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d. 2. A. Consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services;

Current Narrative:

Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities

VR encourages early referral and application for transition students during high school so that they may receive Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and better coordinate with local education agencies. Pre-ETS includes Career Exploration and Counseling, Work Readiness Training, Work Experiences, Postsecondary Educational Counseling and Self-Advocacy Training, including Peer Mentoring. Students with disabilities may receive Pre-ETS through the WIOA potentially-eligible process without the need to apply or to be determined eligible. Students who require additional VR services or supports may still obtain Pre-ETS while applying to VR. VR brochures describe how students and families can access Pre-ETS or other VR services beginning at age 14 and beyond. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits and begin necessary guidance and counseling.

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student's desired postsecondary outcome.

VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with public and private high school across the state.  They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation orientation services to students, school officials, parents and others involved in transition services. The counselor works collaboratively with key stakeholders and family to develop the Individualized Plan for Employment prior to completion of secondary school to assist with a seamless transition to post-secondary training or job placement.

Information on the formal interagency agreement with the State educational agency with respect to:

A. consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services;

Employment First

As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits. VR was a founding partner in the State’s Employment First movement.  As a result of the partners working together, The Employment First Act is now in statute.  This identifies the responsibilities of the partners to improve and increase employment opportunities for all Florida’s citizens.  The Employment First Committee submits a report to the Governor annually, describing the coordination of participating agencies to advance the Employment First philosophy as a way of work throughout Florida.

Technical Assistance and Consultation

Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR and DBS, including other agencies that offer supports or services during student transition. The agreements address consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community.