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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

    • i. Comprehensive System of Personnel Development; Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

      Describe the designated State agency's procedures and activities to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified State rehabilitation professional and paraprofessional personnel for the designated State unit, including the following:

      • 4. Staff Development

        Describe the State agency's policies, procedures, and activities to ensure that, consistent with section101(a)(7)(C) of the Rehabilitation Act, all personnel employed by the designated State unit receive appropriate and adequate training in terms of:

i. 4. A. A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology, including training implemented in coordination with entities carrying out State programs under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; and

Current Narrative:

VR continues to assess training methods and curriculum in order to make necessary improvements to the development and delivery of training for staff, specifically new VR Counselors. Counselor training needs are assessed through survey, dialogue, supervisor recommendations, staff feedback, and agency directives. VR has a dedicated statewide training director to oversee all training initiatives, obtaining ongoing feedback from a variety of staff to work toward continuous improvement in the development and delivery of training.

Training is provided through a variety of modalities, including regional trainings, webinars, and in-person workshops.   As mentioned previously, VR also contracts with CCLC-IIDC for the provision of training including maintenance and enhancements to the web-based Leadership Academy. In recent years Orientation modules were revised to provide a more interactive experience for staff taking the courses. Content was updated, and quizzes, discussion questions and features designed to enhance supervisor to staff dialogue were incorporated. In 2018, the Core Course modules began undergoing this same revision process. Some of the topic areas covered through the Leadership Academy are listed below:

  • VR New Counselor Orientation (8-week course covering The Field of Disability Services, Participant Statuses, Referral, Application, Eligibility & Disability Priority Category Determination, Fiscal Accountability, Services & Vendors, Additional Services, Comprehensive Assessment, Individualized Plan for Employment, Case Closure, & Post-Employment Services);
  • WIOA Program Partners;
  • Intro to the Rehabilitation Act and principles of Rehabilitation;
  • Addictions;
  • Ex-Offenders
  • Independent Living; and
  • Personality Disorder.

In addition to formal classroom style or web-based training, a great deal of mentoring and coaching occurs at the local level, especially for new staff. Supervisors and Itinerant (working lead) VR Counselors play a large role in coaching new staff and will continue to be a key part of new staff training. Training curriculum specifically geared toward supervisors has been developed as well and was implemented in 2015. Training workshops have begun taking place regularly for new supervisors and ongoing training for all supervisors. Additionally, online training is required for new supervisors in regards to the human resources aspects of managing employees.