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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. B. Support innovation and expansion activities; and

Current Narrative:

IDVR will continue to maintain the two ongoing primary innovation activities, supporting the activities of both the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the State Independent Living Council (SILC). The SRC serves as IDVR’s advisory council and together with the Division and the CSNA inform the goals, priorities, and strategies for agency.

Additionally, the Division is particularly interested in designating funds for the purpose of improving the quality of CRP services to individuals with disabilities.  The Division will evaluate the best approach for improvement, including input from the CRP community, and allocate resources to begin this innovative activity.  It is expected that the Division will begin this process in PY2020 and continue efforts into PY2021. 

These innovation activities are driven by WIOA regulatory changes and information derived from the past two CSNA’s.

The expansion of Benefits Counseling services to individuals who are SSI/SSDI recipients: 

The Division historically has used the services provided by Montana State University, Billings, Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA), however, this service is only for those individuals with disabilities who are employed.  The Division is prioritizing the delivery of benefits counseling to customers who receive Social Security Disability benefits to promote better informed decisions regarding work, and to resolve any ambivalence/anxiety about losing benefits, as early in the VR process as possible. Few individuals are certified to deliver benefits counseling in Idaho.  The Division plans to assess the number of current qualified benefit counselors (Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWIC) and develop a plan to increase the number to adequately address the Benefits Counseling needs of individuals with disabilities served by the program.  The Division intends to designate funds for this expansion activity in PYs 2020 and 2021.   

The expansion of Customized Employment (CE) services through a pilot relaunch (Pilot 2.0): 

IDVR engaged in an initial pilot program to launch CE services in three pilot sites across Idaho.  The Division worked closely with WINTAC and our CE training provider, Griffin-Hammis Associates to train educators, CRP staff and IDVR staff including five-days of face-to-face instruction and distance and in-person technical assistance.  Ultimately, the CRPs who participated in the training were unable to retain the staff trained in the pilot, and subsequently IDVR was left without the capacity to deliver CE or expand CE delivery statewide.  Staff turnover continues to be a significant issue for CRPs, and the Division is exploring potential changes to the structure of the pilot to include expanding the array of providers who are recognized as qualified CE providers as well as evaluating sustainable CE training delivery models. IDVR will continue efforts in the CE Community of Practice as well as continued engagement in the intensive technical assistance agreement with WINTAC. A CE Pilot 2.0 is planned to be developed and implemented in PYs 2020 and 2021.  The Division intends to designate funds for this expansion activity in PYs 2020 and 2021.  Division personnel are slated to attend the CE National Forum on May 19-20 in Washington, DC to better understand where other programs are gaining traction in the launch of their own CE initiatives.