- 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. 4. The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services)
ADRS continues to collaborate and coordinate transition services with the LEAs. ADRS has increased efforts to develop and improve transition partnerships, programs and service models by implementing and expanding the following services/programs:
Work based learning to include JET (Job Exploration Training), workplace readiness and job exploration - Students are provided training in the areas of job exploration, career assessment, social skills training, mock interviewing, resume preparation, and self—advocacy training. Paid work experiences in a community setting are arranged for each student satisfactorily participating in the JET training.
Smart Work Ethics Training (SWE) - SWE is a social skills curriculum that addresses communication skills and work place behaviors (attitude, work ethic, image and appearance, interpersonal skills, teamwork, time management, accountability) needed to obtain and maintain successful competitive employment. This curriculum is provided to the student in the LEA by a certified trainer from a Community Rehabilitation Program.
Jointly - Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist - ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded pre-ets specialists in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. The jointly-funded specialists provide pre-employment transition services which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre-employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for competitive integrated employment. Currently, ADRS has 31 jointly funded pre-ets specialists in place through third- party cooperative agreements.
Career Assessments - Provided by a local community rehab provider to students with disabilities, who are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services, to assist in determining interests and skills needed for employment in their community. For those students who are planning to enter post-secondary training, counselors may refer eligible VR consumers for an LD evaluation to determine interests, learning styles, accommodations that may be needed and to obtain documentation necessary for disability supports services.
Engage Alabama - Engage Alabama is a collaborative effort of the ADRS, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program to develop and provide an app for students with disabilities to improve the student’s knowledge of transition services; assist the student in identifying and utilizing strategies to improve transition services and increase the student’s capability to better advocate for transition service through the student led IEP process. Students may access Engage Alabama via the internet at engageal.com, or by going to the Apple Store or Google Play store where students can download the app at no charge. Once all questions in the app are answered a transition plan will be generated that the student may print and share with his/her family and IEP case manager prior to the IEP meeting. This plan will serve as a self- advocacy tool to assist the student in successfully leading his/her IEP meeting, in discussing transition goals and what is needed for the students to reach those goals. Students may access this app as often as need during the school year to make any necessary changes, but it is recommended that students access the app on an annual basis prior to his/her IEP meeting. It is important to note that while the Engage Alabama application was designed for use by students who are receiving services under an IEP, any student with a disability (including those that would meet the requirements for 504 services) may access the app to assist with identification of needed pre-employment transition services and to develop transition goals.
Prison Transition Initiative - The agency continues to maintain collaborative efforts to assist those students with disabilities in transitioning back to the community upon release from adult prisons by making referrals to local VR counselors 90 days prior to release. However, with the agency’s ability to serve students with disabilities who are potentially eligible, VR now has the capability to provide pre-employment transition services to those students, who are receiving services under an IEP, while incarcerated. A state office staff member will to work with the Special Service Assistant and Case Manager to identify those students with disabilities who can benefit for pre-ets services and obtain documentation needed to serve those potentially eligible consumers. This staff member will then coordinate and authorize for the provision of these services with a local community rehab provider. These services are designed to increase the likelihood of a successful transition back into the community and employment.
Jointly Funded Full Time Instructor - The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services entered into this agreement to mutually serve students with disabilities in the Pike County and Troy City Boards of Education through cooperatively funding the professional services of one full-time nine-month instructor, housed at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology. Instruction will be provided in an integrated classroom setting with peers who are not identified as students with disabilities and will focus on the area of pre-employment transition services. These pre-employment transition services, which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA, will be provided in a group setting in a classroom or the community. The instruction of pre-employment transition services provided will be in the areas of: job exploration counseling, work- based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training and instruction in self-advocacy. This instruction is designed to prepare students with disabilities to enter long term competitive integrated employment in high demand careers by identifying and exploring career interests, as well as, increasing individual independence, self-sufficiency and inclusion of students with disabilities in their communities. Students served by this program include any student with a disability enrolled at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community-based experiences.
Jobs for Alabama Graduates (JAG) - The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services have agreements with twenty-five JAG programs in our state to jointly serve students with disabilities who are participating in the JAG program.
Through the JAG program, students with substantial barriers to employment and who are at risk of dropping out of high school, are exposed to over 700 hours (beginning in the 9th grade) of services (workplace readiness training, career exploration, work-based learning) with the goal of increasing the student’s likelihood of graduation and entry into employment or post-secondary training.