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Located in:

c. 1. Federal, State, and local agencies and programs;

Current Narrative:

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services has cooperative agreements and working relationships with entities outside of the Statewide Workforce Development System. These agreements provide the agency with the opportunity to extend services to people with disabilities referred by other agencies, as well as the chance to utilize the services of other agencies for its consumers. 

Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB): ADRS enjoys an excellent working relationship with AIDB. AIDB is charged with the responsibility of providing elementary and high school residential education and outreach services for blind and deaf students in Alabama. Also, through its E. H. Gentry Community Rehabilitation Program, comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services including vocational evaluations, assistive technology, training, work experiences, job development, and supported employment services are provided to students, youth, and adults with visual, hearing, and other significant disabilities.  Also, the agency works cooperatively with AIDB in providing appropriate services to students in the AIDB secondary schools for the blind, deaf, and deafblind. ADRS works collaboratively with the Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) and the Alabama School for the Blind (ASB) to provide deaf and blind students with summer employment opportunities. ADRS also works actively with AIDB’s Helen Keller School (HKS) that serves students who are deaf-blind, and/or have multiple disabilities. ADRS assists AIDB in transitioning these high school students into employment and/or training programs (to include college) by partnering to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services. ADRS has written agreements with these programs including an agreement to provide pre-employment transition services to students who are blind or deaf in all public schools across the state. This is done through pre-employment transition specialists working collaboratively with LEA’s and VR staff statewide. In addition, a longstanding collaborative agreement with AIDB to jointly fund Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists who provide instruction that enhances vocational opportunities, independent living skills, and the educational development of persons with vision loss is in place. These agreements also jointly fund Business Enterprise Representatives and Technicians who support the day to day operations of the state’s Randolph-Sheppard program. 

Department of Corrections: ADRS works in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Corrections. ADRS receives referrals on inmates who are in the prison system who will be transitioning back into their home areas through liaison counselors assigned to the prisons. ADRS has established a system to handle these referrals and to provide services to eligible individuals when they return home. An ADRS staff specialist in the State Office is overseeing this initiative. ADRS also provides transition services to eligible inmates in special education. 

Department of Risk Management: ADRS works cooperatively with Alabama’s Risk Management program. We receive referrals of individuals injured on the job to assist Risk Management in helping various state agencies retain individuals in employment who may have been injured. ADRS does not currently have a written agreement with the Department of Risk Management.

Governor’s Office: ADRS receives referrals from the Governor’s office on a regular basis. The Governor’s office contacts ADRS to make referrals of individuals who have contacted them regarding various disability related issues. These referrals are received by an Assistant Commissioner of ADRS and forwarded to the appropriate local supervisor for follow up and assessment. Referrals that are beyond the scope of ADRS service provision are provided information about other resources. Efforts are made to provide the Governor’s staff with an appropriate service outlet to address the needs of Alabamians with disabilities. 

State of Alabama Indian Affairs Commission and Inter-Tribal Council of Alabama: ADRS recognizes the need for services to Native Americans with disabilities living in Alabama. The agency has liaison counselors assigned to receive referrals from tribal organizations including the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who are federally recognized and eligible to receive services through the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. ADRS also coordinates services with the Inter-Tribal Council of Alabama which serves citizens from both state and federally recognized Tribes.  ADRS provides services to American Indians with disabilities to the same extent as the agency provides such services to other significant segments of the population with disabilities residing in the state. 

Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS): The Department of Youth Services is the state agency responsible for administering and regulating juvenile justice programs and services.   The expectation is that the services of DYS will prevent these youth from eventually advancing to the adult correctional system. ADRS has a specialist who is actively involved with DYS. This specialist receives referrals on a regular basis from DYS and forwards those referrals to the appropriate field staff. ADRS has a written agreement with the ADYS 

Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH): ADRS maintains an ongoing relationship with ADMH. ADRS serves consumers with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorder. ADRS has cooperative initiatives and memorandums of agreement to ensure services are provided to eligible consumers. ADRS maintains relationships with both ID/DD and MI/SA divisions of the department, including services to residential aftercare service providers. ADRS is working with ADMH to improve supported employment programs. This includes efforts in the areas of Employment First, extended supports, and collaborating on grants and RFP’s through braiding of funding initiatives.  

Alabama Head Injury Foundation (AHIF): ADRS continues its relationship with the Alabama Head Injury Foundation. This relationship is directed towards maintaining a service delivery system to address the needs of consumers affected by traumatic brain injury. 

Community Rehabilitation Programs: ADRS maintains memorandums of agreement with a network of community rehabilitation programs throughout the state to provide services to consumers with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities. 

The Alabama Disability Advocacy Program (ADAP): ADAP is the Alabama arm of the Protection and Advocacy program for people with disabilities. ADAP makes referrals to Alabama’s toll-free number for information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through ADRS which coordinates the service.  

Statewide Independent Living Centers: ADRS is represented on the State Independent Living Council and works closely with Alabama’s three Independent Living Centers to coordinate services and referrals. 

Governor’s Office on Disability (GOOD): GOOD serves as a clearinghouse for resources related to people with disabilities. ADRS maintains an ongoing relationship with the Governor’s Office in order to provide resources as needed.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): ADRS partners with OFCCP to provide affirmative action training to employers on issues related to hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. ADRS continues to collaborate with OFCCP staff to provide information to employers on the 503 Federal Hiring mandates.

Social Security Administration (SSA): ADRS maintains an excellent working relationship with the SSA. The agency employs a Social Security Specialist that stays abreast of Social Security issues and provides technical assistance to agency field staff, community partners and consumers. The specialist provides training statewide on work incentives, Ticket to Work, Social Security eligibility and benefits counseling services. The Social Security Specialist manages a statewide benefits counseling program through a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide benefits counseling services and manages a five-year demonstration project in coordination with the Social Security Administration. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The partnership between EEOC and ADRS involves staff cross training on disability and employment law in addition to ADRS linkage to public and private sector businesses to assist with non—discriminatory practices in the employment, retention, training and promotion of individuals with disabilities. ADRS is a regular trainer for the EEOC technical assistance seminars for employers as well.  

Alabama Industry Liaison Group (ALILG): Represents Federal contractors’ compliance issues to include those tied to disability (Section 503 of the Rehab Act). ADRS is the lead provider of information, training and resources related to outreach, employment and retention of individuals with disabilities to ALILG businesses and ALILG routinely trains ADRS business relations consultants and participates in local, regional and state conferences sponsored by ADRS. 

Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Representatives from a variety of Federal agencies throughout Alabama that function under the OPM work directly with the ADRS business relations consultants to implement Federal hiring mandates, Schedule A recruitment, accommodations,  and employee retention impacting workers with disabilities in the Federal sector. 

Department of Veterans Affairs: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. ADRS collaborates with the VR&E program at the national and state level to serve and place into employment veterans completing the VR&E program. ADRS provides customized services including accommodations and return to work assistance through specialty counselors and rehabilitation technology specialists. 

Veterans Employment Training Service (VETS): ADRS collaborates at the state and local level with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) staff to assist wounded warriors in returning to work or obtaining employment with Federal contractors and other businesses. This includes access to the ADRS RAVE (Retaining A Valued Employee) program.