- 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
- k. Annual Estimates
- k. Annual Estimates
k. 1. The number of individuals in the State who are eligible for services
Data from the American Community Survey estimate Alabama’s population to have a 16.3% rate of disability in 2018. This rate has remained fairly consistent over the past ten years. Of roughly 4.8 million citizens of all age groups (in 2018), over 783,000 were said to have disabilities. Many of those represented in this broad statistic would not be among the target population for VR services. ADRS estimates its potential service population as being comprised of four groups:
A. Unemployed labor force participants,
B. Under‐employed labor force participants,
C. Non‐participants in the labor force who are students or those who may be characterized as “marginally attached” or “discouraged” workers.
D. Potentially Eligible Students with Disabilities
As for unemployed labor force participants with disabilities, based on the best available data, ADRS estimates 67,755 individuals to be of working age, in the labor force, and unemployed. Regarding underemployment, if we assume that the rate of underemployment among those with a disability is at least equal to that found in the non‐disabled population, we estimate at least 7,078 persons with disabilities employed below their capabilities. With respect to non-labor force participants with the potential to return, Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates when applied to Alabama population and labor participation data suggest a further 9,557 individuals with the potential to meet VR guidelines for eligibility. Lastly, According to the Alabama State Department of Education’s October 2018 Child Count Report, just over 15,500 students age 16 to 21 had an Individualized Education Plan and were enrolled in public secondary education. Statistics from the Office of Civil Rights data collection, used in combination with data from the Alabama State Department of Education, support a tentative estimate of 1,500 Students in the same age range enrolled in public secondary education with a 504 plan. Lastly, using data from the American Community Survey, we estimated 2,200 additional Students with Disabilities in this age range among the ranks of those enrolled private schools and institutions. Based on observable trends, we adjusted up 2% per year to project an estimate of 20,000 for 2018. Taken together, these 74,833 from the labor force participant pool (groups A and B above) along with 9,557 from the non‐labor-force participant pool (group C), the figure of 84,390 may serve as a rough estimate of those with the potential to qualify and benefit from the full range of vocational rehabilitation services. The estimate of 20,000 potentially eligible students with disabilities, we believe should not directly contribute to the total annual estimate, as there is some overlap between this group and the others identified. Furthermore, many students with disabilities will qualify for the full range of vocational rehabilitation services.
Of the potential population (described above), the ADRS estimate for total individuals to be served in FY18 was 31,000. However , a greater than anticipated influx of consumers served as potentially eligible increased the total population to approximately 35,000 distinct individuals. Transition aged students who received services as potentially eligible most often eventually apply for services and receive services in subsequent years as a regular participant. This total distinct number of individuals served also increased to approximately 37,000 in FY 19 but is expected to return to about 35,000 as the number of potentially eligible students is not expected to increase at the level experienced over the last two years.
Based on this analysis, ADRS estimates a total of 35,000 individuals to be served through the VR program in FY 20 and 21. Of this 35,000 approximately 10,400 individuals will be served as potentially eligible or eligible with funds set aside for Pre-Employment transition services. The estimated amount of these funds is $9,816,603 . For Fiscal Year (FY) 20, beginning October 1, 2019 ,it is estimated that of the 35,000 individuals who will receive services, 23,000 will be eligible for services under the VR program. It is estimated that 1,600 additional individuals will receive assessment and diagnostic services as applicants without moving to eligibility or service status. Over the previous four years ADRS has consistently implemented new plans on 6,600 to 7,000 new individuals. It was estimated that ADRS would implement approximately 7,000 new plans in FY 18 with approximately 14,000 individuals implementing plan at the beginning of the period. This target estimate was met. However, there was an increase in FY 19 to 9,400 new plans with approximately 15,900 individuals with a plan beginning FY 20. This increase was due to an increase in the number of consumers moved from potentially eligible status to eligible status during the year. It is estimated for FY 20 the numbers will return to FY 18 levels and remain stable as the large influx of students with disabilities becoming eligible will not be as great as the first two years of implementation of Pre-Employment Transition Services. The estimate for FY 21 is 23,000 individuals will be eligible for services under the VR program. FY 22 should also remain stable with 23,000 individuals being served as eligible under the VR program.