- 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
j. 1. A. With the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
The number of people with disabilities in Idaho is growing. The American Community Survey (ACS) one–year estimates of individuals with disabilities in Idaho increased from 204,780 in 2014 to 224,887 in 2016, and 233,494 in 2018 representing an increase of 3.8 percent over two years, and 14 percent over the past four years (ACS Disability Characteristics, 2014, 2016 and 2018 1–Year Estimates).
According to data from the American Community Survey (2018), 13.5 percent of Idaho civilians living in the community report having a disability, including 11.6 percent of residents of working age (18–64). The prevalence of disability in Idaho roughly corresponds to that of the United States. A more extensive profile of Idahoans with Disabilities is contained in section II(a)(1)(B) Workforce Analysis portion of the combined section of this plan.
IDVR commissioned a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) beginning late summer of 2019, including an assessment of the rehabilitation needs of youth with disabilities in transition and student need for Pre-Employment Transition Services.
The independent CSNA identified the following themes in the area of needs of individuals with the significant disabilities including their need for supported employment:
- Supported Employment is a necessary service for people with the most significant disabilities and needs, which IDVR has been successfully providing for many years. Changes due to WIOA has created some challenges in implementing new practices, but overall IDVR excels in this area.
- Participants expressed that there is a need to improve the quality of employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
- Customized Employment is seen as an important employment strategy for individuals with the most significant disabilities. Training in CE has been completed in partnership with the WINTAC, but it has not been sustainable to date. Many participants indicated that they are looking forward to the implementation of CE 2.0 after IDVR revamps the training, expectations and fee structure.
- The rehabilitation needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities that were cited the most frequently (beyond SE and CE) include transportation, job skills, training, job coaching and soft skills.
Individual Survey: Barriers to Obtaining or Keeping a Job
Respondents were presented with a list of 16 barriers to obtaining employment and asked to indicate whether the item had been a barrier that impacted their ability to obtain or keep a job. The table below summarizes the most frequently stated barriers and the impact on obtaining or keeping employment.
|Barriers to Obtaining or Keeping Job||Percent Reporting Barrier|
|Employer concerns about my ability to do the job due to my disability||55.3%|
|Lack of education or training||53.6%|
|Mental health concerns||46.3%|
|Lack of job skills||44.8%|
|Lack of job search skills||32.3%|
|Lack of reasonable accommodations at work||29.9%|
|Lack of assistive technology||24.2%|
|Concern over loss of Social Security benefits due to working||22.1%|
Respondents were presented with a list of barriers and asked to identify the three most significant barriers that they have faced specifically toward getting a job. Table VR.3 contains a summary of the top-three ranked barriers identified by participants and the frequency of identification.
|Significant Barriers to Getting a Job||Times identified as a "top-three" barrier||Percent of Total Number of Respondents Selecting Barrier|
|Lack of education or training||488||43.7%|
|Employer concerns about my ability to do the job due to my disability||437||39.2%|
|Lack of job skills||358||32.1%|
|Mental Health concerns||319||28.6%|
|Lack of available jobs||286||25.6%|
|Lack of job search skills||163||14.6%|
|Lack of reasonable accommodations at work||145||13.0%|
|Concern over loss of Social Security benefits due to working||137||12.3%|
A total of 1,116 respondents answered the question. Lack of education or training, employer concerns about my ability to do the job, and lack of job skills were the three top items selected by respondents, matching two of the top three responses in the previous Table X. The last 5 items on this list also resemble the last five items on the list in Table X.
Individual survey respondents were asked a yes-no question asking whether they had suggestions to improve IDVR to help people with disabilities to get a job or move to a better job. There were 285 “yes” responses (23.6%) from the 1,206 respondents.
Respondents were asked a subsequent open-ended question and given the opportunity to provide suggestions on how IDVR can improve in assisting people with disabilities to get a job or move to a better job. Responses to this question that were grouped into the following themes:
- Provide services in a timely manner
- Improve VR counselors’ communication and customer service
- Increase medical aspects of disability training to understand a wide variety of disabilities
- Increase awareness of IDVR and services for customers and employers
Individual survey respondents were asked an open-ended question to provide any additional comments that they would like to share regarding IDVR services. There were 393 narrative responses. Two-hundred two comments were appreciative and positive toward IDVR services and counselors. Themes within the remaining narrative responses noted delays in communication, counselor attitudes, wait times for services, and clarification of services available.
There is a strong correlation between those individuals requiring supported employment (SE) services and presumptively eligible participants in the VR program. To approximate the potential need for SE services, the Division will utilize counts of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries.
Individuals who qualify for SSI/SSDI are by law presumptively eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation services. The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that as of December 2018 the number of Idahoans age 18-64 who received SSDI was 47,608. Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that as of December 2018, SSI benefits were received by 26,241 individuals age 18-64 while 6,219 Idahoans concurrently received SSI and SSDI. These 73,849 individuals represent 7.2% of all working age Idahoans.
According to internal data, IDVR took applications on 4,006 cases in PY 2018 including 1,271 cases where SSI and/or SSDI benefits were verified. This represents a presumptive eligibility rate of 31.73 percent at application, an increase of 2.5 percent over FFY 2016.