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e. Cooperative Agreements with Private Nonprofit Organizations

Describe the manner in which the designated State agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit VR service providers.

Current Narrative:

VR purchases an array of services from a variety of vendors who complete the vendor registration process and meet criteria to provide services. VR maintains formal agreements in the registration system with each vendor, including vendors providing services such as training, rehabilitation technology, physical and mental restoration services, transportation, personal assistance services, interpreting services, technical assistance for small business development, etc.. Vendor agreements reference the VR Services Manual, which outlines vendor obligations such as compliance with applicable state and federal law and responsibilities for notifying the state of changes in certification, licensure, or other qualifications. The Vendor Agreement also addresses confidentiality and vendor assurances including adherence with requirements pertaining to suspension and debarment. The services provided assist in ensure BRS can offer a full range of services to individuals with an IPE, necessary for achieving their vocational goals. The terms and conditions also ensure the confidentiality of VR applicant and participant information as well as ensuring that participants receive services from vendors with the appropriate qualifications.

Additional written agreements are maintained with accredited employment service providers for provision of services including job search, job placement, supported employment services, and other employment services. There are approximately 85 employment services providers, including Community Mental Health Centers who have entered in a written agreement with BRS. VR promotes participant informed choice in the selection of services and service providers. Agreements reference the VR Employment Services Manual which outlines service definitions, requirements, documentation requirements, rates, and other expectations for service delivery, including discovery, job placement, job readiness training, and supported employment services. Expectations are outlined throughout the manual which benefits VR participants by promoting high quality service provision and access to needed services.