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  • Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation (Blind)

    The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan [13] 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:


    [13] 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. 4. The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services)

Current Narrative:

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the manner in which we engaged students in Pre-Employment Transition Services. Most in-person programs and serves were cancelled, including our summer residential programs. Due to pandemic related restrictions, most Pre-ETS activities shifted to a on-line learning environment. Work based learning experiences, a significant part of our programs for our students, were virtually non-existent. However, in person learning and work experiences gradually resumed in in PY 21, and we anticipate resuming our residential summer programs in 2022.

The formal interagency agreement with the Idaho State Department of Education (SDE), the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR), and the Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ICBVI) contains a number of provisions designed to promote communication and the sharing of technical expertise in transition planning. The agreement stipulates that the vocational rehabilitation agency must provide consultative and technical assistance services to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including employment. The Commission’s Project Coordinator for Transition Services will continue to  improve and expand Pre-ETS across the state.

ICBVI is committed to working collaboratively with the IESDB, IDVR, and all regional school districts to identify all eligible (or potentially eligible) secondary students in the state of Idaho. Furthermore, ICBVI is committed to reaching out to rural communities in this effort. ICBVI currently has two summer programs that are targeted towards high school students: 1) Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) and, 2) College Days. Curriculum in both of these programs is being reviewed, expanded and modified, as appropriate, to ensure they meet all of the criteria of Pre-ETS.

As previously mentioned in this plan, the state VR program (ICBVI and IDVR) have agreed to lower the minimum age for the receipt of Pre-ETS to 14 years old. This will increase the number of students who will be eligible for Pre-ETS in the state.

In PY 2021, the Commission was able to add an Instructor of the Blind position to assist the Project Coordinator with the planning and delivery of Pre-ETS.