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i. 1. A. iii. Projections of the number of personnel, broken down by personnel category, who will be needed by the State agency to provide VR services in 5 years based on projections of the number of individuals to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, the number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and other relevant factors.

Current Narrative:

Approximately, twenty-one (21) rehab counselors, thirty-seven (37) clerical support staff, fourteen (14) supervisors from the “administrative staff” and four (4) specialists from the “staff supporting counselor activities” will be eligible to retire within the next five years based on their years of service. These numbers represent actual positions currently filled and do not include those budgeted positions presently not filled. In addition, field supervisors and rehabilitation specialist positions are included in this number because counselors are often promoted into these supervisory roles, leaving counselor vacancies. Therefore, we can project the need for approximately thirty-nine (39) counselors over the next five years to remain staffed at the current budgeted level.

It is difficult to project/predict the number of ‘Staff Supporting Counselor Activities’ and ‘Other’ staff who may retire over the next five years; however, there are 84 DVR employees who will be eligible.

The department’s Leadership Training Institute (LTI) graduated fourteen (14) staff members in 2015. These graduates actively compete for leadership roles when vacancies occur. Another method of preparing LTI graduates for leadership roles is involving them in departmental task forces and special assignments. It gives current leadership the chance to see how well LTI graduates perform and the strengths they possess.

Rehabilitation counselors hired to work with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services have to possess master’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities in Rehabilitation Counseling, Rehabilitation Services, Rehabilitation Administration, Vocational Evaluation, or Counseling. These minimum requirements uphold the higher education standards of the program while creating a larger applicant pool to fill future vacancies.

There are currently 167 rehabilitation counselor positions, 12 vacancies, and 21 potential vacancies projected over the next 5 years.

There are currently 20 rehabilitation field supervisor positions, 0 vacancies, and 14 potential vacancies projected over the next 5 years.

There are currently 6 orientation and mobility specialist positions, 0 vacancies, and no anticipated vacancies projected over the next 5 years.

There are currently 8 interpreter positions, 4 vacancies, and 1 projected vacancy over the next 5 years.

There are currently 5 rehabilitation audiologist positions, 0 vacancy, and 0 projected vacancies over the next 5 years.

There are currently 16 vision rehabilitation therapist positions, 4 vacancies, and 1 potential vacancy over the next 5 years.

There are currently 9 rehabilitation technology specialist positions. There is 1 vacancy and 1 potential vacancy over the next 5 years.