initial stability, and prior to utilization of extended services (long-term supports).
Extended Services (ES) are those services, including extended services for youth, are provided after the assessment of initial stabilization when required for an individual to maintain employment (to sustain employment stability).
Extended Services for Youth: The state VR program makes extended services for youth available when youth have no comparable ES resources available in the community. Extended services can continue to be provided until:
- Comparable benefits become available (External funders are identified) OR
- Extended services are provided for four years OR The individual reaches the age of 25 and no longer qualifies under the definition of ‘youth’.
Supported Employment services are only offered by qualified providers as identified under IDVR standards.
ICBVI is committed to the advancement of opportunities for Idaho citizens with disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities, and encourages employment in the least restrictive and most integrated environments possible. ICBVI and IDVR have established and continues to maintain strong working relationships with pertinent state agencies such as the Department of Health and Welfare (H&W). Under H&W, Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver and Aged and Disabled Waiver are the two main extended services funding sources for Idahoans in need of Supported Employment. The third funding source is the Extended Employment Services Program. This program is funded through State appropriations only. The primary service providers for long term supports under the three main funding sources are CRPs.
ICBVI and IDVR utilize the State’s Extended Employment Services program as well as the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), and Aged and Disabled (A&D) waivers for long term support. The VR program will continue to work closely with each agency overseeing these resources to streamline the referral process and improve utilization of this external source of extended services funding. The following provides more detail on the working relationship between each ES entity and IDVR.
The Supported Employment Agency Recommendation must be completed, and this is done by IDVR on behalf of both state VR agencies when transitioning from vocational rehabilitation services or by the Supported Employment Agency (Community Rehabilitation Provider) identified on the plan or addendum. Documentation must include:
- Amount of Service
- Level of Support Needed
- Employment Goals
- Transition Plan
The ICBVI counselor is a member of the Person-Centered Planning Team and participates in all planning and coordination activities.
EES extended services are provided under EES policy which requires the certification of an extended employment service provider. These providers are approved by the EES program administrator on a case by case basis. All EES approved providers are also CRPs which are initially approved as CRPs under IDVR’s accreditation requirement.
If a youth with a disability has been determined to need an SE strategy and an extended service funding source is not available yet, IDVR will utilize VR funds for the required timeframes or until the funding becomes available for the long-term support.
Extended services for youth can be provided up to four years as needed for youth under the age of 25 following the achievement of employment stability when comparable external sources of long-term extended support are unavailable. Upon exhaustion of Title VI funds reserved for youth supported employment, IDVR will continue to support extended services with Title I funds, as required by WIOA, and will continue to leverage other sources of extended services.
ICBVI and IDVR support the utilization of Natural Supports where available and encourages the development of Natural Supports for all SE customers. Natural Supports are supports and services typically available to other employees OR supports created to provide supports through people or other resources typically available in the work, home, and community environment.
ICBVI works collaboratively with IDVR through the entire life of the SE case, and will continue to provide any supportive services needed to address the visual disability of the participant up to program exit.