U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Located in:

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

Current Narrative:

Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and Independent Living Programs: The Independent Living Program is located with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, and BRS maintains a dedicated staff member as liaison to CILs as well as providers of services for independent living for older individuals who are blind (OIB program). BRS leadership and CIL Directors began quarterly meetings in 2019 to improve collaboration. This included increasing BRS knowledge of the local efforts of CILS, and increasing awareness of CILs of BRS initiatives. These regular meetings have resulted in updates to contract metrics for CILs to address concerns expressed by CILs, and introduction of CILS to the LifeCourse Framework. VR makes it a priority to support the network of CILs in Indiana by providing additional funding with the use of SSA program income to support center operations in the provision of services to assist individuals with disabilities with increased independence and a better quality of life. BRS leadership also meets quarterly with Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council (INSILC) staff and attends public meetings. Results of this increased collaboration have resulted in contract changes and improved communication. 

Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS): BDDS is a bureau under the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS - the Designated State Agency) and provides services for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities that enable them to live as independently as possible in their communities.  BDDS and VR offices are co-located in the State of Indiana, which enables partnership and continued collaboration.  Field Operations directors from both programs work collaboratively to resolve any issues occurring in co-located offices. In addition, the jointly developed process for facilitation of a seamless transition from VR-funded supported employment to BDDS-funded extended services continues to be utilized. After job placement and stabilization, VR Counselors submit transfer documentation to ensure BDDS funded extended services are in place prior to VR case closure as appropriate. VR leadership participates actively on several BDDS waiver redesign workgroups, particularly as it pertains to employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA): VR leadership meets quarterly with the Mental Health Employment Council to discuss new initiatives and identify how initiatives )Employment Service Model Revisions, order of selection, and Pre-ETS) impact CMHC’s and participants with mental health disabilities.  Additionally, a representative from DMHA is an appointed member of the VR Commission. In FFY19, BRS and DMHA enhanced collaboration efforts to co-lead and kick-off a workgroup aimed at improving the effectiveness of services and improving employment outcomes for VR participants with mental health disabilities (including individuals with co-occurring disabilities). VR and DMHA also jointly submitted and were subsequently awarded 300 training and technical assistance hours through the VOICE project, which will kick off in early 2020.

Collaborative efforts with other state agencies, including Department of Education and Department of Workforce Development are detailed in other relevant sections of the VR portion of the state plan.

Other: VR maintains a collaborative working relationship with several advocacy, participant support groups and other organizations with a presence in Indiana, and national organizations. These include: the National Employment Team (The NET), the Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs (INSOURCE); the Indiana Association of People Supporting Employment First (IN-APSE), the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities in Indiana (INARF); and the Arc of Indiana. Input from many of these groups is obtained through various workgroups such as the transition advisory council and the VR employment advisory group, as well as participation from several of these groups on the Commission on Rehabilitation Services.