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

2017 State Population.
1.77%
Change from
2016 to 2017
20,984,400
2017 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.25%
Change from
2016 to 2017
1,258,361
2017 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.59%
Change from
2016 to 2017
428,638
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.34%
Change from
2016 to 2017
34.06%
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.63%
Change from
2016 to 2017
75.62%

General

2015 2016 2017
Population. 20,271,272 20,612,439 20,984,400
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,177,644 1,255,268 1,258,361
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 369,205 404,685 428,638
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 8,007,547 8,177,300 8,380,911
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 31.35% 32.24% 34.06%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.07% 75.14% 75.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 5.40% 4.90% 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.90% 20.00% 19.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.10% 13.90% 13.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,296,917 1,332,700 1,370,483
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,371,790 1,430,077 1,440,995
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,137,716 2,216,510 2,251,892
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 385,940 385,940 385,434
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 483,660 501,439 530,490
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 8,362 9,573 12,980
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 38,951 41,158 42,580
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 866 1,418 1,179
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 51,358 57,913 62,579
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 45,952 50,265 54,834

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 11,889 12,673 13,516
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.70% 2.90% 3.10%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 565,238 562,750 558,750

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 25,147 29,153 29,365
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 91,150 93,335 92,425
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 138,209 143,294 131,486
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 18.20% 20.30% 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.80% 1.00% 0.90%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.40% 2.30% 1.90%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.90% 1.40% 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 45.50% 44.40% 43.30%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,390 1,683 1,651
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,505 3,927 3,364
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,348 2,442 3,397
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 79,138 77,145 75,503

 

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)

2013 2014 2015
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. 303 208 322
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 221 151 209
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% 65.00%
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. 1.13 0.74 1.03

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
13,478
13,345
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 156 126 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 782 1,022 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 3,334 3,053 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 3,414 3,427 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 5,188 5,207 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 604 510 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 18.40% 19.90% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 19,148 21,811 18,065
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 827,430 836,960 836,893
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 807 952 N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 533 679 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $5,650 $5,834,000 $5,529,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. N/A $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. N/A $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. N/A $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 12.00% 11.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0 N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 0 N/A 0
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 11.20 11.90 11.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 74.44% 73.02% 73.90%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 12.81% 13.91% 13.77%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.92% 3.84% 3.79%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 90.55% 90.38% 94.84%
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% 28.48% 27.84%
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% 43.18% 43.84%
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% 54.91% 56.16%
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% 14.70% 16.00%

 

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

2017 2018 2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 23 48 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1 3 2
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 24 51 38
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 2,149 3,827 2,797
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 91 261 114
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 2,240 4,088 2,911

 

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 Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: vocational rehabilitation, transition, supported employment and rehabilitation engineering. Vocational rehabilitation, transition and pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, Florida Department of Education’s Divisions of Blind Services (FDBS) will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 48) Title I

Employment First Florida
Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, the 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 the Department of Children and Families - Mental Health and Substance Abuse came together through an interagency cooperative agreement. This collaboration improves coordination of services that help people with disabilities obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. (Page 61-62) Title I

The Employment First collaborative developed a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach, describing services available 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.
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program recognizes businesses that are committed to providing career and financial opportunities to individuals with unique abilities and to assisting organizations that support them. Participating businesses demonstrate their dedication to strengthening communities and the economy by helping these Floridians with untapped talents become more independent and by partnering with other businesses, organizations and state resources in this endeavor. (Page 62) Title I 

• Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR 24 has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

•  Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

Core programs work through Florida’s Employment First initiative and the Higher Education Coordinating Council to expand and develop innovative ways to ensure seamless articulation and accessibility to programs leading to credentials and apprenticeship opportunities. (Page 80) Title I

LWDBs continue expanding employment and training services for people with disabilities. Eighteen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
The state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers that provide onsite services to people with disabilities. This provides additional access to remote job fairs; to those impacted by mass layoffs; and other employment and training events for people with disabilities.
At the state level, the workforce system increased active participation on boards working to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities such as:
• Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council-led Employment First Initiative and its Employment and Transportation Task Force
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has representation within the workforce system and several members of the Statewide Strengthening Youth Partnership are entities focusing on providing quality services to people with disabilities. (Page 106) Title I

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. The Employment First Committee submits a report to the Governor annually, describing the coordination of participating agencies to advance the Employment First philosophy and way of work throughout Florida. (Page 180) Title II

VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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.
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 nine agencies/organizations to participate in the agreement. This order has now been placed in Florida’s statute.
• The Department of Education-Division of Blind Services
• The Department of Education-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
•  The Department of Education-Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
•  The Agency for Persons with Disabilities
•  The Department of Children and Families-Mental Health and Substance Abuse
•  The Department of Economic Opportunity
•  CareerSource Florida
•  The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
•  RESPECT of Florida (Page 185) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title I

•  Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services
•  Provide up to four years of extended services for youth 24 and under when appropriate
•  VR Consultants have provided extensive outreach to educators, community providers, individuals, families, community partners, VR staff to promote Supported Employment as an opportunity for youth to become successful in becoming employed and developing a career path.
•  VR works closely with the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee. This group focuses on promoting competitive integrated employment as a first choice for youth and adults with disabilities in Florida.
•  The Program Development and Assistance Bureau provides technical assistance and support to a wide variety of stakeholders.
•  VR has provided youth receiving subminimum wage employment training opportunities to encourage their consideration of competitive integrated employment opportunities. There is a four hour course focused on self-advocacy, communication, employment options in local communities, how to obtain supports and services, and other related topics. (Page 221) Title IV

•  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. (Page 222) Title IV

VR staff have worked with Employment First Partners, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Project 10 staff, local Education Agencies and other partners to increase Third Party Cooperative Arrangements, Project SEARCH programs and other work experience programs that provide training opportunities that lead to employment.
VR staff have also collaborated with the Florida Association for Rehabilitation Facilities and the ARC of Florida to develop a package of VR services that would assist individuals with most significant disabilities to pursue competitive integrated employment opportunities. (Page 238) Title IV

A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
• 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 prepare for, get or keep a job.
• Presentations on Supported Employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
• Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
• Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s Supported Employment and Transition Consultants.
• The VR Senior Consultant coordinated and developed training for providers and staff on Discovery and Customized Employment Services. (Page 240) Title IV

VR will continue to actively engage and partner in order to:
• Develop a collaborative agreement with APD specific to Supported Employment and removing or reducing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the nine signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local and state 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.
• Expand available services through youth-related initiatives. (Page 246) Title VI

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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. (Page 270) Title IV

• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, and Pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, FDBS will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 308) Title IV

FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review.
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:
• Developing and implementing 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 resources that can support them on the job. (Page 315) Title IV

• Developing 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 advances employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists to increase employment opportunities for clients.
• Forming three interagency workgroups, including a grassroots group to receive input from stakeholders at the local level and to address the objectives of the Employment First Collaborative Agreement. FDBS is an active partner in these forums and uses the work to support other related collaborative activities, such as the implementing WIOA).
• Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since crating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title IV

FDBS is optimistic it will improve its employment outcomes during the current SFY. FDBS will implement strategies such as collaborating with community rehabilitation programs; networking with national employment partners; expanding utilization of online job systems such as Department of Economic Opportunities’ (DEO) Abilities Work Web Portal and accompanying help desk managed by VR and the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state-owned Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) Programs, 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 outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 317) Title IV

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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.
Four goals address the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs. These goals and strategies are:
Goal 1.0 Highest Client Achievement
Strategy 1.1: Expand opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. (Page 324) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~VR partners with employment service providers and maintains memorandums of agreement with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services are provided for job seekers with disabilities. VR implements pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion projects to further increase its service capacity. VR places emphasis on increasing provider capacity for specialized services such as Discovery and Customized Employment. (Page 51) Title I

Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

VR currently has five Innovation and Expansion pilot projects throughout the state to provide business consultation, pre-employment training, volunteering positions and intensive discovery services to job seekers with unique abilities.
FDBS will allocate 15 percent of its federal allotment to pre-employment transition services for all students with disabilities in need of such services who are eligible or potentially eligible for services through the Division. FDBS has a draft Pre-ETS policy currently under review by WINTAC. The policy states that services will be available the year the individual reaches age 14. The provision of such services matches categories defined in WIOA Section 113. All services and purchases (such as orientation and mobility services, pay for work experience, stipends, On-the Job Training, assistive technology services and devices, etc.,) required to enable an individual to engage in activities defined in the Act are made available as part of the 15 percent state set-aside in the federal funding formula. (Page 79) Title I

VR’s rehabilitation rate remains below the federal target, but has increased over the past two years, as has the overall number of customer employment outcomes. This is expected as VR releases customers from the Category 3 wait list. VR collaborates with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that the following projects will have a positive impact on program performance.
• Support employers and community partnerships through the Business Relations program.
• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

• Develop a deeper understanding of customer strengths and develop tools to communicate succinctly to potential employers.
• The Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC) fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

VR has recently lowered the age limit for Transition services to 14 years of age, and will include this age group in future quarterly updates to FRC. VR has many pilot projects and initiatives anticipated to create additional training and employment opportunities for students and youth, summarized below.
• There are 25 school districts currently participating in Third Party Cooperative Arrangements (TPCA). There are currently 39 Employment Specialists working with 300 students, and this number will increase by the end of the year. We are currently revising the contract to allow for the expansion of Pre-ETS to more students with disabilities served by school districts. VR recently provided training and updated resources for school districts and VR staff.
• VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance Plan (ITAP) with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) for assistance in formalizing VR Youth Peer Mentoring processes. The ITAP will support expansion from the three county pilot to a statewide program. Recent provider recruitment efforts have identified over 50 additional providers interested in providing Youth Peer Mentoring. VR is currently offering training to staff and providers.
• VR has developed the Student Transition Activities Record (STAR) program to track and coordinate Pre-ETS service referrals. Currently, 58 of 74 districts are using the STAR program to refer students for services. VR is working with Project 10 and the Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) to develop ways to engage the remaining districts.
• VR has collaborated with the Florida DD Council to increase the number of Project SEARCH sites across Florida. Ten new sites were added for the 2017-18 school year, and 5 more sites are anticipated to be in place by August 2018.
• VR has made great effort to increase the number of providers for Discovery, Customized Employment, and Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant (CBTAC) by offering more frequent training opportunities. VR will continue to provide frequent training to increase the number of providers certified to offer these services. (Page 168-169) Title II

• Two peer mentoring initiatives are planned at this time. A peer mentoring/IPS project with a youth element is being developed in Broward County, and a youth-specific peer mentoring project is being developed in partnership with Florida Atlantic University.
• Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II

463. The Arc-2-Work: a work-skills training program - Operated by Arc of Alachua County. The Arc-2-Work program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions to high school students and clients of the Arc that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Alachua County.
464. The Industry Readiness Training (IRT) Program - Operated by Brevard Achievement Center. The IRT Program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Brevard County.
465. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.
466. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Palm Beach County. (Page 225) Title IV

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. Discovery provides an opportunity for individuals to move seamlessly from this person centered assessment and planning to Supported Employment Services.
• VR has initiated a Supported Employment Customized Placement Benchmark to incentives providers to work with individuals who will need more intense supports and assistance to become successfully employed. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.
• Use Title I funds to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment for youth.
• Purchase supported employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contract for supported employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes for individuals served.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services. (Page 221) Title IV

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Actual Performance:
The VR Business Relations Program (BRP) developed processes to streamline their operations and better integrate into field service operations. BRP has developed partnerships with businesses and industry sectors to expand customized employment and summer worksite opportunities. BRP staff have provided numerous trainings and presentations to businesses, providers, VR staff and local groups such as Chambers and trade-group chapters. BRP implemented and customized Salesforce software to track employer information and outreach activities, and allows for reporting out area level employer and performance data. BRP also participates in collaborative activities such as the ApprenticeshipUSA grant team and USDOL-ETAs Integrated Business Services Cohort.
Strategy: 2. Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers. (Page 232) Title IV

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI B funds to provide Supported Employment services as specified in the individual plan for employment.
• Purchase Supported Employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contracts for Supported Employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies and supported self-employment services. (Page 238) Title IV

VR has increased the number of Supported Employment Providers throughout Florida. Additional training and support has been provided to new employment providers. VR has also added a Customized Job Placement benchmark to support individuals with most significant disabilities who may need a customized employment option.
Goal 3: Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation Providers, families and individuals.
• 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.
• 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 239) Title IV

C. Service Delivery, Including Customized Employment, and Extended Services. The Partner to this Agreement shall have the following responsibilities, including:
1) Serving LEA students with disabilities who are referred to DBS and meet the eligibility requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation services.
2) Coordinating activities necessary for arranging and providing Pre-ETS, such as attending IEP meetings, working with local workforce development boards, one-stop centers and employers, working with schools, and attending person-centered meetings for students with disabilities.
3) Providing the activities included under Pre-ETS as defined in Section 7(30) of the Rehabilitation Act and §361.5(c)(42), to students with visual impairments, as appropriate and necessary. (Page 267) Title IV

• Participate as an advisory member on a variety of grants from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council that provide training and collaborative activities for providers, counselors, and other agency employees. (Page 222) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~This initiative began in 2014 and resulted in the promotion of business growth through better connectivity of Florida’s advanced manufacturers to existing public and private resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability, leveraging the workforce and talent development assets within the state. The Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence (CAME), under the direction of FloridaMakes, Florida’s Manufacturing Extension partnership, served as the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council and coordinated efforts through Florida’s 13 Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMAs). The Leadership Council, composed of RMAs and Florida manufacturers, served as the primary point of contact for the project.
Throughout the year, the Leadership Council engaged in a variety of activities focused around the use of industry-specific labor market intelligence to inform the development of workforce policy and a sector strategy for manufacturing. Both the council and the RMAs, comprising Florida industry, set out to drive business-led improvements in talent delivery. (Page 55) Title I

In the fall of 2016, CareerSource Florida integrated Registered Apprenticeships into its statewide sector strategy initiative by leveraging its selection as a USDOL ApprenticeshipUSA expansion grantee. With a keen focus on building the state’s talent pipeline, local workforce development boards are empowered to move from training programs to establishing career pathways that offer apprenticeships as a viable talent development solution. The strategic alignment has forged new partnerships with employers and closer collaboration between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and CareerSource Florida. As a unified partnership, the team identifies challenges and opportunities for building a modern talent delivery system that meets the needs of employers in high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare and construction. Key achievements designed to shift workforce development from a supply-driven to demand-driven system include:
• Convening more than 100 influential businesses leaders and community stakeholders as part of the ApprenticeshipUSA grant kick-off activities to solidify partnerships for system changes that are transformative and sustainable beyond the life of the grant.
• Hosting weekly strategy sessions with core partners from the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and the Department of Economic Opportunity to align policies, people and processes as part of statewide system integration and ApprenticeshipUSA grant compliance. (Page 59) Title I

Florida’s WIOA partners worked with economic development stakeholders to develop a common strategic vision for Florida’s workforce and economic development systems. Talent Supply and Education is one of the Six Pillars of Florida’s future economy, as defined by the Florida Chamber Foundation following years of collaboration and research with business and education stakeholders including: The Century Commission for a Sustainable Future; Florida Council of 100; Enterprise Florida, the state’s principle economic development organization; the Florida State University System; and CareerSource Florida’s predecessor, Workforce Florida. Workforce development activities carried out by WIOA core programs directly support achievement of strategies under this pillar. Leaders from CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida and DEO work closely to maintain a unified approach to job creation and retention. Leveraging resources of Florida’s workforce and economic development systems and fostering collaboration improves overall alignment with industry and education. (Page 81) Title I

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities
• Assure career centers were readily accessible.
After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II

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 177) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~VR supports participants attending Inclusive Postsecondary Education (IPSE) for individuals with unique abilities. VR has dedicated IPSE Liaisons located throughout the state to participate in IPSE student selection committees and program development.
VR has Memoranda of Understanding with the presidents of Florida’s public universities and the Florida College System. These memoranda outline the purposes, roles and responsibilities of VR and the educational institutions and financial and programmatic responsibilities. The memoranda provide information about financial assistance, sharing of assessment findings, accommodations, rehabilitation technology services, academic advisement, counseling, confidentiality and other topics. (Page 71) Title 1

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. (Page 181) Title II

Specific intent of the interagency agreement is to:
1. Provide guidance to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ front-line employees, when serving students transitioning from school to work or postsecondary activities.
2. Provide information to parents/students so they know what they can expect from the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services during the transition process.
3. Provide parameters to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ administrators/managers/nursing supervisors when developing, negotiating, and implementing local cooperative agreements.
4. Encourage and support the participation of all agency personnel in the IEP process at the local level through the development of guidelines, policies, and/or procedures. (Page 182) Title II
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 200) Title II

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is committed to providing quality Supported Employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. VR supports the individual in making employment choices consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests. The scope of services varies based on the amount, intensity, and support needed by each individual.
VR counselors work in partnership with the individual when developing the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This plan guides the services and supports that are needed for that individual. The IPE is evaluated throughout the process and updated as needed.
The quality of Supported Employment outcomes is assessed individually. Each individual receives services that are determined based on the specific needs of that person. A key component of evaluating the service is the individual satisfaction with the services and supports, as well as a successful employment outcome. (Page 244) Title IV

• VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome;
• APD strives 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). 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.” (Page 258) Title II

This formal interagency agreement functions as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, and Children’s Medical Services. The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee.
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for vocational rehabilitation consumers is completed or updated annually as needed, prior to graduation or leaving school for seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome.
The FDBS transition specialists, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with public high schools statewide and private high schools requesting assistance. Transition specialists provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. The counselor determines eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, develops an approved IPE, and sponsors the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. (Page 263) Title II

The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 287- 288) Title II

Career Pathways

~~• FRC fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

On an annual basis, VR has offered new TPCAs to all school districts in the state of Florida. Although VR approaches and offers TPCA to all districts, the partnership is dependent on the individual district’s decision to participate. VR currently has TPCAs with 25 school districts and these arrangements expire in June 2018. VR is in the process of revising the contractual agreement it offers to school districts, but new contracts have not been developed yet. Once developed, if the contract changes the way VR delivers Transition services, the State Plan will be amended as needed. The one-year arrangement will provide community-based work experiences to eligible students who have Supported Employment (SE) service needs identified in their Individual Educational Plan and Individualized Plan for Employment. This model reimburses school districts for services provided to VR-eligible students with the most significant disabilities and facilitates a seamless transition into postsecondary employment with supports.
On-the-Job Training (OJT), through VR providers, delivers needed community-based work experiences to VR-eligible students who do not require the intense supports provided through the TPCA. OJT services are available statewide. (Page 171) Title II

Currently, VR has approximately 263 registered Employment Services Providers that deliver employment, supported employment, OJT, Pre-ETS, and other related services on a fee-for-service basis. Additionally, VR maintains the following contracts and/or agreements:
• 16 agreements with the Centers for Independent Living located throughout the state to provide independent living services
• 25 Third Party Cooperative Arrangements with local school districts
• Additional contracts with agencies for services such as delegable VR services, outreach for migrant and seasonal farm workers, interpreting services, rehabilitation engineering, and a project involving the use of virtual reality simulators for customers with severe disabilities
VR also has 5 contracts for Innovation and Expansion pilot projects to benefit and complement WIOA-related initiatives. These contracts are for various 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. (Page 184) Title II

Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II
 

Apprenticeship
The Florida Division of Blind Services is expanding business relationships with employers at the local level to identify and maximize competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for adults and students. Each district holds membership with one or more Chambers of Commerce. Employment Placement Specialists work with employers on their hiring needs and setting up work experiences. This gives job seekers opportunities for work-based learning experiences, training and obtaining employability skills. (Page 74) Title I Goal 3: Expand career opportunities for VR candidates. Objective: Prepare ready-to-work applicants for in-demand careers and jobs that are available now. Strategies: 1. Meet with business and industry to assess workforce needs to better align training with those needs. 2. Communicate information from employers about business needs and qualification requirements to VR staff. 3. Engage in sector partnerships. 4. Provide information to VR staff about in-demand jobs and high growth industries and sectors using labor market information. 5. Collaborate with business and education to determine industry recognized training opportunities and inform VR staff about them. 6. Collaborate with WIOA core partners to share resources and best practices. 7. Generate opportunities for worksite training, including pre-employment transition services such as work-based learning experiences, with business partners. (Page 188) Title II • Continue representation on the state board, and gain membership on local boards. • Continue collaboration with LWDB partners to fully engage the state’s employee recruitment, retention, and training services. Recommend career centers use universal design principles in their operations, and maintainthe integrity of systems for unique constituent populations to ensure individuals with disabilities seeking employment are given opportunities to be successful. • Expanding opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. Pre-employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) were included in the 2017-2018 VR contracts. By adding these services, the FDBS provides eligible and potentially eligible students and youth with disabilities opportunities to participate in work-based learning experiences, apprenticeships, and internships to improve workplace skills. (Page 306) Title IV
Work Incentives & Benefits

~~These activities allow the formation of workgroups to engage in coordinated projects designed to continue implementation and enhancement of the workforce system within the WIOA framework. These workgroups include planning directors, program leadership and subject matter experts for WIOA partner programs. Examples of these workgroups include the following:
• Conduct pilot for career center integration
• Design of comprehensive one-stop career center system with the inclusion of universal design principles as a certification requirement
• Enhance infrastructure and data sharing processes
• Coordination of membership in state and local workforce boards
• Coordinated development of a network of qualified benefits planners to augment Social Security Administration contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services.
• Complete a stakeholder engagement analysis to determine where to target outreach efforts, including business engagement.
• Review services, programs and partnerships of core WIOA programs to reduce duplication of efforts as well as gaps between programs.
• Work collaboratively to ensure that disability coordinators are cross trained with core partner processes
• Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of people with barriers to employment, including people with disabilities. (Page 111) Title I

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 Partnership that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The partnership 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.
The need to serve Florida veterans who have disabilities led to the development of an agreement between the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and VR. The agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of VR and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It clarifies which agency can provide specific services. It also includes information regarding shared planning, joint activities, and coordination. (Page 176) Title II

WIOA presents requirements and opportunities for VR to strengthen its partnership with entities of 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.
• 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 208) Title II

• 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.
• 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 222) Title IV

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 224) Title II

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. (Page 208)
FDBS strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Programs and local employment networks in job placement related services. FDBS uses the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2017, there was a total of 374 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review. (Page 315) Title IV

Collaborate with community organizations, employers, families, and support groups to develop natural supports for Supported Employment extended services.
• Provide opportunities for counselors, providers, and support coordinators to receive training on innovative employment strategies designed to promote employment success for individuals. (Page 247) Title IV

Employer/ Business

~~CareerSource Florida uses DEO statewide data and LWDB data to produce and transmit critical labor market intelligence to the CareerSource Florida network, educators and training providers and to economic development partners. This information can be used in partnership with eligible training providers to ensure the training needs of Florida employers are met. (Page 77) Title I
Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since creating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title I
 

Data Collection
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
511

~~VR has successfully implemented Career Counseling/ Information and Referral (CCIR) services for participants in subminimum wage employment. During SFY 2016-17, approximately 4,780 participants received CCIR services. VR has approved 21 agencies and 315 individuals to provide this service. VR also provides internal and external stakeholders technical assistance and support on compliance with Section 511.
CCIR services have received positive feedback from providers and participants, and VR is working with stakeholders to develop a follow-up process for CCIR participants who express an interest in VR services or employment. (Page 233) Title II

Complying with Federal regulations regarding confidentiality and State law, including Section 511, which specifies confidentiality agreements must comply with IDEA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, VR Counselors are expected to perform in compliance with the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Commission Professional Code of Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. (Page 266) Title II

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination: Section 188
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to: • Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available • Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities • Assure career centers were readily accessible. After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II In 2013, VR introduced a strategic initiative to ensure accessibility of all agency components including programs, facilities, personnel and hiring practices, online resources, internal and external communications, and technology systems. Strategies are now built into VR operational procedures. Following ADA Title II requirements, FDOE Leasing staff conducts ADA inspections of all new or renewed VR office leases. VR offices inspected and found out of compliance have a 504 Plan which describes accessibility improvements planned for the facility. VR customers are included in this process when possible. VR employees in every area are required to complete ADA Coordinator certification training and ADA informational training. Hearing loops and other adaptive equipment and/or software is available in VR facilities. Specific applications were developed using custom JAWS script and workflow documentation to meet the needs of users. (Page 107) Title II Work with Florida’s one-stop career centers to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. FDBS works with the career centers to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients. • Work to ensure disability coordinators are cross trained on the processes of core partners. FDBS collaborates with the CareerSource Centers and shares information about its services and the referral process with the Disability Navigators at the CareerSource Centers. • Communicate, strategize and execute agreed upon methods of meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS participates in regularly scheduled conference calls and meetings. FDBS solicits feedback from core partners regarding contracts and policies. • Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS has an online application to increase accessibility to individuals who may qualify for services. (Page 271) Title II • Increase use of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. • Implement a comprehensive communications and outreach plan. • Increase the number of individuals with significant and most significant disabilities receiving services. • Increase outreach services to under-served and un-served population. • Work collaboratively with the one-stop career center to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. • Educate one-stop career centers on the importance of establishing centers in areas that are easily accessible to public transportation. (Page 293) Title II 2.1: Increase the provision of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. FDBS will strengthen its relationship with the Lighthouses to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients and is reflected in the IPE. FDBS monitors the contract and receives client feedback via satisfaction surveys. FDBS values collaboration between staff and consumers, and incorporates follow-up at all levels of the rehabilitation process. At each level, from applicant to closure of case, Rehabilitation Technicians and Specialists, Employment Placement Specialist, and CRP staff (as needed and appropriate) work as a team to remain in contact with the client. Communication between the client and staff throughout the process, strengthens the chance for a positive client outcome. (Page 304) Title II
Vets
USDOL implemented priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses, as required under the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) and as specified by the Veterans’ Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006. JVA calls for priority of service to be implemented by all “qualified job training programs,” defined as “any workforce preparation, development or delivery program or service directly funded, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor.” Since enactment of JVA in 2002, priority of service has been implemented under policy guidance issued by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The purpose of these regulations is to further articulate how priority of service is to be applied across all new and existing qualified job training programs. (Page 103) Title I Florida’s Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) refocusing is a partnership between DEO and the U.S. Department of Labor/Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) established to meet the employment needs of veterans and eligible customers who contact local career centers throughout the state. Frontline/WP/WIOA staff focus on providing core services and initial assessment to veterans seeking employment assistance (majority of veterans will be served by frontline/WP/WIOA staff). DVOP specialists only provide intensive services to veterans with identified SBE(s). DVOP specialists determine potential SBE population using ETA 9173, which is a quarterly report and the ETA 9169, which is an annual report. Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) staff conduct employer outreach and job development in local communities on behalf of all veterans served through local career centers, including working directly with the DVOPs with case managed veterans with SBE(s). (Page 105) Title I
Mental Health

~~• Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

Mental Health Program, Florida Department of Children and Families
VR coordinates with the state mental health authority to assist customers who have mental illnesses. One of these is participation on the Florida Assertive Community Treatment Team, a community-based, outreach-oriented method of delivering services to individuals with mental illnesses coordinated by the Mental Health Program. VR provides staff liaisons with many of these teams to help serve this group of customers in a comprehensive manner. In addition, VR is an active member of the State Mental Health Planning Council of Florida. The cooperative agreement promotes coordination so that appropriate services can be delivered to maximize customer choice and satisfaction. This agreement is currently being updated to ensure compliance with new WIOA regulations. (Page 175) Title II

Local education agencies work collaboratively with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services in the Transition Individual Educational Plan process. Local education agencies that are considering transition services during the Individual Educational Plan meeting will invite representatives from any other agency who may be responsible for providing or paying for transition services, after obtaining permission from the parent, guardian, or age-of-majority student. If the agency representative does not attend the meeting, the school will do its best to get someone else to come. If the agency representative will not attend the meeting, the school will then look for alternative ways to provide for the student’s transition needs. The local education agency must reconvene the Transition Individual Educational Plan team to identify alternative strategies for providing a student’s transition needs if an agency fails to do so. (Page 181) Title II

Mental Health Services, in partnership with families and the community, provides a system of care that enables children and adults with mental health or emotional disabilities to live successfully in the community, become self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and realize their full potential. Mental health support and services enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 182) Title II

Financial Responsibilities
The Department of Education, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services are committed to meeting financial responsibilities as required by law. Agency/Division heads for the organizations will periodically identify areas for improved programmatic and financial efficiencies and develop strategies to meet financial responsibilities, including joint appropriations requests from the state legislature and negotiations with federal agencies. Each party is financially responsible for the services it provides under its own laws and rules. (Page 182) Title II

VR is currently in the process of developing and implementing an updated Memorandum of Agreement with APD and the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) the state agency responsible for administering the State Medicaid Plan.
VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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 185) Title II

Six broad-based objectives govern the Employment First Interagency Agreement. VR works closely with the partners to continue to make progress on these objectives.
Continue to develop and enhance Supported Employment for persons with the most significant disabilities. The state system for the provision of Supported Employment reflects: (a) mutually agreeable definitions of the services to be provided; (b) administrative responsibility of the intensive component of Supported Employment services to eligible individuals as the primary responsibility of VR for individuals with the most significant disabilities; and (c) administrative responsibility of the extended services component as the primary responsibility of other stakeholders, including APD and the Department of Children and Families, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program. (Page 185) Title II

Supported Employment Services
VR is responsible for the first phase of Supported Employment services. VR provides intensive vocational services until the individual and employer are satisfied with the Supported Employment placement, and then the individual transitions to a plan for extended services. Supported Employment services consist of intensive, time-limited vocational rehabilitation services (the responsibility of VR) and extended services, also known as the second phase. Funding for the second phase of services is provided by other sources that may include, but are not limited to, APD, the Department of Children and Families’ Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program, natural supports or other identified funding sources. (Page 186) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title II

Results of the CSNA public survey indicated the following groups as having limited access to VR services.
• Individuals living in rural areas (58.86%)
• Individuals with a criminal background (48.57%)
• Individuals on waiting list (43.95%)
• Individuals with a mental health disability (43.57%)
• Individuals with an intellectual disability (43.42%)
VR continues to assess its services to individuals with the most significant disabilities and individuals who may be unserved or underserved, as well as those with the most significant disabilities who may be from minority populations. (Page 206-207) Title II

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Key administrators from VR and FDBS held monthly meetings to revise and update the Memorandum of Agreement, develop strategies, discuss training needs, create informational guides needed by both agencies for this population, and provide case consultation. Additional VR strategies and activities to increase equal access to individuals requesting services are as follows:
• Develop a comprehensive safety plan for monitoring VR facilities statewide. Specific components include a process for reporting defective/unsafe working conditions, safety and facilities management training for area staff, a move manual, a statewide safety manual, statewide first aid information, furniture inspection instructions, and a facility security/building access policy at HQ.
• Continue to use interpreters and translators and VR’s online resources as well as the websites of other partners and stakeholders (where permitted) to reach underserved populations and increase communication with customers.
• Offer reasonable accommodations to give equal access to services, and make sure materials and other program information are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole for various agencies, employers, churches, community leaders, health clinics, and other settings.
• Continue to assign counselors and consultants to serve specialized populations, such as the deaf and hard-of-hearing, transition students, mental health customers, and brain and spinal cord injury customers.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other One-stop system partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with the intent to include universal design as a separate component of the One-stop career center certification process. (Page 231) Title IV

VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; (Page 258) Title IV

The FDBS works closely with VR to track the number and type of graduate students that are enrolled in state universities offering rehabilitation counseling degrees. This information is maintained by the Program Administrator. A $2,000 incentive is added to the salary of all counselors and supervisors who hold or receive a CRC during their tenure. The following state universities offer a graduate counseling degree that fulfills the educational requirements for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification with a minimum of other required classes. • Institution: Florida International University Type of Program: Master of Science in Counselor Education - Rehabilitation Counseling Track (MS) • Institution: University of South Florida Type of Program: Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (MA)
Program Data for Institutions of Higher Education
The following information is derived from Florida institutions of higher education that prepare vocational rehabilitation professionals. The information is categorized by institution and type of program. (Page 277) Title IV

Prior needs assessments did not identify pre-employment transition services; however, this population’s needs will be identified in future planning.
FDBS has an interagency agreement that serves as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services.
FDBS has a cooperative agreement with the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Public Schools to coordinate activities for students who are blind and visually impaired. This is accomplished through the preparation and implementation of guidelines, policies, rules, and regulations that affect the interests of students with visual impairments through joint planning committees and publications, as appropriate. (Page 287) Title IV
 

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 
Displaying 11 - 20 of 66

Secondary Transition - 07/01/2018

~~“The term “transition services” or “transition planning” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:•Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment); continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation•Is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests•Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.” 

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

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - Needs Assessment and Evaluation - 03/06/2018

~~“Needs Assessment and EvaluationA biannual training needs assessment is conducted using information from several sources. These include a formal needs assessment instrument, performance evaluation data, training evaluation sheets obtained from every sponsored program, exit interviews and supervisory input. The needs assessment data determines program development and modification.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - VR Transition Youth program - 03/06/2018

~~      “The VR Transition Youth program administrator serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. The program administrator works closely with the regional representatives of Project 10: The Transition Education Network, which is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services within the Florida Department of Education to the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Project 10 helps Florida school districts and stakeholders increase their ability to provide secondary transition services to students with disabilities and improve student academic success and postsecondary outcomes. Project 10 helps educators, parents, students, agency representatives and other stakeholders by providing capacity building to implement secondary transition services, interagency collaboration, transition legislation and policy and student development and outcomes. VR counselors serving transition students participate in each area’s local interagency councils. Interagency councils are a collaborative effort between VR and Department of Education partners, public high schools, adult service agencies, workforce programs, parents, students, advocates  and employers cooperating to meet the transition needs of students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - 03/06/2018

~~“Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Florida initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

Secondary Student Progression: 2017-2018 Frequently Asked Questions - 11/05/2017

~~“What are the graduation requirements for students with disabilities?Most students with disabilities take the same courses and assessments as other students to earn a standard diploma.  The following options are only for students with disabilities and require the 24 credits listed on the table on page 6.• Students with significant cognitive disabilities may earn credits via access courses and be assessed on a Florida Standards Alternate Assessment.• Students may earn at least 0.5 credit via paid employment” 

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

Exceptional Employers Honored by State - 10/04/2017

~~“Ten businesses that hire people with disabilities were recognized by the state of Florida today for being exceptional employers of people with special abilities. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with unique abilities. The 12th annual celebration was held at Tallahassee City Hall as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation presented the Exceptional Employer Awards to companies that have made a strong commitment to employing people with special abilities.  Event sponsors were the Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

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

“Showing Your Abilities” - 10/01/2017

~~Employment for individuals with disabilities is the focus in October when we celebrate Disability Employment Awareness Month.

A top priority for the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is helping people with developmental disabilities find meaningful jobs. Many other state agencies and partners are actively supporting the mission of employing people with disabilities.

The state of Florida supports businesses that recognize and are committed to hiring individuals with special abilities. Make plans to attend Florida’s Exceptional Employer Awards event on October 4 at Tallahassee City Hall, 300 South Adams Street, to recognize 10 companies from around the state who excel in employing people with special abilities. The 12th Annual Awards event begins at 8:30 a.m. I hope you will be there to celebrate and learn more about hiring capable employees with special abilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group - 08/05/2017

~~“A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities. The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. Meetings are held online and by phone”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of Rehabilitation Facilities “Membership Value Statement 2017” - 07/20/2017

~~“Florida ARF is a statewide, professional association that provides advocacy, information, and networking services for community agencies serving individuals with disabilities……Represented Florida ARF member interests on multiple state committees and workgroups such as DD Waitlist, the Governor’s Employment First Initiative and APD workgroups”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

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 11 - 20 of 24

Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit - 07/10/2017

~~“The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit (EFCT) provides a guide for all employment service professionals from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them.  Directors and managers may refer to the EFCT Toolkit both as a resource for planning overall training for agency staff as a whole as well as for identifying the specific training needs for individual staff.  Evaluating training needs on an individual basis allows customization of staff training to meet the specific needs of each particular staff member – a far more effective strategy for addressing ongoing professional development needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Employment First Florida - 06/09/2017

~~“People with disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), want to work in their community. The purpose of this website is to provide information about what the state of Florida is doing to make it easier for people with disabilities to work. Explore the other pages on this website to learn more about how the state of Florida is helping people find good jobs in their communities!This website can help you learn about:

    What is Employment First    Grassroots Group Meetings    Helpful Information for Job Seekers    Agencies and Providers who are Making a Difference    Stories about People with Disabilities Working in the Community”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 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

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
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Disability Resource Center - 05/08/2019

~~“The Disability Resource Center works closely with the Career Connections Center (C3) in regards to career development, internships, and employment. We encourage all students to connect with C3 regarding any question you may have regarding career development opportunities available to them.”

Systems
  • Other

The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit - 08/09/2018

~~The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit provides a guide for all employment service professionals—from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff—to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them. The toolkit was developed by the Center for Social Capital and sponsored by United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (Look for the CC button on each video to to view closed captioning on YouTube.)

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Exceptional Employers Honored by State - 10/04/2017

~~“Ten businesses that hire people with disabilities were recognized by the state of Florida today for being exceptional employers of people with special abilities. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with unique abilities. The 12th annual celebration was held at Tallahassee City Hall as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation presented the Exceptional Employer Awards to companies that have made a strong commitment to employing people with special abilities.  Event sponsors were the Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

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

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group - 08/05/2017

~~“A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities. The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. Meetings are held online and by phone”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of Rehabilitation Facilities “Membership Value Statement 2017” - 07/20/2017

~~“Florida ARF is a statewide, professional association that provides advocacy, information, and networking services for community agencies serving individuals with disabilities……Represented Florida ARF member interests on multiple state committees and workgroups such as DD Waitlist, the Governor’s Employment First Initiative and APD workgroups”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with Community Rehabilitation Programs in Business Engagement and Employer Support - 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 11 - 20 of 20

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - The Discovery Process

The Discovery process is an evidence-based alternative to comparative, standardized assessments, and evaluations. Discovery is a person centered planning process that involves getting to know a person before supporting them in developing a plan for employment.

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

FL Division of VR - Work Incentives Program

This introductory flyer encourages SSI recipients to think about employment.  It includes information on the Student Earned Income Exclusion, the Plan for Achieving Self-Support, the Section 301 Rule, as well as links to SSA, Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation & Florida's Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security.

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Collaborative on Discovery & Innovation in Employment (CODIE)

This flyer raises awareness of inclusive, community-based employment projects occurring in Florida. It touches base on an interagency collaboration regarding transition (CODIE), access to on-line FCIC Employment Webinar series, Facebook for the Employment Network at FCIC  & the Alliance for Full Participation.

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Customized Employment

This fact sheet offers a description of customized employment for individuals who choose to be the employee of a community business, self-employed or the owner of a business via a Micro Board.  It includes references from national CE consultants as well as defines the role of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) and its relationship with Vocational Rehabilitation.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment

Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities - Required Training

“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
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement

Florida Employment First Toolkit and Training (Proposed)

This project will ensure that Florida has comprehensive training strategies within a training toolkit that foster quality integrated competitive employment for all  individuals with disabilities, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The training will be targeted to agency and organization staff charged with all facets of employment for individuals with disabilities.

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

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

2017 State Population.
1.77%
Change from
2016 to 2017
20,984,400
2017 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.25%
Change from
2016 to 2017
1,258,361
2017 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.59%
Change from
2016 to 2017
428,638
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.34%
Change from
2016 to 2017
34.06%
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.63%
Change from
2016 to 2017
75.62%

State Data

General

2015 2016 2017
Population. 20,271,272 20,612,439 20,984,400
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,177,644 1,255,268 1,258,361
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 369,205 404,685 428,638
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 8,007,547 8,177,300 8,380,911
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 31.35% 32.24% 34.06%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.07% 75.14% 75.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 5.40% 4.90% 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.90% 20.00% 19.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.10% 13.90% 13.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,296,917 1,332,700 1,370,483
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,371,790 1,430,077 1,440,995
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,137,716 2,216,510 2,251,892
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 385,940 385,940 385,434
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 483,660 501,439 530,490
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 8,362 9,573 12,980
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 38,951 41,158 42,580
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 866 1,418 1,179
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 51,358 57,913 62,579
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 45,952 50,265 54,834

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 11,889 12,673 13,516
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.70% 2.90% 3.10%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 565,238 562,750 558,750

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 25,147 29,153 29,365
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 91,150 93,335 92,425
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 138,209 143,294 131,486
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 18.20% 20.30% 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.80% 1.00% 0.90%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.40% 2.30% 1.90%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.90% 1.40% 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 45.50% 44.40% 43.30%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,390 1,683 1,651
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,505 3,927 3,364
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,348 2,442 3,397
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 79,138 77,145 75,503

 

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)

2013 2014 2015
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. 303 208 322
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 221 151 209
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% 65.00%
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. 1.13 0.74 1.03

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
13,478
13,345
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 156 126 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 782 1,022 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 3,334 3,053 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 3,414 3,427 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 5,188 5,207 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 604 510 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 18.40% 19.90% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 19,148 21,811 18,065
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 827,430 836,960 836,893
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 807 952 N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 533 679 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $5,650 $5,834,000 $5,529,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. N/A $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. N/A $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. N/A $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 12.00% 11.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0 N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 0 N/A 0
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 11.20 11.90 11.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 74.44% 73.02% 73.90%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 12.81% 13.91% 13.77%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.92% 3.84% 3.79%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 90.55% 90.38% 94.84%
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% 28.48% 27.84%
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% 43.18% 43.84%
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% 54.91% 56.16%
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% 14.70% 16.00%

 

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

2017 2018 2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 23 48 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1 3 2
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 24 51 38
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 2,149 3,827 2,797
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 91 261 114
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 2,240 4,088 2,911

 

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 Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: vocational rehabilitation, transition, supported employment and rehabilitation engineering. Vocational rehabilitation, transition and pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, Florida Department of Education’s Divisions of Blind Services (FDBS) will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 48) Title I

Employment First Florida
Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, the 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 the Department of Children and Families - Mental Health and Substance Abuse came together through an interagency cooperative agreement. This collaboration improves coordination of services that help people with disabilities obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. (Page 61-62) Title I

The Employment First collaborative developed a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach, describing services available 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.
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program recognizes businesses that are committed to providing career and financial opportunities to individuals with unique abilities and to assisting organizations that support them. Participating businesses demonstrate their dedication to strengthening communities and the economy by helping these Floridians with untapped talents become more independent and by partnering with other businesses, organizations and state resources in this endeavor. (Page 62) Title I 

• Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR 24 has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

•  Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

Core programs work through Florida’s Employment First initiative and the Higher Education Coordinating Council to expand and develop innovative ways to ensure seamless articulation and accessibility to programs leading to credentials and apprenticeship opportunities. (Page 80) Title I

LWDBs continue expanding employment and training services for people with disabilities. Eighteen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
The state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers that provide onsite services to people with disabilities. This provides additional access to remote job fairs; to those impacted by mass layoffs; and other employment and training events for people with disabilities.
At the state level, the workforce system increased active participation on boards working to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities such as:
• Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council-led Employment First Initiative and its Employment and Transportation Task Force
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has representation within the workforce system and several members of the Statewide Strengthening Youth Partnership are entities focusing on providing quality services to people with disabilities. (Page 106) Title I

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. The Employment First Committee submits a report to the Governor annually, describing the coordination of participating agencies to advance the Employment First philosophy and way of work throughout Florida. (Page 180) Title II

VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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.
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 nine agencies/organizations to participate in the agreement. This order has now been placed in Florida’s statute.
• The Department of Education-Division of Blind Services
• The Department of Education-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
•  The Department of Education-Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
•  The Agency for Persons with Disabilities
•  The Department of Children and Families-Mental Health and Substance Abuse
•  The Department of Economic Opportunity
•  CareerSource Florida
•  The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
•  RESPECT of Florida (Page 185) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title I

•  Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services
•  Provide up to four years of extended services for youth 24 and under when appropriate
•  VR Consultants have provided extensive outreach to educators, community providers, individuals, families, community partners, VR staff to promote Supported Employment as an opportunity for youth to become successful in becoming employed and developing a career path.
•  VR works closely with the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee. This group focuses on promoting competitive integrated employment as a first choice for youth and adults with disabilities in Florida.
•  The Program Development and Assistance Bureau provides technical assistance and support to a wide variety of stakeholders.
•  VR has provided youth receiving subminimum wage employment training opportunities to encourage their consideration of competitive integrated employment opportunities. There is a four hour course focused on self-advocacy, communication, employment options in local communities, how to obtain supports and services, and other related topics. (Page 221) Title IV

•  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. (Page 222) Title IV

VR staff have worked with Employment First Partners, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Project 10 staff, local Education Agencies and other partners to increase Third Party Cooperative Arrangements, Project SEARCH programs and other work experience programs that provide training opportunities that lead to employment.
VR staff have also collaborated with the Florida Association for Rehabilitation Facilities and the ARC of Florida to develop a package of VR services that would assist individuals with most significant disabilities to pursue competitive integrated employment opportunities. (Page 238) Title IV

A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
• 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 prepare for, get or keep a job.
• Presentations on Supported Employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
• Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
• Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s Supported Employment and Transition Consultants.
• The VR Senior Consultant coordinated and developed training for providers and staff on Discovery and Customized Employment Services. (Page 240) Title IV

VR will continue to actively engage and partner in order to:
• Develop a collaborative agreement with APD specific to Supported Employment and removing or reducing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the nine signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local and state 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.
• Expand available services through youth-related initiatives. (Page 246) Title VI

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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. (Page 270) Title IV

• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, and Pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, FDBS will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 308) Title IV

FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review.
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:
• Developing and implementing 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 resources that can support them on the job. (Page 315) Title IV

• Developing 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 advances employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists to increase employment opportunities for clients.
• Forming three interagency workgroups, including a grassroots group to receive input from stakeholders at the local level and to address the objectives of the Employment First Collaborative Agreement. FDBS is an active partner in these forums and uses the work to support other related collaborative activities, such as the implementing WIOA).
• Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since crating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title IV

FDBS is optimistic it will improve its employment outcomes during the current SFY. FDBS will implement strategies such as collaborating with community rehabilitation programs; networking with national employment partners; expanding utilization of online job systems such as Department of Economic Opportunities’ (DEO) Abilities Work Web Portal and accompanying help desk managed by VR and the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state-owned Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) Programs, 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 outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 317) Title IV

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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.
Four goals address the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs. These goals and strategies are:
Goal 1.0 Highest Client Achievement
Strategy 1.1: Expand opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. (Page 324) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~VR partners with employment service providers and maintains memorandums of agreement with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services are provided for job seekers with disabilities. VR implements pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion projects to further increase its service capacity. VR places emphasis on increasing provider capacity for specialized services such as Discovery and Customized Employment. (Page 51) Title I

Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

VR currently has five Innovation and Expansion pilot projects throughout the state to provide business consultation, pre-employment training, volunteering positions and intensive discovery services to job seekers with unique abilities.
FDBS will allocate 15 percent of its federal allotment to pre-employment transition services for all students with disabilities in need of such services who are eligible or potentially eligible for services through the Division. FDBS has a draft Pre-ETS policy currently under review by WINTAC. The policy states that services will be available the year the individual reaches age 14. The provision of such services matches categories defined in WIOA Section 113. All services and purchases (such as orientation and mobility services, pay for work experience, stipends, On-the Job Training, assistive technology services and devices, etc.,) required to enable an individual to engage in activities defined in the Act are made available as part of the 15 percent state set-aside in the federal funding formula. (Page 79) Title I

VR’s rehabilitation rate remains below the federal target, but has increased over the past two years, as has the overall number of customer employment outcomes. This is expected as VR releases customers from the Category 3 wait list. VR collaborates with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that the following projects will have a positive impact on program performance.
• Support employers and community partnerships through the Business Relations program.
• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

• Develop a deeper understanding of customer strengths and develop tools to communicate succinctly to potential employers.
• The Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC) fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

VR has recently lowered the age limit for Transition services to 14 years of age, and will include this age group in future quarterly updates to FRC. VR has many pilot projects and initiatives anticipated to create additional training and employment opportunities for students and youth, summarized below.
• There are 25 school districts currently participating in Third Party Cooperative Arrangements (TPCA). There are currently 39 Employment Specialists working with 300 students, and this number will increase by the end of the year. We are currently revising the contract to allow for the expansion of Pre-ETS to more students with disabilities served by school districts. VR recently provided training and updated resources for school districts and VR staff.
• VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance Plan (ITAP) with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) for assistance in formalizing VR Youth Peer Mentoring processes. The ITAP will support expansion from the three county pilot to a statewide program. Recent provider recruitment efforts have identified over 50 additional providers interested in providing Youth Peer Mentoring. VR is currently offering training to staff and providers.
• VR has developed the Student Transition Activities Record (STAR) program to track and coordinate Pre-ETS service referrals. Currently, 58 of 74 districts are using the STAR program to refer students for services. VR is working with Project 10 and the Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) to develop ways to engage the remaining districts.
• VR has collaborated with the Florida DD Council to increase the number of Project SEARCH sites across Florida. Ten new sites were added for the 2017-18 school year, and 5 more sites are anticipated to be in place by August 2018.
• VR has made great effort to increase the number of providers for Discovery, Customized Employment, and Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant (CBTAC) by offering more frequent training opportunities. VR will continue to provide frequent training to increase the number of providers certified to offer these services. (Page 168-169) Title II

• Two peer mentoring initiatives are planned at this time. A peer mentoring/IPS project with a youth element is being developed in Broward County, and a youth-specific peer mentoring project is being developed in partnership with Florida Atlantic University.
• Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II

463. The Arc-2-Work: a work-skills training program - Operated by Arc of Alachua County. The Arc-2-Work program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions to high school students and clients of the Arc that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Alachua County.
464. The Industry Readiness Training (IRT) Program - Operated by Brevard Achievement Center. The IRT Program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Brevard County.
465. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.
466. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Palm Beach County. (Page 225) Title IV

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. Discovery provides an opportunity for individuals to move seamlessly from this person centered assessment and planning to Supported Employment Services.
• VR has initiated a Supported Employment Customized Placement Benchmark to incentives providers to work with individuals who will need more intense supports and assistance to become successfully employed. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.
• Use Title I funds to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment for youth.
• Purchase supported employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contract for supported employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes for individuals served.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services. (Page 221) Title IV

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Actual Performance:
The VR Business Relations Program (BRP) developed processes to streamline their operations and better integrate into field service operations. BRP has developed partnerships with businesses and industry sectors to expand customized employment and summer worksite opportunities. BRP staff have provided numerous trainings and presentations to businesses, providers, VR staff and local groups such as Chambers and trade-group chapters. BRP implemented and customized Salesforce software to track employer information and outreach activities, and allows for reporting out area level employer and performance data. BRP also participates in collaborative activities such as the ApprenticeshipUSA grant team and USDOL-ETAs Integrated Business Services Cohort.
Strategy: 2. Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers. (Page 232) Title IV

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI B funds to provide Supported Employment services as specified in the individual plan for employment.
• Purchase Supported Employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contracts for Supported Employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies and supported self-employment services. (Page 238) Title IV

VR has increased the number of Supported Employment Providers throughout Florida. Additional training and support has been provided to new employment providers. VR has also added a Customized Job Placement benchmark to support individuals with most significant disabilities who may need a customized employment option.
Goal 3: Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation Providers, families and individuals.
• 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.
• 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 239) Title IV

C. Service Delivery, Including Customized Employment, and Extended Services. The Partner to this Agreement shall have the following responsibilities, including:
1) Serving LEA students with disabilities who are referred to DBS and meet the eligibility requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation services.
2) Coordinating activities necessary for arranging and providing Pre-ETS, such as attending IEP meetings, working with local workforce development boards, one-stop centers and employers, working with schools, and attending person-centered meetings for students with disabilities.
3) Providing the activities included under Pre-ETS as defined in Section 7(30) of the Rehabilitation Act and §361.5(c)(42), to students with visual impairments, as appropriate and necessary. (Page 267) Title IV

• Participate as an advisory member on a variety of grants from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council that provide training and collaborative activities for providers, counselors, and other agency employees. (Page 222) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~This initiative began in 2014 and resulted in the promotion of business growth through better connectivity of Florida’s advanced manufacturers to existing public and private resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability, leveraging the workforce and talent development assets within the state. The Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence (CAME), under the direction of FloridaMakes, Florida’s Manufacturing Extension partnership, served as the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council and coordinated efforts through Florida’s 13 Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMAs). The Leadership Council, composed of RMAs and Florida manufacturers, served as the primary point of contact for the project.
Throughout the year, the Leadership Council engaged in a variety of activities focused around the use of industry-specific labor market intelligence to inform the development of workforce policy and a sector strategy for manufacturing. Both the council and the RMAs, comprising Florida industry, set out to drive business-led improvements in talent delivery. (Page 55) Title I

In the fall of 2016, CareerSource Florida integrated Registered Apprenticeships into its statewide sector strategy initiative by leveraging its selection as a USDOL ApprenticeshipUSA expansion grantee. With a keen focus on building the state’s talent pipeline, local workforce development boards are empowered to move from training programs to establishing career pathways that offer apprenticeships as a viable talent development solution. The strategic alignment has forged new partnerships with employers and closer collaboration between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and CareerSource Florida. As a unified partnership, the team identifies challenges and opportunities for building a modern talent delivery system that meets the needs of employers in high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare and construction. Key achievements designed to shift workforce development from a supply-driven to demand-driven system include:
• Convening more than 100 influential businesses leaders and community stakeholders as part of the ApprenticeshipUSA grant kick-off activities to solidify partnerships for system changes that are transformative and sustainable beyond the life of the grant.
• Hosting weekly strategy sessions with core partners from the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and the Department of Economic Opportunity to align policies, people and processes as part of statewide system integration and ApprenticeshipUSA grant compliance. (Page 59) Title I

Florida’s WIOA partners worked with economic development stakeholders to develop a common strategic vision for Florida’s workforce and economic development systems. Talent Supply and Education is one of the Six Pillars of Florida’s future economy, as defined by the Florida Chamber Foundation following years of collaboration and research with business and education stakeholders including: The Century Commission for a Sustainable Future; Florida Council of 100; Enterprise Florida, the state’s principle economic development organization; the Florida State University System; and CareerSource Florida’s predecessor, Workforce Florida. Workforce development activities carried out by WIOA core programs directly support achievement of strategies under this pillar. Leaders from CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida and DEO work closely to maintain a unified approach to job creation and retention. Leveraging resources of Florida’s workforce and economic development systems and fostering collaboration improves overall alignment with industry and education. (Page 81) Title I

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities
• Assure career centers were readily accessible.
After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II

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 177) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~VR supports participants attending Inclusive Postsecondary Education (IPSE) for individuals with unique abilities. VR has dedicated IPSE Liaisons located throughout the state to participate in IPSE student selection committees and program development.
VR has Memoranda of Understanding with the presidents of Florida’s public universities and the Florida College System. These memoranda outline the purposes, roles and responsibilities of VR and the educational institutions and financial and programmatic responsibilities. The memoranda provide information about financial assistance, sharing of assessment findings, accommodations, rehabilitation technology services, academic advisement, counseling, confidentiality and other topics. (Page 71) Title 1

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. (Page 181) Title II

Specific intent of the interagency agreement is to:
1. Provide guidance to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ front-line employees, when serving students transitioning from school to work or postsecondary activities.
2. Provide information to parents/students so they know what they can expect from the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services during the transition process.
3. Provide parameters to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ administrators/managers/nursing supervisors when developing, negotiating, and implementing local cooperative agreements.
4. Encourage and support the participation of all agency personnel in the IEP process at the local level through the development of guidelines, policies, and/or procedures. (Page 182) Title II
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 200) Title II

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is committed to providing quality Supported Employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. VR supports the individual in making employment choices consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests. The scope of services varies based on the amount, intensity, and support needed by each individual.
VR counselors work in partnership with the individual when developing the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This plan guides the services and supports that are needed for that individual. The IPE is evaluated throughout the process and updated as needed.
The quality of Supported Employment outcomes is assessed individually. Each individual receives services that are determined based on the specific needs of that person. A key component of evaluating the service is the individual satisfaction with the services and supports, as well as a successful employment outcome. (Page 244) Title IV

• VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome;
• APD strives 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). 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.” (Page 258) Title II

This formal interagency agreement functions as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, and Children’s Medical Services. The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee.
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for vocational rehabilitation consumers is completed or updated annually as needed, prior to graduation or leaving school for seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome.
The FDBS transition specialists, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with public high schools statewide and private high schools requesting assistance. Transition specialists provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. The counselor determines eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, develops an approved IPE, and sponsors the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. (Page 263) Title II

The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 287- 288) Title II

Career Pathways

~~• FRC fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

On an annual basis, VR has offered new TPCAs to all school districts in the state of Florida. Although VR approaches and offers TPCA to all districts, the partnership is dependent on the individual district’s decision to participate. VR currently has TPCAs with 25 school districts and these arrangements expire in June 2018. VR is in the process of revising the contractual agreement it offers to school districts, but new contracts have not been developed yet. Once developed, if the contract changes the way VR delivers Transition services, the State Plan will be amended as needed. The one-year arrangement will provide community-based work experiences to eligible students who have Supported Employment (SE) service needs identified in their Individual Educational Plan and Individualized Plan for Employment. This model reimburses school districts for services provided to VR-eligible students with the most significant disabilities and facilitates a seamless transition into postsecondary employment with supports.
On-the-Job Training (OJT), through VR providers, delivers needed community-based work experiences to VR-eligible students who do not require the intense supports provided through the TPCA. OJT services are available statewide. (Page 171) Title II

Currently, VR has approximately 263 registered Employment Services Providers that deliver employment, supported employment, OJT, Pre-ETS, and other related services on a fee-for-service basis. Additionally, VR maintains the following contracts and/or agreements:
• 16 agreements with the Centers for Independent Living located throughout the state to provide independent living services
• 25 Third Party Cooperative Arrangements with local school districts
• Additional contracts with agencies for services such as delegable VR services, outreach for migrant and seasonal farm workers, interpreting services, rehabilitation engineering, and a project involving the use of virtual reality simulators for customers with severe disabilities
VR also has 5 contracts for Innovation and Expansion pilot projects to benefit and complement WIOA-related initiatives. These contracts are for various 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. (Page 184) Title II

Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II
 

Apprenticeship
The Florida Division of Blind Services is expanding business relationships with employers at the local level to identify and maximize competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for adults and students. Each district holds membership with one or more Chambers of Commerce. Employment Placement Specialists work with employers on their hiring needs and setting up work experiences. This gives job seekers opportunities for work-based learning experiences, training and obtaining employability skills. (Page 74) Title I Goal 3: Expand career opportunities for VR candidates. Objective: Prepare ready-to-work applicants for in-demand careers and jobs that are available now. Strategies: 1. Meet with business and industry to assess workforce needs to better align training with those needs. 2. Communicate information from employers about business needs and qualification requirements to VR staff. 3. Engage in sector partnerships. 4. Provide information to VR staff about in-demand jobs and high growth industries and sectors using labor market information. 5. Collaborate with business and education to determine industry recognized training opportunities and inform VR staff about them. 6. Collaborate with WIOA core partners to share resources and best practices. 7. Generate opportunities for worksite training, including pre-employment transition services such as work-based learning experiences, with business partners. (Page 188) Title II • Continue representation on the state board, and gain membership on local boards. • Continue collaboration with LWDB partners to fully engage the state’s employee recruitment, retention, and training services. Recommend career centers use universal design principles in their operations, and maintainthe integrity of systems for unique constituent populations to ensure individuals with disabilities seeking employment are given opportunities to be successful. • Expanding opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. Pre-employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) were included in the 2017-2018 VR contracts. By adding these services, the FDBS provides eligible and potentially eligible students and youth with disabilities opportunities to participate in work-based learning experiences, apprenticeships, and internships to improve workplace skills. (Page 306) Title IV
Work Incentives & Benefits

~~These activities allow the formation of workgroups to engage in coordinated projects designed to continue implementation and enhancement of the workforce system within the WIOA framework. These workgroups include planning directors, program leadership and subject matter experts for WIOA partner programs. Examples of these workgroups include the following:
• Conduct pilot for career center integration
• Design of comprehensive one-stop career center system with the inclusion of universal design principles as a certification requirement
• Enhance infrastructure and data sharing processes
• Coordination of membership in state and local workforce boards
• Coordinated development of a network of qualified benefits planners to augment Social Security Administration contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services.
• Complete a stakeholder engagement analysis to determine where to target outreach efforts, including business engagement.
• Review services, programs and partnerships of core WIOA programs to reduce duplication of efforts as well as gaps between programs.
• Work collaboratively to ensure that disability coordinators are cross trained with core partner processes
• Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of people with barriers to employment, including people with disabilities. (Page 111) Title I

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 Partnership that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The partnership 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.
The need to serve Florida veterans who have disabilities led to the development of an agreement between the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and VR. The agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of VR and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It clarifies which agency can provide specific services. It also includes information regarding shared planning, joint activities, and coordination. (Page 176) Title II

WIOA presents requirements and opportunities for VR to strengthen its partnership with entities of 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.
• 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 208) Title II

• 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.
• 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 222) Title IV

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 224) Title II

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. (Page 208)
FDBS strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Programs and local employment networks in job placement related services. FDBS uses the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2017, there was a total of 374 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review. (Page 315) Title IV

Collaborate with community organizations, employers, families, and support groups to develop natural supports for Supported Employment extended services.
• Provide opportunities for counselors, providers, and support coordinators to receive training on innovative employment strategies designed to promote employment success for individuals. (Page 247) Title IV

Employer/ Business

~~CareerSource Florida uses DEO statewide data and LWDB data to produce and transmit critical labor market intelligence to the CareerSource Florida network, educators and training providers and to economic development partners. This information can be used in partnership with eligible training providers to ensure the training needs of Florida employers are met. (Page 77) Title I
Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since creating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title I
 

Data Collection
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
511

~~VR has successfully implemented Career Counseling/ Information and Referral (CCIR) services for participants in subminimum wage employment. During SFY 2016-17, approximately 4,780 participants received CCIR services. VR has approved 21 agencies and 315 individuals to provide this service. VR also provides internal and external stakeholders technical assistance and support on compliance with Section 511.
CCIR services have received positive feedback from providers and participants, and VR is working with stakeholders to develop a follow-up process for CCIR participants who express an interest in VR services or employment. (Page 233) Title II

Complying with Federal regulations regarding confidentiality and State law, including Section 511, which specifies confidentiality agreements must comply with IDEA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, VR Counselors are expected to perform in compliance with the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Commission Professional Code of Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. (Page 266) Title II

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination: Section 188
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to: • Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available • Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities • Assure career centers were readily accessible. After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II In 2013, VR introduced a strategic initiative to ensure accessibility of all agency components including programs, facilities, personnel and hiring practices, online resources, internal and external communications, and technology systems. Strategies are now built into VR operational procedures. Following ADA Title II requirements, FDOE Leasing staff conducts ADA inspections of all new or renewed VR office leases. VR offices inspected and found out of compliance have a 504 Plan which describes accessibility improvements planned for the facility. VR customers are included in this process when possible. VR employees in every area are required to complete ADA Coordinator certification training and ADA informational training. Hearing loops and other adaptive equipment and/or software is available in VR facilities. Specific applications were developed using custom JAWS script and workflow documentation to meet the needs of users. (Page 107) Title II Work with Florida’s one-stop career centers to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. FDBS works with the career centers to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients. • Work to ensure disability coordinators are cross trained on the processes of core partners. FDBS collaborates with the CareerSource Centers and shares information about its services and the referral process with the Disability Navigators at the CareerSource Centers. • Communicate, strategize and execute agreed upon methods of meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS participates in regularly scheduled conference calls and meetings. FDBS solicits feedback from core partners regarding contracts and policies. • Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS has an online application to increase accessibility to individuals who may qualify for services. (Page 271) Title II • Increase use of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. • Implement a comprehensive communications and outreach plan. • Increase the number of individuals with significant and most significant disabilities receiving services. • Increase outreach services to under-served and un-served population. • Work collaboratively with the one-stop career center to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. • Educate one-stop career centers on the importance of establishing centers in areas that are easily accessible to public transportation. (Page 293) Title II 2.1: Increase the provision of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. FDBS will strengthen its relationship with the Lighthouses to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients and is reflected in the IPE. FDBS monitors the contract and receives client feedback via satisfaction surveys. FDBS values collaboration between staff and consumers, and incorporates follow-up at all levels of the rehabilitation process. At each level, from applicant to closure of case, Rehabilitation Technicians and Specialists, Employment Placement Specialist, and CRP staff (as needed and appropriate) work as a team to remain in contact with the client. Communication between the client and staff throughout the process, strengthens the chance for a positive client outcome. (Page 304) Title II
Vets
USDOL implemented priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses, as required under the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) and as specified by the Veterans’ Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006. JVA calls for priority of service to be implemented by all “qualified job training programs,” defined as “any workforce preparation, development or delivery program or service directly funded, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor.” Since enactment of JVA in 2002, priority of service has been implemented under policy guidance issued by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The purpose of these regulations is to further articulate how priority of service is to be applied across all new and existing qualified job training programs. (Page 103) Title I Florida’s Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) refocusing is a partnership between DEO and the U.S. Department of Labor/Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) established to meet the employment needs of veterans and eligible customers who contact local career centers throughout the state. Frontline/WP/WIOA staff focus on providing core services and initial assessment to veterans seeking employment assistance (majority of veterans will be served by frontline/WP/WIOA staff). DVOP specialists only provide intensive services to veterans with identified SBE(s). DVOP specialists determine potential SBE population using ETA 9173, which is a quarterly report and the ETA 9169, which is an annual report. Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) staff conduct employer outreach and job development in local communities on behalf of all veterans served through local career centers, including working directly with the DVOPs with case managed veterans with SBE(s). (Page 105) Title I
Mental Health

~~• Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

Mental Health Program, Florida Department of Children and Families
VR coordinates with the state mental health authority to assist customers who have mental illnesses. One of these is participation on the Florida Assertive Community Treatment Team, a community-based, outreach-oriented method of delivering services to individuals with mental illnesses coordinated by the Mental Health Program. VR provides staff liaisons with many of these teams to help serve this group of customers in a comprehensive manner. In addition, VR is an active member of the State Mental Health Planning Council of Florida. The cooperative agreement promotes coordination so that appropriate services can be delivered to maximize customer choice and satisfaction. This agreement is currently being updated to ensure compliance with new WIOA regulations. (Page 175) Title II

Local education agencies work collaboratively with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services in the Transition Individual Educational Plan process. Local education agencies that are considering transition services during the Individual Educational Plan meeting will invite representatives from any other agency who may be responsible for providing or paying for transition services, after obtaining permission from the parent, guardian, or age-of-majority student. If the agency representative does not attend the meeting, the school will do its best to get someone else to come. If the agency representative will not attend the meeting, the school will then look for alternative ways to provide for the student’s transition needs. The local education agency must reconvene the Transition Individual Educational Plan team to identify alternative strategies for providing a student’s transition needs if an agency fails to do so. (Page 181) Title II

Mental Health Services, in partnership with families and the community, provides a system of care that enables children and adults with mental health or emotional disabilities to live successfully in the community, become self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and realize their full potential. Mental health support and services enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 182) Title II

Financial Responsibilities
The Department of Education, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services are committed to meeting financial responsibilities as required by law. Agency/Division heads for the organizations will periodically identify areas for improved programmatic and financial efficiencies and develop strategies to meet financial responsibilities, including joint appropriations requests from the state legislature and negotiations with federal agencies. Each party is financially responsible for the services it provides under its own laws and rules. (Page 182) Title II

VR is currently in the process of developing and implementing an updated Memorandum of Agreement with APD and the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) the state agency responsible for administering the State Medicaid Plan.
VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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 185) Title II

Six broad-based objectives govern the Employment First Interagency Agreement. VR works closely with the partners to continue to make progress on these objectives.
Continue to develop and enhance Supported Employment for persons with the most significant disabilities. The state system for the provision of Supported Employment reflects: (a) mutually agreeable definitions of the services to be provided; (b) administrative responsibility of the intensive component of Supported Employment services to eligible individuals as the primary responsibility of VR for individuals with the most significant disabilities; and (c) administrative responsibility of the extended services component as the primary responsibility of other stakeholders, including APD and the Department of Children and Families, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program. (Page 185) Title II

Supported Employment Services
VR is responsible for the first phase of Supported Employment services. VR provides intensive vocational services until the individual and employer are satisfied with the Supported Employment placement, and then the individual transitions to a plan for extended services. Supported Employment services consist of intensive, time-limited vocational rehabilitation services (the responsibility of VR) and extended services, also known as the second phase. Funding for the second phase of services is provided by other sources that may include, but are not limited to, APD, the Department of Children and Families’ Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program, natural supports or other identified funding sources. (Page 186) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title II

Results of the CSNA public survey indicated the following groups as having limited access to VR services.
• Individuals living in rural areas (58.86%)
• Individuals with a criminal background (48.57%)
• Individuals on waiting list (43.95%)
• Individuals with a mental health disability (43.57%)
• Individuals with an intellectual disability (43.42%)
VR continues to assess its services to individuals with the most significant disabilities and individuals who may be unserved or underserved, as well as those with the most significant disabilities who may be from minority populations. (Page 206-207) Title II

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Key administrators from VR and FDBS held monthly meetings to revise and update the Memorandum of Agreement, develop strategies, discuss training needs, create informational guides needed by both agencies for this population, and provide case consultation. Additional VR strategies and activities to increase equal access to individuals requesting services are as follows:
• Develop a comprehensive safety plan for monitoring VR facilities statewide. Specific components include a process for reporting defective/unsafe working conditions, safety and facilities management training for area staff, a move manual, a statewide safety manual, statewide first aid information, furniture inspection instructions, and a facility security/building access policy at HQ.
• Continue to use interpreters and translators and VR’s online resources as well as the websites of other partners and stakeholders (where permitted) to reach underserved populations and increase communication with customers.
• Offer reasonable accommodations to give equal access to services, and make sure materials and other program information are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole for various agencies, employers, churches, community leaders, health clinics, and other settings.
• Continue to assign counselors and consultants to serve specialized populations, such as the deaf and hard-of-hearing, transition students, mental health customers, and brain and spinal cord injury customers.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other One-stop system partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with the intent to include universal design as a separate component of the One-stop career center certification process. (Page 231) Title IV

VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; (Page 258) Title IV

The FDBS works closely with VR to track the number and type of graduate students that are enrolled in state universities offering rehabilitation counseling degrees. This information is maintained by the Program Administrator. A $2,000 incentive is added to the salary of all counselors and supervisors who hold or receive a CRC during their tenure. The following state universities offer a graduate counseling degree that fulfills the educational requirements for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification with a minimum of other required classes. • Institution: Florida International University Type of Program: Master of Science in Counselor Education - Rehabilitation Counseling Track (MS) • Institution: University of South Florida Type of Program: Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (MA)
Program Data for Institutions of Higher Education
The following information is derived from Florida institutions of higher education that prepare vocational rehabilitation professionals. The information is categorized by institution and type of program. (Page 277) Title IV

Prior needs assessments did not identify pre-employment transition services; however, this population’s needs will be identified in future planning.
FDBS has an interagency agreement that serves as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services.
FDBS has a cooperative agreement with the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Public Schools to coordinate activities for students who are blind and visually impaired. This is accomplished through the preparation and implementation of guidelines, policies, rules, and regulations that affect the interests of students with visual impairments through joint planning committees and publications, as appropriate. (Page 287) Title IV
 

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 11 - 20 of 66

Secondary Transition - 07/01/2018

~~“The term “transition services” or “transition planning” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:•Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment); continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation•Is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests•Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.” 

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

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - Needs Assessment and Evaluation - 03/06/2018

~~“Needs Assessment and EvaluationA biannual training needs assessment is conducted using information from several sources. These include a formal needs assessment instrument, performance evaluation data, training evaluation sheets obtained from every sponsored program, exit interviews and supervisory input. The needs assessment data determines program development and modification.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - VR Transition Youth program - 03/06/2018

~~      “The VR Transition Youth program administrator serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. The program administrator works closely with the regional representatives of Project 10: The Transition Education Network, which is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services within the Florida Department of Education to the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Project 10 helps Florida school districts and stakeholders increase their ability to provide secondary transition services to students with disabilities and improve student academic success and postsecondary outcomes. Project 10 helps educators, parents, students, agency representatives and other stakeholders by providing capacity building to implement secondary transition services, interagency collaboration, transition legislation and policy and student development and outcomes. VR counselors serving transition students participate in each area’s local interagency councils. Interagency councils are a collaborative effort between VR and Department of Education partners, public high schools, adult service agencies, workforce programs, parents, students, advocates  and employers cooperating to meet the transition needs of students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - 03/06/2018

~~“Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Florida initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

Secondary Student Progression: 2017-2018 Frequently Asked Questions - 11/05/2017

~~“What are the graduation requirements for students with disabilities?Most students with disabilities take the same courses and assessments as other students to earn a standard diploma.  The following options are only for students with disabilities and require the 24 credits listed on the table on page 6.• Students with significant cognitive disabilities may earn credits via access courses and be assessed on a Florida Standards Alternate Assessment.• Students may earn at least 0.5 credit via paid employment” 

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

Exceptional Employers Honored by State - 10/04/2017

~~“Ten businesses that hire people with disabilities were recognized by the state of Florida today for being exceptional employers of people with special abilities. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with unique abilities. The 12th annual celebration was held at Tallahassee City Hall as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation presented the Exceptional Employer Awards to companies that have made a strong commitment to employing people with special abilities.  Event sponsors were the Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

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

“Showing Your Abilities” - 10/01/2017

~~Employment for individuals with disabilities is the focus in October when we celebrate Disability Employment Awareness Month.

A top priority for the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is helping people with developmental disabilities find meaningful jobs. Many other state agencies and partners are actively supporting the mission of employing people with disabilities.

The state of Florida supports businesses that recognize and are committed to hiring individuals with special abilities. Make plans to attend Florida’s Exceptional Employer Awards event on October 4 at Tallahassee City Hall, 300 South Adams Street, to recognize 10 companies from around the state who excel in employing people with special abilities. The 12th Annual Awards event begins at 8:30 a.m. I hope you will be there to celebrate and learn more about hiring capable employees with special abilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group - 08/05/2017

~~“A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities. The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. Meetings are held online and by phone”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of Rehabilitation Facilities “Membership Value Statement 2017” - 07/20/2017

~~“Florida ARF is a statewide, professional association that provides advocacy, information, and networking services for community agencies serving individuals with disabilities……Represented Florida ARF member interests on multiple state committees and workgroups such as DD Waitlist, the Governor’s Employment First Initiative and APD workgroups”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

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 11 - 20 of 24

Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit - 07/10/2017

~~“The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit (EFCT) provides a guide for all employment service professionals from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them.  Directors and managers may refer to the EFCT Toolkit both as a resource for planning overall training for agency staff as a whole as well as for identifying the specific training needs for individual staff.  Evaluating training needs on an individual basis allows customization of staff training to meet the specific needs of each particular staff member – a far more effective strategy for addressing ongoing professional development needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Employment First Florida - 06/09/2017

~~“People with disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), want to work in their community. The purpose of this website is to provide information about what the state of Florida is doing to make it easier for people with disabilities to work. Explore the other pages on this website to learn more about how the state of Florida is helping people find good jobs in their communities!This website can help you learn about:

    What is Employment First    Grassroots Group Meetings    Helpful Information for Job Seekers    Agencies and Providers who are Making a Difference    Stories about People with Disabilities Working in the Community”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 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

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
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Disability Resource Center - 05/08/2019

~~“The Disability Resource Center works closely with the Career Connections Center (C3) in regards to career development, internships, and employment. We encourage all students to connect with C3 regarding any question you may have regarding career development opportunities available to them.”

Systems
  • Other

The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit - 08/09/2018

~~The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit provides a guide for all employment service professionals—from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff—to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them. The toolkit was developed by the Center for Social Capital and sponsored by United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (Look for the CC button on each video to to view closed captioning on YouTube.)

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Exceptional Employers Honored by State - 10/04/2017

~~“Ten businesses that hire people with disabilities were recognized by the state of Florida today for being exceptional employers of people with special abilities. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with unique abilities. The 12th annual celebration was held at Tallahassee City Hall as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation presented the Exceptional Employer Awards to companies that have made a strong commitment to employing people with special abilities.  Event sponsors were the Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

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

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group - 08/05/2017

~~“A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities. The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. Meetings are held online and by phone”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of Rehabilitation Facilities “Membership Value Statement 2017” - 07/20/2017

~~“Florida ARF is a statewide, professional association that provides advocacy, information, and networking services for community agencies serving individuals with disabilities……Represented Florida ARF member interests on multiple state committees and workgroups such as DD Waitlist, the Governor’s Employment First Initiative and APD workgroups”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with Community Rehabilitation Programs in Business Engagement and Employer Support - 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 11 - 20 of 20

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - The Discovery Process

The Discovery process is an evidence-based alternative to comparative, standardized assessments, and evaluations. Discovery is a person centered planning process that involves getting to know a person before supporting them in developing a plan for employment.

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

FL Division of VR - Work Incentives Program

This introductory flyer encourages SSI recipients to think about employment.  It includes information on the Student Earned Income Exclusion, the Plan for Achieving Self-Support, the Section 301 Rule, as well as links to SSA, Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation & Florida's Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security.

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Collaborative on Discovery & Innovation in Employment (CODIE)

This flyer raises awareness of inclusive, community-based employment projects occurring in Florida. It touches base on an interagency collaboration regarding transition (CODIE), access to on-line FCIC Employment Webinar series, Facebook for the Employment Network at FCIC  & the Alliance for Full Participation.

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Customized Employment

This fact sheet offers a description of customized employment for individuals who choose to be the employee of a community business, self-employed or the owner of a business via a Micro Board.  It includes references from national CE consultants as well as defines the role of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) and its relationship with Vocational Rehabilitation.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment

Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities - Required Training

“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
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement

Florida Employment First Toolkit and Training (Proposed)

This project will ensure that Florida has comprehensive training strategies within a training toolkit that foster quality integrated competitive employment for all  individuals with disabilities, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The training will be targeted to agency and organization staff charged with all facets of employment for individuals with disabilities.

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

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 - 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

2017 State Population.
1.77%
Change from
2016 to 2017
20,984,400
2017 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.25%
Change from
2016 to 2017
1,258,361
2017 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.59%
Change from
2016 to 2017
428,638
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.34%
Change from
2016 to 2017
34.06%
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.63%
Change from
2016 to 2017
75.62%

State Data

General

2015 2016 2017
Population. 20,271,272 20,612,439 20,984,400
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,177,644 1,255,268 1,258,361
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 369,205 404,685 428,638
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 8,007,547 8,177,300 8,380,911
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 31.35% 32.24% 34.06%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.07% 75.14% 75.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 5.40% 4.90% 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.90% 20.00% 19.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.10% 13.90% 13.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,296,917 1,332,700 1,370,483
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,371,790 1,430,077 1,440,995
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,137,716 2,216,510 2,251,892
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 385,940 385,940 385,434
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 483,660 501,439 530,490
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 8,362 9,573 12,980
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 38,951 41,158 42,580
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 866 1,418 1,179
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 51,358 57,913 62,579
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 45,952 50,265 54,834

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 11,889 12,673 13,516
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.70% 2.90% 3.10%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 565,238 562,750 558,750

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 25,147 29,153 29,365
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 91,150 93,335 92,425
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 138,209 143,294 131,486
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 18.20% 20.30% 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.80% 1.00% 0.90%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.40% 2.30% 1.90%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.90% 1.40% 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 45.50% 44.40% 43.30%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,390 1,683 1,651
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 2,505 3,927 3,364
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,348 2,442 3,397
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 79,138 77,145 75,503

 

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)

2013 2014 2015
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. 303 208 322
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 221 151 209
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% 65.00%
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. 1.13 0.74 1.03

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
13,478
13,345
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 156 126 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 782 1,022 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 3,334 3,053 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 3,414 3,427 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 5,188 5,207 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 604 510 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 18.40% 19.90% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 19,148 21,811 18,065
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 827,430 836,960 836,893
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 807 952 N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 533 679 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $5,650 $5,834,000 $5,529,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. N/A $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. N/A $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. N/A $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 12.00% 11.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0 N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 N/A 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 0 N/A 0
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 11.20 11.90 11.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 74.44% 73.02% 73.90%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 12.81% 13.91% 13.77%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.92% 3.84% 3.79%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 90.55% 90.38% 94.84%
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% 28.48% 27.84%
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% 43.18% 43.84%
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% 54.91% 56.16%
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% 14.70% 16.00%

 

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

2017 2018 2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 23 48 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1 3 2
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 24 51 38
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 2,149 3,827 2,797
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 91 261 114
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 2,240 4,088 2,911

 

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 Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: vocational rehabilitation, transition, supported employment and rehabilitation engineering. Vocational rehabilitation, transition and pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, Florida Department of Education’s Divisions of Blind Services (FDBS) will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 48) Title I

Employment First Florida
Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, the 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 the Department of Children and Families - Mental Health and Substance Abuse came together through an interagency cooperative agreement. This collaboration improves coordination of services that help people with disabilities obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. (Page 61-62) Title I

The Employment First collaborative developed a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach, describing services available 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.
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program recognizes businesses that are committed to providing career and financial opportunities to individuals with unique abilities and to assisting organizations that support them. Participating businesses demonstrate their dedication to strengthening communities and the economy by helping these Floridians with untapped talents become more independent and by partnering with other businesses, organizations and state resources in this endeavor. (Page 62) Title I 

• Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR 24 has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

•  Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

Core programs work through Florida’s Employment First initiative and the Higher Education Coordinating Council to expand and develop innovative ways to ensure seamless articulation and accessibility to programs leading to credentials and apprenticeship opportunities. (Page 80) Title I

LWDBs continue expanding employment and training services for people with disabilities. Eighteen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
The state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers that provide onsite services to people with disabilities. This provides additional access to remote job fairs; to those impacted by mass layoffs; and other employment and training events for people with disabilities.
At the state level, the workforce system increased active participation on boards working to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities such as:
• Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council-led Employment First Initiative and its Employment and Transportation Task Force
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has representation within the workforce system and several members of the Statewide Strengthening Youth Partnership are entities focusing on providing quality services to people with disabilities. (Page 106) Title I

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. The Employment First Committee submits a report to the Governor annually, describing the coordination of participating agencies to advance the Employment First philosophy and way of work throughout Florida. (Page 180) Title II

VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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.
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 nine agencies/organizations to participate in the agreement. This order has now been placed in Florida’s statute.
• The Department of Education-Division of Blind Services
• The Department of Education-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
•  The Department of Education-Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
•  The Agency for Persons with Disabilities
•  The Department of Children and Families-Mental Health and Substance Abuse
•  The Department of Economic Opportunity
•  CareerSource Florida
•  The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
•  RESPECT of Florida (Page 185) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title I

•  Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services
•  Provide up to four years of extended services for youth 24 and under when appropriate
•  VR Consultants have provided extensive outreach to educators, community providers, individuals, families, community partners, VR staff to promote Supported Employment as an opportunity for youth to become successful in becoming employed and developing a career path.
•  VR works closely with the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee. This group focuses on promoting competitive integrated employment as a first choice for youth and adults with disabilities in Florida.
•  The Program Development and Assistance Bureau provides technical assistance and support to a wide variety of stakeholders.
•  VR has provided youth receiving subminimum wage employment training opportunities to encourage their consideration of competitive integrated employment opportunities. There is a four hour course focused on self-advocacy, communication, employment options in local communities, how to obtain supports and services, and other related topics. (Page 221) Title IV

•  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. (Page 222) Title IV

VR staff have worked with Employment First Partners, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Project 10 staff, local Education Agencies and other partners to increase Third Party Cooperative Arrangements, Project SEARCH programs and other work experience programs that provide training opportunities that lead to employment.
VR staff have also collaborated with the Florida Association for Rehabilitation Facilities and the ARC of Florida to develop a package of VR services that would assist individuals with most significant disabilities to pursue competitive integrated employment opportunities. (Page 238) Title IV

A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
• 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 prepare for, get or keep a job.
• Presentations on Supported Employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
• Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
• Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s Supported Employment and Transition Consultants.
• The VR Senior Consultant coordinated and developed training for providers and staff on Discovery and Customized Employment Services. (Page 240) Title IV

VR will continue to actively engage and partner in order to:
• Develop a collaborative agreement with APD specific to Supported Employment and removing or reducing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the nine signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local and state 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.
• Expand available services through youth-related initiatives. (Page 246) Title VI

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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. (Page 270) Title IV

• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, and Pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, FDBS will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 308) Title IV

FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review.
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:
• Developing and implementing 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 resources that can support them on the job. (Page 315) Title IV

• Developing 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 advances employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists to increase employment opportunities for clients.
• Forming three interagency workgroups, including a grassroots group to receive input from stakeholders at the local level and to address the objectives of the Employment First Collaborative Agreement. FDBS is an active partner in these forums and uses the work to support other related collaborative activities, such as the implementing WIOA).
• Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since crating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title IV

FDBS is optimistic it will improve its employment outcomes during the current SFY. FDBS will implement strategies such as collaborating with community rehabilitation programs; networking with national employment partners; expanding utilization of online job systems such as Department of Economic Opportunities’ (DEO) Abilities Work Web Portal and accompanying help desk managed by VR and the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state-owned Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) Programs, 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 outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 317) Title IV

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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.
Four goals address the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs. These goals and strategies are:
Goal 1.0 Highest Client Achievement
Strategy 1.1: Expand opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. (Page 324) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~VR partners with employment service providers and maintains memorandums of agreement with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services are provided for job seekers with disabilities. VR implements pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion projects to further increase its service capacity. VR places emphasis on increasing provider capacity for specialized services such as Discovery and Customized Employment. (Page 51) Title I

Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

VR currently has five Innovation and Expansion pilot projects throughout the state to provide business consultation, pre-employment training, volunteering positions and intensive discovery services to job seekers with unique abilities.
FDBS will allocate 15 percent of its federal allotment to pre-employment transition services for all students with disabilities in need of such services who are eligible or potentially eligible for services through the Division. FDBS has a draft Pre-ETS policy currently under review by WINTAC. The policy states that services will be available the year the individual reaches age 14. The provision of such services matches categories defined in WIOA Section 113. All services and purchases (such as orientation and mobility services, pay for work experience, stipends, On-the Job Training, assistive technology services and devices, etc.,) required to enable an individual to engage in activities defined in the Act are made available as part of the 15 percent state set-aside in the federal funding formula. (Page 79) Title I

VR’s rehabilitation rate remains below the federal target, but has increased over the past two years, as has the overall number of customer employment outcomes. This is expected as VR releases customers from the Category 3 wait list. VR collaborates with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that the following projects will have a positive impact on program performance.
• Support employers and community partnerships through the Business Relations program.
• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

• Develop a deeper understanding of customer strengths and develop tools to communicate succinctly to potential employers.
• The Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC) fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

VR has recently lowered the age limit for Transition services to 14 years of age, and will include this age group in future quarterly updates to FRC. VR has many pilot projects and initiatives anticipated to create additional training and employment opportunities for students and youth, summarized below.
• There are 25 school districts currently participating in Third Party Cooperative Arrangements (TPCA). There are currently 39 Employment Specialists working with 300 students, and this number will increase by the end of the year. We are currently revising the contract to allow for the expansion of Pre-ETS to more students with disabilities served by school districts. VR recently provided training and updated resources for school districts and VR staff.
• VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance Plan (ITAP) with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) for assistance in formalizing VR Youth Peer Mentoring processes. The ITAP will support expansion from the three county pilot to a statewide program. Recent provider recruitment efforts have identified over 50 additional providers interested in providing Youth Peer Mentoring. VR is currently offering training to staff and providers.
• VR has developed the Student Transition Activities Record (STAR) program to track and coordinate Pre-ETS service referrals. Currently, 58 of 74 districts are using the STAR program to refer students for services. VR is working with Project 10 and the Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) to develop ways to engage the remaining districts.
• VR has collaborated with the Florida DD Council to increase the number of Project SEARCH sites across Florida. Ten new sites were added for the 2017-18 school year, and 5 more sites are anticipated to be in place by August 2018.
• VR has made great effort to increase the number of providers for Discovery, Customized Employment, and Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant (CBTAC) by offering more frequent training opportunities. VR will continue to provide frequent training to increase the number of providers certified to offer these services. (Page 168-169) Title II

• Two peer mentoring initiatives are planned at this time. A peer mentoring/IPS project with a youth element is being developed in Broward County, and a youth-specific peer mentoring project is being developed in partnership with Florida Atlantic University.
• Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II

463. The Arc-2-Work: a work-skills training program - Operated by Arc of Alachua County. The Arc-2-Work program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions to high school students and clients of the Arc that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Alachua County.
464. The Industry Readiness Training (IRT) Program - Operated by Brevard Achievement Center. The IRT Program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Brevard County.
465. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.
466. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Palm Beach County. (Page 225) Title IV

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. Discovery provides an opportunity for individuals to move seamlessly from this person centered assessment and planning to Supported Employment Services.
• VR has initiated a Supported Employment Customized Placement Benchmark to incentives providers to work with individuals who will need more intense supports and assistance to become successfully employed. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.
• Use Title I funds to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment for youth.
• Purchase supported employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contract for supported employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes for individuals served.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services. (Page 221) Title IV

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Actual Performance:
The VR Business Relations Program (BRP) developed processes to streamline their operations and better integrate into field service operations. BRP has developed partnerships with businesses and industry sectors to expand customized employment and summer worksite opportunities. BRP staff have provided numerous trainings and presentations to businesses, providers, VR staff and local groups such as Chambers and trade-group chapters. BRP implemented and customized Salesforce software to track employer information and outreach activities, and allows for reporting out area level employer and performance data. BRP also participates in collaborative activities such as the ApprenticeshipUSA grant team and USDOL-ETAs Integrated Business Services Cohort.
Strategy: 2. Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers. (Page 232) Title IV

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI B funds to provide Supported Employment services as specified in the individual plan for employment.
• Purchase Supported Employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contracts for Supported Employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies and supported self-employment services. (Page 238) Title IV

VR has increased the number of Supported Employment Providers throughout Florida. Additional training and support has been provided to new employment providers. VR has also added a Customized Job Placement benchmark to support individuals with most significant disabilities who may need a customized employment option.
Goal 3: Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation Providers, families and individuals.
• 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.
• 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 239) Title IV

C. Service Delivery, Including Customized Employment, and Extended Services. The Partner to this Agreement shall have the following responsibilities, including:
1) Serving LEA students with disabilities who are referred to DBS and meet the eligibility requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation services.
2) Coordinating activities necessary for arranging and providing Pre-ETS, such as attending IEP meetings, working with local workforce development boards, one-stop centers and employers, working with schools, and attending person-centered meetings for students with disabilities.
3) Providing the activities included under Pre-ETS as defined in Section 7(30) of the Rehabilitation Act and §361.5(c)(42), to students with visual impairments, as appropriate and necessary. (Page 267) Title IV

• Participate as an advisory member on a variety of grants from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council that provide training and collaborative activities for providers, counselors, and other agency employees. (Page 222) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~This initiative began in 2014 and resulted in the promotion of business growth through better connectivity of Florida’s advanced manufacturers to existing public and private resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability, leveraging the workforce and talent development assets within the state. The Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence (CAME), under the direction of FloridaMakes, Florida’s Manufacturing Extension partnership, served as the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council and coordinated efforts through Florida’s 13 Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMAs). The Leadership Council, composed of RMAs and Florida manufacturers, served as the primary point of contact for the project.
Throughout the year, the Leadership Council engaged in a variety of activities focused around the use of industry-specific labor market intelligence to inform the development of workforce policy and a sector strategy for manufacturing. Both the council and the RMAs, comprising Florida industry, set out to drive business-led improvements in talent delivery. (Page 55) Title I

In the fall of 2016, CareerSource Florida integrated Registered Apprenticeships into its statewide sector strategy initiative by leveraging its selection as a USDOL ApprenticeshipUSA expansion grantee. With a keen focus on building the state’s talent pipeline, local workforce development boards are empowered to move from training programs to establishing career pathways that offer apprenticeships as a viable talent development solution. The strategic alignment has forged new partnerships with employers and closer collaboration between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and CareerSource Florida. As a unified partnership, the team identifies challenges and opportunities for building a modern talent delivery system that meets the needs of employers in high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare and construction. Key achievements designed to shift workforce development from a supply-driven to demand-driven system include:
• Convening more than 100 influential businesses leaders and community stakeholders as part of the ApprenticeshipUSA grant kick-off activities to solidify partnerships for system changes that are transformative and sustainable beyond the life of the grant.
• Hosting weekly strategy sessions with core partners from the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and the Department of Economic Opportunity to align policies, people and processes as part of statewide system integration and ApprenticeshipUSA grant compliance. (Page 59) Title I

Florida’s WIOA partners worked with economic development stakeholders to develop a common strategic vision for Florida’s workforce and economic development systems. Talent Supply and Education is one of the Six Pillars of Florida’s future economy, as defined by the Florida Chamber Foundation following years of collaboration and research with business and education stakeholders including: The Century Commission for a Sustainable Future; Florida Council of 100; Enterprise Florida, the state’s principle economic development organization; the Florida State University System; and CareerSource Florida’s predecessor, Workforce Florida. Workforce development activities carried out by WIOA core programs directly support achievement of strategies under this pillar. Leaders from CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida and DEO work closely to maintain a unified approach to job creation and retention. Leveraging resources of Florida’s workforce and economic development systems and fostering collaboration improves overall alignment with industry and education. (Page 81) Title I

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities
• Assure career centers were readily accessible.
After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II

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 177) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~VR supports participants attending Inclusive Postsecondary Education (IPSE) for individuals with unique abilities. VR has dedicated IPSE Liaisons located throughout the state to participate in IPSE student selection committees and program development.
VR has Memoranda of Understanding with the presidents of Florida’s public universities and the Florida College System. These memoranda outline the purposes, roles and responsibilities of VR and the educational institutions and financial and programmatic responsibilities. The memoranda provide information about financial assistance, sharing of assessment findings, accommodations, rehabilitation technology services, academic advisement, counseling, confidentiality and other topics. (Page 71) Title 1

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. (Page 181) Title II

Specific intent of the interagency agreement is to:
1. Provide guidance to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ front-line employees, when serving students transitioning from school to work or postsecondary activities.
2. Provide information to parents/students so they know what they can expect from the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services during the transition process.
3. Provide parameters to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ administrators/managers/nursing supervisors when developing, negotiating, and implementing local cooperative agreements.
4. Encourage and support the participation of all agency personnel in the IEP process at the local level through the development of guidelines, policies, and/or procedures. (Page 182) Title II
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 200) Title II

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is committed to providing quality Supported Employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. VR supports the individual in making employment choices consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests. The scope of services varies based on the amount, intensity, and support needed by each individual.
VR counselors work in partnership with the individual when developing the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This plan guides the services and supports that are needed for that individual. The IPE is evaluated throughout the process and updated as needed.
The quality of Supported Employment outcomes is assessed individually. Each individual receives services that are determined based on the specific needs of that person. A key component of evaluating the service is the individual satisfaction with the services and supports, as well as a successful employment outcome. (Page 244) Title IV

• VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome;
• APD strives 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). 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.” (Page 258) Title II

This formal interagency agreement functions as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, and Children’s Medical Services. The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee.
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for vocational rehabilitation consumers is completed or updated annually as needed, prior to graduation or leaving school for seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome.
The FDBS transition specialists, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with public high schools statewide and private high schools requesting assistance. Transition specialists provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. The counselor determines eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, develops an approved IPE, and sponsors the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. (Page 263) Title II

The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 287- 288) Title II

Career Pathways

~~• FRC fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

On an annual basis, VR has offered new TPCAs to all school districts in the state of Florida. Although VR approaches and offers TPCA to all districts, the partnership is dependent on the individual district’s decision to participate. VR currently has TPCAs with 25 school districts and these arrangements expire in June 2018. VR is in the process of revising the contractual agreement it offers to school districts, but new contracts have not been developed yet. Once developed, if the contract changes the way VR delivers Transition services, the State Plan will be amended as needed. The one-year arrangement will provide community-based work experiences to eligible students who have Supported Employment (SE) service needs identified in their Individual Educational Plan and Individualized Plan for Employment. This model reimburses school districts for services provided to VR-eligible students with the most significant disabilities and facilitates a seamless transition into postsecondary employment with supports.
On-the-Job Training (OJT), through VR providers, delivers needed community-based work experiences to VR-eligible students who do not require the intense supports provided through the TPCA. OJT services are available statewide. (Page 171) Title II

Currently, VR has approximately 263 registered Employment Services Providers that deliver employment, supported employment, OJT, Pre-ETS, and other related services on a fee-for-service basis. Additionally, VR maintains the following contracts and/or agreements:
• 16 agreements with the Centers for Independent Living located throughout the state to provide independent living services
• 25 Third Party Cooperative Arrangements with local school districts
• Additional contracts with agencies for services such as delegable VR services, outreach for migrant and seasonal farm workers, interpreting services, rehabilitation engineering, and a project involving the use of virtual reality simulators for customers with severe disabilities
VR also has 5 contracts for Innovation and Expansion pilot projects to benefit and complement WIOA-related initiatives. These contracts are for various 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. (Page 184) Title II

Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II
 

Apprenticeship
The Florida Division of Blind Services is expanding business relationships with employers at the local level to identify and maximize competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for adults and students. Each district holds membership with one or more Chambers of Commerce. Employment Placement Specialists work with employers on their hiring needs and setting up work experiences. This gives job seekers opportunities for work-based learning experiences, training and obtaining employability skills. (Page 74) Title I Goal 3: Expand career opportunities for VR candidates. Objective: Prepare ready-to-work applicants for in-demand careers and jobs that are available now. Strategies: 1. Meet with business and industry to assess workforce needs to better align training with those needs. 2. Communicate information from employers about business needs and qualification requirements to VR staff. 3. Engage in sector partnerships. 4. Provide information to VR staff about in-demand jobs and high growth industries and sectors using labor market information. 5. Collaborate with business and education to determine industry recognized training opportunities and inform VR staff about them. 6. Collaborate with WIOA core partners to share resources and best practices. 7. Generate opportunities for worksite training, including pre-employment transition services such as work-based learning experiences, with business partners. (Page 188) Title II • Continue representation on the state board, and gain membership on local boards. • Continue collaboration with LWDB partners to fully engage the state’s employee recruitment, retention, and training services. Recommend career centers use universal design principles in their operations, and maintainthe integrity of systems for unique constituent populations to ensure individuals with disabilities seeking employment are given opportunities to be successful. • Expanding opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. Pre-employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) were included in the 2017-2018 VR contracts. By adding these services, the FDBS provides eligible and potentially eligible students and youth with disabilities opportunities to participate in work-based learning experiences, apprenticeships, and internships to improve workplace skills. (Page 306) Title IV
Work Incentives & Benefits

~~These activities allow the formation of workgroups to engage in coordinated projects designed to continue implementation and enhancement of the workforce system within the WIOA framework. These workgroups include planning directors, program leadership and subject matter experts for WIOA partner programs. Examples of these workgroups include the following:
• Conduct pilot for career center integration
• Design of comprehensive one-stop career center system with the inclusion of universal design principles as a certification requirement
• Enhance infrastructure and data sharing processes
• Coordination of membership in state and local workforce boards
• Coordinated development of a network of qualified benefits planners to augment Social Security Administration contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services.
• Complete a stakeholder engagement analysis to determine where to target outreach efforts, including business engagement.
• Review services, programs and partnerships of core WIOA programs to reduce duplication of efforts as well as gaps between programs.
• Work collaboratively to ensure that disability coordinators are cross trained with core partner processes
• Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of people with barriers to employment, including people with disabilities. (Page 111) Title I

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 Partnership that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The partnership 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.
The need to serve Florida veterans who have disabilities led to the development of an agreement between the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and VR. The agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of VR and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It clarifies which agency can provide specific services. It also includes information regarding shared planning, joint activities, and coordination. (Page 176) Title II

WIOA presents requirements and opportunities for VR to strengthen its partnership with entities of 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.
• 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 208) Title II

• 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.
• 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 222) Title IV

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 224) Title II

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. (Page 208)
FDBS strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Programs and local employment networks in job placement related services. FDBS uses the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2017, there was a total of 374 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review. (Page 315) Title IV

Collaborate with community organizations, employers, families, and support groups to develop natural supports for Supported Employment extended services.
• Provide opportunities for counselors, providers, and support coordinators to receive training on innovative employment strategies designed to promote employment success for individuals. (Page 247) Title IV

Employer/ Business

~~CareerSource Florida uses DEO statewide data and LWDB data to produce and transmit critical labor market intelligence to the CareerSource Florida network, educators and training providers and to economic development partners. This information can be used in partnership with eligible training providers to ensure the training needs of Florida employers are met. (Page 77) Title I
Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since creating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title I
 

Data Collection
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
511

~~VR has successfully implemented Career Counseling/ Information and Referral (CCIR) services for participants in subminimum wage employment. During SFY 2016-17, approximately 4,780 participants received CCIR services. VR has approved 21 agencies and 315 individuals to provide this service. VR also provides internal and external stakeholders technical assistance and support on compliance with Section 511.
CCIR services have received positive feedback from providers and participants, and VR is working with stakeholders to develop a follow-up process for CCIR participants who express an interest in VR services or employment. (Page 233) Title II

Complying with Federal regulations regarding confidentiality and State law, including Section 511, which specifies confidentiality agreements must comply with IDEA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, VR Counselors are expected to perform in compliance with the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Commission Professional Code of Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. (Page 266) Title II

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination: Section 188
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to: • Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available • Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities • Assure career centers were readily accessible. After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II In 2013, VR introduced a strategic initiative to ensure accessibility of all agency components including programs, facilities, personnel and hiring practices, online resources, internal and external communications, and technology systems. Strategies are now built into VR operational procedures. Following ADA Title II requirements, FDOE Leasing staff conducts ADA inspections of all new or renewed VR office leases. VR offices inspected and found out of compliance have a 504 Plan which describes accessibility improvements planned for the facility. VR customers are included in this process when possible. VR employees in every area are required to complete ADA Coordinator certification training and ADA informational training. Hearing loops and other adaptive equipment and/or software is available in VR facilities. Specific applications were developed using custom JAWS script and workflow documentation to meet the needs of users. (Page 107) Title II Work with Florida’s one-stop career centers to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. FDBS works with the career centers to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients. • Work to ensure disability coordinators are cross trained on the processes of core partners. FDBS collaborates with the CareerSource Centers and shares information about its services and the referral process with the Disability Navigators at the CareerSource Centers. • Communicate, strategize and execute agreed upon methods of meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS participates in regularly scheduled conference calls and meetings. FDBS solicits feedback from core partners regarding contracts and policies. • Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS has an online application to increase accessibility to individuals who may qualify for services. (Page 271) Title II • Increase use of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. • Implement a comprehensive communications and outreach plan. • Increase the number of individuals with significant and most significant disabilities receiving services. • Increase outreach services to under-served and un-served population. • Work collaboratively with the one-stop career center to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. • Educate one-stop career centers on the importance of establishing centers in areas that are easily accessible to public transportation. (Page 293) Title II 2.1: Increase the provision of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. FDBS will strengthen its relationship with the Lighthouses to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients and is reflected in the IPE. FDBS monitors the contract and receives client feedback via satisfaction surveys. FDBS values collaboration between staff and consumers, and incorporates follow-up at all levels of the rehabilitation process. At each level, from applicant to closure of case, Rehabilitation Technicians and Specialists, Employment Placement Specialist, and CRP staff (as needed and appropriate) work as a team to remain in contact with the client. Communication between the client and staff throughout the process, strengthens the chance for a positive client outcome. (Page 304) Title II
Vets
USDOL implemented priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses, as required under the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) and as specified by the Veterans’ Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006. JVA calls for priority of service to be implemented by all “qualified job training programs,” defined as “any workforce preparation, development or delivery program or service directly funded, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor.” Since enactment of JVA in 2002, priority of service has been implemented under policy guidance issued by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The purpose of these regulations is to further articulate how priority of service is to be applied across all new and existing qualified job training programs. (Page 103) Title I Florida’s Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) refocusing is a partnership between DEO and the U.S. Department of Labor/Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) established to meet the employment needs of veterans and eligible customers who contact local career centers throughout the state. Frontline/WP/WIOA staff focus on providing core services and initial assessment to veterans seeking employment assistance (majority of veterans will be served by frontline/WP/WIOA staff). DVOP specialists only provide intensive services to veterans with identified SBE(s). DVOP specialists determine potential SBE population using ETA 9173, which is a quarterly report and the ETA 9169, which is an annual report. Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) staff conduct employer outreach and job development in local communities on behalf of all veterans served through local career centers, including working directly with the DVOPs with case managed veterans with SBE(s). (Page 105) Title I
Mental Health

~~• Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

Mental Health Program, Florida Department of Children and Families
VR coordinates with the state mental health authority to assist customers who have mental illnesses. One of these is participation on the Florida Assertive Community Treatment Team, a community-based, outreach-oriented method of delivering services to individuals with mental illnesses coordinated by the Mental Health Program. VR provides staff liaisons with many of these teams to help serve this group of customers in a comprehensive manner. In addition, VR is an active member of the State Mental Health Planning Council of Florida. The cooperative agreement promotes coordination so that appropriate services can be delivered to maximize customer choice and satisfaction. This agreement is currently being updated to ensure compliance with new WIOA regulations. (Page 175) Title II

Local education agencies work collaboratively with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services in the Transition Individual Educational Plan process. Local education agencies that are considering transition services during the Individual Educational Plan meeting will invite representatives from any other agency who may be responsible for providing or paying for transition services, after obtaining permission from the parent, guardian, or age-of-majority student. If the agency representative does not attend the meeting, the school will do its best to get someone else to come. If the agency representative will not attend the meeting, the school will then look for alternative ways to provide for the student’s transition needs. The local education agency must reconvene the Transition Individual Educational Plan team to identify alternative strategies for providing a student’s transition needs if an agency fails to do so. (Page 181) Title II

Mental Health Services, in partnership with families and the community, provides a system of care that enables children and adults with mental health or emotional disabilities to live successfully in the community, become self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and realize their full potential. Mental health support and services enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 182) Title II

Financial Responsibilities
The Department of Education, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services are committed to meeting financial responsibilities as required by law. Agency/Division heads for the organizations will periodically identify areas for improved programmatic and financial efficiencies and develop strategies to meet financial responsibilities, including joint appropriations requests from the state legislature and negotiations with federal agencies. Each party is financially responsible for the services it provides under its own laws and rules. (Page 182) Title II

VR is currently in the process of developing and implementing an updated Memorandum of Agreement with APD and the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) the state agency responsible for administering the State Medicaid Plan.
VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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 185) Title II

Six broad-based objectives govern the Employment First Interagency Agreement. VR works closely with the partners to continue to make progress on these objectives.
Continue to develop and enhance Supported Employment for persons with the most significant disabilities. The state system for the provision of Supported Employment reflects: (a) mutually agreeable definitions of the services to be provided; (b) administrative responsibility of the intensive component of Supported Employment services to eligible individuals as the primary responsibility of VR for individuals with the most significant disabilities; and (c) administrative responsibility of the extended services component as the primary responsibility of other stakeholders, including APD and the Department of Children and Families, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program. (Page 185) Title II

Supported Employment Services
VR is responsible for the first phase of Supported Employment services. VR provides intensive vocational services until the individual and employer are satisfied with the Supported Employment placement, and then the individual transitions to a plan for extended services. Supported Employment services consist of intensive, time-limited vocational rehabilitation services (the responsibility of VR) and extended services, also known as the second phase. Funding for the second phase of services is provided by other sources that may include, but are not limited to, APD, the Department of Children and Families’ Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program, natural supports or other identified funding sources. (Page 186) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title II

Results of the CSNA public survey indicated the following groups as having limited access to VR services.
• Individuals living in rural areas (58.86%)
• Individuals with a criminal background (48.57%)
• Individuals on waiting list (43.95%)
• Individuals with a mental health disability (43.57%)
• Individuals with an intellectual disability (43.42%)
VR continues to assess its services to individuals with the most significant disabilities and individuals who may be unserved or underserved, as well as those with the most significant disabilities who may be from minority populations. (Page 206-207) Title II

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Key administrators from VR and FDBS held monthly meetings to revise and update the Memorandum of Agreement, develop strategies, discuss training needs, create informational guides needed by both agencies for this population, and provide case consultation. Additional VR strategies and activities to increase equal access to individuals requesting services are as follows:
• Develop a comprehensive safety plan for monitoring VR facilities statewide. Specific components include a process for reporting defective/unsafe working conditions, safety and facilities management training for area staff, a move manual, a statewide safety manual, statewide first aid information, furniture inspection instructions, and a facility security/building access policy at HQ.
• Continue to use interpreters and translators and VR’s online resources as well as the websites of other partners and stakeholders (where permitted) to reach underserved populations and increase communication with customers.
• Offer reasonable accommodations to give equal access to services, and make sure materials and other program information are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole for various agencies, employers, churches, community leaders, health clinics, and other settings.
• Continue to assign counselors and consultants to serve specialized populations, such as the deaf and hard-of-hearing, transition students, mental health customers, and brain and spinal cord injury customers.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other One-stop system partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with the intent to include universal design as a separate component of the One-stop career center certification process. (Page 231) Title IV

VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; (Page 258) Title IV

The FDBS works closely with VR to track the number and type of graduate students that are enrolled in state universities offering rehabilitation counseling degrees. This information is maintained by the Program Administrator. A $2,000 incentive is added to the salary of all counselors and supervisors who hold or receive a CRC during their tenure. The following state universities offer a graduate counseling degree that fulfills the educational requirements for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification with a minimum of other required classes. • Institution: Florida International University Type of Program: Master of Science in Counselor Education - Rehabilitation Counseling Track (MS) • Institution: University of South Florida Type of Program: Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (MA)
Program Data for Institutions of Higher Education
The following information is derived from Florida institutions of higher education that prepare vocational rehabilitation professionals. The information is categorized by institution and type of program. (Page 277) Title IV

Prior needs assessments did not identify pre-employment transition services; however, this population’s needs will be identified in future planning.
FDBS has an interagency agreement that serves as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services.
FDBS has a cooperative agreement with the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Public Schools to coordinate activities for students who are blind and visually impaired. This is accomplished through the preparation and implementation of guidelines, policies, rules, and regulations that affect the interests of students with visual impairments through joint planning committees and publications, as appropriate. (Page 287) Title IV
 

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 11 - 20 of 66

Secondary Transition - 07/01/2018

~~“The term “transition services” or “transition planning” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:•Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment); continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation•Is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests•Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.” 

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

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - Needs Assessment and Evaluation - 03/06/2018

~~“Needs Assessment and EvaluationA biannual training needs assessment is conducted using information from several sources. These include a formal needs assessment instrument, performance evaluation data, training evaluation sheets obtained from every sponsored program, exit interviews and supervisory input. The needs assessment data determines program development and modification.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - VR Transition Youth program - 03/06/2018

~~      “The VR Transition Youth program administrator serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. The program administrator works closely with the regional representatives of Project 10: The Transition Education Network, which is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services within the Florida Department of Education to the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Project 10 helps Florida school districts and stakeholders increase their ability to provide secondary transition services to students with disabilities and improve student academic success and postsecondary outcomes. Project 10 helps educators, parents, students, agency representatives and other stakeholders by providing capacity building to implement secondary transition services, interagency collaboration, transition legislation and policy and student development and outcomes. VR counselors serving transition students participate in each area’s local interagency councils. Interagency councils are a collaborative effort between VR and Department of Education partners, public high schools, adult service agencies, workforce programs, parents, students, advocates  and employers cooperating to meet the transition needs of students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - 03/06/2018

~~“Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Florida initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

Secondary Student Progression: 2017-2018 Frequently Asked Questions - 11/05/2017

~~“What are the graduation requirements for students with disabilities?Most students with disabilities take the same courses and assessments as other students to earn a standard diploma.  The following options are only for students with disabilities and require the 24 credits listed on the table on page 6.• Students with significant cognitive disabilities may earn credits via access courses and be assessed on a Florida Standards Alternate Assessment.• Students may earn at least 0.5 credit via paid employment” 

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

Exceptional Employers Honored by State - 10/04/2017

~~“Ten businesses that hire people with disabilities were recognized by the state of Florida today for being exceptional employers of people with special abilities. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with unique abilities. The 12th annual celebration was held at Tallahassee City Hall as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation presented the Exceptional Employer Awards to companies that have made a strong commitment to employing people with special abilities.  Event sponsors were the Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

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

“Showing Your Abilities” - 10/01/2017

~~Employment for individuals with disabilities is the focus in October when we celebrate Disability Employment Awareness Month.

A top priority for the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is helping people with developmental disabilities find meaningful jobs. Many other state agencies and partners are actively supporting the mission of employing people with disabilities.

The state of Florida supports businesses that recognize and are committed to hiring individuals with special abilities. Make plans to attend Florida’s Exceptional Employer Awards event on October 4 at Tallahassee City Hall, 300 South Adams Street, to recognize 10 companies from around the state who excel in employing people with special abilities. The 12th Annual Awards event begins at 8:30 a.m. I hope you will be there to celebrate and learn more about hiring capable employees with special abilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group - 08/05/2017

~~“A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities. The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. Meetings are held online and by phone”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of Rehabilitation Facilities “Membership Value Statement 2017” - 07/20/2017

~~“Florida ARF is a statewide, professional association that provides advocacy, information, and networking services for community agencies serving individuals with disabilities……Represented Florida ARF member interests on multiple state committees and workgroups such as DD Waitlist, the Governor’s Employment First Initiative and APD workgroups”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

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 11 - 20 of 24

Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit - 07/10/2017

~~“The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit (EFCT) provides a guide for all employment service professionals from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them.  Directors and managers may refer to the EFCT Toolkit both as a resource for planning overall training for agency staff as a whole as well as for identifying the specific training needs for individual staff.  Evaluating training needs on an individual basis allows customization of staff training to meet the specific needs of each particular staff member – a far more effective strategy for addressing ongoing professional development needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Employment First Florida - 06/09/2017

~~“People with disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), want to work in their community. The purpose of this website is to provide information about what the state of Florida is doing to make it easier for people with disabilities to work. Explore the other pages on this website to learn more about how the state of Florida is helping people find good jobs in their communities!This website can help you learn about:

    What is Employment First    Grassroots Group Meetings    Helpful Information for Job Seekers    Agencies and Providers who are Making a Difference    Stories about People with Disabilities Working in the Community”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 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

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
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Disability Resource Center - 05/08/2019

~~“The Disability Resource Center works closely with the Career Connections Center (C3) in regards to career development, internships, and employment. We encourage all students to connect with C3 regarding any question you may have regarding career development opportunities available to them.”

Systems
  • Other

The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit - 08/09/2018

~~The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit provides a guide for all employment service professionals—from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff—to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them. The toolkit was developed by the Center for Social Capital and sponsored by United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (Look for the CC button on each video to to view closed captioning on YouTube.)

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Exceptional Employers Honored by State - 10/04/2017

~~“Ten businesses that hire people with disabilities were recognized by the state of Florida today for being exceptional employers of people with special abilities. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with unique abilities. The 12th annual celebration was held at Tallahassee City Hall as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation presented the Exceptional Employer Awards to companies that have made a strong commitment to employing people with special abilities.  Event sponsors were the Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

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

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group - 08/05/2017

~~“A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities. The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. Meetings are held online and by phone”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of Rehabilitation Facilities “Membership Value Statement 2017” - 07/20/2017

~~“Florida ARF is a statewide, professional association that provides advocacy, information, and networking services for community agencies serving individuals with disabilities……Represented Florida ARF member interests on multiple state committees and workgroups such as DD Waitlist, the Governor’s Employment First Initiative and APD workgroups”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Florida Vocational Rehabilitation: Partnering with Community Rehabilitation Programs in Business Engagement and Employer Support - 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 11 - 20 of 20

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - The Discovery Process

The Discovery process is an evidence-based alternative to comparative, standardized assessments, and evaluations. Discovery is a person centered planning process that involves getting to know a person before supporting them in developing a plan for employment.

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

FL Division of VR - Work Incentives Program

This introductory flyer encourages SSI recipients to think about employment.  It includes information on the Student Earned Income Exclusion, the Plan for Achieving Self-Support, the Section 301 Rule, as well as links to SSA, Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation & Florida's Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security.

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Collaborative on Discovery & Innovation in Employment (CODIE)

This flyer raises awareness of inclusive, community-based employment projects occurring in Florida. It touches base on an interagency collaboration regarding transition (CODIE), access to on-line FCIC Employment Webinar series, Facebook for the Employment Network at FCIC  & the Alliance for Full Participation.

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

FL Center for Inclusive Communities - Customized Employment

This fact sheet offers a description of customized employment for individuals who choose to be the employee of a community business, self-employed or the owner of a business via a Micro Board.  It includes references from national CE consultants as well as defines the role of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) and its relationship with Vocational Rehabilitation.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment

Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities - Required Training

“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
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement

Florida Employment First Toolkit and Training (Proposed)

This project will ensure that Florida has comprehensive training strategies within a training toolkit that foster quality integrated competitive employment for all  individuals with disabilities, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The training will be targeted to agency and organization staff charged with all facets of employment for individuals with disabilities.

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

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

2017 State Population.
1.77%
Change from
2016 to 2017
20,984,400
2017 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.25%
Change from
2016 to 2017
1,258,361
2017 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.59%
Change from
2016 to 2017
428,638
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.34%
Change from
2016 to 2017
34.06%
2017 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.63%
Change from
2016 to 2017
75.62%

State Data

General

2017
Population. 20,984,400
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,258,361
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 428,638
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 8,380,911
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 34.06%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 75.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 13.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,370,483
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,440,995
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,251,892
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 385,434
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 530,490
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 12,980
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 42,580
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 1,179
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 62,579
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 54,834

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 13,516
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.10%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 558,750

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 29,365
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 92,425
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 131,486
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.90%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.90%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.90%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 43.30%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,651
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 3,364
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 3,397
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 75,503

 

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)

2015
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. 322
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 209
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. 65.00%
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. 1.03

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017
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. 18,065
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 836,893
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

2016
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $5,529,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 11.00%
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. 11.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2016
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 73.90%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 13.77%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.79%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 94.84%
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). 27.84%
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). 43.84%
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). 56.16%
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). 16.00%

 

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

2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 2
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 38
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). 2,797
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 114
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 2,911

 

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 Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: vocational rehabilitation, transition, supported employment and rehabilitation engineering. Vocational rehabilitation, transition and pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, Florida Department of Education’s Divisions of Blind Services (FDBS) will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 48) Title I

Employment First Florida
Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, the 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 the Department of Children and Families - Mental Health and Substance Abuse came together through an interagency cooperative agreement. This collaboration improves coordination of services that help people with disabilities obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. (Page 61-62) Title I

The Employment First collaborative developed a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach, describing services available 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.
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program recognizes businesses that are committed to providing career and financial opportunities to individuals with unique abilities and to assisting organizations that support them. Participating businesses demonstrate their dedication to strengthening communities and the economy by helping these Floridians with untapped talents become more independent and by partnering with other businesses, organizations and state resources in this endeavor. (Page 62) Title I 

• Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR 24 has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

•  Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

Core programs work through Florida’s Employment First initiative and the Higher Education Coordinating Council to expand and develop innovative ways to ensure seamless articulation and accessibility to programs leading to credentials and apprenticeship opportunities. (Page 80) Title I

LWDBs continue expanding employment and training services for people with disabilities. Eighteen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.
The state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers that provide onsite services to people with disabilities. This provides additional access to remote job fairs; to those impacted by mass layoffs; and other employment and training events for people with disabilities.
At the state level, the workforce system increased active participation on boards working to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities such as:
• Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)
• Florida Developmental Disability Council-led Employment First Initiative and its Employment and Transportation Task Force
• Community Services Block Grant Advisory Council
• Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has representation within the workforce system and several members of the Statewide Strengthening Youth Partnership are entities focusing on providing quality services to people with disabilities. (Page 106) Title I

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. The Employment First Committee submits a report to the Governor annually, describing the coordination of participating agencies to advance the Employment First philosophy and way of work throughout Florida. (Page 180) Title II

VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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.
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 nine agencies/organizations to participate in the agreement. This order has now been placed in Florida’s statute.
• The Department of Education-Division of Blind Services
• The Department of Education-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
•  The Department of Education-Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
•  The Agency for Persons with Disabilities
•  The Department of Children and Families-Mental Health and Substance Abuse
•  The Department of Economic Opportunity
•  CareerSource Florida
•  The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
•  RESPECT of Florida (Page 185) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title I

•  Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services
•  Provide up to four years of extended services for youth 24 and under when appropriate
•  VR Consultants have provided extensive outreach to educators, community providers, individuals, families, community partners, VR staff to promote Supported Employment as an opportunity for youth to become successful in becoming employed and developing a career path.
•  VR works closely with the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee. This group focuses on promoting competitive integrated employment as a first choice for youth and adults with disabilities in Florida.
•  The Program Development and Assistance Bureau provides technical assistance and support to a wide variety of stakeholders.
•  VR has provided youth receiving subminimum wage employment training opportunities to encourage their consideration of competitive integrated employment opportunities. There is a four hour course focused on self-advocacy, communication, employment options in local communities, how to obtain supports and services, and other related topics. (Page 221) Title IV

•  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. (Page 222) Title IV

VR staff have worked with Employment First Partners, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Project 10 staff, local Education Agencies and other partners to increase Third Party Cooperative Arrangements, Project SEARCH programs and other work experience programs that provide training opportunities that lead to employment.
VR staff have also collaborated with the Florida Association for Rehabilitation Facilities and the ARC of Florida to develop a package of VR services that would assist individuals with most significant disabilities to pursue competitive integrated employment opportunities. (Page 238) Title IV

A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.
• 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 prepare for, get or keep a job.
• Presentations on Supported Employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
• Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).
• Representation on the Statewide Employment First Initiative by VR’s Supported Employment and Transition Consultants.
• The VR Senior Consultant coordinated and developed training for providers and staff on Discovery and Customized Employment Services. (Page 240) Title IV

VR will continue to actively engage and partner in order to:
• Develop a collaborative agreement with APD specific to Supported Employment and removing or reducing barriers for employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
• Implement the Interagency Employment First Agreement between the nine signatory parties. Continue to implement the agreements at the local and state 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.
• Expand available services through youth-related initiatives. (Page 246) Title VI

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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. (Page 270) Title IV

• Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.
• Maintaining and strengthening contracts with private non-profit organizations to provide four core components: Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, Supported Employment, and Rehabilitation Engineering. Vocational Rehabilitation, Transition, and Pre-ETS are combined in the 2017-2018 contracts. Contracted providers are monitored via desk audits or onsite based on an established timeframe or at any time if an issue arises. By working with providers, FDBS will increase work-based experiences and provide career exploration in a variety of fields. FDBS coordinates with multiple partners to maximize supported employment services. (Page 308) Title IV

FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review.
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:
• Developing and implementing 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 resources that can support them on the job. (Page 315) Title IV

• Developing 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 advances employer outreach efforts of the FDBS Employment Placement Specialists to increase employment opportunities for clients.
• Forming three interagency workgroups, including a grassroots group to receive input from stakeholders at the local level and to address the objectives of the Employment First Collaborative Agreement. FDBS is an active partner in these forums and uses the work to support other related collaborative activities, such as the implementing WIOA).
• Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since crating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title IV

FDBS is optimistic it will improve its employment outcomes during the current SFY. FDBS will implement strategies such as collaborating with community rehabilitation programs; networking with national employment partners; expanding utilization of online job systems such as Department of Economic Opportunities’ (DEO) Abilities Work Web Portal and accompanying help desk managed by VR and the national Talent Acquisition Portal; participating in the Employment First Initiative; networking with local level employers, providing ongoing training to employment staff; developing new vocational training programs at the residential rehabilitation center; collaboratively identifying and training eligible Floridians to manage state-owned Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) Programs, 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 outreach to employers to maximize work experience opportunities for clients. (Page 317) Title IV

The FDBS has a contractual agreement with the Florida Lion’s Conklin Center for the Blind to identify and provide supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. FDBS partners with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to ensure individuals with disabilities are offered employment on a preferred basis. 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.
Four goals address the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs. These goals and strategies are:
Goal 1.0 Highest Client Achievement
Strategy 1.1: Expand opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. (Page 324) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~VR partners with employment service providers and maintains memorandums of agreement with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services are provided for job seekers with disabilities. VR implements pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion projects to further increase its service capacity. VR places emphasis on increasing provider capacity for specialized services such as Discovery and Customized Employment. (Page 51) Title I

Continue implementation of an interagency supported program and fiscal planning process that defines and projects the number of people who require intensive and extended services for each fiscal year. VR has added policy and procedures to fund extended services to youth 24 and under who do not have access to an alternative funding source.
• Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) through peer specialists to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance agreement with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to expand the VR self-advocacy service of Youth Peer Mentoring statewide. This collaboration will leverage agency resources to deliver training that would typically cost in excess of $40,000 if delivered using traditional methods. VR now offers Discovery and Customized Employment statewide and is increasing provider capacity to deliver these services. VR develops agreements with and partners with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources. (Page 67) Title I

VR currently has five Innovation and Expansion pilot projects throughout the state to provide business consultation, pre-employment training, volunteering positions and intensive discovery services to job seekers with unique abilities.
FDBS will allocate 15 percent of its federal allotment to pre-employment transition services for all students with disabilities in need of such services who are eligible or potentially eligible for services through the Division. FDBS has a draft Pre-ETS policy currently under review by WINTAC. The policy states that services will be available the year the individual reaches age 14. The provision of such services matches categories defined in WIOA Section 113. All services and purchases (such as orientation and mobility services, pay for work experience, stipends, On-the Job Training, assistive technology services and devices, etc.,) required to enable an individual to engage in activities defined in the Act are made available as part of the 15 percent state set-aside in the federal funding formula. (Page 79) Title I

VR’s rehabilitation rate remains below the federal target, but has increased over the past two years, as has the overall number of customer employment outcomes. This is expected as VR releases customers from the Category 3 wait list. VR collaborates with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. VR anticipates that the following projects will have a positive impact on program performance.
• Support employers and community partnerships through the Business Relations program.
• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

• Develop a deeper understanding of customer strengths and develop tools to communicate succinctly to potential employers.
• The Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC) fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

VR has recently lowered the age limit for Transition services to 14 years of age, and will include this age group in future quarterly updates to FRC. VR has many pilot projects and initiatives anticipated to create additional training and employment opportunities for students and youth, summarized below.
• There are 25 school districts currently participating in Third Party Cooperative Arrangements (TPCA). There are currently 39 Employment Specialists working with 300 students, and this number will increase by the end of the year. We are currently revising the contract to allow for the expansion of Pre-ETS to more students with disabilities served by school districts. VR recently provided training and updated resources for school districts and VR staff.
• VR has entered into an Intensive Technical Assistance Plan (ITAP) with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) for assistance in formalizing VR Youth Peer Mentoring processes. The ITAP will support expansion from the three county pilot to a statewide program. Recent provider recruitment efforts have identified over 50 additional providers interested in providing Youth Peer Mentoring. VR is currently offering training to staff and providers.
• VR has developed the Student Transition Activities Record (STAR) program to track and coordinate Pre-ETS service referrals. Currently, 58 of 74 districts are using the STAR program to refer students for services. VR is working with Project 10 and the Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) to develop ways to engage the remaining districts.
• VR has collaborated with the Florida DD Council to increase the number of Project SEARCH sites across Florida. Ten new sites were added for the 2017-18 school year, and 5 more sites are anticipated to be in place by August 2018.
• VR has made great effort to increase the number of providers for Discovery, Customized Employment, and Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant (CBTAC) by offering more frequent training opportunities. VR will continue to provide frequent training to increase the number of providers certified to offer these services. (Page 168-169) Title II

• Two peer mentoring initiatives are planned at this time. A peer mentoring/IPS project with a youth element is being developed in Broward County, and a youth-specific peer mentoring project is being developed in partnership with Florida Atlantic University.
• Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II

463. The Arc-2-Work: a work-skills training program - Operated by Arc of Alachua County. The Arc-2-Work program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions to high school students and clients of the Arc that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Alachua County.
464. The Industry Readiness Training (IRT) Program - Operated by Brevard Achievement Center. The IRT Program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Brevard County.
465. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.
466. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Palm Beach County. (Page 225) Title IV

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. Discovery provides an opportunity for individuals to move seamlessly from this person centered assessment and planning to Supported Employment Services.
• VR has initiated a Supported Employment Customized Placement Benchmark to incentives providers to work with individuals who will need more intense supports and assistance to become successfully employed. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.
• Use Title I funds to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment for youth.
• Purchase supported employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contract for supported employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes for individuals served.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies of Supported self-Employment Services. (Page 221) Title IV

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Actual Performance:
The VR Business Relations Program (BRP) developed processes to streamline their operations and better integrate into field service operations. BRP has developed partnerships with businesses and industry sectors to expand customized employment and summer worksite opportunities. BRP staff have provided numerous trainings and presentations to businesses, providers, VR staff and local groups such as Chambers and trade-group chapters. BRP implemented and customized Salesforce software to track employer information and outreach activities, and allows for reporting out area level employer and performance data. BRP also participates in collaborative activities such as the ApprenticeshipUSA grant team and USDOL-ETAs Integrated Business Services Cohort.
Strategy: 2. Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers. (Page 232) Title IV

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities
• Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI B funds to provide Supported Employment services as specified in the individual plan for employment.
• Purchase Supported Employment services based upon established performance benchmarks. The contracts for Supported Employment focuses on performance and reinforces the focus on successful outcomes.
• Funds may also be used for related customized employment strategies and supported self-employment services. (Page 238) Title IV

VR has increased the number of Supported Employment Providers throughout Florida. Additional training and support has been provided to new employment providers. VR has also added a Customized Job Placement benchmark to support individuals with most significant disabilities who may need a customized employment option.
Goal 3: Increase Supported Employment training opportunities for VR Counselors, Community Rehabilitation Providers, families and individuals.
• 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.
• 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 239) Title IV

C. Service Delivery, Including Customized Employment, and Extended Services. The Partner to this Agreement shall have the following responsibilities, including:
1) Serving LEA students with disabilities who are referred to DBS and meet the eligibility requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation services.
2) Coordinating activities necessary for arranging and providing Pre-ETS, such as attending IEP meetings, working with local workforce development boards, one-stop centers and employers, working with schools, and attending person-centered meetings for students with disabilities.
3) Providing the activities included under Pre-ETS as defined in Section 7(30) of the Rehabilitation Act and §361.5(c)(42), to students with visual impairments, as appropriate and necessary. (Page 267) Title IV

• Participate as an advisory member on a variety of grants from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council that provide training and collaborative activities for providers, counselors, and other agency employees. (Page 222) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~This initiative began in 2014 and resulted in the promotion of business growth through better connectivity of Florida’s advanced manufacturers to existing public and private resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability, leveraging the workforce and talent development assets within the state. The Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence (CAME), under the direction of FloridaMakes, Florida’s Manufacturing Extension partnership, served as the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council and coordinated efforts through Florida’s 13 Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMAs). The Leadership Council, composed of RMAs and Florida manufacturers, served as the primary point of contact for the project.
Throughout the year, the Leadership Council engaged in a variety of activities focused around the use of industry-specific labor market intelligence to inform the development of workforce policy and a sector strategy for manufacturing. Both the council and the RMAs, comprising Florida industry, set out to drive business-led improvements in talent delivery. (Page 55) Title I

In the fall of 2016, CareerSource Florida integrated Registered Apprenticeships into its statewide sector strategy initiative by leveraging its selection as a USDOL ApprenticeshipUSA expansion grantee. With a keen focus on building the state’s talent pipeline, local workforce development boards are empowered to move from training programs to establishing career pathways that offer apprenticeships as a viable talent development solution. The strategic alignment has forged new partnerships with employers and closer collaboration between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and CareerSource Florida. As a unified partnership, the team identifies challenges and opportunities for building a modern talent delivery system that meets the needs of employers in high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare and construction. Key achievements designed to shift workforce development from a supply-driven to demand-driven system include:
• Convening more than 100 influential businesses leaders and community stakeholders as part of the ApprenticeshipUSA grant kick-off activities to solidify partnerships for system changes that are transformative and sustainable beyond the life of the grant.
• Hosting weekly strategy sessions with core partners from the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Apprenticeship and the Department of Economic Opportunity to align policies, people and processes as part of statewide system integration and ApprenticeshipUSA grant compliance. (Page 59) Title I

Florida’s WIOA partners worked with economic development stakeholders to develop a common strategic vision for Florida’s workforce and economic development systems. Talent Supply and Education is one of the Six Pillars of Florida’s future economy, as defined by the Florida Chamber Foundation following years of collaboration and research with business and education stakeholders including: The Century Commission for a Sustainable Future; Florida Council of 100; Enterprise Florida, the state’s principle economic development organization; the Florida State University System; and CareerSource Florida’s predecessor, Workforce Florida. Workforce development activities carried out by WIOA core programs directly support achievement of strategies under this pillar. Leaders from CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida and DEO work closely to maintain a unified approach to job creation and retention. Leveraging resources of Florida’s workforce and economic development systems and fostering collaboration improves overall alignment with industry and education. (Page 81) Title I

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to:
• Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available
• Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities
• Assure career centers were readily accessible.
After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II

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 177) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~VR supports participants attending Inclusive Postsecondary Education (IPSE) for individuals with unique abilities. VR has dedicated IPSE Liaisons located throughout the state to participate in IPSE student selection committees and program development.
VR has Memoranda of Understanding with the presidents of Florida’s public universities and the Florida College System. These memoranda outline the purposes, roles and responsibilities of VR and the educational institutions and financial and programmatic responsibilities. The memoranda provide information about financial assistance, sharing of assessment findings, accommodations, rehabilitation technology services, academic advisement, counseling, confidentiality and other topics. (Page 71) Title 1

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. (Page 181) Title II

Specific intent of the interagency agreement is to:
1. Provide guidance to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ front-line employees, when serving students transitioning from school to work or postsecondary activities.
2. Provide information to parents/students so they know what they can expect from the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services during the transition process.
3. Provide parameters to the local education agencies, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services’ administrators/managers/nursing supervisors when developing, negotiating, and implementing local cooperative agreements.
4. Encourage and support the participation of all agency personnel in the IEP process at the local level through the development of guidelines, policies, and/or procedures. (Page 182) Title II
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 200) Title II

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is committed to providing quality Supported Employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. VR supports the individual in making employment choices consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests. The scope of services varies based on the amount, intensity, and support needed by each individual.
VR counselors work in partnership with the individual when developing the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This plan guides the services and supports that are needed for that individual. The IPE is evaluated throughout the process and updated as needed.
The quality of Supported Employment outcomes is assessed individually. Each individual receives services that are determined based on the specific needs of that person. A key component of evaluating the service is the individual satisfaction with the services and supports, as well as a successful employment outcome. (Page 244) Title IV

• VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome;
• APD strives 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). 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.” (Page 258) Title II

This formal interagency agreement functions as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, and Children’s Medical Services. The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee.
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for vocational rehabilitation consumers is completed or updated annually as needed, prior to graduation or leaving school for seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome.
The FDBS transition specialists, with assistance from FDBS rehabilitation technicians, serve as representatives who work with public high schools statewide and private high schools requesting assistance. Transition specialists provide and coordinate outreach and vocational rehabilitation services to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. The counselor determines eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, develops an approved IPE, and sponsors the delivery of necessary transition services to assist the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful postsecondary employment. (Page 263) Title II

The FDBS employs a program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The consultant serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The consultant coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery and is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. Additionally, this position serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 287- 288) Title II

Career Pathways

~~• FRC fully supports the VR initiative to obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage to mirror current coverage of CareerSource Florida customers. This will remove a substantial barrier to employment and allow for increased OJT opportunities for VR and DBS customers.
• FRC applauds VR efforts to increase capacity of the number of providers using the Discovery Model. Self-employment (CBTAC) initiatives should continue to be emphasized.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the Abilities Work Help Desk.
• Further build capacity for job customization and Innovation and Expansion projects to include unserved and underserved populations. (Page 167) Title II

On an annual basis, VR has offered new TPCAs to all school districts in the state of Florida. Although VR approaches and offers TPCA to all districts, the partnership is dependent on the individual district’s decision to participate. VR currently has TPCAs with 25 school districts and these arrangements expire in June 2018. VR is in the process of revising the contractual agreement it offers to school districts, but new contracts have not been developed yet. Once developed, if the contract changes the way VR delivers Transition services, the State Plan will be amended as needed. The one-year arrangement will provide community-based work experiences to eligible students who have Supported Employment (SE) service needs identified in their Individual Educational Plan and Individualized Plan for Employment. This model reimburses school districts for services provided to VR-eligible students with the most significant disabilities and facilitates a seamless transition into postsecondary employment with supports.
On-the-Job Training (OJT), through VR providers, delivers needed community-based work experiences to VR-eligible students who do not require the intense supports provided through the TPCA. OJT services are available statewide. (Page 171) Title II

Currently, VR has approximately 263 registered Employment Services Providers that deliver employment, supported employment, OJT, Pre-ETS, and other related services on a fee-for-service basis. Additionally, VR maintains the following contracts and/or agreements:
• 16 agreements with the Centers for Independent Living located throughout the state to provide independent living services
• 25 Third Party Cooperative Arrangements with local school districts
• Additional contracts with agencies for services such as delegable VR services, outreach for migrant and seasonal farm workers, interpreting services, rehabilitation engineering, and a project involving the use of virtual reality simulators for customers with severe disabilities
VR also has 5 contracts for Innovation and Expansion pilot projects to benefit and complement WIOA-related initiatives. These contracts are for various 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. (Page 184) Title II

Additional initiatives are under way to increase provider capacity and offer more opportunities to youth. These include approval of CareerSource Florida to provide pre-placement services, revision of Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTAC) recertification procedures, and increase in CBTAC and Discovery providers. VR is also partnering with Volunteer Florida, Centers for Independent Living, Florida ARC, and High School High Tech to offer more OJT and community work experiences. (Page 209) Title II
 

Apprenticeship
The Florida Division of Blind Services is expanding business relationships with employers at the local level to identify and maximize competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for adults and students. Each district holds membership with one or more Chambers of Commerce. Employment Placement Specialists work with employers on their hiring needs and setting up work experiences. This gives job seekers opportunities for work-based learning experiences, training and obtaining employability skills. (Page 74) Title I Goal 3: Expand career opportunities for VR candidates. Objective: Prepare ready-to-work applicants for in-demand careers and jobs that are available now. Strategies: 1. Meet with business and industry to assess workforce needs to better align training with those needs. 2. Communicate information from employers about business needs and qualification requirements to VR staff. 3. Engage in sector partnerships. 4. Provide information to VR staff about in-demand jobs and high growth industries and sectors using labor market information. 5. Collaborate with business and education to determine industry recognized training opportunities and inform VR staff about them. 6. Collaborate with WIOA core partners to share resources and best practices. 7. Generate opportunities for worksite training, including pre-employment transition services such as work-based learning experiences, with business partners. (Page 188) Title II • Continue representation on the state board, and gain membership on local boards. • Continue collaboration with LWDB partners to fully engage the state’s employee recruitment, retention, and training services. Recommend career centers use universal design principles in their operations, and maintainthe integrity of systems for unique constituent populations to ensure individuals with disabilities seeking employment are given opportunities to be successful. • Expanding opportunities for students to receive FDBS services and secure opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to practice and improve workplace skills. Pre-employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) were included in the 2017-2018 VR contracts. By adding these services, the FDBS provides eligible and potentially eligible students and youth with disabilities opportunities to participate in work-based learning experiences, apprenticeships, and internships to improve workplace skills. (Page 306) Title IV
Work Incentives & Benefits

~~These activities allow the formation of workgroups to engage in coordinated projects designed to continue implementation and enhancement of the workforce system within the WIOA framework. These workgroups include planning directors, program leadership and subject matter experts for WIOA partner programs. Examples of these workgroups include the following:
• Conduct pilot for career center integration
• Design of comprehensive one-stop career center system with the inclusion of universal design principles as a certification requirement
• Enhance infrastructure and data sharing processes
• Coordination of membership in state and local workforce boards
• Coordinated development of a network of qualified benefits planners to augment Social Security Administration contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services.
• Complete a stakeholder engagement analysis to determine where to target outreach efforts, including business engagement.
• Review services, programs and partnerships of core WIOA programs to reduce duplication of efforts as well as gaps between programs.
• Work collaboratively to ensure that disability coordinators are cross trained with core partner processes
• Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of people with barriers to employment, including people with disabilities. (Page 111) Title I

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 Partnership that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The partnership 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.
The need to serve Florida veterans who have disabilities led to the development of an agreement between the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and VR. The agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of VR and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It clarifies which agency can provide specific services. It also includes information regarding shared planning, joint activities, and coordination. (Page 176) Title II

WIOA presents requirements and opportunities for VR to strengthen its partnership with entities of 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.
• 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 208) Title II

• 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.
• 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 222) Title IV

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 224) Title II

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. (Page 208)
FDBS strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Programs and local employment networks in job placement related services. FDBS uses the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2017, there was a total of 374 clients listed in TAP.
FDBS is one of the partner agencies included in the Interagency Cooperative Agreement effective July 2014, as part of the Employment First Initiative supported by Executive Order 13-284. This Order re-affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement has been updated and revisions are under review. (Page 315) Title IV

Collaborate with community organizations, employers, families, and support groups to develop natural supports for Supported Employment extended services.
• Provide opportunities for counselors, providers, and support coordinators to receive training on innovative employment strategies designed to promote employment success for individuals. (Page 247) Title IV

Employer/ Business

~~CareerSource Florida uses DEO statewide data and LWDB data to produce and transmit critical labor market intelligence to the CareerSource Florida network, educators and training providers and to economic development partners. This information can be used in partnership with eligible training providers to ensure the training needs of Florida employers are met. (Page 77) Title I
Creating an Employment First Florida website, logo, collaborative training toolkit, and promotional video to inform community partners and the public of Florida’s efforts to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. FDBS Director, Robert Doyle, participated in the video and highlighted how these collaborative efforts support the employment of individuals with visual disabilities. Successful closures increased by approximately 2% since creating the training toolkit. (Page 316) Title I
 

Data Collection
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
511

~~VR has successfully implemented Career Counseling/ Information and Referral (CCIR) services for participants in subminimum wage employment. During SFY 2016-17, approximately 4,780 participants received CCIR services. VR has approved 21 agencies and 315 individuals to provide this service. VR also provides internal and external stakeholders technical assistance and support on compliance with Section 511.
CCIR services have received positive feedback from providers and participants, and VR is working with stakeholders to develop a follow-up process for CCIR participants who express an interest in VR services or employment. (Page 233) Title II

Complying with Federal regulations regarding confidentiality and State law, including Section 511, which specifies confidentiality agreements must comply with IDEA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, VR Counselors are expected to perform in compliance with the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Commission Professional Code of Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. (Page 266) Title II

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination: Section 188
The DEO was one of the original recipients of the Department of Labor’s Disability Program Navigator (DPN) grant in 2002 and has expanded services to people with disabilities at 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 people with disabilities. The grant was a catalyst to: • Expand opportunities and increase staff awareness of the variety of assistive technologies and services available • Provide technical assistance and training on assisting people with varying disabilities • Assure career centers were readily accessible. After the U.S. Department of Labor’s DPN ended, CareerSource Florida awarded state-level funding to LWDBs to support accomplishments of the DPN grant and assist local areas with staffing, purchasing of assistive technology and services; and, modifications to workstations and offices to better accommodate people with disabilities. The CareerSource Florida center system expanded the range of local partners who provide supplemental services to maximize the success of people with disabilities in the workplace. (Page 105-106) Title II In 2013, VR introduced a strategic initiative to ensure accessibility of all agency components including programs, facilities, personnel and hiring practices, online resources, internal and external communications, and technology systems. Strategies are now built into VR operational procedures. Following ADA Title II requirements, FDOE Leasing staff conducts ADA inspections of all new or renewed VR office leases. VR offices inspected and found out of compliance have a 504 Plan which describes accessibility improvements planned for the facility. VR customers are included in this process when possible. VR employees in every area are required to complete ADA Coordinator certification training and ADA informational training. Hearing loops and other adaptive equipment and/or software is available in VR facilities. Specific applications were developed using custom JAWS script and workflow documentation to meet the needs of users. (Page 107) Title II Work with Florida’s one-stop career centers to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. FDBS works with the career centers to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients. • Work to ensure disability coordinators are cross trained on the processes of core partners. FDBS collaborates with the CareerSource Centers and shares information about its services and the referral process with the Disability Navigators at the CareerSource Centers. • Communicate, strategize and execute agreed upon methods of meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS participates in regularly scheduled conference calls and meetings. FDBS solicits feedback from core partners regarding contracts and policies. • Identify opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of individuals with disabilities. FDBS has an online application to increase accessibility to individuals who may qualify for services. (Page 271) Title II • Increase use of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. • Implement a comprehensive communications and outreach plan. • Increase the number of individuals with significant and most significant disabilities receiving services. • Increase outreach services to under-served and un-served population. • Work collaboratively with the one-stop career center to ensure centers meet accessibility needs of clients both in construction (universal design) and equipment. • Educate one-stop career centers on the importance of establishing centers in areas that are easily accessible to public transportation. (Page 293) Title II 2.1: Increase the provision of accessibility tools, awareness, and regular follow-up with consumers to ensure equality in educational experiences and vocational opportunities. FDBS will strengthen its relationship with the Lighthouses to ensure appropriate and client-specific assistive technology is consistent with the needs of all clients and is reflected in the IPE. FDBS monitors the contract and receives client feedback via satisfaction surveys. FDBS values collaboration between staff and consumers, and incorporates follow-up at all levels of the rehabilitation process. At each level, from applicant to closure of case, Rehabilitation Technicians and Specialists, Employment Placement Specialist, and CRP staff (as needed and appropriate) work as a team to remain in contact with the client. Communication between the client and staff throughout the process, strengthens the chance for a positive client outcome. (Page 304) Title II
Vets
USDOL implemented priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses, as required under the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) and as specified by the Veterans’ Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006. JVA calls for priority of service to be implemented by all “qualified job training programs,” defined as “any workforce preparation, development or delivery program or service directly funded, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor.” Since enactment of JVA in 2002, priority of service has been implemented under policy guidance issued by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The purpose of these regulations is to further articulate how priority of service is to be applied across all new and existing qualified job training programs. (Page 103) Title I Florida’s Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) refocusing is a partnership between DEO and the U.S. Department of Labor/Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) established to meet the employment needs of veterans and eligible customers who contact local career centers throughout the state. Frontline/WP/WIOA staff focus on providing core services and initial assessment to veterans seeking employment assistance (majority of veterans will be served by frontline/WP/WIOA staff). DVOP specialists only provide intensive services to veterans with identified SBE(s). DVOP specialists determine potential SBE population using ETA 9173, which is a quarterly report and the ETA 9169, which is an annual report. Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) staff conduct employer outreach and job development in local communities on behalf of all veterans served through local career centers, including working directly with the DVOPs with case managed veterans with SBE(s). (Page 105) Title I
Mental Health

~~• Continue efforts to ensure partners recognize and support VR’s role as the primary employment agency for all individuals with disabilities, including those with most significant disabilities. VR works closely as a member of the Statewide Employment First Interagency Committee, including the Department of Economic Opportunity, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Blind Services, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Service, Department of Children and Families - Mental Health, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Florida Developmental Disability Council and CareerSource Florida. This promotes the coordination and collaboration of services on a statewide basis.
• Maximize the quality of supported employment service delivery, ensuring a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, information collection and dissemination, confidentiality and technical assistance. (Page 68) Title I

• Expand the Youth Peer Mentoring pilot to all VR areas.
• Provide Career Counseling / Information and Referral (CCIR) services to individuals participating in subminimum wage employment. Due to the positive response to CCIR services, VR is developing an orientation and follow-up process for CCIR service recipients who expressed interest in VR services.
• Assist customers in making informed choices about employment providers through use of the Services Provider Choice Directory.
• Implement additional mental health training for counselors and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
• Continue to increase provider capacity for Discovery, Customized Employment and CBTAC services.
• Implement additional Project SEARCH sites, with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
• Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
• Strengthen data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
• Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients to promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 94) Title I

Mental Health Program, Florida Department of Children and Families
VR coordinates with the state mental health authority to assist customers who have mental illnesses. One of these is participation on the Florida Assertive Community Treatment Team, a community-based, outreach-oriented method of delivering services to individuals with mental illnesses coordinated by the Mental Health Program. VR provides staff liaisons with many of these teams to help serve this group of customers in a comprehensive manner. In addition, VR is an active member of the State Mental Health Planning Council of Florida. The cooperative agreement promotes coordination so that appropriate services can be delivered to maximize customer choice and satisfaction. This agreement is currently being updated to ensure compliance with new WIOA regulations. (Page 175) Title II

Local education agencies work collaboratively with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services in the Transition Individual Educational Plan process. Local education agencies that are considering transition services during the Individual Educational Plan meeting will invite representatives from any other agency who may be responsible for providing or paying for transition services, after obtaining permission from the parent, guardian, or age-of-majority student. If the agency representative does not attend the meeting, the school will do its best to get someone else to come. If the agency representative will not attend the meeting, the school will then look for alternative ways to provide for the student’s transition needs. The local education agency must reconvene the Transition Individual Educational Plan team to identify alternative strategies for providing a student’s transition needs if an agency fails to do so. (Page 181) Title II

Mental Health Services, in partnership with families and the community, provides a system of care that enables children and adults with mental health or emotional disabilities to live successfully in the community, become self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and realize their full potential. Mental health support and services enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 182) Title II

Financial Responsibilities
The Department of Education, VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services are committed to meeting financial responsibilities as required by law. Agency/Division heads for the organizations will periodically identify areas for improved programmatic and financial efficiencies and develop strategies to meet financial responsibilities, including joint appropriations requests from the state legislature and negotiations with federal agencies. Each party is financially responsible for the services it provides under its own laws and rules. (Page 182) Title II

VR is currently in the process of developing and implementing an updated Memorandum of Agreement with APD and the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) the state agency responsible for administering the State Medicaid Plan.
VR continues to be an active partner with other state agencies and organizations in implementing Employment First, a national effort to assure individuals with disabilities are offered employment as the first and preferred option 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 185) Title II

Six broad-based objectives govern the Employment First Interagency Agreement. VR works closely with the partners to continue to make progress on these objectives.
Continue to develop and enhance Supported Employment for persons with the most significant disabilities. The state system for the provision of Supported Employment reflects: (a) mutually agreeable definitions of the services to be provided; (b) administrative responsibility of the intensive component of Supported Employment services to eligible individuals as the primary responsibility of VR for individuals with the most significant disabilities; and (c) administrative responsibility of the extended services component as the primary responsibility of other stakeholders, including APD and the Department of Children and Families, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program. (Page 185) Title II

Supported Employment Services
VR is responsible for the first phase of Supported Employment services. VR provides intensive vocational services until the individual and employer are satisfied with the Supported Employment placement, and then the individual transitions to a plan for extended services. Supported Employment services consist of intensive, time-limited vocational rehabilitation services (the responsibility of VR) and extended services, also known as the second phase. Funding for the second phase of services is provided by other sources that may include, but are not limited to, APD, the Department of Children and Families’ Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program, natural supports or other identified funding sources. (Page 186) Title II

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 mental illness. Part of this collaborative work is conducted through a formalized Employment First agreement, while other coordination occurs during a customer’s transition from the initial and intense Phase of Supported Employment to the ongoing and extended service phase of Supported Employment services. (Page 190) Title II

Results of the CSNA public survey indicated the following groups as having limited access to VR services.
• Individuals living in rural areas (58.86%)
• Individuals with a criminal background (48.57%)
• Individuals on waiting list (43.95%)
• Individuals with a mental health disability (43.57%)
• Individuals with an intellectual disability (43.42%)
VR continues to assess its services to individuals with the most significant disabilities and individuals who may be unserved or underserved, as well as those with the most significant disabilities who may be from minority populations. (Page 206-207) Title II

• Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
• 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 230) Title IV

Key administrators from VR and FDBS held monthly meetings to revise and update the Memorandum of Agreement, develop strategies, discuss training needs, create informational guides needed by both agencies for this population, and provide case consultation. Additional VR strategies and activities to increase equal access to individuals requesting services are as follows:
• Develop a comprehensive safety plan for monitoring VR facilities statewide. Specific components include a process for reporting defective/unsafe working conditions, safety and facilities management training for area staff, a move manual, a statewide safety manual, statewide first aid information, furniture inspection instructions, and a facility security/building access policy at HQ.
• Continue to use interpreters and translators and VR’s online resources as well as the websites of other partners and stakeholders (where permitted) to reach underserved populations and increase communication with customers.
• Offer reasonable accommodations to give equal access to services, and make sure materials and other program information are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole for various agencies, employers, churches, community leaders, health clinics, and other settings.
• Continue to assign counselors and consultants to serve specialized populations, such as the deaf and hard-of-hearing, transition students, mental health customers, and brain and spinal cord injury customers.
• Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other One-stop system partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with the intent to include universal design as a separate component of the One-stop career center certification process. (Page 231) Title IV

VR and FDBS assist student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; (Page 258) Title IV

The FDBS works closely with VR to track the number and type of graduate students that are enrolled in state universities offering rehabilitation counseling degrees. This information is maintained by the Program Administrator. A $2,000 incentive is added to the salary of all counselors and supervisors who hold or receive a CRC during their tenure. The following state universities offer a graduate counseling degree that fulfills the educational requirements for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification with a minimum of other required classes. • Institution: Florida International University Type of Program: Master of Science in Counselor Education - Rehabilitation Counseling Track (MS) • Institution: University of South Florida Type of Program: Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (MA)
Program Data for Institutions of Higher Education
The following information is derived from Florida institutions of higher education that prepare vocational rehabilitation professionals. The information is categorized by institution and type of program. (Page 277) Title IV

Prior needs assessments did not identify pre-employment transition services; however, this population’s needs will be identified in future planning.
FDBS has an interagency agreement that serves as a transition services model for improved collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation among local education agencies and local offices of VR, FDBS, APD, Department of Children and Families, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services.
FDBS has a cooperative agreement with the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Public Schools to coordinate activities for students who are blind and visually impaired. This is accomplished through the preparation and implementation of guidelines, policies, rules, and regulations that affect the interests of students with visual impairments through joint planning committees and publications, as appropriate. (Page 287) Title IV
 

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)
No disability-specific information found regarding this element.
Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 11 - 20 of 66

Secondary Transition - 07/01/2018

~~“The term “transition services” or “transition planning” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:•Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment); continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation•Is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests•Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.” 

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

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - Needs Assessment and Evaluation - 03/06/2018

~~“Needs Assessment and EvaluationA biannual training needs assessment is conducted using information from several sources. These include a formal needs assessment instrument, performance evaluation data, training evaluation sheets obtained from every sponsored program, exit interviews and supervisory input. The needs assessment data determines program development and modification.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - VR Transition Youth program - 03/06/2018

~~      “The VR Transition Youth program administrator serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. The program administrator works closely with the regional representatives of Project 10: The Transition Education Network, which is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services within the Florida Department of Education to the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Project 10 helps Florida school districts and stakeholders increase their ability to provide secondary transition services to students with disabilities and improve student academic success and postsecondary outcomes. Project 10 helps educators, parents, students, agency representatives and other stakeholders by providing capacity building to implement secondary transition services, interagency collaboration, transition legislation and policy and student development and outcomes. VR counselors serving transition students participate in each area’s local interagency councils. Interagency councils are a collaborative effort between VR and Department of Education partners, public high schools, adult service agencies, workforce programs, parents, students, advocates  and employers cooperating to meet the transition needs of students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Two Year Modification - 03/06/2018

~~“Promoting integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities under the Employment First Florida initiative. FDBS provides training and education on integrated employment to staff and community providers.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

Secondary Student Progression: 2017-2018 Frequently Asked Questions - 11/05/2017

~~“What are the graduation requirements for students with disabilities?Most students with disabilities take the same courses and assessments as other students to earn a standard diploma.  The following options are only for students with disabilities and require the 24 credits listed on the table on page 6.• Students with significant cognitive disabilities may earn credits via access courses and be assessed on a Florida Standards Alternate Assessment.• Students may earn at least 0.5 credit via paid employment” 

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

Exceptional Employers Honored by State - 10/04/2017

~~“Ten businesses that hire people with disabilities were recognized by the state of Florida today for being exceptional employers of people with special abilities. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with unique abilities. The 12th annual celebration was held at Tallahassee City Hall as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation presented the Exceptional Employer Awards to companies that have made a strong commitment to employing people with special abilities.  Event sponsors were the Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

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

“Showing Your Abilities” - 10/01/2017

~~Employment for individuals with disabilities is the focus in October when we celebrate Disability Employment Awareness Month.

A top priority for the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is helping people with developmental disabilities find meaningful jobs. Many other state agencies and partners are actively supporting the mission of employing people with disabilities.

The state of Florida supports businesses that recognize and are committed to hiring individuals with special abilities. Make plans to attend Florida’s Exceptional Employer Awards event on October 4 at Tallahassee City Hall, 300 South Adams Street, to recognize 10 companies from around the state who excel in employing people with special abilities. The 12th Annual Awards event begins at 8:30 a.m. I hope you will be there to celebrate and learn more about hiring capable employees with special abilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group - 08/05/2017

~~“A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities. The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. Meetings are held online and by phone”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of Rehabilitation Facilities “Membership Value Statement 2017” - 07/20/2017

~~“Florida ARF is a statewide, professional association that provides advocacy, information, and networking services for community agencies serving individuals with disabilities……Represented Florida ARF member interests on multiple state committees and workgroups such as DD Waitlist, the Governor’s Employment First Initiative and APD workgroups”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Florida Statues 413.80 Employment First Act - 12/18/2017

~~“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. This 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 Education
  • Other

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 11 - 20 of 24

Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit - 07/10/2017

~~“The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit (EFCT) provides a guide for all employment service professionals from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them.  Directors and managers may refer to the EFCT Toolkit both as a resource for planning overall training for agency staff as a whole as well as for identifying the specific training needs for individual staff.  Evaluating training needs on an individual basis allows customization of staff training to meet the specific needs of each particular staff member – a far more effective strategy for addressing ongoing professional development needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Employment First Florida - 06/09/2017

~~“People with disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), want to work in their community. The purpose of this website is to provide information about what the state of Florida is doing to make it easier for people with disabilities to work. Explore the other pages on this website to learn more about how the state of Florida is helping people find good jobs in their communities!This website can help you learn about:

    What is Employment First    Grassroots Group Meetings    Helpful Information for Job Seekers    Agencies and Providers who are Making a Difference    Stories about People with Disabilities Working in the Community”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 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 g