The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon

Service Area Plan for DARS Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Service Area Background Information

Service Area Description

This service area provides comprehensive services to eligible individuals with disabilities necessary for them to prepare for or retain employment.

Service Area Alignment to Mission

This service area provides comprehensive services to eligible individuals with disabilities necessary for them to prepare for or retain employment.

Service Area Statutory Authority

Title 51.5 of the Code of Virginia:

Chapter 3 designates the agency, along with the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, as the state agency responsible for carrying out the provisions and purposes of the federal Rehabilitation Act.

Chapter 5 establishes the requirements regarding the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program.

Chapter 6 authorizes the agency to make grants and enter into contracts to assist employers in hiring, training and providing other services to persons with severe disabilities and provides criteria for such grants and contracts. 

There also is federal statutory authority regarding the programs and services of the agency, as follows:

Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-220) is the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.   Title I of the Rehabilitation Act establishes the Vocational Rehabilitation program and Title VI Part B establishes the Supported Employment Services for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities.

The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-107) provides Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities expanded options for access to employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services. Providers of those services are paid for the services after the beneficiaries achieve certain levels of work.

The Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (P.L. 108-364) supports State efforts to improve the provision of assistive technology by providing states with financial assistance to implement programs designed to meet the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities.

Service Area Customer Base

Customer Served Potential
Vocational Rehabilitation Field Service Consumers 25,182 25,182
Follow Along Support Services Consumers 2,831 3,325
Employers 7,528 7,528

Anticipated Changes In Service Area Customer Base
When the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program has insufficient funds to serve all eligible consumers, federal law requires that services be prioritized. Individuals with most significant disabilities have first priority for VR services; this is what is called an order of selection.  DARS entered into order of selection on July 1, 2004 and only served those individuals with most significant disabilities (three or more serious functional limitations) and those individuals with significant disabilities and two serious functional limitations.  All other individuals were placed on a waiting list for services.  As of June 30, 2005, the waiting list stood at 758 individuals. DARS began addressing the waiting list in Fiscal Year 2006.  Wait-listed individuals who have significant disabilities and one serious functional limitation will be served. Those with non-significant disabilities, however, will most likely not be served.  It is projected that in Federal Fiscal Year 2005, which ends September 30, 2005, 25,182 consumers will be served.  This is a 19.4%decrease from the average of the previous three fiscal years.  Assuming that sufficient resources exist, DARS should see an 11.2% increase in the number served in the coming year as we begin providing services to all consumers with significant disabilities.

DARS continues to serve a large number students (age 14 to 22) seeking VR services to enable them to transition from secondary school to work.  Historically, over 30% of the consumers served are students in transition.  In Fiscal Year 2004, 39% of the VR consumers who received services were students in transition.  During that same fiscal year, 28% of all VR  consumers who achieved an employment outcome were transition students.  Based on Census population projections by age group, the civilian noninstitutional population 5 to 20 years is expected to increase 9.4% between 2005 and 2015.  Approximately 8.1% of this age group is students with disabilities. Therefore, the numbers of students needing transition services will continue to increase, which will require more dedicated resources to this population.

Due to a number of outreach activities and systems change initiatives, it is expected that the VR program will experience a significant increase in referrals for adults and youth exiting Virginia’s correctional system.

With state funding, DARS is able to serve individuals with significant disabilities requiring follow along after they complete their VR program and are employed.  These services are provided through the State’s 87 Employment Services Organizations.  Currently, there is $8.6 million  in follow along services that served 2831 individuals in Fiscal Year 2005.  This amount is woefully short to address the need.  With the increase of $763,500 as provided in the Governor's Budget for FY 2007-2008, it is projected that DARS will be able to serve 494 additional consumers.   

One of the VR program’s major customers is Virginia businesses who need qualified workers.  Through Business Development Managers, DARS serves these employers by providing qualified job candidates, helping businesses build workforce diversity programs, identifying reasonable accommodations for prospective or existing employees with disabilities or improve workplace accessibility, and conducting corporate disability awareness training that includes information on the various tax incentives for employers who hire and/or accommodate people with disabilities in their workplace.  The number of employers served is expected to increase by about 10% in the coming year as larger numbers of VR consumers are placed into jobs with Virginia employers. 

DARS continues to address the communication needs of customers by having counselors who specialize in deaf caseloads and other employees who can communicate in sign language and Spanish.  In addition, sign language and foreign language interpreters are contracted as needed for employees and customers in need of interpreting services and counselors use other resources, including assistive technology, to communicate with customers with special needs.  All VR forms used by the public have been translated into Spanish and posted on the Internet for public use.  In the coming years, DARS will need to ensure that its services and documents are accessible to individuals with Limited English Proficiency, as required by federal law.

Service Area Partners

DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES: The Department of Medical Assistance Services partners with DARS on administering grants to develop the infrastructure for a Medicaid Buy-In Program in Virginia.

DEPARTMENT FOR THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING: The Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing partners with DARS on expanding interpreting services statewide.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS: The Department of Education and local public schools, particularly those involved in Special Education, work collaboratively with DARS to serve youth with disabilities who are transitioning from secondary school to work.

DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES: The Department of Medical Assistance Services partners with DARS on administering grants to develop the infrastructure for a Medicaid Buy-In Program in Virginia

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES AND COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD: The Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services (DBHDS) and the Community Services Boards, through a cooperative agreement, support VR services to persons with substance abuse and serious mental illness disabilities.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES: The Department of Social Services, through a cooperative agreement and grant funding to DARS, supports the provision of VR services to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients who are at risk of losing benefits if they do not enter employment.

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS: Employment Services Organizations certified as vendors to the VR program provide work adjustment training and supported employment services to consumers with the most significant disabilities.  These organizations also provide follow along supports to these consumers who have successfully left the VR program and need additional supports to remain employed.

LTESS STEERING COMMITTEE AND ESO ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The Long Term Employment Support Services Steering (LTESS) Committee recommends to the DARS Commissioner a mechanism to allocate the LTESS funds to Employment Services Organizations ESO).  The ESO Advisory Committee advises the Commissioner on ESO activities.

REHABILITATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: The Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration provides federal funding, technical assistance, policy guidance, monitoring and oversight, and training and educational materials for the VR program.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: The Social Security Administration, through Maximus (the contractor for the administration of the Ticket-to-Work program), provides assistance to DARS in receiving reimbursements for Ticket-to-Work consumers. Social Security Administration.

STATE REHABILITATION COUNCIL: The State Rehabilitation Council serves as an advisory council to DARS regarding its VR and supported employment programs and other agency programs and services that support Virginians with disabilities.

THE WOODROW WILSON REHABILITATION CENTER: The Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) is a comprehensive residential rehabilitation center in Fishersville, VA.  While the DARS Commissioner has the statutory responsibility of operating WWRC, WWRC is completing a strategic plan separate from DARS.  Therefore, for purposes of this plan, WWRC is a partner in working collaboratively with DARS' VR program to provide rehabilitation and training services to VR consumers referred to the Center for assistance.

VATS REGIONAL SITES: The Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS) Regional Sites at Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech and George Mason University receive state and federal funds through DARS to provide assistive technology training, device reutilization programs, device loan programs and device demonstrations.

VIRGINIA WORKFORCE, COUNCIL, VEC AND LOCAL WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARDS: The Virginia Workforce Council, the Virginia Employment Commission and the Local Workforce Investment Boards and other mandated partners are collaborative bodies in the administration and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act.

Service Area Products and Service

COORDINATION OF VIRGINIA’S WORKFORCE INVESTMENT SYSTEM: Under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), VR is a mandated partner in the State’s Workforce Investment System.  As such, there are designated VR staff who serve on the Local Workforce Investment Boards and the Youth Councils to assist in the design of the workforce development programs in the localities.  DARS has a memorandum of understanding with each Board that describe the services and expectations of the various WIA partners.  In some instances, VR staff are co-located in the One-Stop Career Centers, or visit the Centers on a routine basis, to provide services to individuals with disabilities looking for employment assistance.  DARS also has partnered with other state agencies to assess the programmatic and physical accessibility of the One-Stop Career Centers so that they can better serve individuals with disabilities.  Through Department of Labor grants to Local Workforce Investment Boards, DARS is developing service models (Disability Program Navigators and transition specialists) to serve individuals with disabilities through the One-Stop Career Centers.

GRANTS DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION: Development of competitive external funding proposals (primarily grants and cooperative agreements) and the development, implementation, and management of externally funded systems development and systems change projects.

VIRGINIA ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM (VATS): Provides system change activities and services to increase access to assistive technology for Virginians with disabilities.  Activities include the development and distribution of resource materials, information and referral services, training and technical assistance, equipment demonstration, and advocacy initiatives.

VOCATIONIAL REHABILITATION (VR): The VR program provides services to individuals with disabilities necessary for them to prepare for or retain employment.  Services are individualized and are designed to assist an individual to reach an employment goal that is consistent with the individual’s strengths, resources, abilities, interests and informed choice.  Services that are provided to eligible consumers include: vocational evaluation, career exploration and vocational counseling, job development and placement, support for vocational training, support for physical and mental restorative services, rehabilitation engineering, miscellaneous services required for participation in a rehabilitation program and business development services to employers.  Supported employment services are provided to consumers with the most significant disabilities by ESOs.  The goal of supported employment is to maximize employment opportunities for these consumers who require support in order to work in integrated, competitive employment.

SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT FOR THE PHYSICALLY DISABLED (SEPD): In 1988, the General Assembly allocated funds to provide long term follow-along to consumers with physical disabilities placed through supported employment and who do not have access to alternate long term funding sources such as might be available through the local Community Services Boards. Five SEPD Counselors are strategically located throughout the state and have access to the SEPD funds for the purpose of purchasing long term follow-along services, as needed, through our Supported Employment vendors across the state.

FOLLOW ALONG SUPPORT SERVICES: As an extension of the VR program of the Field Rehabilitative Services Division, DARS administers the state funded Extended Employment Services (EES) and Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) programs through its Office of Employment Services & Special Programs (OESSP).  OESSP is the functional unit within DARS that is the link between the time-limited services of the basic VR program and the on-going activities necessary to support individuals in employment after they leave the VR program. Funding for EES provides services to persons with significant disabilities who are employed by ESOs.  Thru EES, the ESOs provide extraordinary supervision, training, advocacy, and other supports necessary for these individuals to learn employment skills and maintain employment.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND ADMINISTRATION: Economic Development funds have been appropriated since 1983 specifically for “sheltered workshop activities”.  The purpose of the fund is to improve and develop ESOs through industrialization, innovation, demonstration, modernization, capitalization, and diversification of programs.  The fund currently stands at $20,000 due to the legislatively approved planned diversion of funds to direct consumer services as a result of cutbacks in Fiscal Year 2003.  When funds are available, DARS administers these funds through grants awarded as a result of an Request for Proposals (RFP) to eligible Employment Services Organizations.  The RFP process seeks to respond to: (a) the need for expand of capacity to serve mentally and physically disabled individuals and (b) the need for capitalization to improve the capacity of the facilities to provide higher quality employment services.

DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING SERVICES: The Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) program provides comprehensive community-based VR services through specialized VR counselors who are fluent and certified in sign language. The program promotes DHH advocacy and awareness within the rehabilitation community; provides technical assistance and consultation to field staff, and develops and monitors interagency cooperative efforts on behalf of people with hearing impairments. Program staff provide community education and technical assistance to entities involved with job training, job placement, and employment of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing. The DHH program currently includes one Program Coordinator, nine Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf. Additionally, there are six positions at the Deaf Services Unit (DSU) at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center.

TICKET–TO-WORK ADMINISTRATION: In 1999, Congress passed the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. Under the Ticket Program, the Social Security Administration provides disability beneficiaries with a ticket they may use to obtain the services they need from Employment Networks (ENs) to become employed.  DARS can receive reimbursements from the Social Security Administration for the costs of services provided to either Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who place their ticket with DARS and receive VR services leading to employment.

Factors Impacting Service Area Product and Services
The VR program is a federal/state partnership and receives approximately 78% of its Title I funding from the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration.  The required state match for the federal funds is about 28%.  For every dollar DARS spends for VR services, it receives $3.69 in federal funding.  From State Fiscal Year 1991 to State Fiscal Year 2005, the Federal Title I funding has increased by 81% as opposed to the agency’s available State fund match appropriations that have increased by only 2%.  While VR is DARS’ largest program, only 29% of the agency’s general fund appropriations remain available for VR program participation (match).  In 1991, 50% of the agency’s general fund appropriation was available for match.

A significant number of VR employees are expected to retire or leave the agency for other jobs in the coming years.  Staff vacancies affect the timely delivery of services to VR consumers.  In addition, VR counselor positions are difficult to recruit because of the federal requirement that counselors possess a Masters degree in rehabilitation counseling or a closely related field.  The higher education institutions are not producing sufficient numbers of graduates with these qualifications who want to work in public VR program to meet the demand, particularly in the rural areas.

Even prior to the implementation of order of selection, the VR program had a very high rate of consumers who are significantly disabled.  This rate has risen thru the years from 82.2% in Federal Fiscal Year 1998 to 92.8% in Federal Fiscal Year 2004. Successful employment of VR consumers, particularly those with significant disabilities, is dependent on their receipt of individualized and appropriate services to address their ever increasing complex needs.  The lack of financial resources to serve all Virginians who need and are eligible for VR services will continue to be an issue. 

For many individuals with disabilities, their major impediments to employment are: accessible and affordable transportation (particularly in rural areas); the possibility that their earnings may put them above the threshold for Medicaid benefits, resulting in the loss of health insurance; and access to affordable assistive technology.

DARS is actively pursuing grant funding to supplement the federal funding and state match funding for the VR program.  However, anticipated budget cuts at the Federal level may reduce the amount of grant funding available and increase the competition for available funds.

The reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act may remove the VR program as a mandated partner on the Local Workforce Investment Boards, which could affect DARS’ ability to appropriately advocate for accessible services for people with disabilities at the One-Stop Career Centers.  In addition, increased cost allocation/sharing requirements for infrastructure costs and office co-locations could affect service delivery.

Although the Assistive Technology Act was reauthorized in 2001, the President’s budget contains no funding for VATS past Fiscal Year 2006.

The VR database, the Virginia Rehabilitation Information System (VRIS), is outdated and inefficient.  DARS has acquired a new web-based data system, AWARE, which will replace VRIS.  In the interim, however, the VRIS system will be used for the next couple of years until the AWARE system can be fully implemented.

Anticipated Changes To Service Area Products and Services
The VR program will need to position itself to respond to the growing number of students who will be seeking transition changes.  This will require enhancing outreach activities to school personnel and students and their families to educate them on the availability and purpose of DARS transition services, adjusting counselor caseloads to respond to the growth, and working collaboratively with the Department of Education and local secondary schools to develop a teamwork approach to transition services.

As a cost efficiency measure, DARS is actively expanding opportunities for “mobile workers” and co-location of VR staff with other appropriate agencies.  Over the past few years, many VR counselors began spending much of their work time in the public schools, in One-Stop Career Centers, and other locations to effectively work with consumers.  The expansion of this “mobile work” environment requires staff to be more proficient and comfortable with the use of technology and working independently.  

DARS’ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Unit will be collaborating with the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in producing a statewide needs assessment/census for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf blind, and expanding interpreting services statewide via remote video conferencing equipment to enhance communication accessibility

With funding received from the Department of Social Services, DARS will be expanding VR services to TANF recipients through more specialty counselors trained specifically to provide VR services to this population.

DARS hopes to partner with the Virginia Employment Commission, as the lead agency in the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act, to provide Disability Program Navigator services to all of the Local Workforce Investment Boards thru a cooperative grant funded by the Department of Labor. 

If Federal funding opportunities are reduced, the focus of grants development may shift to include more proposals to private funding sources, including private foundations, charitable organizations, and corporate giving programs.

New State certification requirements for One-Stop Career Centers may necessitate an increase in accessibility surveys conducted by DARS and other partners to ensure physical and programmatic access to the Centers for people with disabilities.

With the passage of House Bill 2636, DARS will be working with the Department of General Services to identify ESOs and their products and services for agencies and institutions in Virginia to access in purchasing needed goods and supplies.

The reauthorized Assistive Technology Act shifts the focus from systems change to service delivery. The legislation requires that States spend 60 percent of the federal funds received by each state Assistive Technology program go to the following new required activities (referred to as “state level activities”):  device reutilization programs, device loan programs and device demonstrations.

The implementation of the new VR database system, AWARE, which will help the VR program staff be more efficient and effective in their jobs and will provide more sophisticated information for program management.

Service Area Financial Summary

The Vocational Rehabilitation Services' funding comes from federal funds (78%), and general funds (22%).

  Fiscal Year 2007 Fiscal Year 2008
Report Type General Funds Nongeneral Funds General Funds Nongeneral Funds
Base Budget $15,960,882 $56,254,721 $15,960,882 $56,254,721
Changes to Base $677,256 $2,724,123 $677,256 $2,724,173
SERVICE AREA TOTAL $16,638,138 $58,978,894 $16,638,138 $58,978,894

Service Area Human Resources Summary

The VR program is primarily composed of employees in the Field Rehabilitative Services Program who provide direct services to VR consumers to help them become employed or maintain employment.  Field Rehabilitative Services staff are in 36 offices throughout the state; the field offices are broken down into five regions.  There are four regional directors (one regional director covers both the Central and Tidewater regions) and 18 managers.  In addition to supervising field offices, managers often provide direct VR services to consumers, serve on agency taskforces, conduct formal training classes, and perform a host of responsibilities to sustain collaborative relationships with vendors, and other service providers. Approximately 94% of the employees are VR counselors, VR evaluators, program support staff, rehabilitation engineers, and business development staff.  The Field Services Director and other program support staff (Education Services) are located in the agency’s Central Office.  VR also includes the OESSP Unit. This unit manages the following programs: supported employment, follow along support services, deaf and hard of hearing, TANF, workers’ compensation, substance abuse, and serious mental illness.

The Grants and Special Programs unit includes the staff for the Virginia Assistive Technology System and those who are responsible for the administration of the Ticket-to-Work and the Social Security Administration’s SSDI reimbursement  programs.  This unit also is responsible for grants development and collaborates with the Field Rehabilitation Services program and the Virginia Employment Commission on the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act program in Virginia. 

The VR program receives numerous position transfers under agreements with other state agencies to provide VR services to the consumers of these agencies: the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services for substance abuse and serious mental illness consumers and the Department of Social Services for TANF recipients.

The Human Resource levels do not account for positions that are transferred on an annual basis from other state agencies to support VR services to specific groups of individuals with disabilities.

Service Area Work Force Breakdown

Effective Date:              1/1/2006
Total Authorized Position Level ………………….353.5        
Vacant Positions ……………………… …………  29
      Non Classified (Filled) …………….0
      Full-Time Classified (Filled) ………349.9
      Part-Time Classified (Filled) ……...3.6
      Faculty (Filled) ……………………. 0
Wage ………………………………………. ……....24
Contract Employees ……………………………….18
Total Human Resource Level ……………... …….395.5

Factors Impacting Service Area Human Resources

A significant number of VR employees are expected to retire or leave the agency for other jobs in the coming years.  Particularly in the Northern Virginia area, VR employees are leaving the agency for higher paying jobs or jobs with better benefits in the school systems, the federal government and private employers.

The personnel standard that DARS uses to comply with the qualified personnel requirement of the Rehabilitation Act is the educational requirements of the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Guide (Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a closely related field) or the actual CRC or Certified  Vocational Evaluator (CVE).  This requirement makes it very difficult to recruit VR counselors, especially counselors who are proficient in sign language, and evaluators because they must meet this standard in order to be considered for a position. The higher education institutions are not producing sufficient numbers of graduates with these qualifications who want to work in the public VR program to meet the demand, particularly in the rural areas.  Accordingly, it is not unusual for positions to be in the recruitment phase for many months searching for qualified candidates.

The VR program receives grant funding from the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide training for VR staff.  This is a major source of funding for DARS to ensure that VR staff continue to have the knowledge and skills that they need to continue to provide effective services to their consumers.  DARS recently applied to RSA for a new five year In-Service Training Grant.  If a reduction in the grant funding occurs, the number of training programs and individuals who will receive training could be impacted.

DARS, with the Virginia Employment Commission, will look to implement the Disability Program Navigator initiative in all seventeen of the Local Workforce Investment areas.  DARS, however, will need to partner with another state agency to obtain sufficient positions to accomplish this task.  The only other alternative would be to use contract positions, which would not be as effective in ensuring statewide consistency.

The VR staff will need to dedicate a large amount of time to the implementation of the new VR database system, AWARE.  Approximately 30 staff are involved in the transition planning phases and all staff will need to become proficient on the new system in the next few years.

Anticipated Changes To Service Area Human Resources

In FY 2007, DARS will receive five positions from the Virginia Employment Commission to implement the Disability Navigator Program.

The VR program will need to implement new recruitment and retention plans to address the anticipated vacancies in critical positions.  These plans will include: an expanded student internship program with college and universities to attract masters level students to DARS; hiring former employees (retirees) in wage positions to train and mentor new employees and current employees who are changing job functions; and developing a trainee counselor position to attract candidates who do not meet the federal requirements for a VR counselor, but agree to acquire these credentials within an agreed upon period of time.  In addition, more resources will be expended on severance costs, recruitment and in responding to salary competition.

DARS will need to maintain its commitment to providing training to VR staff to keep them proficient in serving VR consumers.  This commitment will include expanding the use of video conferencing and on-line training as a means of reducing training costs and time spent out of the office traveling to and from training sites.  In addition, DARS will need to stay committed to succession planning to enable current staff to move into future leadership positions.

DARS will continue to expand opportunities for “mobile workers” and co-location of VR staff with other appropriate agencies.

Service Area Objectives, Measures, and Strategies

Objective 45404.01   
To assist eligible individuals with disabilities to become employed and maintain employment that is consistent with individual interests, abilities and informed choice.

The VR program is an employment program.  It is appropriate that the primary objective of this program be the placement and maintenance of employment by individuals who are determined eligible, who receive services and who exit the VR program in stable employment.

This Objective Supports the Following Agency Goals:

Provide consumer focused and cost effective services that prepare and enable Virginians with disabilities to be gainfully employed.

The VR program serves individuals with disabilities who have impediments to employment and who require assistance to achieve an employment outcome.  Achievement of employment is central to the agency mission and mandate that promotes employment and independence of individuals with disabilities.

This Objective Has The Following Measure(s):

Measure 45404.01.01
DARS will work to ensure that 58% of vocational rehabilitation consumers achieve their employment goals and work satisfactorily for at least 90 days upon completion of their programs.  This is a key measure.

                             
Measure Type: Outcome                    Measure Frequency: Quarterly

Measure Baseline: 53.4% at year end State Fiscal Year 2005

Measure Target: 58%

Measure Data Source and Calculation
The source of this measure is data recorded in the Virginia Rehabilitation Information System (the VR administrative database).  The calculation is: of all the vocational rehabilitation consumers whose cases were closed after receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment, the percentage who achieved an employment outcome.

Measure 45404.01.02
Average hourly wage of vocational rehabilitation consumers employed at the time of their case closure.

Measure Type: Outcome                    Measure Frequency: Quarterly

Measure Baseline: $9.02 is the average hourly wage for the past three years.

Measure Target: $9.02

Measure Data Source and Calculation
The source of this measure is data recorded in the Virginia Rehabilitation Information System (the VR administrative database).  For each individual with an employment outcome who exited the VR program during the federal fiscal year, divide earnings in the week before closure by the number of hours worked in the week before closure to obtain the hourly wage for each individual. Then, sum the hourly wages and divide the sum by the total number of individuals. This is reported on the Federal Fiscal Year.

Measure 45404.01.03
Vocational rehabilitation consumer satisfaction survey overall satisfaction rate.

Measure Type: Outcome                   Measure Frequency: Quarterly

Measure Baseline: 82% average for the past three Federal Fiscal Years.

Measure Target: 82%

Measure Data Source and Calculation
This measure is calculated using information from satisfaction survey responses from a random sample of VR consumers who exited the VR program during the Federal Fiscal Year.  The sample includes both consumers whose cases were closed as successfully rehabilitated (employment outcome) and those whose cases are closed without a successful rehabilitation (no employment outcome). This measures the percent of vocational rehabilitation consumers satisfied or very satisfied with their overall vocational rehabilitation experience.  This is reported on the Federal Fiscal Year.

Objective 45404.01.01 Has The Following Strategies:

  • Continue to collaborate with the Woodrow Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) to ensure that WWRC’s programs and services complement VR services, also resulting in increased referrals to WWRC.
  • Collaborate with One-Stop Career Centers, schools, Department of Social Services.
  • Fully implement the new Integrated Case Management system to help VR staff be more efficient and effective in their work and produce more reliable data for program management.
  • Develop a model of employment focused collaboration among VR staff and consumers to achieve effective communication, shared responsibility and accountability for employment outcomes.
  • In compliance with federal legislation, enhance education and outreach to school and community partners to foster a collaborative transition approach to service provision that includes involvement of transition stakeholders, including the student,  family, school personnel and VR staff, leading to integration of the student's IEP and IPE and execution of services leading to employment.
  • Collaborate with the Virginia Department of Education to identify appropriate and meaningful assessments for students in transition that identify and improve viable choices for students and increase employment potential for youth in transition.
  • Provide VR staff with the technology and other resources they need to work more effectively in mobile work environments.
  • Collaborate with the Virginia Assistive Technology System to enhance the availability of assistive technology for VR consumers and to educate VR counselors on identifies technology needs and accommodation solutions.
  • Continue to advocate for increases in EES and LTESS funding to provide needed follow-along services to consumers who need long term supports to remain in employment.
  • Develop recruitment and retention plans to address the anticipated vacancies in critical positions, including paid student internships, hiring retired employees in hourly positions and developing a trainee counselor position to attract candidates who are not yet fully qualified, but can expect to acquire the required VR counselor credentials within brief period of time.
  • Support training programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of VR staff and to prepare employees to successfully move into leadership roles within the agency.

Objective 45404.02
Provide ongoing supports to persons with significant disabilities who need these supports to maintain employment following their  VR case closure.

On-going supports in the way of Extended Employment Services and Long Term Employment Support Services allow consumers who are most significantly disabled to maintain their employment following their VR case closure.  Without these supports, consumers would be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.

This Objective Supports the Following Agency Goals:

Provide consumer focused and cost effective services that prepare and enable Virginians with disabilities to be gainfully employed.

Follow along supports enable VR consumers who have exited the VR program to receive the assistance that they need to maintain their employment.

This Objective Has the Following Measures(s):

Measure 45404.02.02
Number of workers with disabilities served through follow along service.

Measure Type: Output                       Measure Frequency: Annually

Measure Baseline: 2,831 consumers were served through long term supports in State Fiscal Year 2005

Measure Target: 3,325 consumers will be served through long term supports in FY 2007-2008

Measure Data Source and Calculation
The data source is an internal agency database used to capture vendor payment.  The calculation is the sum of the number of consumers served during the fiscal year June 1 through May 31.           

Objective 45404.02. Has The Following Strategies:

  1. Project the utilization of funds and the reallocation of funds to ensure full utilization.
  2. Provide on-going technical support to the ESOs.