- 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. 1. The methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities
In an effort to address executive order 19-31, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) continues to provide support and services that lead to advance knowledge and skills to find meaningful work and productive careers. Specifically, DVR provides support for students with disabilities and collaborates with customers in the areas of post-secondary vocational training and education, as well, job training and work-based learning to help individuals move into competitive integrated employment. During the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 18/19, DVR assisted businesses and employers with their workforce needs by connecting the talents, skills, and abilities of 5,924 customers with disabilities. This is a 24.7% increase from the previous SFY. In addition to helping more people receive employment outcomes, we increased the number of hours worked for those closures (29 hours a week from 28) and the average weekly salary ($370 from $340). Our Return on Investment for each dollar spent increased to $8.34 from $6.66 the previous year.
The legislation that authorizes VR, The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) prioritizes youth transition so that youth with a disability are ready to excel in the workplace. DVR has shown its commitment to this vision by increasing the number of individuals we support achieve a high school diploma or a GED by 7%. Additionally, DVR saw an increase of 8.8% in the number of individuals it supported in participants’ post-secondary education services.
Below are some example training programs that assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for 21st century careers:
- Comprehensive Transition Programs include career and technical schools
- High School High-Tech
- BRICK Program
- Agritourist Collaboration
- Career Camps
- Hands on Education
- Project Search
- Industry Readiness Training
- Self-Employment Program
DVR Business Representatives will continue to stay current and abreast of the labor market needs to align training and employment opportunities with sector strategies and targeted industries. This leads to pathways that are in high-skill, high-wage and high-demand careers and occupations. DVR collaborates with career and technical education, career source, college systems, schools, businesses and the Department of Economic Opportunity, to provide informed choices on career pathways into the 21st labor market.
To reinforce the critical importance of VR in our state's emerging efforts to support workforce, DVR is currently updating its policy related to serving individuals with disabilities who have substance use disorders to ensure access to vocational rehabilitation services to help them achieve employment success. Also, DVR is collaborating with Agency for Persons with Disabilities to identify and serve individuals with most significant disabilities to provide opportunities for workforce inclusion. DVR is a partner in the Employment First initiative along with ten other agencies to ensure the long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Additionally, DVR is working to expand its current Individual Placement Support Program, which is designed to assist individuals with significant mental health disorders obtain employment.
With regard to the state’s investment in Apprenticeship and computer science opportunities, DVR will continue to partner with Deloitte and Specialisterne to strengthen its efforts towards building an Autism at Work program, which recruits college graduates with autism into full-time positions in Science, Technology Engineer and Math (STEM) careers including cyber security, information management systems, computer science, engineering, and other IT related fields. Also, DVR partners with targeted industries to deliver work-based learning experiences for youth and adults. For example, Project Search. Project Search is a nationally recognized and trademark internship program for student with most significant disabilities, providing opportunities to complete job rotations in industries, such as healthcare, universities, hospitality and retail.
Moreover, DVR will continue to partner with the Brevard Internship in Construction Knowledge (BRICK) program which is a partnership with the Home Builders and Contractor Associations of Brevard and the Northeast Home Builders Association, which offer Work-Base Learning experiences (WBLE) in construction and trades. Also, we will strengthen collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration to recruit individuals with disabilities into their Air Traffic Controller Training Program. DVR partnered with Aerospace that resulted in a networking and career event with seven business partners to include Lockheed Martin, Collins Aerospace, Bevilacqua Research Corporation (BRC), Lockheed Martin , Jacobs, Micro Systems, Inc., Raytheon, Zel Technologies, VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, Inc. (ST Engineering), Your TEK Professionals which created multiple on the job training opportunities and employment.