Florida

States - Big Screen

Things are looking bright for workers with disabilities who are excelling at their careers and living independent lives in the Sunshine State of Florida.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Florida’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.86%
Change from
2014 to 2015
20,271,272
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.27%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,177,644
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.68%
Change from
2014 to 2015
369,205
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
99.9%
Change from
2014 to 2015
31,035.00%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.93%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.07%

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 19,552,860 19,893,297 20,271,272
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,196,475 1,192,633 1,177,644
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 364,679 359,305 369,205
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 7,543,979 7,793,990 8,007,547
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 30.48% 30.13% 31,035.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 72.19% 73.38% 74.07%
Overall unemployment rate. 7.30% 6.30% 5.40%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.40% 21.40% 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 16.40% 15.90% 15.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,250,341 1,263,749 1,296,917
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,333,569 1,355,823 1,371,790
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,092,902 2,100,095 2,137,716
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 353,139 375,175 1
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 442,958 461,449 483,660
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 10,407 12,360 8,362
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 35,202 36,394 38,951
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 674 1,178 866
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 51,883 48,625 51,358
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 39,703 45,745 45,952

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,118 10,777 11,889
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.40% 2.50% 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 551,858 560,856 565,238

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 27,152 33,385 25,147
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 114,689 125,447 91,150
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 172,043 181,895 138,209
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 15.80% 18.40% 18.20%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.70% 0.80%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.30% 1.60% 1.40%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.80% 2.20% 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 40.10% 51.60% 45.50%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 991 1,016 1,390
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,293 2,206 2,505
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,281 3,087 3,348
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 73,040 72,975 79,138

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 52,538 50,122 49,920
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.05 0.05

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 206 303 208
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 151 221 151
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 73.00% 73.00% 73.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.78 1.13 0.74

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
24,125
13,478
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 287 156 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 1,620 782 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 6,163 3,334 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 5,929 3,414 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 8,996 5,188 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 1,130 604 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 19,830 19,148 21,811
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 816,085 827,430 836,960
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 643 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $6,028,000 $6,001,000 $5,650
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 14.00% 13.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. N/A N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. N/A N/A 0
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 12.80 12.00 11.20

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 70.70% 71.28% 74.44%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.40% 14.62% 12.81%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.00% 4.05% 3.92%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 90.50% 88.77% 90.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 26.60% 28.35% 28.63%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 38.30% 42.14% 43.67%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 50.40% 53.81% 55.74%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 11.67% 13.79% 15.04%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 4,441,740
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,034
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 742,483
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 2,343,931
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 3,086,414
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 739
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 2,731
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 3,470
AbilityOne wages (products). $5,580,820
AbilityOne wages (services). $27,575,185

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 87 72 73
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 4 4
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 76 78
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 6,037 6,260
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 320 320
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 6,357 6,580

 

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. (Page 41)
• Employment First Florida - Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Education (BEESS, VR, and FDBS) the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, RESPECT of Florida, and Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse, coming together through an interagency cooperative agreement to facilitate improved coordination of services to help people with disabilities gain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. The Employment First collaborative is developing a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach regarding the services available in Florida to support employment and training for people with disabilities. This initiative responds directly to a key recommendation of the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. (Page 53)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council led Employment First Initiative and their Employment and Transportation Task Force,
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
• Financial Capability for Persons with Disabilities
• Employment and Transportation Task Force led by the Florida Development Disabilities Council (Page 111)
Goal 2: To establish and strengthen collaborative strategic partnerships - The Council has developed in the past year a new recognition award for a group of most valued partners, our VR Counselors and front- line staff. It is important to appreciate these dedicated individuals for going above and beyond VR service expectations. The Council also has the annual Stephen R. Wise Award which recognizes a dedicated statewide leader, champion and advocate who embodies the qualities of passion and professionalism through public service making a significant difference in the life for persons with disabilities. Strategic partnerships are enhanced through the quarterly public forum invitation distribution and attendance; FRC member involvement in the Student Advisory Council (SAC) meetings; strategic planning and consortium support of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) Employment First initiative; and other engagements with strategic partners such as the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. National level involvement has also been another way for FRC to obtain and increase stronger strategic partnerships and awareness of best practices. We have several Council members who represent Florida on the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC) discussion groups on transitioning youth and the national WIOA implementation; we also had an FRC employee present at the Annual National Summit on VR Performance Management Excellence on the topic of Strategic Partnerships between Councils and VR agencies. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendation 4 provided above. (Page 175)
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR is currently a partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with VR’s belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. (Page 193)
VR collaborates with the Florida Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program to improve and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of Supported Employment services. (Page 199)
VR is a partner in the Employment First Initiative in Florida, created by Executive Order Number 13-284 issued by Governor Rick Scott. A Strategic Action Plan and agreement was developed with all of the mandated agencies and organizations. The plan included ways the agencies could work together to promote competitive integrated employment as the first and primary employment option. The Interagency agreement was approved and implementation has begun on the objectives listed below.
• Establish a commitment among the agencies’ leadership to maximize resources and coordinate with each other to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities seeking publically funded services.
• Develop strategic goals and reasonable benchmarks to assist the agencies in implementing this agreement.
• Identify financing and contracting methods that will prioritize employment among the array of services paid for or provided by agencies. (Page 242)
b.  Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c.  Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
d.  Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s supported employment and transition administrators. This included helping develop the Cooperative Agreement and the Collaborative Strategic Action Implementation Plan supporting employment as mandated by the Governor’s Executive Order Number 13-284. (Page 244)
4. The VR supported employment administrator provides training to certified business and technical assistance consultants and VR employees to encourage the use of supported self-employment as an employment option for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
5. VR works closely with the Employment First Partnership and Coalition, which includes nine organizations and agencies with related employment services. Promoting employment of people with disabilities was initial focus of the group. (Page 245)
• Develop a new cooperative agreement with APD specific to supported employment and removing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the eight signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local level with appropriate stakeholders.
• Maximize the quality of service delivery ensuring an efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, and coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services available for youth and adults. (Page 250)
FDBS transition specialist, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with all public high schools statewide and any private high schools requesting assistance. They provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for FDBS vocational rehabilitation services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community. (Page 272)
Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community.
Technical Assistance and Consultation Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with the FDBS, VR, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services employees. The agreement will enable those employees to consult, coordinate, and provide technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/guardians/surrogates, so they can plan for the student’s transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 274)
FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with the FDBS belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. 
Executive Order 13-284 (Reaffirming Commitment to Employment for Floridians with Disabilities) was signed by the Governor of Florida in October 2013. The Order mandates that an Interagency Cooperative Agreement be developed and requires agencies and organizations to participate in the Agreement. FDBS is one of the mandated partners and played a significant role in drafting the Order. (Page 276)
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS.
During the past year, FDBS and its Employment First Partners addressed many goals, including several recommendations by the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities, to advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The goals and recommendations achieved include:
• The development and implementation of the Florida “Abilities Work” Web Portal and Help Desk; which was recommended by the Governor’s Commission to assist employers in finding candidates with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and to learn about the resources that can support them on the job. FDBS works with the Abilities Work staff to increase employer relationships and placements, such as connecting employers referred by the Abilities Work help desk to our job ready clients.
• The development of a multi–agency, long–term communications plan to help the state promote a consistent message of awareness among employers and encourage them to hire persons with disabilities. This collaborative plan, will further advance employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists in an effort to increase employment opportunities for our clients. (Page 328)
FDBS remains engaged in the collaborative work through the Employment First Partnership and are advancing the Division’s commitment to improving economic prosperity of Floridians through employment for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
The Abilities Work Help Desk was created to support the Employment First initiative and FDBS began partnering with this resource in July 2014 with the intent of gaining employment referrals from businesses who are interested in hiring individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Additionally, FDBS maintained contact with the National Employment Team (the NET) and its southeast subcommittee to connect with businesses on a national and regional level. FDBS will continue these partnerships into SFY 2015–2016.
FDBS will also continue to implement strategies such as: collaborating with community rehabilitation providers; networking with national employment partners; integrating into the Florida Jobs Connection and/or the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to our employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state–owned BBE Programs, continued sponsoring of appropriate self–employment opportunities; providing technology training; academic and vocational training; and increasing the number of clients with a higher level education; and increasing our outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 329)
 

Customized Employment

~~• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services. (Page 61)
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Provide a variety of training and awareness programs designed to increase the awareness of supported employment as a vocational service for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Discovery and supported self-employment services.
Goal 3:  Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation service staff, families, and individuals.
Plans
• Increase supported employment training opportunities for VR counselors, providers, families, and individuals.
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices. (Page 226)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following.
 1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
 1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
 

Braiding/Blending Resources

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
 

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

~~ADDRESSING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE ONE-STOP DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002, and has continued to expand services to persons with disabilities within CareerSource Florida centers throughout the state. The DPN grant focused on developing relationships across agency and entity lines to leverage resources and enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities to increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on working with persons with varying disabilities
• Assure that the CareerSource centers were readily accessible. (Page 110-111)
 

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

~~VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.
VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
• Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)
Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders
An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.
Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)
During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159)
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities. (Page 225)
Plans
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)
Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff.
In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)
3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.
4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
a. Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
b. Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c. Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)
In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.
VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.
VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. The CILs provide services that include work readiness and financial literacy training, which are available to out–of–school youth. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement. (Page 186)

Benefits

~~• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following:
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
• Membership of state and local workforce boards.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)
Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
• Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
• Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116)
The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)
Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.
Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.
In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)
VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling.
Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)
Employment First
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.
VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)
The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)
Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)
An eligible individual with a disability which:
1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
2. Requires two or more primary services;
3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222) 
Order of Selection Policies
Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities.
After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.
This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
• Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
• Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
• Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)
1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.
• At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)
 Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)
FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:
• Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
• Inability to locate or contact clients;
• Clients’ relocation out of state;
• Staff vacancies;
• Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
• Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
• Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
• Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
 

School to Work Transition

~~Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:
1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)
In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15)
Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.
In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.
VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)
In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
• Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
• The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective.
Transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.
Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)
VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)
Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)
 

Data Collection

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes.
• CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
• Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
• One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)
Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP)
Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs. (Page 76)
The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)
VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)
VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.
Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)
FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)
Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)
 

Small business/Entrepreneurship

~~Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.
VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.
Florida Small Business Development Center Network
Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)
 

Career Pathways

~~Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.
Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)
(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)
 

Employment Networks

~~• Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)
LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)
Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act
One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)
The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities.
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
 Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
 Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
 Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
 Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
 Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
 Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)
FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)
 

Displaying 1 - 10 of 45

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida SB 642 - 05/21/2015

"It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a qualified ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] program in this state which will encourage and assist the saving of private funds in tax-exempt accounts in order to pay for the qualified disability expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

2016 Florida Statues “1004.6495 Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program and Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities”

“The purpose of this section is to increase independent living, inclusive and experiential postsecondary education, and employment opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities through degree, certificate, or nondegree programs and to establish statewide coordination of the dissemination of information regarding programs and services for students with disabilities. It is the intent of the Legislature that students with intellectual disabilities and students with disabilities have access to meaningful postsecondary education credentials and be afforded the opportunity to have a meaningful campus experience.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

2016 Florida Statues “1003.5716 Transition to postsecondary education and career opportunities”

”To ensure quality planning for a successful transition of a student with a disability to postsecondary education and career opportunities, an IEP team shall begin the process of, and develop an IEP for, identifying the need for transition services before the student with a disability attains the age of 14 years in order for his or her postsecondary goals and career goals to be identified and in place when he or she attains the age of 16 years.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Florida Executive Order 13-284: Reaffirming commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. - 10/08/2013

“‘Employment’" for purposes of this Executive Order is defined as integrated employment, including supported employment, customized employment, and self-employment, where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one's self-employment business, fully integrated in the community workforce, with a goal of maximum self-sufficiency. Employment outcomes shall be based on each individual's measureable vocational goals, skills, and abilities, with the intent to also meet the expectations and hiring needs of the employer. … The interagency cooperative agreement shall formalize the efforts that have been accomplished to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Education “Technical Assistance Paper High School Graduation Options for Students With Disabilities" - 04/15/2016

“This technical assistance paper describes the high school graduation options for students with disabilities following the adoption of Rule 6A-1.009963, Florida Administrative Code, High School Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity “Program Accessibility Plan”

~~“OBLIGATIONS TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIESTo ensure access for individuals with disabilities DEO is obligated to ensure accessibility and provide accessible notice and information about alternative means of receiving services for individuals who need them. This allows disabled individuals to be effectively informed about and able to meaningfully access the aid, benefit, service, or training provided by DEO.” 

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points”

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Florida Department of Education “Transition Youth”

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers. Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act further supports VR efforts to prepare youth for success in the 21st century workforce through our Transition Youth Services. VR Transition Youth Services help students with disabilities train for a job, continue their education, or find a job after high school. Under this program, every youth will have the opportunity to participate in sponsored career counseling, work readiness training, and fully integrated work experiences in the community. These services are delivered while youth are still in high school and establish the foundation for a seamless transition to individualized training, education, and employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida VR Self-Employment & Supported Self-Employment Handbook

The handbook emphasizes the importance of person-centered planning, a process that focuses on the “unique gifts, talents, learning styles, hopes and dreams, family support” and the use of approaches such as Discovery. It is recommended that this approach is used to consider self-employment, rather than formal vocational assessments.

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Self-Employment
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Employment First Interagency Agreement - 05/07/2014

The general purpose of this interagency cooperative agreement is to provide a framework for a long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in the State of Florida.  The agencies and organizations that are parties to this agreement are fully committed to working together to improve the number and percentage of growth in competitive employment for individuals with disabilities.  For the purpose of this agreement and as defined in Executive Order 12-284, “employment” is define as integrated employment, including supported employment, customize employment, and self-employment where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one’s self-employment business…

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Employment First Partnerships

As part of the Governor’s Executive Order,  “required partners include the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD); the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services, and Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS); the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Workforce Florida Inc. boards; the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program; and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (FDDC). Other state agencies and disability service organizations – including the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities and The Able Trust – have been meeting collaboratively with these stakeholders to formalize Employment First efforts in Florida. It is anticipated that other state agencies and disability service organizations may also be involved in developing and implementing the interagency cooperative agreement.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Position on Employment of People with Disbilities

"The Council supports encouraging Florida employers to consider individuals with developmental disabilities as an under-utilized workforce and that employment can help fulfill projected workforce shortages in a wide number of fileds including the government at all levels.  The Council: 

“Creates a system where integrated, gainful employment is the first option available for all individuals with developmental disabilities. Provides supports and services to assist individuals with developmental disabilities enrolled in the Developmental Disability Medicaid Waiver programs who choose to pursue gainful employment. Maximizes funding across agency lines which enhances supported and customized employment programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities”.
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

FL Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk - 09/10/2014

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Disability Employment Initiative - 10/15/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Florida was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.  This grant ended in 2015.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Data Sharing
Citations
Displaying 1 - 10 of 16

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Required Supported Employment Pre-Service - 08/17/2015

“Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities requires two courses for certification in Supported Employment. The first course is Introduction to Supported Employment. The second is Work Incentives: The Changing Face of Benefits…There are post-tests associated with each online course. You must complete and pass both courses and receive both course certificates to be considered certified.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - A Family Guide for Vocational Planning - 11/01/2013

This introductory guide addresses Discovery, Customized Employment, Self-Determination & Person First Language and how it should be used with different age groups of students.  It includes a glossary of terms as well as links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “ADP Training Portal”

Providers Beginning May 18, 2016, TRAIN Florida is the official Learning Management System (LMS) for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). All learners with a valid email address received an email with login information. If you did not receive an email with this information, PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A TRAIN FLORIDA ACCOUNT. The training team will complete the task of setting up an account, and emailing the login information to you. The notifications will be sent out in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience. If you have questions regarding your TRAIN Florida account or the process for retrieving your TRAIN Florida login information, please contact the TRAIN Florida APD site administrator by email at apd.lmssupport@apdcares.org. Please do not contact the Public Health Foundation (PHF) or the Florida Department of Health regarding TRAIN Florida website questions.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities Video Gallery

This repository contains separate Inclusion Videos, on subjects including: Why Inclusion is Important; What Does Inclusion mean to You?;  Making it a Reality; Educating Legislators; Addressing Fear; Integrated Employment; Community; and Real People Achieving Success through Inclusion.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Foundation for VR"): Publications

The Florida Grantor contains articles of interest to the disability community, updates on successful employment projects & news on statewide vocational rehabilitation projects.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Center for VR"): Latest News

The web page for the Abel Trust-Florida Center for Inclusive Communities includes 16 links to articles on efforts in Florida to help people with disabilities transition to employment.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

FCIC Employment Webinar Archive

This website contains multiple separate webinars related to integrated employment and community integration for people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

FL DD Council & Center for Social Capital -- Customized Employment Manual

These readings on the best practices in Customized Employment (CE) reflect the use of Discovering Personal Genius/Discovery and effective techniques that “bridge” Discovery, Job Development, and ongoing supports. They lean heavily on an Economic Development approach to Job Development and how this methodology benefits the community. The manual also includes information on Community Action Teams (CATs), social capital, and the rich connections in rural communities that foster employment. And finally, the Replication Manual identifies specific barriers, resources, and real solutions used in each project site to foster change and achieve quality outcomes.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Employment Roadmap Handout

This handout serves as an early introduction to the Discovery process in job development and school-to-work transition for people with disabilities. It also provides links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Florida Model Waiver (40166.R04.00) 1915(c) Waiver - 07/01/2015

This waiver provides "respite, transition case management, assistive technology and service evaluation, environmental accessibility adaptations for medically fragile individuals ages 0-20".

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Florida HCBS Transition Plan - 01/01/2014

In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for home and community-based programs. The new rule contains requirements that ensure persons who receive Medicaid home and community-based services do so from providers who: Help them to be active in the community; Provide a home-like environment if a person lives in a group home, assisted living facility or adult family care home; and Enable them to make personal choices. Additionally, the rule requires the Agency to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on its transition plan and any changes the state proposes to its home and community-based waivers and state plan program.   
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

Things are looking bright for workers with disabilities who are excelling at their careers and living independent lives in the Sunshine State of Florida.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Florida’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.86%
Change from
2014 to 2015
20,271,272
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.27%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,177,644
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.68%
Change from
2014 to 2015
369,205
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
99.9%
Change from
2014 to 2015
31,035.00%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.93%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.07%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 19,552,860 19,893,297 20,271,272
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,196,475 1,192,633 1,177,644
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 364,679 359,305 369,205
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 7,543,979 7,793,990 8,007,547
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 30.48% 30.13% 31,035.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 72.19% 73.38% 74.07%
Overall unemployment rate. 7.30% 6.30% 5.40%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.40% 21.40% 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 16.40% 15.90% 15.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,250,341 1,263,749 1,296,917
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,333,569 1,355,823 1,371,790
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,092,902 2,100,095 2,137,716
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 353,139 375,175 1
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 442,958 461,449 483,660
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 10,407 12,360 8,362
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 35,202 36,394 38,951
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 674 1,178 866
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 51,883 48,625 51,358
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 39,703 45,745 45,952

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,118 10,777 11,889
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.40% 2.50% 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 551,858 560,856 565,238

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 27,152 33,385 25,147
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 114,689 125,447 91,150
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 172,043 181,895 138,209
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 15.80% 18.40% 18.20%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.70% 0.80%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.30% 1.60% 1.40%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.80% 2.20% 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 40.10% 51.60% 45.50%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 991 1,016 1,390
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,293 2,206 2,505
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,281 3,087 3,348
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 73,040 72,975 79,138

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 52,538 50,122 49,920
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.05 0.05

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 206 303 208
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 151 221 151
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 73.00% 73.00% 73.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.78 1.13 0.74

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
24,125
13,478
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 287 156 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 1,620 782 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 6,163 3,334 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 5,929 3,414 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 8,996 5,188 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 1,130 604 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 19,830 19,148 21,811
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 816,085 827,430 836,960
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 643 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $6,028,000 $6,001,000 $5,650
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 14.00% 13.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. N/A N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. N/A N/A 0
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 12.80 12.00 11.20

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 70.70% 71.28% 74.44%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.40% 14.62% 12.81%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.00% 4.05% 3.92%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 90.50% 88.77% 90.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 26.60% 28.35% 28.63%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 38.30% 42.14% 43.67%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 50.40% 53.81% 55.74%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 11.67% 13.79% 15.04%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 4,441,740
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,034
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 742,483
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 2,343,931
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 3,086,414
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 739
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 2,731
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 3,470
AbilityOne wages (products). $5,580,820
AbilityOne wages (services). $27,575,185

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 87 72 73
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 4 4
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 76 78
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 6,037 6,260
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 320 320
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 6,357 6,580

 

WIOA Proflie

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. (Page 41)
• Employment First Florida - Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Education (BEESS, VR, and FDBS) the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, RESPECT of Florida, and Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse, coming together through an interagency cooperative agreement to facilitate improved coordination of services to help people with disabilities gain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. The Employment First collaborative is developing a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach regarding the services available in Florida to support employment and training for people with disabilities. This initiative responds directly to a key recommendation of the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. (Page 53)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council led Employment First Initiative and their Employment and Transportation Task Force,
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
• Financial Capability for Persons with Disabilities
• Employment and Transportation Task Force led by the Florida Development Disabilities Council (Page 111)
Goal 2: To establish and strengthen collaborative strategic partnerships - The Council has developed in the past year a new recognition award for a group of most valued partners, our VR Counselors and front- line staff. It is important to appreciate these dedicated individuals for going above and beyond VR service expectations. The Council also has the annual Stephen R. Wise Award which recognizes a dedicated statewide leader, champion and advocate who embodies the qualities of passion and professionalism through public service making a significant difference in the life for persons with disabilities. Strategic partnerships are enhanced through the quarterly public forum invitation distribution and attendance; FRC member involvement in the Student Advisory Council (SAC) meetings; strategic planning and consortium support of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) Employment First initiative; and other engagements with strategic partners such as the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. National level involvement has also been another way for FRC to obtain and increase stronger strategic partnerships and awareness of best practices. We have several Council members who represent Florida on the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC) discussion groups on transitioning youth and the national WIOA implementation; we also had an FRC employee present at the Annual National Summit on VR Performance Management Excellence on the topic of Strategic Partnerships between Councils and VR agencies. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendation 4 provided above. (Page 175)
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR is currently a partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with VR’s belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. (Page 193)
VR collaborates with the Florida Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program to improve and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of Supported Employment services. (Page 199)
VR is a partner in the Employment First Initiative in Florida, created by Executive Order Number 13-284 issued by Governor Rick Scott. A Strategic Action Plan and agreement was developed with all of the mandated agencies and organizations. The plan included ways the agencies could work together to promote competitive integrated employment as the first and primary employment option. The Interagency agreement was approved and implementation has begun on the objectives listed below.
• Establish a commitment among the agencies’ leadership to maximize resources and coordinate with each other to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities seeking publically funded services.
• Develop strategic goals and reasonable benchmarks to assist the agencies in implementing this agreement.
• Identify financing and contracting methods that will prioritize employment among the array of services paid for or provided by agencies. (Page 242)
b.  Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c.  Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
d.  Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s supported employment and transition administrators. This included helping develop the Cooperative Agreement and the Collaborative Strategic Action Implementation Plan supporting employment as mandated by the Governor’s Executive Order Number 13-284. (Page 244)
4. The VR supported employment administrator provides training to certified business and technical assistance consultants and VR employees to encourage the use of supported self-employment as an employment option for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
5. VR works closely with the Employment First Partnership and Coalition, which includes nine organizations and agencies with related employment services. Promoting employment of people with disabilities was initial focus of the group. (Page 245)
• Develop a new cooperative agreement with APD specific to supported employment and removing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the eight signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local level with appropriate stakeholders.
• Maximize the quality of service delivery ensuring an efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, and coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services available for youth and adults. (Page 250)
FDBS transition specialist, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with all public high schools statewide and any private high schools requesting assistance. They provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for FDBS vocational rehabilitation services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community. (Page 272)
Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community.
Technical Assistance and Consultation Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with the FDBS, VR, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services employees. The agreement will enable those employees to consult, coordinate, and provide technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/guardians/surrogates, so they can plan for the student’s transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 274)
FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with the FDBS belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. 
Executive Order 13-284 (Reaffirming Commitment to Employment for Floridians with Disabilities) was signed by the Governor of Florida in October 2013. The Order mandates that an Interagency Cooperative Agreement be developed and requires agencies and organizations to participate in the Agreement. FDBS is one of the mandated partners and played a significant role in drafting the Order. (Page 276)
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS.
During the past year, FDBS and its Employment First Partners addressed many goals, including several recommendations by the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities, to advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The goals and recommendations achieved include:
• The development and implementation of the Florida “Abilities Work” Web Portal and Help Desk; which was recommended by the Governor’s Commission to assist employers in finding candidates with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and to learn about the resources that can support them on the job. FDBS works with the Abilities Work staff to increase employer relationships and placements, such as connecting employers referred by the Abilities Work help desk to our job ready clients.
• The development of a multi–agency, long–term communications plan to help the state promote a consistent message of awareness among employers and encourage them to hire persons with disabilities. This collaborative plan, will further advance employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists in an effort to increase employment opportunities for our clients. (Page 328)
FDBS remains engaged in the collaborative work through the Employment First Partnership and are advancing the Division’s commitment to improving economic prosperity of Floridians through employment for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
The Abilities Work Help Desk was created to support the Employment First initiative and FDBS began partnering with this resource in July 2014 with the intent of gaining employment referrals from businesses who are interested in hiring individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Additionally, FDBS maintained contact with the National Employment Team (the NET) and its southeast subcommittee to connect with businesses on a national and regional level. FDBS will continue these partnerships into SFY 2015–2016.
FDBS will also continue to implement strategies such as: collaborating with community rehabilitation providers; networking with national employment partners; integrating into the Florida Jobs Connection and/or the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to our employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state–owned BBE Programs, continued sponsoring of appropriate self–employment opportunities; providing technology training; academic and vocational training; and increasing the number of clients with a higher level education; and increasing our outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 329)
 

Customized Employment

~~• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services. (Page 61)
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Provide a variety of training and awareness programs designed to increase the awareness of supported employment as a vocational service for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Discovery and supported self-employment services.
Goal 3:  Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation service staff, families, and individuals.
Plans
• Increase supported employment training opportunities for VR counselors, providers, families, and individuals.
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices. (Page 226)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following.
 1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
 1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
 

Braiding/Blending Resources

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
 

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

~~ADDRESSING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE ONE-STOP DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002, and has continued to expand services to persons with disabilities within CareerSource Florida centers throughout the state. The DPN grant focused on developing relationships across agency and entity lines to leverage resources and enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities to increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on working with persons with varying disabilities
• Assure that the CareerSource centers were readily accessible. (Page 110-111)
 

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

~~VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.
VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
• Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)
Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders
An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.
Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)
During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159)
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities. (Page 225)
Plans
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)
Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff.
In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)
3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.
4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
a. Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
b. Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c. Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)
In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.
VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.
VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. The CILs provide services that include work readiness and financial literacy training, which are available to out–of–school youth. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement. (Page 186)

Benefits

~~• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following:
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
• Membership of state and local workforce boards.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)
Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
• Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
• Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116)
The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)
Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.
Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.
In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)
VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling.
Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)
Employment First
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.
VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)
The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)
Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)
An eligible individual with a disability which:
1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
2. Requires two or more primary services;
3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222) 
Order of Selection Policies
Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities.
After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.
This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
• Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
• Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
• Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)
1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.
• At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)
 Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)
FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:
• Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
• Inability to locate or contact clients;
• Clients’ relocation out of state;
• Staff vacancies;
• Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
• Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
• Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
• Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
 

School to Work Transition

~~Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:
1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)
In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15)
Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.
In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.
VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)
In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
• Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
• The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective.
Transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.
Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)
VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)
Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)
 

Data Collection

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes.
• CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
• Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
• One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)
Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP)
Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs. (Page 76)
The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)
VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)
VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.
Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)
FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)
Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)
 

Small business/Entrepreneurship

~~Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.
VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.
Florida Small Business Development Center Network
Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)
 

Career Pathways

~~Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.
Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)
(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)
 

Employment Networks

~~• Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)
LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)
Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act
One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)
The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities.
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
 Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
 Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
 Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
 Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
 Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
 Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)
FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)
 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 45

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida SB 642 - 05/21/2015

"It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a qualified ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] program in this state which will encourage and assist the saving of private funds in tax-exempt accounts in order to pay for the qualified disability expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

2016 Florida Statues “1004.6495 Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program and Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities”

“The purpose of this section is to increase independent living, inclusive and experiential postsecondary education, and employment opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities through degree, certificate, or nondegree programs and to establish statewide coordination of the dissemination of information regarding programs and services for students with disabilities. It is the intent of the Legislature that students with intellectual disabilities and students with disabilities have access to meaningful postsecondary education credentials and be afforded the opportunity to have a meaningful campus experience.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

2016 Florida Statues “1003.5716 Transition to postsecondary education and career opportunities”

”To ensure quality planning for a successful transition of a student with a disability to postsecondary education and career opportunities, an IEP team shall begin the process of, and develop an IEP for, identifying the need for transition services before the student with a disability attains the age of 14 years in order for his or her postsecondary goals and career goals to be identified and in place when he or she attains the age of 16 years.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Florida Executive Order 13-284: Reaffirming commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. - 10/08/2013

“‘Employment’" for purposes of this Executive Order is defined as integrated employment, including supported employment, customized employment, and self-employment, where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one's self-employment business, fully integrated in the community workforce, with a goal of maximum self-sufficiency. Employment outcomes shall be based on each individual's measureable vocational goals, skills, and abilities, with the intent to also meet the expectations and hiring needs of the employer. … The interagency cooperative agreement shall formalize the efforts that have been accomplished to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Education “Technical Assistance Paper High School Graduation Options for Students With Disabilities" - 04/15/2016

“This technical assistance paper describes the high school graduation options for students with disabilities following the adoption of Rule 6A-1.009963, Florida Administrative Code, High School Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity “Program Accessibility Plan”

~~“OBLIGATIONS TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIESTo ensure access for individuals with disabilities DEO is obligated to ensure accessibility and provide accessible notice and information about alternative means of receiving services for individuals who need them. This allows disabled individuals to be effectively informed about and able to meaningfully access the aid, benefit, service, or training provided by DEO.” 

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points”

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Florida Department of Education “Transition Youth”

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers. Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act further supports VR efforts to prepare youth for success in the 21st century workforce through our Transition Youth Services. VR Transition Youth Services help students with disabilities train for a job, continue their education, or find a job after high school. Under this program, every youth will have the opportunity to participate in sponsored career counseling, work readiness training, and fully integrated work experiences in the community. These services are delivered while youth are still in high school and establish the foundation for a seamless transition to individualized training, education, and employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida VR Self-Employment & Supported Self-Employment Handbook

The handbook emphasizes the importance of person-centered planning, a process that focuses on the “unique gifts, talents, learning styles, hopes and dreams, family support” and the use of approaches such as Discovery. It is recommended that this approach is used to consider self-employment, rather than formal vocational assessments.

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Self-Employment
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Employment First Interagency Agreement - 05/07/2014

The general purpose of this interagency cooperative agreement is to provide a framework for a long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in the State of Florida.  The agencies and organizations that are parties to this agreement are fully committed to working together to improve the number and percentage of growth in competitive employment for individuals with disabilities.  For the purpose of this agreement and as defined in Executive Order 12-284, “employment” is define as integrated employment, including supported employment, customize employment, and self-employment where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one’s self-employment business…

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Employment First Partnerships

As part of the Governor’s Executive Order,  “required partners include the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD); the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services, and Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS); the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Workforce Florida Inc. boards; the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program; and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (FDDC). Other state agencies and disability service organizations – including the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities and The Able Trust – have been meeting collaboratively with these stakeholders to formalize Employment First efforts in Florida. It is anticipated that other state agencies and disability service organizations may also be involved in developing and implementing the interagency cooperative agreement.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Position on Employment of People with Disbilities

"The Council supports encouraging Florida employers to consider individuals with developmental disabilities as an under-utilized workforce and that employment can help fulfill projected workforce shortages in a wide number of fileds including the government at all levels.  The Council: 

“Creates a system where integrated, gainful employment is the first option available for all individuals with developmental disabilities. Provides supports and services to assist individuals with developmental disabilities enrolled in the Developmental Disability Medicaid Waiver programs who choose to pursue gainful employment. Maximizes funding across agency lines which enhances supported and customized employment programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities”.
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

FL Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk - 09/10/2014

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Disability Employment Initiative - 10/15/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Florida was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.  This grant ended in 2015.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Data Sharing
Citations
Displaying 1 - 10 of 16

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Required Supported Employment Pre-Service - 08/17/2015

“Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities requires two courses for certification in Supported Employment. The first course is Introduction to Supported Employment. The second is Work Incentives: The Changing Face of Benefits…There are post-tests associated with each online course. You must complete and pass both courses and receive both course certificates to be considered certified.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - A Family Guide for Vocational Planning - 11/01/2013

This introductory guide addresses Discovery, Customized Employment, Self-Determination & Person First Language and how it should be used with different age groups of students.  It includes a glossary of terms as well as links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “ADP Training Portal”

Providers Beginning May 18, 2016, TRAIN Florida is the official Learning Management System (LMS) for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). All learners with a valid email address received an email with login information. If you did not receive an email with this information, PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A TRAIN FLORIDA ACCOUNT. The training team will complete the task of setting up an account, and emailing the login information to you. The notifications will be sent out in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience. If you have questions regarding your TRAIN Florida account or the process for retrieving your TRAIN Florida login information, please contact the TRAIN Florida APD site administrator by email at apd.lmssupport@apdcares.org. Please do not contact the Public Health Foundation (PHF) or the Florida Department of Health regarding TRAIN Florida website questions.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities Video Gallery

This repository contains separate Inclusion Videos, on subjects including: Why Inclusion is Important; What Does Inclusion mean to You?;  Making it a Reality; Educating Legislators; Addressing Fear; Integrated Employment; Community; and Real People Achieving Success through Inclusion.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Foundation for VR"): Publications

The Florida Grantor contains articles of interest to the disability community, updates on successful employment projects & news on statewide vocational rehabilitation projects.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Center for VR"): Latest News

The web page for the Abel Trust-Florida Center for Inclusive Communities includes 16 links to articles on efforts in Florida to help people with disabilities transition to employment.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

FCIC Employment Webinar Archive

This website contains multiple separate webinars related to integrated employment and community integration for people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

FL DD Council & Center for Social Capital -- Customized Employment Manual

These readings on the best practices in Customized Employment (CE) reflect the use of Discovering Personal Genius/Discovery and effective techniques that “bridge” Discovery, Job Development, and ongoing supports. They lean heavily on an Economic Development approach to Job Development and how this methodology benefits the community. The manual also includes information on Community Action Teams (CATs), social capital, and the rich connections in rural communities that foster employment. And finally, the Replication Manual identifies specific barriers, resources, and real solutions used in each project site to foster change and achieve quality outcomes.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Employment Roadmap Handout

This handout serves as an early introduction to the Discovery process in job development and school-to-work transition for people with disabilities. It also provides links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

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Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Florida Model Waiver (40166.R04.00) 1915(c) Waiver - 07/01/2015

This waiver provides "respite, transition case management, assistive technology and service evaluation, environmental accessibility adaptations for medically fragile individuals ages 0-20".

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Florida HCBS Transition Plan - 01/01/2014

In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for home and community-based programs. The new rule contains requirements that ensure persons who receive Medicaid home and community-based services do so from providers who: Help them to be active in the community; Provide a home-like environment if a person lives in a group home, assisted living facility or adult family care home; and Enable them to make personal choices. Additionally, the rule requires the Agency to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on its transition plan and any changes the state proposes to its home and community-based waivers and state plan program.   
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

Things are looking bright for workers with disabilities who are excelling at their careers and living independent lives in the Sunshine State of Florida.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Florida’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.86%
Change from
2014 to 2015
20,271,272
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.27%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,177,644
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.68%
Change from
2014 to 2015
369,205
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
99.9%
Change from
2014 to 2015
31,035.00%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.93%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.07%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 19,552,860 19,893,297 20,271,272
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,196,475 1,192,633 1,177,644
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 364,679 359,305 369,205
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 7,543,979 7,793,990 8,007,547
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 30.48% 30.13% 31,035.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 72.19% 73.38% 74.07%
Overall unemployment rate. 7.30% 6.30% 5.40%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.40% 21.40% 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 16.40% 15.90% 15.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,250,341 1,263,749 1,296,917
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,333,569 1,355,823 1,371,790
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,092,902 2,100,095 2,137,716
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 353,139 375,175 1
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 442,958 461,449 483,660
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 10,407 12,360 8,362
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 35,202 36,394 38,951
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 674 1,178 866
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 51,883 48,625 51,358
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 39,703 45,745 45,952

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,118 10,777 11,889
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.40% 2.50% 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 551,858 560,856 565,238

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 27,152 33,385 25,147
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 114,689 125,447 91,150
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 172,043 181,895 138,209
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 15.80% 18.40% 18.20%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.70% 0.80%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.30% 1.60% 1.40%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.80% 2.20% 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 40.10% 51.60% 45.50%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 991 1,016 1,390
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,293 2,206 2,505
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,281 3,087 3,348
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 73,040 72,975 79,138

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 52,538 50,122 49,920
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.05 0.05

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 206 303 208
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 151 221 151
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 73.00% 73.00% 73.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.78 1.13 0.74

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
24,125
13,478
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 287 156 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 1,620 782 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 6,163 3,334 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 5,929 3,414 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 8,996 5,188 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 1,130 604 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 19,830 19,148 21,811
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 816,085 827,430 836,960
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 643 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $6,028,000 $6,001,000 $5,650
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 N/A N/A
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 14.00% 13.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. N/A N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. N/A N/A 0
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 12.80 12.00 11.20

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 70.70% 71.28% 74.44%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.40% 14.62% 12.81%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.00% 4.05% 3.92%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 90.50% 88.77% 90.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 26.60% 28.35% 28.63%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 38.30% 42.14% 43.67%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 50.40% 53.81% 55.74%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 11.67% 13.79% 15.04%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 4,441,740
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,034
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 742,483
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 2,343,931
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 3,086,414
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 739
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 2,731
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 3,470
AbilityOne wages (products). $5,580,820
AbilityOne wages (services). $27,575,185

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 87 72 73
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 4 4
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 76 78
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 6,037 6,260
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 320 320
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 6,357 6,580

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. (Page 41)
• Employment First Florida - Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Education (BEESS, VR, and FDBS) the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, RESPECT of Florida, and Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse, coming together through an interagency cooperative agreement to facilitate improved coordination of services to help people with disabilities gain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. The Employment First collaborative is developing a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach regarding the services available in Florida to support employment and training for people with disabilities. This initiative responds directly to a key recommendation of the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. (Page 53)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council led Employment First Initiative and their Employment and Transportation Task Force,
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
• Financial Capability for Persons with Disabilities
• Employment and Transportation Task Force led by the Florida Development Disabilities Council (Page 111)
Goal 2: To establish and strengthen collaborative strategic partnerships - The Council has developed in the past year a new recognition award for a group of most valued partners, our VR Counselors and front- line staff. It is important to appreciate these dedicated individuals for going above and beyond VR service expectations. The Council also has the annual Stephen R. Wise Award which recognizes a dedicated statewide leader, champion and advocate who embodies the qualities of passion and professionalism through public service making a significant difference in the life for persons with disabilities. Strategic partnerships are enhanced through the quarterly public forum invitation distribution and attendance; FRC member involvement in the Student Advisory Council (SAC) meetings; strategic planning and consortium support of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) Employment First initiative; and other engagements with strategic partners such as the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. National level involvement has also been another way for FRC to obtain and increase stronger strategic partnerships and awareness of best practices. We have several Council members who represent Florida on the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC) discussion groups on transitioning youth and the national WIOA implementation; we also had an FRC employee present at the Annual National Summit on VR Performance Management Excellence on the topic of Strategic Partnerships between Councils and VR agencies. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendation 4 provided above. (Page 175)
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR is currently a partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with VR’s belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. (Page 193)
VR collaborates with the Florida Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program to improve and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of Supported Employment services. (Page 199)
VR is a partner in the Employment First Initiative in Florida, created by Executive Order Number 13-284 issued by Governor Rick Scott. A Strategic Action Plan and agreement was developed with all of the mandated agencies and organizations. The plan included ways the agencies could work together to promote competitive integrated employment as the first and primary employment option. The Interagency agreement was approved and implementation has begun on the objectives listed below.
• Establish a commitment among the agencies’ leadership to maximize resources and coordinate with each other to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities seeking publically funded services.
• Develop strategic goals and reasonable benchmarks to assist the agencies in implementing this agreement.
• Identify financing and contracting methods that will prioritize employment among the array of services paid for or provided by agencies. (Page 242)
b.  Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c.  Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
d.  Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s supported employment and transition administrators. This included helping develop the Cooperative Agreement and the Collaborative Strategic Action Implementation Plan supporting employment as mandated by the Governor’s Executive Order Number 13-284. (Page 244)
4. The VR supported employment administrator provides training to certified business and technical assistance consultants and VR employees to encourage the use of supported self-employment as an employment option for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
5. VR works closely with the Employment First Partnership and Coalition, which includes nine organizations and agencies with related employment services. Promoting employment of people with disabilities was initial focus of the group. (Page 245)
• Develop a new cooperative agreement with APD specific to supported employment and removing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the eight signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local level with appropriate stakeholders.
• Maximize the quality of service delivery ensuring an efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, and coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services available for youth and adults. (Page 250)
FDBS transition specialist, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with all public high schools statewide and any private high schools requesting assistance. They provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for FDBS vocational rehabilitation services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community. (Page 272)
Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community.
Technical Assistance and Consultation Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with the FDBS, VR, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services employees. The agreement will enable those employees to consult, coordinate, and provide technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/guardians/surrogates, so they can plan for the student’s transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 274)
FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with the FDBS belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. 
Executive Order 13-284 (Reaffirming Commitment to Employment for Floridians with Disabilities) was signed by the Governor of Florida in October 2013. The Order mandates that an Interagency Cooperative Agreement be developed and requires agencies and organizations to participate in the Agreement. FDBS is one of the mandated partners and played a significant role in drafting the Order. (Page 276)
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS.
During the past year, FDBS and its Employment First Partners addressed many goals, including several recommendations by the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities, to advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The goals and recommendations achieved include:
• The development and implementation of the Florida “Abilities Work” Web Portal and Help Desk; which was recommended by the Governor’s Commission to assist employers in finding candidates with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and to learn about the resources that can support them on the job. FDBS works with the Abilities Work staff to increase employer relationships and placements, such as connecting employers referred by the Abilities Work help desk to our job ready clients.
• The development of a multi–agency, long–term communications plan to help the state promote a consistent message of awareness among employers and encourage them to hire persons with disabilities. This collaborative plan, will further advance employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists in an effort to increase employment opportunities for our clients. (Page 328)
FDBS remains engaged in the collaborative work through the Employment First Partnership and are advancing the Division’s commitment to improving economic prosperity of Floridians through employment for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
The Abilities Work Help Desk was created to support the Employment First initiative and FDBS began partnering with this resource in July 2014 with the intent of gaining employment referrals from businesses who are interested in hiring individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Additionally, FDBS maintained contact with the National Employment Team (the NET) and its southeast subcommittee to connect with businesses on a national and regional level. FDBS will continue these partnerships into SFY 2015–2016.
FDBS will also continue to implement strategies such as: collaborating with community rehabilitation providers; networking with national employment partners; integrating into the Florida Jobs Connection and/or the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to our employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state–owned BBE Programs, continued sponsoring of appropriate self–employment opportunities; providing technology training; academic and vocational training; and increasing the number of clients with a higher level education; and increasing our outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 329)
 

Customized Employment

~~• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services. (Page 61)
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Provide a variety of training and awareness programs designed to increase the awareness of supported employment as a vocational service for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Discovery and supported self-employment services.
Goal 3:  Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation service staff, families, and individuals.
Plans
• Increase supported employment training opportunities for VR counselors, providers, families, and individuals.
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices. (Page 226)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following.
 1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
 1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
 

Braiding/Blending Resources

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
 

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

~~ADDRESSING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE ONE-STOP DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002, and has continued to expand services to persons with disabilities within CareerSource Florida centers throughout the state. The DPN grant focused on developing relationships across agency and entity lines to leverage resources and enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities to increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on working with persons with varying disabilities
• Assure that the CareerSource centers were readily accessible. (Page 110-111)
 

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

~~VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.
VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
• Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)
Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders
An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.
Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)
During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159)
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities. (Page 225)
Plans
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)
Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff.
In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)
3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.
4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
a. Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
b. Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c. Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)
In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.
VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.
VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. The CILs provide services that include work readiness and financial literacy training, which are available to out–of–school youth. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement. (Page 186)

Benefits

~~• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following:
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
• Membership of state and local workforce boards.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)
Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
• Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
• Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116)
The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)
Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.
Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.
In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)
VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling.
Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)
Employment First
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.
VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)
The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)
Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)
An eligible individual with a disability which:
1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
2. Requires two or more primary services;
3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222) 
Order of Selection Policies
Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities.
After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.
This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
• Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
• Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
• Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)
1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.
• At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)
 Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)
FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:
• Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
• Inability to locate or contact clients;
• Clients’ relocation out of state;
• Staff vacancies;
• Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
• Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
• Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
• Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
 

School to Work Transition

~~Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:
1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)
In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15)
Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.
In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.
VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)
In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
• Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
• The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective.
Transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.
Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)
VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)
Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)
 

Data Collection

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes.
• CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
• Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
• One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)
Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP)
Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs. (Page 76)
The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)
VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)
VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.
Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)
FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)
Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)
 

Small business/Entrepreneurship

~~Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.
VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.
Florida Small Business Development Center Network
Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)
 

Career Pathways

~~Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.
Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)
(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)
 

Employment Networks

~~• Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)
LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)
Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act
One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)
The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities.
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
 Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
 Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
 Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
 Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
 Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
 Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)
FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)
 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 45

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida SB 642 - 05/21/2015

"It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a qualified ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] program in this state which will encourage and assist the saving of private funds in tax-exempt accounts in order to pay for the qualified disability expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

2016 Florida Statues “1004.6495 Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program and Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities”

“The purpose of this section is to increase independent living, inclusive and experiential postsecondary education, and employment opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities through degree, certificate, or nondegree programs and to establish statewide coordination of the dissemination of information regarding programs and services for students with disabilities. It is the intent of the Legislature that students with intellectual disabilities and students with disabilities have access to meaningful postsecondary education credentials and be afforded the opportunity to have a meaningful campus experience.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

2016 Florida Statues “1003.5716 Transition to postsecondary education and career opportunities”

”To ensure quality planning for a successful transition of a student with a disability to postsecondary education and career opportunities, an IEP team shall begin the process of, and develop an IEP for, identifying the need for transition services before the student with a disability attains the age of 14 years in order for his or her postsecondary goals and career goals to be identified and in place when he or she attains the age of 16 years.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Florida Executive Order 13-284: Reaffirming commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. - 10/08/2013

“‘Employment’" for purposes of this Executive Order is defined as integrated employment, including supported employment, customized employment, and self-employment, where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one's self-employment business, fully integrated in the community workforce, with a goal of maximum self-sufficiency. Employment outcomes shall be based on each individual's measureable vocational goals, skills, and abilities, with the intent to also meet the expectations and hiring needs of the employer. … The interagency cooperative agreement shall formalize the efforts that have been accomplished to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Education “Technical Assistance Paper High School Graduation Options for Students With Disabilities" - 04/15/2016

“This technical assistance paper describes the high school graduation options for students with disabilities following the adoption of Rule 6A-1.009963, Florida Administrative Code, High School Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity “Program Accessibility Plan”

~~“OBLIGATIONS TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIESTo ensure access for individuals with disabilities DEO is obligated to ensure accessibility and provide accessible notice and information about alternative means of receiving services for individuals who need them. This allows disabled individuals to be effectively informed about and able to meaningfully access the aid, benefit, service, or training provided by DEO.” 

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points”

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Florida Department of Education “Transition Youth”

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers. Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act further supports VR efforts to prepare youth for success in the 21st century workforce through our Transition Youth Services. VR Transition Youth Services help students with disabilities train for a job, continue their education, or find a job after high school. Under this program, every youth will have the opportunity to participate in sponsored career counseling, work readiness training, and fully integrated work experiences in the community. These services are delivered while youth are still in high school and establish the foundation for a seamless transition to individualized training, education, and employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida VR Self-Employment & Supported Self-Employment Handbook

The handbook emphasizes the importance of person-centered planning, a process that focuses on the “unique gifts, talents, learning styles, hopes and dreams, family support” and the use of approaches such as Discovery. It is recommended that this approach is used to consider self-employment, rather than formal vocational assessments.

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Self-Employment
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Employment First Interagency Agreement - 05/07/2014

The general purpose of this interagency cooperative agreement is to provide a framework for a long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in the State of Florida.  The agencies and organizations that are parties to this agreement are fully committed to working together to improve the number and percentage of growth in competitive employment for individuals with disabilities.  For the purpose of this agreement and as defined in Executive Order 12-284, “employment” is define as integrated employment, including supported employment, customize employment, and self-employment where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one’s self-employment business…

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Employment First Partnerships

As part of the Governor’s Executive Order,  “required partners include the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD); the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services, and Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS); the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Workforce Florida Inc. boards; the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program; and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (FDDC). Other state agencies and disability service organizations – including the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities and The Able Trust – have been meeting collaboratively with these stakeholders to formalize Employment First efforts in Florida. It is anticipated that other state agencies and disability service organizations may also be involved in developing and implementing the interagency cooperative agreement.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Position on Employment of People with Disbilities

"The Council supports encouraging Florida employers to consider individuals with developmental disabilities as an under-utilized workforce and that employment can help fulfill projected workforce shortages in a wide number of fileds including the government at all levels.  The Council: 

“Creates a system where integrated, gainful employment is the first option available for all individuals with developmental disabilities. Provides supports and services to assist individuals with developmental disabilities enrolled in the Developmental Disability Medicaid Waiver programs who choose to pursue gainful employment. Maximizes funding across agency lines which enhances supported and customized employment programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities”.
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

FL Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk - 09/10/2014

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Disability Employment Initiative - 10/15/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Florida was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.  This grant ended in 2015.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Data Sharing
Citations
Displaying 1 - 10 of 16

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Required Supported Employment Pre-Service - 08/17/2015

“Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities requires two courses for certification in Supported Employment. The first course is Introduction to Supported Employment. The second is Work Incentives: The Changing Face of Benefits…There are post-tests associated with each online course. You must complete and pass both courses and receive both course certificates to be considered certified.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - A Family Guide for Vocational Planning - 11/01/2013

This introductory guide addresses Discovery, Customized Employment, Self-Determination & Person First Language and how it should be used with different age groups of students.  It includes a glossary of terms as well as links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “ADP Training Portal”

Providers Beginning May 18, 2016, TRAIN Florida is the official Learning Management System (LMS) for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). All learners with a valid email address received an email with login information. If you did not receive an email with this information, PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A TRAIN FLORIDA ACCOUNT. The training team will complete the task of setting up an account, and emailing the login information to you. The notifications will be sent out in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience. If you have questions regarding your TRAIN Florida account or the process for retrieving your TRAIN Florida login information, please contact the TRAIN Florida APD site administrator by email at apd.lmssupport@apdcares.org. Please do not contact the Public Health Foundation (PHF) or the Florida Department of Health regarding TRAIN Florida website questions.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities Video Gallery

This repository contains separate Inclusion Videos, on subjects including: Why Inclusion is Important; What Does Inclusion mean to You?;  Making it a Reality; Educating Legislators; Addressing Fear; Integrated Employment; Community; and Real People Achieving Success through Inclusion.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Foundation for VR"): Publications

The Florida Grantor contains articles of interest to the disability community, updates on successful employment projects & news on statewide vocational rehabilitation projects.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Center for VR"): Latest News

The web page for the Abel Trust-Florida Center for Inclusive Communities includes 16 links to articles on efforts in Florida to help people with disabilities transition to employment.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

FCIC Employment Webinar Archive

This website contains multiple separate webinars related to integrated employment and community integration for people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

FL DD Council & Center for Social Capital -- Customized Employment Manual

These readings on the best practices in Customized Employment (CE) reflect the use of Discovering Personal Genius/Discovery and effective techniques that “bridge” Discovery, Job Development, and ongoing supports. They lean heavily on an Economic Development approach to Job Development and how this methodology benefits the community. The manual also includes information on Community Action Teams (CATs), social capital, and the rich connections in rural communities that foster employment. And finally, the Replication Manual identifies specific barriers, resources, and real solutions used in each project site to foster change and achieve quality outcomes.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Employment Roadmap Handout

This handout serves as an early introduction to the Discovery process in job development and school-to-work transition for people with disabilities. It also provides links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Florida Model Waiver (40166.R04.00) 1915(c) Waiver - 07/01/2015

This waiver provides "respite, transition case management, assistive technology and service evaluation, environmental accessibility adaptations for medically fragile individuals ages 0-20".

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Florida HCBS Transition Plan - 01/01/2014

In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for home and community-based programs. The new rule contains requirements that ensure persons who receive Medicaid home and community-based services do so from providers who: Help them to be active in the community; Provide a home-like environment if a person lives in a group home, assisted living facility or adult family care home; and Enable them to make personal choices. Additionally, the rule requires the Agency to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on its transition plan and any changes the state proposes to its home and community-based waivers and state plan program.   
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Phablet

Snapshot

Things are looking bright for workers with disabilities who are excelling at their careers and living independent lives in the Sunshine State of Florida.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Florida’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.86%
Change from
2014 to 2015
20,271,272
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.27%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,177,644
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.68%
Change from
2014 to 2015
369,205
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
99.9%
Change from
2014 to 2015
31,035.00%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.93%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.07%

State Data

General

2015
Population. 20,271,272
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,177,644
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 369,205
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 8,007,547
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 31,035.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.07%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.40%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,296,917
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,371,790
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,137,716
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 1
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 483,660
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 8,362
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 38,951
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 866
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 51,358
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 45,952

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 11,889
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 565,238

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 25,147
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 91,150
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 138,209
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 18.20%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.80%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.40%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 45.50%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,390
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,505
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,348
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 79,138

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 49,920
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 208
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 151
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 73.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.74

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 21,811
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 836,960
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $5,650
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. N/A
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 0
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 11.20

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 74.44%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 12.81%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.92%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 90.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 28.63%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 43.67%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 55.74%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 15.04%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 4,441,740
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,034
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 742,483
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 2,343,931
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 3,086,414
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 739
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 2,731
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 3,470
AbilityOne wages (products). $5,580,820
AbilityOne wages (services). $27,575,185

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 73
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 4
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 78
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 6,260
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 320
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 6,580

 

WIOA Proflie

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. (Page 41)
• Employment First Florida - Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Education (BEESS, VR, and FDBS) the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, RESPECT of Florida, and Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse, coming together through an interagency cooperative agreement to facilitate improved coordination of services to help people with disabilities gain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. The Employment First collaborative is developing a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach regarding the services available in Florida to support employment and training for people with disabilities. This initiative responds directly to a key recommendation of the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. (Page 53)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council led Employment First Initiative and their Employment and Transportation Task Force,
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
• Financial Capability for Persons with Disabilities
• Employment and Transportation Task Force led by the Florida Development Disabilities Council (Page 111)
Goal 2: To establish and strengthen collaborative strategic partnerships - The Council has developed in the past year a new recognition award for a group of most valued partners, our VR Counselors and front- line staff. It is important to appreciate these dedicated individuals for going above and beyond VR service expectations. The Council also has the annual Stephen R. Wise Award which recognizes a dedicated statewide leader, champion and advocate who embodies the qualities of passion and professionalism through public service making a significant difference in the life for persons with disabilities. Strategic partnerships are enhanced through the quarterly public forum invitation distribution and attendance; FRC member involvement in the Student Advisory Council (SAC) meetings; strategic planning and consortium support of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) Employment First initiative; and other engagements with strategic partners such as the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. National level involvement has also been another way for FRC to obtain and increase stronger strategic partnerships and awareness of best practices. We have several Council members who represent Florida on the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC) discussion groups on transitioning youth and the national WIOA implementation; we also had an FRC employee present at the Annual National Summit on VR Performance Management Excellence on the topic of Strategic Partnerships between Councils and VR agencies. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendation 4 provided above. (Page 175)
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR is currently a partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with VR’s belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. (Page 193)
VR collaborates with the Florida Department of Children and Families- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program to improve and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of Supported Employment services. (Page 199)
VR is a partner in the Employment First Initiative in Florida, created by Executive Order Number 13-284 issued by Governor Rick Scott. A Strategic Action Plan and agreement was developed with all of the mandated agencies and organizations. The plan included ways the agencies could work together to promote competitive integrated employment as the first and primary employment option. The Interagency agreement was approved and implementation has begun on the objectives listed below.
• Establish a commitment among the agencies’ leadership to maximize resources and coordinate with each other to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities seeking publically funded services.
• Develop strategic goals and reasonable benchmarks to assist the agencies in implementing this agreement.
• Identify financing and contracting methods that will prioritize employment among the array of services paid for or provided by agencies. (Page 242)
b.  Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c.  Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
d.  Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s supported employment and transition administrators. This included helping develop the Cooperative Agreement and the Collaborative Strategic Action Implementation Plan supporting employment as mandated by the Governor’s Executive Order Number 13-284. (Page 244)
4. The VR supported employment administrator provides training to certified business and technical assistance consultants and VR employees to encourage the use of supported self-employment as an employment option for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
5. VR works closely with the Employment First Partnership and Coalition, which includes nine organizations and agencies with related employment services. Promoting employment of people with disabilities was initial focus of the group. (Page 245)
• Develop a new cooperative agreement with APD specific to supported employment and removing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the eight signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local level with appropriate stakeholders.
• Maximize the quality of service delivery ensuring an efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, and coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services available for youth and adults. (Page 250)
FDBS transition specialist, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with all public high schools statewide and any private high schools requesting assistance. They provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for FDBS vocational rehabilitation services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community. (Page 272)
Information on Formal Interagency Agreements with Respect to: Employment First As an employment leader, FDBS strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and improved quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce benefitting entire community.
Technical Assistance and Consultation Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with the FDBS, VR, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services employees. The agreement will enable those employees to consult, coordinate, and provide technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/guardians/surrogates, so they can plan for the student’s transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 274)
FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis in planning their lives. Employment First is consistent with the FDBS belief that individuals with disabilities, even the most significant disabilities, can achieve meaningful employment when provided with appropriate supports. 
Executive Order 13-284 (Reaffirming Commitment to Employment for Floridians with Disabilities) was signed by the Governor of Florida in October 2013. The Order mandates that an Interagency Cooperative Agreement be developed and requires agencies and organizations to participate in the Agreement. FDBS is one of the mandated partners and played a significant role in drafting the Order. (Page 276)
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS.
During the past year, FDBS and its Employment First Partners addressed many goals, including several recommendations by the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities, to advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The goals and recommendations achieved include:
• The development and implementation of the Florida “Abilities Work” Web Portal and Help Desk; which was recommended by the Governor’s Commission to assist employers in finding candidates with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and to learn about the resources that can support them on the job. FDBS works with the Abilities Work staff to increase employer relationships and placements, such as connecting employers referred by the Abilities Work help desk to our job ready clients.
• The development of a multi–agency, long–term communications plan to help the state promote a consistent message of awareness among employers and encourage them to hire persons with disabilities. This collaborative plan, will further advance employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists in an effort to increase employment opportunities for our clients. (Page 328)
FDBS remains engaged in the collaborative work through the Employment First Partnership and are advancing the Division’s commitment to improving economic prosperity of Floridians through employment for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
The Abilities Work Help Desk was created to support the Employment First initiative and FDBS began partnering with this resource in July 2014 with the intent of gaining employment referrals from businesses who are interested in hiring individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Additionally, FDBS maintained contact with the National Employment Team (the NET) and its southeast subcommittee to connect with businesses on a national and regional level. FDBS will continue these partnerships into SFY 2015–2016.
FDBS will also continue to implement strategies such as: collaborating with community rehabilitation providers; networking with national employment partners; integrating into the Florida Jobs Connection and/or the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to our employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state–owned BBE Programs, continued sponsoring of appropriate self–employment opportunities; providing technology training; academic and vocational training; and increasing the number of clients with a higher level education; and increasing our outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 329)
 

Customized Employment

~~• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services. (Page 61)
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Provide a variety of training and awareness programs designed to increase the awareness of supported employment as a vocational service for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Discovery and supported self-employment services.
Goal 3:  Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation service staff, families, and individuals.
Plans
• Increase supported employment training opportunities for VR counselors, providers, families, and individuals.
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices. (Page 226)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following.
 1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
 1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
 

Braiding/Blending Resources

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
 

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

~~ADDRESSING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE ONE-STOP DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002, and has continued to expand services to persons with disabilities within CareerSource Florida centers throughout the state. The DPN grant focused on developing relationships across agency and entity lines to leverage resources and enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities to increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on working with persons with varying disabilities
• Assure that the CareerSource centers were readily accessible. (Page 110-111)
 

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

~~VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.
VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
• Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
• Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)
Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders
An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.
Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)
During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159)
• Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy. (Page 225)
Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities. (Page 225)
Plans
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)
Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff.
In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)
3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.
4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
a. Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
b. Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
c. Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)
In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.
VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.
VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. The CILs provide services that include work readiness and financial literacy training, which are available to out–of–school youth. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement. (Page 186)

Benefits

~~• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)
VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following:
 Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
 Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
 Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
 Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
• Membership of state and local workforce boards.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)
Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
• Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
• Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116)
The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)
Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.
Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.
In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)
VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling.
Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)
Employment First
As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.
Technical Assistance and Consultation
Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)
VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.
VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)
The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)
Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)
An eligible individual with a disability which:
1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
2. Requires two or more primary services;
3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222) 
Order of Selection Policies
Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities.
After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.
This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)
• Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
• Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
• Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
• Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)
1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.
1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
 Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
 Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
 Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
 Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
 Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)
• Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.
• At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)
 Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)
FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:
• Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
• Inability to locate or contact clients;
• Clients’ relocation out of state;
• Staff vacancies;
• Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
• Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
• Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
• Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
 

School to Work Transition

~~Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:
1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)
In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15)
Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.
In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.
VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)
In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
• Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
• The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective.
Transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery.
The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)
FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.
Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)
VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely:
• LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
• VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
• APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)
Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)
 

Data Collection

~~• To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
• To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems.
Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)
Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes.
• CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
• Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
• One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)
Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP)
Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs. (Page 76)
The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)
VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)
VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.
Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)
FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)
Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)
FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)
 

Small business/Entrepreneurship

~~Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.
VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.
Florida Small Business Development Center Network
Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)
 

Career Pathways

~~Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.
Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)
(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)
 

Employment Networks

~~• Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)
LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)
Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act
One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)
The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities.
• Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
• Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
• Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
• Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
• Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
 Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
 Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
 Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
 Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
 Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
 Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
 Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)
FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)
 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 45

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

HB 371 An act relating to assistive technology devices; 2 amending s. 1003.575, F.S. - 07/01/2017

~~“Section 1003.575, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings; interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school, from one school to another, and from school to employment or independent living, and from school to home and community. If an individual education plan team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team's recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized family support plan.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points” - 01/23/2017

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida HB 7003 - 07/01/2016

This bill will be enacted on July 1, 2016 The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. The act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Florida SB 642 - 05/21/2015

"It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a qualified ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] program in this state which will encourage and assist the saving of private funds in tax-exempt accounts in order to pay for the qualified disability expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

2016 Florida Statues “1004.6495 Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program and Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities”

“The purpose of this section is to increase independent living, inclusive and experiential postsecondary education, and employment opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities through degree, certificate, or nondegree programs and to establish statewide coordination of the dissemination of information regarding programs and services for students with disabilities. It is the intent of the Legislature that students with intellectual disabilities and students with disabilities have access to meaningful postsecondary education credentials and be afforded the opportunity to have a meaningful campus experience.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

2016 Florida Statues “1003.5716 Transition to postsecondary education and career opportunities”

”To ensure quality planning for a successful transition of a student with a disability to postsecondary education and career opportunities, an IEP team shall begin the process of, and develop an IEP for, identifying the need for transition services before the student with a disability attains the age of 14 years in order for his or her postsecondary goals and career goals to be identified and in place when he or she attains the age of 16 years.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Florida Executive Order 13-284: Reaffirming commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. - 10/08/2013

“‘Employment’" for purposes of this Executive Order is defined as integrated employment, including supported employment, customized employment, and self-employment, where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one's self-employment business, fully integrated in the community workforce, with a goal of maximum self-sufficiency. Employment outcomes shall be based on each individual's measureable vocational goals, skills, and abilities, with the intent to also meet the expectations and hiring needs of the employer. … The interagency cooperative agreement shall formalize the efforts that have been accomplished to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Disability Rights Florida 2016 Annual Report - 02/24/2017

~~“Work centers (formerly known as sheltered workshops) employ adults with disabilities in segregated settings.Disability Rights Florida wanted to ensure that these adults were given opportunities to learn marketableskills and work in integrated settings in the community. Advocates have visited 43 of the 77 work centersincluded on the list from the Department of Labor within the state of Florida and interviewed participantsand employers. The goal was to not only monitor what was occurring in the work centers, but to take theopportunity to educate the participants and employers about opportunities for services through the Divisionof Vocational Rehabilitation and opportunities to transition into integrated community workplaces. It isimportant to make sure these adults are given opportunities to enhance themselves and integrate into theircommunities while attending the work centers. Disability Rights Florida hopes that, by monitoring the workcenters, people with disabilities will have greater opportunity to enhance their employability, independence,and increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Career Counseling Information and Referral for Subminimum Wage Individuals - 02/17/2017

~~“This information will help 14(c) employers coordinate Career Counseling Information and Referral Services (CCIR) to individuals employed at Subminimum wages. Each of the authorized Vendors listed below provides CCIR Services and may begin services upon request. The list will be updated regularly as more providers are approved, so be sure to check back often.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

PROVIDER ADVISORY #2017-001 SUBMINIMUM WAGE WIOA REQUIREMENTS - 02/14/2017

~~“Required CCIR ServicesFlorida Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will be providing CCIR Services to individuals working in sheltered workshops, making sub-minimum wage, in accordance with WIOA and DOL FLSA requirements. All individuals participating in subminimum wage are required to participate in this required CCIR Services on at least an annual basis. All 14(c) certificate-holders must contact VR to ensure CCIR services are provided to individual employed at subminimum wage under their 14(c) Certificate to comply with DOL requirements.

VR will contract and fund instructors to provide the 4-hour CCIR to individuals employed at subminimum wage at the 14c certificate-holder location. This counseling is employment based and will share information regarding a brief benefits discussion, career exploration, self-advocacy and self-determination. This training is intended to educate and encourage individuals currently working at subminimum wage to consider competitive employment; at least minimum wage and in the community.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Employment Enhancement Project - 08/19/2016

“The EEP section needs to read: The Legislature renewed the appropriation of $500,000 for use during FY 2016-17 to assist individuals on the Waiting List, primarily those transitioning from school to work, for a 4th year. APD has allocated approximately $2500 per EEP job seeker to provide Supported Employment Coaching for individuals not working with VR to obtain and maintain competitive employment and participate in paid or unpaid internships as a path to employment. Any individual in Florida who meets APD eligibility, on the APD Waiting List, and over the age 18 may be considered for participation in the EEP.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Education “Technical Assistance Paper High School Graduation Options for Students With Disabilities" - 04/15/2016

“This technical assistance paper describes the high school graduation options for students with disabilities following the adoption of Rule 6A-1.009963, Florida Administrative Code, High School Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity “Program Accessibility Plan”

~~“OBLIGATIONS TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIESTo ensure access for individuals with disabilities DEO is obligated to ensure accessibility and provide accessible notice and information about alternative means of receiving services for individuals who need them. This allows disabled individuals to be effectively informed about and able to meaningfully access the aid, benefit, service, or training provided by DEO.” 

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development

Florida Department of Education “Modified Occupational Completion Points”

“MOCPs are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established OCPs as identified in CTE course descriptions. These selected standards (identified on an individual basis) guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills. Modifying OCPs for students with disabilities has increased the number of secondary students participating in and successfully completing regular job preparatory programs”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Florida Department of Education “Transition Youth”

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers. Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act further supports VR efforts to prepare youth for success in the 21st century workforce through our Transition Youth Services. VR Transition Youth Services help students with disabilities train for a job, continue their education, or find a job after high school. Under this program, every youth will have the opportunity to participate in sponsored career counseling, work readiness training, and fully integrated work experiences in the community. These services are delivered while youth are still in high school and establish the foundation for a seamless transition to individualized training, education, and employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Florida Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida VR Self-Employment & Supported Self-Employment Handbook

The handbook emphasizes the importance of person-centered planning, a process that focuses on the “unique gifts, talents, learning styles, hopes and dreams, family support” and the use of approaches such as Discovery. It is recommended that this approach is used to consider self-employment, rather than formal vocational assessments.

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Self-Employment
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with CRPs to engage and support businesses - 06/15/2017

~~“Florida VR contracts with 209 CRPs statewide to provide business services on behalf of job seekers, paying for services through a contracted benchmark system.Counselors1) Make appropriate referrals to providers andselect appropriate benchmark payments,2) Ensure the job obtained matches the job seeker’s job goal, and3) Review monthly progress reports and requests for benchmark payments.Providers1) Offer services directed at achievingthe job goal as requested on the counselor’s referral form,2) Develop employment situations consistent with the job goal,3) Submit monthly progress reports within 30 days following the month services were delivered, and4) Submit invoices when benchmarks are achieved.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Employment First Interagency Agreement - 05/07/2014

The general purpose of this interagency cooperative agreement is to provide a framework for a long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in the State of Florida.  The agencies and organizations that are parties to this agreement are fully committed to working together to improve the number and percentage of growth in competitive employment for individuals with disabilities.  For the purpose of this agreement and as defined in Executive Order 12-284, “employment” is define as integrated employment, including supported employment, customize employment, and self-employment where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one’s self-employment business…

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Employment First Partnerships

As part of the Governor’s Executive Order,  “required partners include the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD); the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services, and Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS); the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Workforce Florida Inc. boards; the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program; and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (FDDC). Other state agencies and disability service organizations – including the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities and The Able Trust – have been meeting collaboratively with these stakeholders to formalize Employment First efforts in Florida. It is anticipated that other state agencies and disability service organizations may also be involved in developing and implementing the interagency cooperative agreement.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Position on Employment of People with Disbilities

"The Council supports encouraging Florida employers to consider individuals with developmental disabilities as an under-utilized workforce and that employment can help fulfill projected workforce shortages in a wide number of fileds including the government at all levels.  The Council: 

“Creates a system where integrated, gainful employment is the first option available for all individuals with developmental disabilities. Provides supports and services to assist individuals with developmental disabilities enrolled in the Developmental Disability Medicaid Waiver programs who choose to pursue gainful employment. Maximizes funding across agency lines which enhances supported and customized employment programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities”.
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

FL Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk - 09/10/2014

"The Abilities Work Web Portal and Help Desk are key components of a larger effort, the Employment First Initiative, announced last year. The portal and help desk are designed to help employers recruit and hire more applicants with disabilities who are ready and able to work, and inform them of the available support that can help an individual succeed on the job. This initiative was recommended by Governor Scott’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities to better link employers to qualified job-seekers with disabilities in their communities. This also supports the established commitment among multiple interagency partners involved with the Employment First Initiative to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities served by state programs to help them achieve greater independence and self-fulfillment, as required by Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284".

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Disability Employment Initiative - 10/15/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Florida was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.  This grant ended in 2015.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Data Sharing
Citations
Displaying 1 - 10 of 16

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “Partners in Policymaking will Change your Life” - 05/12/2016

“Partners in Policymaking is a leadership-training program for self-advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art information about disability issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence system change. The Florida Developmental Disability Council is currently seeking applicants who either have a developmental disability or who are parents of children with disabilities to participate in the program. Applications for the class of 2016 can be found at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at 954-252-8764 or via email shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. This program is designed to provide information, training, and skill building so those who participate may obtain the most appropriate services possible for themselves and others. Application deadline is July 1, 2016.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Florida Required Supported Employment Pre-Service - 08/17/2015

“Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities requires two courses for certification in Supported Employment. The first course is Introduction to Supported Employment. The second is Work Incentives: The Changing Face of Benefits…There are post-tests associated with each online course. You must complete and pass both courses and receive both course certificates to be considered certified.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - A Family Guide for Vocational Planning - 11/01/2013

This introductory guide addresses Discovery, Customized Employment, Self-Determination & Person First Language and how it should be used with different age groups of students.  It includes a glossary of terms as well as links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities “ADP Training Portal”

Providers Beginning May 18, 2016, TRAIN Florida is the official Learning Management System (LMS) for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). All learners with a valid email address received an email with login information. If you did not receive an email with this information, PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A TRAIN FLORIDA ACCOUNT. The training team will complete the task of setting up an account, and emailing the login information to you. The notifications will be sent out in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience. If you have questions regarding your TRAIN Florida account or the process for retrieving your TRAIN Florida login information, please contact the TRAIN Florida APD site administrator by email at apd.lmssupport@apdcares.org. Please do not contact the Public Health Foundation (PHF) or the Florida Department of Health regarding TRAIN Florida website questions.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities Video Gallery

This repository contains separate Inclusion Videos, on subjects including: Why Inclusion is Important; What Does Inclusion mean to You?;  Making it a Reality; Educating Legislators; Addressing Fear; Integrated Employment; Community; and Real People Achieving Success through Inclusion.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Foundation for VR"): Publications

The Florida Grantor contains articles of interest to the disability community, updates on successful employment projects & news on statewide vocational rehabilitation projects.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Abel Trust ("FL Endowment Center for VR"): Latest News

The web page for the Abel Trust-Florida Center for Inclusive Communities includes 16 links to articles on efforts in Florida to help people with disabilities transition to employment.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

FCIC Employment Webinar Archive

This website contains multiple separate webinars related to integrated employment and community integration for people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

FL DD Council & Center for Social Capital -- Customized Employment Manual

These readings on the best practices in Customized Employment (CE) reflect the use of Discovering Personal Genius/Discovery and effective techniques that “bridge” Discovery, Job Development, and ongoing supports. They lean heavily on an Economic Development approach to Job Development and how this methodology benefits the community. The manual also includes information on Community Action Teams (CATs), social capital, and the rich connections in rural communities that foster employment. And finally, the Replication Manual identifies specific barriers, resources, and real solutions used in each project site to foster change and achieve quality outcomes.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Employment Roadmap Handout

This handout serves as an early introduction to the Discovery process in job development and school-to-work transition for people with disabilities. It also provides links to Florida & National resources.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Florida Medicaid State Plan - 04/20/2016

Florida's Medicaid State Plan (the Plan) is a large, comprehensive written statement describing the scope and nature of the Medicaid program. The Plan outlines current Medicaid eligibility standards, policies and reimbursement methodologies to ensure the state program receives matching federal funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Florida Model Waiver (40166.R04.00) 1915(c) Waiver - 07/01/2015

This waiver provides "respite, transition case management, assistive technology and service evaluation, environmental accessibility adaptations for medically fragile individuals ages 0-20".

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Florida HCBS Transition Plan - 01/01/2014

In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for home and community-based programs. The new rule contains requirements that ensure persons who receive Medicaid home and community-based services do so from providers who: Help them to be active in the community; Provide a home-like environment if a person lives in a group home, assisted living facility or adult family care home; and Enable them to make personal choices. Additionally, the rule requires the Agency to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on its transition plan and any changes the state proposes to its home and community-based waivers and state plan program.   
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Phone

Snapshot

Things are looking bright for workers with disabilities who are excelling at their careers and living independent lives in the Sunshine State of Florida.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Florida’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.86%
Change from
2014 to 2015
20,271,272
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.27%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,177,644
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.68%
Change from
2014 to 2015
369,205
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
99.9%
Change from
2014 to 2015
31,035.00%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.93%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.07%

State Data

General

2015
Population. 20,271,272
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,177,644
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 369,205
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 8,007,547
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 31,035.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.07%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.40%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,296,917
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,371,790
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,137,716
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 1
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 483,660
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 8,362
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 38,951
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 866
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 51,358
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 45,952

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 11,889
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 565,238

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 25,147
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 91,150
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 138,209
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 18.20%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.80%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.40%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 45.50%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,390
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,505
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,348
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 79,138

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 49,920
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 208
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 151
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 73.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.74

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A