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  • Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation (Combined or General)

    The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan [13] 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:


    [13] 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. 8. C. Overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the State VR Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program.

Current Narrative:

The VR employment service revisions implemented July 2015 increased access to discovery activities and supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities who require supported employment services. The previous structure did not always allow for appropriate service provision or provide funding necessary for those VR participants with the most significant disabilities who have very high support needs.

BRS continues to partner with the Arc of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana to provide career counseling and information and referral services (CCIR) to individuals employed at subminimum wage.  CCIR services are provided in a one-on-one or group setting. Group settings include a presentation which incorporates peer success stories. During the presentation, attendees receive information about local resources regarding employment services and other-related information; discuss potential competitive, integrated employment opportunities and ways to learn more about a new career field (i.e. informational interviewing or job-shadowing); and discuss the importance of seeking assistance and guidance from a support network, such as family members or friends.  Following the Q&A portion of the presentation, attendees receive a certificate of participation documenting completion of the CCIR activities. VR and the ARC are in collaboration to identify strategies to enhance the delivery of CCIR, such as development of a video to offer a different training modality and a streamlined process for referral to VR.

VR recognized individuals with mental health disabilities as an underserved population as outlined in the 2019 CSNA in terms of the effectiveness of services and achievement of employment outcomes. A dedicated workgroup was established in 2019 comprised of representatives from VR, DMHA, CMHCs, NAMI, Key Consumer Organization, the Indiana Mental Health Council, and individuals with lived experience. DMHA and VR collectively sought and received an opportunity for training and technical assistance through the ODEP VOICE project, which kicked off in December, 2019 and will continue through 2020. The project is focused on capacity building to improve competitive, integrated employment outcomes for individuals with mental health disabilities.