- Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation (Combined or General)
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan  must include the following descriptions and estimates, as required by section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of WIOA:
 Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(iii) of WIOA
- o. State's Strategies
Describe the required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the VR and the Supported Employment programs (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act and section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)):
- o. State's Strategies
o. 2. How a broad range of assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process and on a statewide basis
The agency has multiple strategies to provide access to technology services and devices on a statewide basis during all phases of the rehabilitation process. To start, the agency has a statewide network of degreed and qualified rehabilitation engineering specialists. The team members are located strategically throughout the state, so all staff have access to their expertise. This team meets on a quarterly basis to discuss among themselves, and with partner agency staff, various new products and advances in assistive technology services. These meetings provide vendors the opportunity to demonstrate new and innovative pieces of technology to the team. This team will act as a training agent for other agency rehabilitation staff throughout the state. Team members will attend unit meetings throughout the state to discuss and demonstrate technology to frontline counseling staff. The team members will also continue to attend national conferences, such as the Assistive Technology Industries Association (ATIA) conference, where they will be exposed to innovative technology. The rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology team will continue to present at various conferences throughout the year. Conferences they will attend and present at include the Alabama Association of Persons in Supported Employment (APSE) conference, the Alabama Assistive Technology & Expo Conference, the Technology Symposium (which focuses on blind and low vision technology), and other conferences as appropriate. As part of this statewide team of rehabilitation engineering specialists, the agency also employs assistive technology specialists, two of whom specialize in educational and learning technology, one who specializes in deaf and hard of hearing technology, and one who specializes in blind and low vision technology. Having this team of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology specialists provides a resource for counselors to purchase and utilize technology for consumers throughout the rehabilitation process, including evaluation, IPE development and implementation, training, and employment.
The agency also has a state-of-the-art Adaptive Driving Program. The agency has ten (18) vehicles equipped with varying levels of comprehensive adaptive driving equipment. These vehicles are utilized within the ADT program by two (2) Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists and five (12) Certified Driving Instructors who provide adaptive drivers training to Alabamians with disabilities statewide. The program is unique in that through a cooperative arrangement with the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Driver’s License Division, the agency’s adaptive driving staff has been certified to give the driver’s license road test to our consumers and confer upon them a certificate for the driver’s license. The ADT program operates two highly specialized vehicles with the latest high-tech equipment available worldwide, to allow the program to serve the most severely disabled consumers.
In partnership with the UAB Center for Low Vision, the agency’s Adaptive Driving Program is the premier provider of comprehensive evaluation and training for bioptic driving. Bioptic driving is a method of driving that utilizes both the individual’s general vision in combination with intermittent spotting through a small telescopic system that improves the sharpness of the individual’s far vision. This has been a very successful partnership and an avenue of independence for many individuals served by the agency. ADT staff continue to attend and provide training at the annual Alabama Assistive Technology & Expo Conference at Auburn University as well as the annual Technology Symposium at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.