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i. 6. Coordination of Personnel Development Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

As appropriate, describe the procedures and activities to coordinate the designated State unit's comprehensive system of personnel development with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Current Narrative:

Approximately half of ADRS cases served and the closures obtained, involve  transition students. In FY 2019, 16,987 eligible youth and students received services. Among these, 1,861 were successfully rehabilitated. Also, in this time period, 13,297 potentially eligible students with disabilities were provided pre-employment transition services. The department continues to strengthen the jointly funded pre-ets specialist program with thirty-one (29) LEAs across the state and two (2) with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB). This program is designed to provide pre-employment transition services, that are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA, to prepare students with disabilities to enter competitive integrated employment by identifying and exploring career interests, as well as, increasing individual independence, self-sufficiency and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in their communities. The program is supervised by local VR service staff with input from school system staff and employs full-time and part-time pre-ets specialists. Students, parents, rehabilitation counselors, local school special and regular education staff, and the pre-ets specialists, work together to plan for students’ successful and smooth transitions to adult life and work.

ADRS continues efforts to develop and improve transition partnerships, programs and service models to meet the needs of students with more—significant disabilities and overcome barriers to employment and community living. College Prep Program services were offered at twelve sites around the state, with more than 250 students participating.

Collaboration with the Special Education Division of the Department of Education and the Department of Corrections continues as ADRS implements the Prison Transition Initiative for youth with disabilities incarcerated in adult prisons.

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is annually provided an opportunity to give input about the department’s CSPD initiatives. Current and future personnel issues are presented by field services program directors. Detailed information is presented through discussions, handouts and questions and answers. Comments and suggestions are requested at any time throughout the year.

Coordination for staff development and training to disseminate pertinent information, changes in the law, requirements for agencies, etc. occurs in various ways and in various venues. ADRS participates in trainings hosted by ALSDE at both the statewide level (Mega) and at the local level through advisory boards. We participate and collaborate on the Transition Conference hosted by Auburn Transition Leadership Institute (ATLI) jointly participating in planning all the training for the conference. ADRS also collaborates on the local level with special education personnel (LEA’s, special education teachers, transition teachers, pre-employment transition personnel and 504 coordinators in planning pre-employment services to all students at the local high school level through Transition Unlimited. These services are conjointly decided upon, monitored and evaluated through a website developed for this purpose. Staff have been provided training and have been introduced to all the changes in WIOA that are related to students and youth with disabilities.