Minnesota

States - Big Screen

Individuals with disabilities should reach for the stars and pursue their dreams when it comes to exploring their employment options in the North Star State of Minnesota!

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 VR Rates and Services

2016 State Population.
0.55%
Change from
2015 to 2016
5,519,952
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.54%
Change from
2015 to 2016
302,274
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.64%
Change from
2015 to 2016
145,080
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
1.13%
Change from
2015 to 2016
48.00%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.1%
Change from
2015 to 2016
83.84%

General

2014 2015 2016
Population. 5,457,173 5,489,594 5,519,952
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 289,747 297,630 302,274
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 128,605 141,257 145,080
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 2,554,187 2,579,011 2,576,753
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 44.39% 47.46% 48.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 82.92% 83.76% 83.84%
Overall unemployment rate. 4.10% 3.70% 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.70% 18.70% 18.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.30% 9.10% 8.80%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 296,122 301,474 302,266
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 284,372 292,201 299,748
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 492,667 504,772 511,971
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 39,685 40,578 41,420
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 18,822 23,355 21,628
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 7,882 8,407 9,376
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 18,857 17,516 17,435
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 16,029 16,352 14,097
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 6,116 5,989 7,621

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,886 11,116 10,997
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 12.70% 12.90% 12.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 127,364 126,390 124,537

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 42,731 57,440 65,452
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 49,743 62,807 71,415
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 126,754 153,766 182,808
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 33.70% 37.40% 35.80%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.40% 0.80% 1.10%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.40% 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 2.10% 2.10% 2.10%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 338 785 1,007
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 497 403 459
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,984 2,009 1,935
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 12,112 10,941 11,058
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.06

 

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. 46 2 55
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 31 1 43
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. 67.00% 50.00% 78.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.57 0.02 0.78

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
5,018
5,196
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 9 11 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 298 322 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 805 830 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,717 1,691 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 1,916 1,997 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 273 345 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.10% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 5,144 5,248 5,732
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 187,564 187,379 185,523
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 307 333 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $20,418,000 $16,861,000 $14,631,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $180,612,000 $188,505,000 $205,951,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $14,739,000 $13,929,000 $16,762,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $40,887,000 $87,990,000 $97,275,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 11.00% 9.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 5,609 7,960 8,015
Number of people served in facility based work. 11,906 13,075 13,050
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 1,882 1,869 2,181
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 53.70 52.80 40.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.12% 60.52% 60.45%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.14% 10.99% 10.08%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.24% 4.26% 4.15%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 89.38% 88.30% 88.40%
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). 23.39% 29.31% 24.86%
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). 66.63% 70.53% 69.25%
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). 80.67% 84.54% 86.78%
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). 43.24% 41.22% 44.39%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,448,836
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,880
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 33,646
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 162,155
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 195,801
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 159
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 201
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 360
AbilityOne wages (products). $284,324
AbilityOne wages (services). $1,837,245

 

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

2015 2016 2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 25 18 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 74 103 63
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1 1 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 102 122 63
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 10 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 386 388 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 24,611 16,014 8,512
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 9 9 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 25,016 16,411 8,512

 

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.

Customized Employment

3) provide technical assistance to non–integrated employment programs to design new business models that lead to competitive employment in the most integrated setting, and

4) provide information about effective employment strategies, such as supported and customized employment, that make competitive employment possible for individuals with complex and significant disabilities. (Page 254)

SSB has allocated approximately $41,000 in funds for FFY16 for youth with disabilities who required extended services. There are two supported employment youth populations within SSB: 

  • Those youth who were already determined by SSB or the Department of Education to be competitively employable in an integrated setting who will/may require extended services, and
  • Those youth where in the past, shelter workshops, enclaves, and other non-competitive, segregated settings would have been identified as possible options. For all youth who are already identified as supported employment candidates, a supported employment plan is required. The plan identifies the extended services required for that youth and who would be providing those extended services. Collaboration with extended service providers occurs, and a negotiation happens with who picks up the cost and when. With four years allowed for the VR agency to provide those extended services, this allows time for the families to get set up with waiver programs and natural supports. The extended services activities that are provided by SSB (and subsequently the extended service provider when it becomes available) under the supported employment plan include:
  • Customized employment, including job carving, employer negotiation
  • Social skills training
  • Job coaching
  • Development of natural supports on the job (Pages 319-320)
Blending/ Braiding Resources

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs: 

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.
  • Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%. 
  • Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program.

  • Implement the primary indicators of performance under section 116. (Page 312)
DEI/DRC

Minnesota learned that as a state, we were already doing a great deal around alignment and partnership. Minnesota has been recognized as a leader and early adaptor in career pathways, Minnesota FastTRAC program. This program brought together Adult Basic Education, workforce (WIA Adult, DSW, Youth, TAA), higher education (CTE, Perkins), and industry to develop curriculum and programming to move individuals to receive education attainment. Minnesota learned from experience that there was more to be done in order to reach and serve individuals with barriers. This work has expanded and evidenced through our DEI grant (serving individuals with disabilities), Pipeline project (serving youth and CTE students), incarcerated or recently released individuals, homeless, individuals exiting chemical dependency programs, and veterans faced with difficulty facing re-entry. (Page 42)

WorkForce Centers (WFCs) serve a significant number of people with disabilities beyond the customers served by VRS and SSB. The needs assessment indicated that notable progress has been made toward achieving universal design; almost 100 percent of survey respondents indicated they felt WFC resources were universally available. However, WFCs need to articulate and better disseminate information about their program access. VRS provides consultation to the WFCs’ Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) federal grant to serve youth in transition and adults. (Page 257)

Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies.
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide youth employment services to Teen Parents, 16 through 24 years of age, who are receiving Minnesota Family Investment (MFIP) benefits; and Youth ages 14 through 18, who are on the grant in the MFIP household. Thirteen Local Workforce Development Areas will participate projects that focus on work readiness, work experience, introduction to career pathways and preparation of youth for long–term employment. (Page 148) 

In 2012 a Next Generation Placement Design Team was developed, consisting of 18 key VRS and CRP leaders who engaged in a facilitated process to develop the ‘Next Generation’ of placement services for the benefit of job seekers and employers. The model was piloted in each region of the state (northern, metro, and southern) and at the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Units in St. Paul and St. Cloud. The model is currently being expanded statewide to all geographic areas of the state and all VR communities (VRS, community rehabilitation programs and limited use vendors). (Page 220)

VRS and CRPs in Minnesota continue to make a concerted effort to work in partnership to serve VR consumers. Placement 101, a foundational training program in job placement for new VRS and CRP placement staff is offered on a quarterly basis with an average of 18 participants in attendance. The training design team also developed a training program on Business Engagement; implementation is pending infrastructure enhancements that will enable the rehabilitation community to successfully meet the needs of businesses. Training on a VRS initiated pilot project “Next Generation Placement” concluded in 2015; the pilot is designed to implement and assess the effectiveness of an enhanced team approach to providing job placement services. (Page 233)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) – This program provides comprehensive services to prepare at–risk youth, ages 14 to 24, for the world of work, including: career exploration and planning, labor market information on in–demand occupations, work readiness skills, financial literacy training and quality work experience opportunities. MYP is available in all 87 counties; strong local partnerships are in place with oversight from local Workforce Development Boards/Youth Committees. The Outreach to Schools/Career Advisor component of MYP provides cost–effective strategies for delivering career and labor market information to in–school youth. MYP is a state–funded program. (Page 69)

The WIOA Young Adult Program serves at–risk youth, ages 16–24, who are not attending any school, and in–school youth, ages 14–21, who are low–income and at–risk. WIOA improves job and career options for youth through an integrated, job–driven workforce system that supports the development of strong regional economies. WIOA Youth program elements include: dropout recovery and prevention; paid and unpaid work experience; tutoring; occupational skills training; leadership development, mentoring; comprehensive guidance and counseling; financial literacy education; entrepreneurial skills training; tutoring; study skills training; entrepreneurial skills training; labor market information on in–demand industry sectors/occupations; alternative secondary school services; education offered with workforce preparation activities and training; support services and follow up. (Page 148)

  • Classroom presentation skills training based on the state’s Creative Job Search workshop will continue to be offered to all employees who facilitate workshops.
  • All Job Service employees have access to the Skill–soft online training platform. Training specific to each employee is documented in the employee’s Individual Development Plan.
  • Ongoing training in the areas of dealing with diverse populations, accessibility, safety, and financial literacy will continue to be offered to all employees. (Page 155)

*   SGA Project: the Institute on Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts – Boston has received RSA funding to demonstrate effective strategies to assist SSDI beneficiaries achieve income above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. Minnesota VRS is one of the demonstration sites. At time of enrollment, the SSDI beneficiary is assigned a counselor, placement specialist and financial specialist. Eligibility for services is presumed within three days and the Employment Plan is developed within 30 days of application. VRS has partnered with the DLL to provide financial counseling in VR offices. RSA funding was used to provide the benefits planners with financial literacy training so that in addition to benefits planning the financial specialists can provide assistance with improving credits scores, paying off credit card debt, and developing savings plans. It is hoped that the combination of rapid engagement and financial planning services will lead to better outcomes. Although the SGA Project does not receive any Medicaid funding, the financial specialist positions would not have been possible without the initial collaboration with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. (Page 223)

School to Work Transition

Overall, people felt the collaborative was very helpful for prioritizing what needs to be addressed first, Social Security benefits counseling, learning about community services, independent living skills, and learning advocacy skills.

The SRC and VRS have reviewed the notes of the discussion groups to help determine staff training needs. More emphasis needs to be placed on teaching self–advocacy skills. Several people mentioned they would have benefited from specific services but never asked for the services. People were appreciative of the team approach (VRS staff, IL staff and CRP staff co–located) but some people presumed everyone was employed by VRS. It is important that everyone is aware that VR provides choice of vendor and you don’t need to select the co–located staff. VRS needs to look at better ways to disengage when the person is successfully employed and does not need long–term supports. The information about post–employment services needs to be more inviting. (Page 205)

The SGA Project: The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts–Boston is conducting RSA funded research on best practices for assisting SSDI beneficiaries achieve employment above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The VR agencies in Minnesota and Kentucky are currently demonstrating this rapid engagement model where eligibility is determined within three days; within seven days transferable work skills are identified, labor market information is presented to the consumer, and benefits and financial planning services are started; and within 30 days the IPE and a Placement Plan are developed. A benefits analysis is completed within 8 weeks of application if needed. RSA demonstration grant funding is being used to provide SSDI beneficiaries’ access to a financial specialist to help the person know how income will impact federal and state benefits, and how work incentives and VR services can help improve credit scores and provide savings that can be used as a down–payment on a home or to purchase reliable transportation, etc. Minnesota hopes to demonstrate that rapid engagement and holistic services will lead to more placements at higher wages. (Page 208)

The Minnesota STAR (System of Technology to Achieve Results) Program: The STAR Program, a program within the Minnesota Department of Administration, is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. Vocational Rehabilitation often refers people to STAR for a device demonstration. This allows consumers to compare benefits and features of a particular device or category of devices. Once a decision on a device is made, the person can borrow the device for 30 days to make sure it meets the person’s needs before VR purchases the item. VR also maintains an agreement with STAR to provide VR assistive technology specialists with commonly used devices for use in doing assessments with consumers. (Page 209)

*   Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits. (Page 222)

Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor – Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 223)

Vocational Rehabilitation is showing continuous improvement in the number of participants from minority backgrounds. Individuals who are Black/African American represent 5.4% of the state population, 12.8% of the VR caseload, and 11.6% of VR’s successful closures. Individuals who are Hispanic/Latino represent 4.8% of the state population, 4.0% of the VR caseload, and 3.4% of VR’s successful closures. American Indians represent 1.0% of the state population, 2.5% of the VR caseload, and 1.2% of the successful closures. Asians represent 4.8% of the state population, 2.4% of the VR caseload, and 2.4% of the successful closures. Research suggests blacks and American Indians experience disability at a higher rate than other cultural/ethnic groups. VRS needs to continue active outreach to minorities to assure equal access to the benefits of VR services. (Page 236)

About 40 percent of VRS applicants receive SSA benefits. VRS was instrumental in establishing the Work Incentives Connection, a program of Goodwill Industries that provides work incentives planning and assistance for consumers and work incentives training for VRS staff. (Page 256)

Minnesota has been selected by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts – Boston as a demonstration site for the RSA funded demonstration grant to improve employment outcomes for VR customers who are SSDI beneficiaries (“The SGA Project”). Minnesota VRS is working closely with the ICI to promote rehabilitation counseling techniques that promote consumer engagement, provide early access to financial planning and benefits planning services, and provides early job development activities. Goals include presuming eligibility within 3 days, holding a meeting with the consumer to start benefits planning and to discuss Labor Market information within 7 days, and to implement the Employment Plan within 30 days.  (Page 256)

B1. All VRS managers, counselors and VR Technicians Seniors will have attended four informational sessions on Social Security work incentives and benefits planning by the end of FFY 2015. 

Progress to Date: All teams participated in training on Developing PASS Plans and a Disability Benefits 101 refresher. New employees participated in benefits planning training provided by local WIPA staff. An advanced course on benefits planning was also offered to all staff. VRS is one of the sites for the Institute for Community Inclusion’s SGA Project. (Page 259)

Medicaid will apply the payment to the consumer’s spenddown. Minnesota’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant was a joint project of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (VRS and SSB) and the State Council on Disability. 

Collaborative efforts started utilizing grant funding has been continued using state appropriations, including:

Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits.
Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor - Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 297)

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs:

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment. ? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring. 

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems. (Page 312)

There are 5 specific areas that SSB is targeting to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities. They are: 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Methods used will include:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Methods used will be include:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program. (Page 321)

Supported employment services promoting the integration of people with the most severe disabilities into employment in Minnesota have become increasingly available. The scope and quality of supported employment services have improved as more entities become aware of the benefits of ongoing employment supports for individuals with the most significant disabilities. However, the demand for supported employment exceeds the capacity of systems in Minnesota to provide the necessary extended ongoing employment supports. In addition to the goals for Title VI Part B described in Section N, SSB will continue to engage in capacity building and technical assistance efforts with other state agencies and community service providers. For example, SSB is working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services regarding the need for ongoing employment supports for individuals who are DeafBlind. SSB counselors have had some success working with county social workers to obtain waiver funding for those ongoing supports. (Page 332)

Eligibility An applicant for MFIP or for DWP must meet the eligibility requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes Sections 256J.01 through 256J.95 before receiving benefits and services. All requirements under Section 408 of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 are included in Minnesota law. Assistance is provided equitably to all program recipients in accordance with State and Federal law. Neither MFIP nor DWP requires basis of eligibility tests, such as the previous AFDC 100–hour rule requirement for two–parent families. The asset limit for both programs is $2,000 for applicants and $5,000 for participants. The trade–in value limit on the first licensed vehicle excluded in determining eligibility is $10,000. In addition, the combined loan value of all other vehicles must be less than or equal to $7,500. For MFIP and DWP, statewide payment standards are based on the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit. Persons convicted of a drug offense committed after July 1, 1997 may receive cash assistance subject to the conditions set forth in Minnesota Statutes 256J.26. (Page 431)

Career Pathways

* Way to Work Project: Also referred to as the Ohio model, VRS has placed vocational rehabilitation counselors in a sheltered workshop to assess consumer needs and develop strategies to move the employees from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. Dakota County, the Department of Human Services and VRS are studying effective ways to provide training, supports and benefits planning to assist people transition into the community. (Page 224)

With the greater emphasis on providing pre–employment transition services, VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community–based work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators, hired by the school district, that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is working collaboratively with these coordinators to create a structure for connecting them to employer relationships and job leads created/ identified by the regional placement partnerships and to revise and deliver the Placement 101 training in order to meet the unique needs of these school staff members. On the flip side, where there aren’t work–based learning coordinators available to students, VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

The Minnesota Department of Education, several local school districts, the Title 1 Youth programs and VRS is currently conducting this assessment to determine how to provide cost effective coordinated transition career services and pre–employment transition services. The pilot activities are described in the section on youth with disabilities. (Page 238)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237) 

students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 One case, this has led to a vendor/SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

FOCUS AREA: SSB-A Great Place to Work

  • Increase the numbers of individuals hired by SSB that reflect the customer base served by 3.
  1. Strategies:

? All SSB job postings have a preferred qualification of fluency in a second language. 

? All individuals meeting the required qualifications and are flagged as “special population” defined by Human Resources are granted an interview.

? SSB will participate in the Connect 700 Hour program for the State of Minnesota.

? All postings are sent to consumer groups for broad dissemination.

? SSB will hire at least 3 student workers who are blind, visually impaired, or DeafBlind.

  • Implement the accepted Assistive Technology workgroup recommendation by piloting CETT (Customer Evaluation of Technology and Training) by December 31, 2016. Implement strengths based meeting framework within the team model process by December 31, 2016. (Page 313)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

 

Work Incentives & Benefits

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Career Pathways – Beginning in 2014, Minnesota’s DEI project supports job–driven approaches in career pathway systems and programs to equip youth and adults with disabilities (including individuals with significant disabilities) with the skills, competencies, and credentials necessary to help them obtain in–demand jobs, increase earnings, and advance their careers. Three Local Workforce Development Areas operate career pathways in manufacturing, health care, and information technology sectors. Disability Resources Coordinators work to strengthen partnerships with Vocational Rehabilitation, disability agencies, and employers and modify career pathway education and employment for individual success. (Page 71)

129. Partnerships and Development of Career Pathways: The degree to which the eligible provider’s activities coordinate with other available education, training, and social service resources in the community, such as by establishing strong links with elementary schools and secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, institutions of higher education, local workforce development boards, one-stop centers, job training programs, and social service agencies, business, industry, labor organizations, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and intermediaries, for the development of career pathways. (Page 111)

1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies. (Page 148)

VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community. In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

DHS/DEED staff will continue to work with Mr. LaPlante and his staff to discuss potential SNAP E&T opportunities with each reservation utilizing FFP at the 75 percent rate. Tribal Reservations will be encouraged, with DHS/DEED assistance, to develop local programs designed to provide volunteer SNAP E&T services/activities to their members. As these programs develop, they will be added to this SNAP E&T Plan and submitted for approval to FNS. DEED is currently working with the Northwest Indian Occupational Industrialization Center (OIC) which was provided a Career Pathways grant to provide Career Pathways opportunities for Indians residing on or off the reservations. We hope to expand this project to other areas along with increasing Adult Basic Education (ABE) to better reach and serve this population. (Page 461)

Employer Engagement

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services: Memorandum of Understanding to enhance work opportunities for veterans with disabilities by sharing information, coordinating activities and offering complementary services.

Ticket to Work Employment Networks: VRS, State Services for the Blind and SSA co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks to provide staff training, updates on Ticket to Work procedural changes, and to promote Partnership Plus job retention services after VRS/SSB case closure. (Page 208)

The designated state unit maintains a close working relationship with the local Workforce Development Board’s Youth Programs, including the Youth Disability Employment Initiative. Two of the service providers have become Employment Networks so they can continue job retention services after WIOA services have ended. One of the providers is seeking CARF accreditation to become a community rehabilitation provider to better meet the needs of youth with disabilities. (Page 209)

People with disabilities are served in all components of the workforce development system, both as universal customers and in eligibility based programs. Ten percent of the universal customers self–report having a disability. However, when the system became an Employment Network under the SSA Ticket to work Program many people who had indicated they did not have a disability assigned their ticket, suggesting people prefer not to disclose a disability until there is a reason to.

A customer Job Seeker Satisfaction Survey indicated an overall satisfaction with services. The five resources customers found most helpful were developing job related skills (44%), learning job search skills (34%), resources to help in job search (28%), financial help and gas vouchers for job search (26%), and staff helpfulness (17%). Recommendations for improvement included providing more services directly in the Centers (32%), improving the quality of services (16%), increasing financial support (10%), and improving the staffing ratio (8%). It was noted services aren’t always consistent statewide. For example, not all Centers have special “zones” for youth and young adults with disabilities. (Page 237)

SSA, VRS and State Services for the Blind co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. In addition to providing in–service training, the meetings provide an opportunity to learn more about the services offered by each Employment Network to assist consumers make informed choices when selecting a vendor for employment services and/or on–going job retention services. The current focus of this group is to expand the use of Ticket to Work funding to provide ongoing job retention supports, and to promote the use of PASS Plans. (Page 256)

Progress to Date: All direct service staff have received training on the available funding streams for supported employment. Measuring the impact of this training has been difficult due to the complexity of the funding streams, and the fact that a person may access multiple funding streams to meet specific needs. VRS works closely with the SSA funded Employment Networks to encourage leveraging of Ticket to Work funding to provide on–going supports. In FFY 2015, Employment Networks received over $250,000 in SSA funding for post–VR job retention services. (Page 260)

SSA, VRS and SSB continue to co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. One result of this is more Employment Networks are providing Ticket–to–Work funded job retention (Partnership Plus) services following VRS intensive services. There are currently 188 consumers receiving Partnership Plus services. Ticket–to–Work funding is used to supplement Supported Employment funding or to provide continued job retention services beyond the 90 days VRS typically provides. Work incentives basic and advanced training for counselors was provided by work incentives specialists at the Work Incentives Connection.(Page 267)

 

511

No specific disability related information found

Mental Health

The ADA Site Selection Criteria and Access Standards – The standards were developed to assess the accessibility of potential WorkForce Center (WFC) locations and identify the building elements that are critical to program access. The standards address the obligation by all WFC partners under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOA). (Page 121-122)

Displaying 31 - 40 of 74

Minnesota HCBS Transition Plan - 11/03/2014

Minnesota has developed a Statewide Transition Plan to address new rules governing home and community-based services funded through Medical Assistance. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the new rules in January 2014. The rules outline the mandatory requirements for person-centered planning and home and community-based settings. In general, it is intended to give participants receiving home and community-based services increased choice and integration into the community. CMS requires each state to create a transition plan detailing how the state will come into compliance with the requirements by March 17, 2019.    This document offers the framework Minnesota will use to ensure compliance with the final Rule.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MN Employment First Policy - Olmstead Sub-Cabinet Approval - 10/01/2014

MN APSE announces the approval of an Employment First Policy by the MN Olmstead Sub-Cabinet on September 29, 2014. The approval of this policy is [a] culmination of years of collaboration, partnership, education, and dedication of a group … united around the idea that people with disabilities are just as valued and have the same rights as other citizens. The idea that employment should be the first option for working aged Minnesotans with disabilities was not always embraced, but today Minnesota stands on the doorstep of real and permanent change by making employment an option for all Minnesotans with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Employment First Policy - 09/29/2014

The Employment First Policy envisions a future where all people with disabilities can achieve competitive, integrated employment. Competitive employment means:

·         Full-time, part-time, or self-employment with and without supports

·         In the competitive labor force

·         On the payroll of a competitive business or industry

·         Pays at least minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by workers without a disability.

This policy increases options and choices for people with disabilities by aligning policies, funding practices and collaborative efforts among state agencies. This will help people who choose to work to enter an integrated, competitive workforce or become self-employed.

 

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

Minnesota Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment - 09/04/2014

This needs assessment is a report jointly developed under the direction of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), a unit of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota State Rehabilitation Council…

The project team examined needs across various populations, subgroups, and disabilities, using a large variety of sources spanning across providers, agencies, experts, advocates and consumers. In addition to the objective data and qualitative data about consumer needs, this needs assessment contains updates to the Literature Review.

VRS organized the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) into five categories (Transition Services, Employment Preparation, Employer Relationships, Long-Term Supports and Communication) representing areas of need consistently identified in previous needs assessments. In light of resource constraints and the results of CSNAs, it seemed wise to focus the needs assessment on the most pressing unresolved needs. The CSNA identified needs as either "Consistent and Documented" or "Potential and Emerging"

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

Minnesota Employment Learning Community - 09/01/2014

“The Minnesota Employment Learning Community is a group of people working to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. It started in September 2014 and is a joint effort between the Minnesota departments of Human Services, Employment and Economic Development and Education.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

MN Statute 16C.16: Designation of Procurements from Small Businesses - 04/01/2016

The commissioner of administration shall periodically designate businesses that are majority owned and operated by women, persons with a substantial physical disability, or specific minorities as targeted group businesses within purchasing categories as determined by the commissioner. A group may be targeted within a purchasing category if the commissioner determines there is a statistical disparity between the percentage of purchasing from businesses owned by group members and the representation of businesses owned by group members among all businesses in the state in the purchasing category.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota SF 1458 - ABLE Plan - 05/22/2015

A savings plan known as the Minnesota ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] plan is established. In establishing this plan, the legislature seeks to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and to provide secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

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

Minnesota Statute 268A.15: Extended Employment Program - 06/01/2011

The extended employment program shall have two categories of clients consisting of those with severe disabilities and those with severe impairment to employment. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe disabilities is to provide the ongoing services necessary to maintain and advance the employment of persons with severe disabilities. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe impairment to employment is to provide the ongoing support services necessary to secure, maintain, and advance in employment. Employment must encompass the broad range of employment choices available to all persons and promote an individual's self-sufficiency and financial independence.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

256B.0622 ASSERTIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT AND INTENSIVE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT SERVICES

“Subd. 7. Assertive community treatment service standards. (a) ACT teams must offer and have the capacity to directly provide the following services: (1) assertive engagement; (2) benefits and finance support; (3) co-occurring disorder treatment; (4) crisis assessment and intervention; (5) employment services;….. "Employment services" means assisting clients to work at jobs of their choosing. Services must follow the principles of the individual placement and support (IPS) employment model, including focusing on competitive employment; emphasizing individual client preferences and strengths; ensuring employment services are integrated with mental health services;…”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Statute 43A.09

The commissioner in cooperation with appointing authorities of all state agencies shall maintain an active recruiting program publicly conducted and designed to attract sufficient numbers of well-qualified people to meet the needs of the civil service, and to enhance the image and public esteem of state service employment. Special emphasis shall be given to recruitment of veterans and protected group members to assist state agencies in meeting affirmative action goals to achieve a balanced work force. 

Protected Groups:  females, persons with disabilities, and members of the following minorities: Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan native.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

“Connect 700” State Hiring Initiative - 10/13/2016

“Joined by community advocates and state hiring leaders, Governor Mark Dayton today announced the re-launch of the Connect 700 and the Supported Worker programs, two state hiring initiatives aimed at removing barriers and creating opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities. This effort supports Governor Dayton’s 2014 executive order directing state agencies to increase employment for people with disabilities to at least seven percent by August 2018.” ““State government should reflect all of the people it serves. They should include Minnesotans with disabilities,” said Governor Dayton. “These programs will provide employment opportunities for more of our citizens, and help to create a more inclusive Minnesota.” Connect 700 (formerly known as 700-Hour Program On-The-Job Demonstration and Appointment) will give Minnesotans with disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their ability through an on-the job trial work experience, lasting up to 700 hours. This gives hiring managers the ability to better match people with the best opportunities for success, based on their skills and abilities.”

Systems
  • Other

“Supported Worker Program” - 10/13/2016

“A second initiative, the Supported Worker program, offers people with disabilities integrated employment opportunities with up to 50 full time positions within various state agencies. These positions can be shared by up to three people with disabilities. State agencies that sponsor the positions will integrate employees into existing teams, and will provide job coaches as needed.”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 15-03 - 01/28/2015

Supporting Freedom of Choice and Opportunity to Live, Work, and Participate in the Most Inclusive Setting for Individuals with Disabilities through the Implementation of Minnesota's Olmstead Plan; Rescinding Executive Order 13-01   “A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting ofthe Commissioner, or Commissioner' s designees, ofthe following State agencies, shall implement         Minnesota' s Olmstead Plan: a) Department ofHuman Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transportation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education.”  
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
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 13-01 - 01/28/2013

A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting of the Commissioner, or Commissioner's designees, of the following State agencies, shall develop and implement a comprehensive Minnesota Olmstead Plan: (i) that uses measurable goals to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving services that best meet their individual needs and in the most integrated setting, and (ii) that is consistent and in accord with the U.S. Supreme Comi's decision in Olmstead v. L. C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999): a) Department of Human Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transpmiation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education. 
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
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 21 - 25 of 25

A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota

“The Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program (MEEP) was created during the 2016 Legislative session and replaces the Urban Initiative Loan Program (Chapter 189, Laws of Minnesota). The objective of the program is to fund loans to businesses throughout the state that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities; provide jobs for minority and/or low-income persons, create and strengthen minority business enterprises, and promote economic development in a low-income area.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Self-Employment

Secondary Transition, Minnesota Department of Education

“Secondary Transition Planning is the process of preparing students for life after high school and includes planning for postsecondary education or training, employment, and independent living. This page is a collection of resources and tools to help students, parents and educators plan for transition using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process to meet both federal and state requirements. Related links on this page include Minnesota Rule language regarding secondary transition evaluation, planning and services; Minnesota Statute language regarding Community Transition Interagency Committees; and resources for transitioning students and those who help them.”

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

MN Employment Policy Initiative (MEPI): Policy Briefs & Reports

This is a repository of policy briefs and reports from Minnesota’s Employment Policy Initiative. It covers a wide range of disabilities as well as school-to-work transition and other relevant topics for job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

MN DoE Policy Division Foundation Statement – 2015 Special Education Administration

Guiding principles are beliefs and behavioral norms that the division agrees to apply to its professional practice. The Special Education Policy Division guiding principles are to:   1. Provide leadership   We provide educational support and guidance to Minnesota’s broader educational communities.   2. Support whole-child thinking   Educational support is based on each child’s unique needs to prepare them for further education, employment, independent living, and community participation.   3. Collaborate with our partners   We collaborate with and value the contributions of our partners.   4. Model accountability   We promote and measure evidence-based outcomes that are meaningful to our communities
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan

“In January 2013, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order establishing a Sub-Cabinet to develop and implement a comprehensive plan supporting freedom of choice and opportunity for people with disabilities…The Sub-Cabinet evaluates policies, programs, statutes and regulations of state agencies against the standards set forth in the Olmstead decision to determine whether any should be revised or modified or require legislative action in an effort to improve the availability of community-based services for people with disabilities. The Sub-Cabinet seeks input from consumers, families of consumers, advocacy organizations, service providers and others”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Employment Policy Initiative

“MEPI works with numerous stakeholder partners to align policies, services and practices to increase competitive employment of people with disabilities and meet Minnesota’s workforce needs. MEPI also works in close collaboration with the Minnesota Employment Training and Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) to maximize the impact of employment policy and practice across Minnesota. APSE, in conjunction with Minnesota APSE, provides leadership for MEPI.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Services Innovation Grants - 05/05/2018

“The Minnesota Department of Human Services offers disability services innovation grants. These grants promote innovative ideas to improve outcomes for people with disabilities. Funded projects include new ways to help people with disabilities in Minnesota:

-Achieve integrated, competitive employment

-Live in the most integrated setting

-Connect with others in their communities

During state fiscal year 2018, approximately $2 million will be available. Applications are now closed for this round of grants. DHS anticipates it will award contracts to four to 10 qualified responders. The maximum award will be $500,000.

DHS is distributing the innovation grants in three parts:

-The large grants program

-The microgrant program

-The small grant program”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

“Six states receive nearly $15M in grants to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities” - 09/14/2016

“Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development $2,500,000” This is the seventh round of DEI funding. Since 2010, the department has awarded grants of more than $123 million through the initiative to 49 projects in 28 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. More information on the DEI is available here. DEI funds help refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful, and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers, training front-line AJC and partner staff, and increasing partnerships and collaboration across numerous systems critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 3) - 12/11/2013

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. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 5) - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration.  Round 3 will end in 2015.  Round 5 was awarded in 2014 and will end in 2017.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

“Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Upcoming workshop offers accessibility training and tools for members of disability community - 01/01/2018

“St. Paul, Minn. Three of the state’s leading disability advocacy organizations are joining forces to conduct a hands-on workshop to equip people with disabilities, advocates, and family members with tools, guidance, and a greater understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The workshop will help participants develop effective ways to address building access and compliance issues.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Family Invest Program - 04/04/2017

~~“Meeting your MFIP Employment Services training needsA training needs assessment survey is being developed to allow DHS to prioritize and make informed decisions about the resources and training offered to you. Keep your eye out for this opportunity!” 

Systems
  • Other

Free Training for Supported Eemployment Sservices Providers - 01/01/2017

~~“The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Moving Home Minnesota initiative will offer free web-based training to employment service providers who serve people with disabilities. This 12-week training will begin May 9 and train 25 people to deliver high-quality employment services to people with disabilities. DHS invites applications from employment specialists, job developers, job coaches and anyone who would like to add to their knowledge and skills to provide supported employment services.”

Systems
  • Other

Competitive Employment Capacity Building: Starting points to increase employment for people with disabilities - 06/01/2016

“The purpose of this document is to spark dialogue and support your local planning efforts to improve employment outcomes for the people you serve. In your efforts, consider these evidence based practices to develop your next steps:

1. Set/Affirm Expectations and Roles

2. Analyze and Use Data

3. Embed Benefits Planning and Education

4. Make Employment Part of the Plan

5. Develop and Increase Capacity for Employment Services and Supports

6. Build Early Work Experience for Youth

The best advice we heard is to jump in and start trying something; learn, build and adapt along the way.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

MNTAT - Customized Employment & Supported Employment Presentation - 06/11/2013

This Griffin-Hammis & Associates presentation compares and contrasts Customized Employment and Supported Employment IPS as models for aiding people with disabilities through the employment process. It focuses on the areas of compatibility between the two approaches.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation

The Minnesota Training & Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) - 04/01/2009

MNTAT will use a variety of formats and media to respond to constituents’ training and technical assistance needs throughout the state. The goal is to demonstrate and build flexible supports and strategies that will increase and improve the employment outcomes for Minnesotans with disabilities. Among the strategies MNTAT will employ include web-based training (webinars and webcasts); local and regional training events with the support of Minnesota APSE; and the presentation of an annual statewide disability employment conference. In addition, training and technical assistance will be provided in local communities through the establishment of local Community Action Teams (CATs) that will be used as a vehicle for training and technical assistance as well as examples of replicable employment practices that result in the flexible, customized employment of people with disabilities in their local communities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

MN Customized Employment Presentation

This presentation defines and explains Customized Employment through the use of different applications and case studies. It explains the need for, and potential of, customized employment, especially in the context of the job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Thaleaha McBee vs. Team Industries, Inc. - 01/16/2018

“In February 2015, McBee sought medical attention for severe pain in her hands, back, and neck, including numbness in her hands and arms. In March 2015, McBee’s doctor gave her a ten-pound lifting restriction due to disc narrowing, a bulged disc, and bone spurs in her vertebrae. On March 10, 2015, McBee informed her supervisors at Team of her lifting restriction, who then instructed her to discuss the restriction with human resources. McBee’s supervisors placed her on a machine that produced parts weighing less than ten pounds, and she finished her shift. The next day, McBee met with human resources to discuss possible accommodations. Team terminated McBee on March 12, 2015, due to concerns relating to her medical restriction.

[…]

D E C I S I O N

 The district court did not err in dismissing McBee’s MHRA and MWCA claims. Because McBee’s medical restrictions rendered her unqualified for her position with or without reasonable accommodation, her employment posed a serious threat of harm to herself and her coworkers, Team’s successful serious-threat defense precludes her reprisal claim, and she did not engage in conduct protected by the workers’ compensation act, we affirm.

 Affirmed."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.

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

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

Individuals with disabilities should reach for the stars and pursue their dreams when it comes to exploring their employment options in the North Star State of Minnesota!

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 VR Rates and Services

2016 State Population.
0.55%
Change from
2015 to 2016
5,519,952
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.54%
Change from
2015 to 2016
302,274
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.64%
Change from
2015 to 2016
145,080
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
1.13%
Change from
2015 to 2016
48.00%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.1%
Change from
2015 to 2016
83.84%

State Data

General

2014 2015 2016
Population. 5,457,173 5,489,594 5,519,952
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 289,747 297,630 302,274
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 128,605 141,257 145,080
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 2,554,187 2,579,011 2,576,753
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 44.39% 47.46% 48.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 82.92% 83.76% 83.84%
Overall unemployment rate. 4.10% 3.70% 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.70% 18.70% 18.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.30% 9.10% 8.80%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 296,122 301,474 302,266
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 284,372 292,201 299,748
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 492,667 504,772 511,971
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 39,685 40,578 41,420
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 18,822 23,355 21,628
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 7,882 8,407 9,376
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 18,857 17,516 17,435
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 16,029 16,352 14,097
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 6,116 5,989 7,621

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,886 11,116 10,997
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 12.70% 12.90% 12.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 127,364 126,390 124,537

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 42,731 57,440 65,452
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 49,743 62,807 71,415
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 126,754 153,766 182,808
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 33.70% 37.40% 35.80%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.40% 0.80% 1.10%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.40% 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 2.10% 2.10% 2.10%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 338 785 1,007
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 497 403 459
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,984 2,009 1,935
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 12,112 10,941 11,058
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.06

 

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. 46 2 55
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 31 1 43
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. 67.00% 50.00% 78.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.57 0.02 0.78

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
5,018
5,196
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 9 11 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 298 322 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 805 830 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,717 1,691 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 1,916 1,997 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 273 345 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.10% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 5,144 5,248 5,732
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 187,564 187,379 185,523
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 307 333 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $20,418,000 $16,861,000 $14,631,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $180,612,000 $188,505,000 $205,951,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $14,739,000 $13,929,000 $16,762,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $40,887,000 $87,990,000 $97,275,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 11.00% 9.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 5,609 7,960 8,015
Number of people served in facility based work. 11,906 13,075 13,050
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 1,882 1,869 2,181
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 53.70 52.80 40.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.12% 60.52% 60.45%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.14% 10.99% 10.08%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.24% 4.26% 4.15%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 89.38% 88.30% 88.40%
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). 23.39% 29.31% 24.86%
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). 66.63% 70.53% 69.25%
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). 80.67% 84.54% 86.78%
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). 43.24% 41.22% 44.39%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,448,836
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,880
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 33,646
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 162,155
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 195,801
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 159
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 201
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 360
AbilityOne wages (products). $284,324
AbilityOne wages (services). $1,837,245

 

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

2015 2016 2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 25 18 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 74 103 63
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1 1 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 102 122 63
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 10 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 386 388 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 24,611 16,014 8,512
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 9 9 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 25,016 16,411 8,512

 

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.

Customized Employment

3) provide technical assistance to non–integrated employment programs to design new business models that lead to competitive employment in the most integrated setting, and

4) provide information about effective employment strategies, such as supported and customized employment, that make competitive employment possible for individuals with complex and significant disabilities. (Page 254)

SSB has allocated approximately $41,000 in funds for FFY16 for youth with disabilities who required extended services. There are two supported employment youth populations within SSB: 

  • Those youth who were already determined by SSB or the Department of Education to be competitively employable in an integrated setting who will/may require extended services, and
  • Those youth where in the past, shelter workshops, enclaves, and other non-competitive, segregated settings would have been identified as possible options. For all youth who are already identified as supported employment candidates, a supported employment plan is required. The plan identifies the extended services required for that youth and who would be providing those extended services. Collaboration with extended service providers occurs, and a negotiation happens with who picks up the cost and when. With four years allowed for the VR agency to provide those extended services, this allows time for the families to get set up with waiver programs and natural supports. The extended services activities that are provided by SSB (and subsequently the extended service provider when it becomes available) under the supported employment plan include:
  • Customized employment, including job carving, employer negotiation
  • Social skills training
  • Job coaching
  • Development of natural supports on the job (Pages 319-320)
Blending/ Braiding Resources

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs: 

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.
  • Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%. 
  • Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program.

  • Implement the primary indicators of performance under section 116. (Page 312)
DEI/DRC

Minnesota learned that as a state, we were already doing a great deal around alignment and partnership. Minnesota has been recognized as a leader and early adaptor in career pathways, Minnesota FastTRAC program. This program brought together Adult Basic Education, workforce (WIA Adult, DSW, Youth, TAA), higher education (CTE, Perkins), and industry to develop curriculum and programming to move individuals to receive education attainment. Minnesota learned from experience that there was more to be done in order to reach and serve individuals with barriers. This work has expanded and evidenced through our DEI grant (serving individuals with disabilities), Pipeline project (serving youth and CTE students), incarcerated or recently released individuals, homeless, individuals exiting chemical dependency programs, and veterans faced with difficulty facing re-entry. (Page 42)

WorkForce Centers (WFCs) serve a significant number of people with disabilities beyond the customers served by VRS and SSB. The needs assessment indicated that notable progress has been made toward achieving universal design; almost 100 percent of survey respondents indicated they felt WFC resources were universally available. However, WFCs need to articulate and better disseminate information about their program access. VRS provides consultation to the WFCs’ Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) federal grant to serve youth in transition and adults. (Page 257)

Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies.
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide youth employment services to Teen Parents, 16 through 24 years of age, who are receiving Minnesota Family Investment (MFIP) benefits; and Youth ages 14 through 18, who are on the grant in the MFIP household. Thirteen Local Workforce Development Areas will participate projects that focus on work readiness, work experience, introduction to career pathways and preparation of youth for long–term employment. (Page 148) 

In 2012 a Next Generation Placement Design Team was developed, consisting of 18 key VRS and CRP leaders who engaged in a facilitated process to develop the ‘Next Generation’ of placement services for the benefit of job seekers and employers. The model was piloted in each region of the state (northern, metro, and southern) and at the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Units in St. Paul and St. Cloud. The model is currently being expanded statewide to all geographic areas of the state and all VR communities (VRS, community rehabilitation programs and limited use vendors). (Page 220)

VRS and CRPs in Minnesota continue to make a concerted effort to work in partnership to serve VR consumers. Placement 101, a foundational training program in job placement for new VRS and CRP placement staff is offered on a quarterly basis with an average of 18 participants in attendance. The training design team also developed a training program on Business Engagement; implementation is pending infrastructure enhancements that will enable the rehabilitation community to successfully meet the needs of businesses. Training on a VRS initiated pilot project “Next Generation Placement” concluded in 2015; the pilot is designed to implement and assess the effectiveness of an enhanced team approach to providing job placement services. (Page 233)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) – This program provides comprehensive services to prepare at–risk youth, ages 14 to 24, for the world of work, including: career exploration and planning, labor market information on in–demand occupations, work readiness skills, financial literacy training and quality work experience opportunities. MYP is available in all 87 counties; strong local partnerships are in place with oversight from local Workforce Development Boards/Youth Committees. The Outreach to Schools/Career Advisor component of MYP provides cost–effective strategies for delivering career and labor market information to in–school youth. MYP is a state–funded program. (Page 69)

The WIOA Young Adult Program serves at–risk youth, ages 16–24, who are not attending any school, and in–school youth, ages 14–21, who are low–income and at–risk. WIOA improves job and career options for youth through an integrated, job–driven workforce system that supports the development of strong regional economies. WIOA Youth program elements include: dropout recovery and prevention; paid and unpaid work experience; tutoring; occupational skills training; leadership development, mentoring; comprehensive guidance and counseling; financial literacy education; entrepreneurial skills training; tutoring; study skills training; entrepreneurial skills training; labor market information on in–demand industry sectors/occupations; alternative secondary school services; education offered with workforce preparation activities and training; support services and follow up. (Page 148)

  • Classroom presentation skills training based on the state’s Creative Job Search workshop will continue to be offered to all employees who facilitate workshops.
  • All Job Service employees have access to the Skill–soft online training platform. Training specific to each employee is documented in the employee’s Individual Development Plan.
  • Ongoing training in the areas of dealing with diverse populations, accessibility, safety, and financial literacy will continue to be offered to all employees. (Page 155)

*   SGA Project: the Institute on Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts – Boston has received RSA funding to demonstrate effective strategies to assist SSDI beneficiaries achieve income above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. Minnesota VRS is one of the demonstration sites. At time of enrollment, the SSDI beneficiary is assigned a counselor, placement specialist and financial specialist. Eligibility for services is presumed within three days and the Employment Plan is developed within 30 days of application. VRS has partnered with the DLL to provide financial counseling in VR offices. RSA funding was used to provide the benefits planners with financial literacy training so that in addition to benefits planning the financial specialists can provide assistance with improving credits scores, paying off credit card debt, and developing savings plans. It is hoped that the combination of rapid engagement and financial planning services will lead to better outcomes. Although the SGA Project does not receive any Medicaid funding, the financial specialist positions would not have been possible without the initial collaboration with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. (Page 223)

School to Work Transition

Overall, people felt the collaborative was very helpful for prioritizing what needs to be addressed first, Social Security benefits counseling, learning about community services, independent living skills, and learning advocacy skills.

The SRC and VRS have reviewed the notes of the discussion groups to help determine staff training needs. More emphasis needs to be placed on teaching self–advocacy skills. Several people mentioned they would have benefited from specific services but never asked for the services. People were appreciative of the team approach (VRS staff, IL staff and CRP staff co–located) but some people presumed everyone was employed by VRS. It is important that everyone is aware that VR provides choice of vendor and you don’t need to select the co–located staff. VRS needs to look at better ways to disengage when the person is successfully employed and does not need long–term supports. The information about post–employment services needs to be more inviting. (Page 205)

The SGA Project: The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts–Boston is conducting RSA funded research on best practices for assisting SSDI beneficiaries achieve employment above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The VR agencies in Minnesota and Kentucky are currently demonstrating this rapid engagement model where eligibility is determined within three days; within seven days transferable work skills are identified, labor market information is presented to the consumer, and benefits and financial planning services are started; and within 30 days the IPE and a Placement Plan are developed. A benefits analysis is completed within 8 weeks of application if needed. RSA demonstration grant funding is being used to provide SSDI beneficiaries’ access to a financial specialist to help the person know how income will impact federal and state benefits, and how work incentives and VR services can help improve credit scores and provide savings that can be used as a down–payment on a home or to purchase reliable transportation, etc. Minnesota hopes to demonstrate that rapid engagement and holistic services will lead to more placements at higher wages. (Page 208)

The Minnesota STAR (System of Technology to Achieve Results) Program: The STAR Program, a program within the Minnesota Department of Administration, is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. Vocational Rehabilitation often refers people to STAR for a device demonstration. This allows consumers to compare benefits and features of a particular device or category of devices. Once a decision on a device is made, the person can borrow the device for 30 days to make sure it meets the person’s needs before VR purchases the item. VR also maintains an agreement with STAR to provide VR assistive technology specialists with commonly used devices for use in doing assessments with consumers. (Page 209)

*   Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits. (Page 222)

Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor – Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 223)

Vocational Rehabilitation is showing continuous improvement in the number of participants from minority backgrounds. Individuals who are Black/African American represent 5.4% of the state population, 12.8% of the VR caseload, and 11.6% of VR’s successful closures. Individuals who are Hispanic/Latino represent 4.8% of the state population, 4.0% of the VR caseload, and 3.4% of VR’s successful closures. American Indians represent 1.0% of the state population, 2.5% of the VR caseload, and 1.2% of the successful closures. Asians represent 4.8% of the state population, 2.4% of the VR caseload, and 2.4% of the successful closures. Research suggests blacks and American Indians experience disability at a higher rate than other cultural/ethnic groups. VRS needs to continue active outreach to minorities to assure equal access to the benefits of VR services. (Page 236)

About 40 percent of VRS applicants receive SSA benefits. VRS was instrumental in establishing the Work Incentives Connection, a program of Goodwill Industries that provides work incentives planning and assistance for consumers and work incentives training for VRS staff. (Page 256)

Minnesota has been selected by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts – Boston as a demonstration site for the RSA funded demonstration grant to improve employment outcomes for VR customers who are SSDI beneficiaries (“The SGA Project”). Minnesota VRS is working closely with the ICI to promote rehabilitation counseling techniques that promote consumer engagement, provide early access to financial planning and benefits planning services, and provides early job development activities. Goals include presuming eligibility within 3 days, holding a meeting with the consumer to start benefits planning and to discuss Labor Market information within 7 days, and to implement the Employment Plan within 30 days.  (Page 256)

B1. All VRS managers, counselors and VR Technicians Seniors will have attended four informational sessions on Social Security work incentives and benefits planning by the end of FFY 2015. 

Progress to Date: All teams participated in training on Developing PASS Plans and a Disability Benefits 101 refresher. New employees participated in benefits planning training provided by local WIPA staff. An advanced course on benefits planning was also offered to all staff. VRS is one of the sites for the Institute for Community Inclusion’s SGA Project. (Page 259)

Medicaid will apply the payment to the consumer’s spenddown. Minnesota’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant was a joint project of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (VRS and SSB) and the State Council on Disability. 

Collaborative efforts started utilizing grant funding has been continued using state appropriations, including:

Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits.
Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor - Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 297)

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs:

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment. ? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring. 

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems. (Page 312)

There are 5 specific areas that SSB is targeting to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities. They are: 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Methods used will include:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Methods used will be include:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program. (Page 321)

Supported employment services promoting the integration of people with the most severe disabilities into employment in Minnesota have become increasingly available. The scope and quality of supported employment services have improved as more entities become aware of the benefits of ongoing employment supports for individuals with the most significant disabilities. However, the demand for supported employment exceeds the capacity of systems in Minnesota to provide the necessary extended ongoing employment supports. In addition to the goals for Title VI Part B described in Section N, SSB will continue to engage in capacity building and technical assistance efforts with other state agencies and community service providers. For example, SSB is working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services regarding the need for ongoing employment supports for individuals who are DeafBlind. SSB counselors have had some success working with county social workers to obtain waiver funding for those ongoing supports. (Page 332)

Eligibility An applicant for MFIP or for DWP must meet the eligibility requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes Sections 256J.01 through 256J.95 before receiving benefits and services. All requirements under Section 408 of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 are included in Minnesota law. Assistance is provided equitably to all program recipients in accordance with State and Federal law. Neither MFIP nor DWP requires basis of eligibility tests, such as the previous AFDC 100–hour rule requirement for two–parent families. The asset limit for both programs is $2,000 for applicants and $5,000 for participants. The trade–in value limit on the first licensed vehicle excluded in determining eligibility is $10,000. In addition, the combined loan value of all other vehicles must be less than or equal to $7,500. For MFIP and DWP, statewide payment standards are based on the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit. Persons convicted of a drug offense committed after July 1, 1997 may receive cash assistance subject to the conditions set forth in Minnesota Statutes 256J.26. (Page 431)

Career Pathways

* Way to Work Project: Also referred to as the Ohio model, VRS has placed vocational rehabilitation counselors in a sheltered workshop to assess consumer needs and develop strategies to move the employees from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. Dakota County, the Department of Human Services and VRS are studying effective ways to provide training, supports and benefits planning to assist people transition into the community. (Page 224)

With the greater emphasis on providing pre–employment transition services, VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community–based work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators, hired by the school district, that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is working collaboratively with these coordinators to create a structure for connecting them to employer relationships and job leads created/ identified by the regional placement partnerships and to revise and deliver the Placement 101 training in order to meet the unique needs of these school staff members. On the flip side, where there aren’t work–based learning coordinators available to students, VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

The Minnesota Department of Education, several local school districts, the Title 1 Youth programs and VRS is currently conducting this assessment to determine how to provide cost effective coordinated transition career services and pre–employment transition services. The pilot activities are described in the section on youth with disabilities. (Page 238)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237) 

students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 One case, this has led to a vendor/SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

FOCUS AREA: SSB-A Great Place to Work

  • Increase the numbers of individuals hired by SSB that reflect the customer base served by 3.
  1. Strategies:

? All SSB job postings have a preferred qualification of fluency in a second language. 

? All individuals meeting the required qualifications and are flagged as “special population” defined by Human Resources are granted an interview.

? SSB will participate in the Connect 700 Hour program for the State of Minnesota.

? All postings are sent to consumer groups for broad dissemination.

? SSB will hire at least 3 student workers who are blind, visually impaired, or DeafBlind.

  • Implement the accepted Assistive Technology workgroup recommendation by piloting CETT (Customer Evaluation of Technology and Training) by December 31, 2016. Implement strengths based meeting framework within the team model process by December 31, 2016. (Page 313)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

 

Work Incentives & Benefits

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Career Pathways – Beginning in 2014, Minnesota’s DEI project supports job–driven approaches in career pathway systems and programs to equip youth and adults with disabilities (including individuals with significant disabilities) with the skills, competencies, and credentials necessary to help them obtain in–demand jobs, increase earnings, and advance their careers. Three Local Workforce Development Areas operate career pathways in manufacturing, health care, and information technology sectors. Disability Resources Coordinators work to strengthen partnerships with Vocational Rehabilitation, disability agencies, and employers and modify career pathway education and employment for individual success. (Page 71)

129. Partnerships and Development of Career Pathways: The degree to which the eligible provider’s activities coordinate with other available education, training, and social service resources in the community, such as by establishing strong links with elementary schools and secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, institutions of higher education, local workforce development boards, one-stop centers, job training programs, and social service agencies, business, industry, labor organizations, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and intermediaries, for the development of career pathways. (Page 111)

1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies. (Page 148)

VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community. In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

DHS/DEED staff will continue to work with Mr. LaPlante and his staff to discuss potential SNAP E&T opportunities with each reservation utilizing FFP at the 75 percent rate. Tribal Reservations will be encouraged, with DHS/DEED assistance, to develop local programs designed to provide volunteer SNAP E&T services/activities to their members. As these programs develop, they will be added to this SNAP E&T Plan and submitted for approval to FNS. DEED is currently working with the Northwest Indian Occupational Industrialization Center (OIC) which was provided a Career Pathways grant to provide Career Pathways opportunities for Indians residing on or off the reservations. We hope to expand this project to other areas along with increasing Adult Basic Education (ABE) to better reach and serve this population. (Page 461)

Employer Engagement

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services: Memorandum of Understanding to enhance work opportunities for veterans with disabilities by sharing information, coordinating activities and offering complementary services.

Ticket to Work Employment Networks: VRS, State Services for the Blind and SSA co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks to provide staff training, updates on Ticket to Work procedural changes, and to promote Partnership Plus job retention services after VRS/SSB case closure. (Page 208)

The designated state unit maintains a close working relationship with the local Workforce Development Board’s Youth Programs, including the Youth Disability Employment Initiative. Two of the service providers have become Employment Networks so they can continue job retention services after WIOA services have ended. One of the providers is seeking CARF accreditation to become a community rehabilitation provider to better meet the needs of youth with disabilities. (Page 209)

People with disabilities are served in all components of the workforce development system, both as universal customers and in eligibility based programs. Ten percent of the universal customers self–report having a disability. However, when the system became an Employment Network under the SSA Ticket to work Program many people who had indicated they did not have a disability assigned their ticket, suggesting people prefer not to disclose a disability until there is a reason to.

A customer Job Seeker Satisfaction Survey indicated an overall satisfaction with services. The five resources customers found most helpful were developing job related skills (44%), learning job search skills (34%), resources to help in job search (28%), financial help and gas vouchers for job search (26%), and staff helpfulness (17%). Recommendations for improvement included providing more services directly in the Centers (32%), improving the quality of services (16%), increasing financial support (10%), and improving the staffing ratio (8%). It was noted services aren’t always consistent statewide. For example, not all Centers have special “zones” for youth and young adults with disabilities. (Page 237)

SSA, VRS and State Services for the Blind co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. In addition to providing in–service training, the meetings provide an opportunity to learn more about the services offered by each Employment Network to assist consumers make informed choices when selecting a vendor for employment services and/or on–going job retention services. The current focus of this group is to expand the use of Ticket to Work funding to provide ongoing job retention supports, and to promote the use of PASS Plans. (Page 256)

Progress to Date: All direct service staff have received training on the available funding streams for supported employment. Measuring the impact of this training has been difficult due to the complexity of the funding streams, and the fact that a person may access multiple funding streams to meet specific needs. VRS works closely with the SSA funded Employment Networks to encourage leveraging of Ticket to Work funding to provide on–going supports. In FFY 2015, Employment Networks received over $250,000 in SSA funding for post–VR job retention services. (Page 260)

SSA, VRS and SSB continue to co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. One result of this is more Employment Networks are providing Ticket–to–Work funded job retention (Partnership Plus) services following VRS intensive services. There are currently 188 consumers receiving Partnership Plus services. Ticket–to–Work funding is used to supplement Supported Employment funding or to provide continued job retention services beyond the 90 days VRS typically provides. Work incentives basic and advanced training for counselors was provided by work incentives specialists at the Work Incentives Connection.(Page 267)

 

511

No specific disability related information found

Mental Health

The ADA Site Selection Criteria and Access Standards – The standards were developed to assess the accessibility of potential WorkForce Center (WFC) locations and identify the building elements that are critical to program access. The standards address the obligation by all WFC partners under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOA). (Page 121-122)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 31 - 40 of 74

Minnesota HCBS Transition Plan - 11/03/2014

Minnesota has developed a Statewide Transition Plan to address new rules governing home and community-based services funded through Medical Assistance. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the new rules in January 2014. The rules outline the mandatory requirements for person-centered planning and home and community-based settings. In general, it is intended to give participants receiving home and community-based services increased choice and integration into the community. CMS requires each state to create a transition plan detailing how the state will come into compliance with the requirements by March 17, 2019.    This document offers the framework Minnesota will use to ensure compliance with the final Rule.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MN Employment First Policy - Olmstead Sub-Cabinet Approval - 10/01/2014

MN APSE announces the approval of an Employment First Policy by the MN Olmstead Sub-Cabinet on September 29, 2014. The approval of this policy is [a] culmination of years of collaboration, partnership, education, and dedication of a group … united around the idea that people with disabilities are just as valued and have the same rights as other citizens. The idea that employment should be the first option for working aged Minnesotans with disabilities was not always embraced, but today Minnesota stands on the doorstep of real and permanent change by making employment an option for all Minnesotans with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Employment First Policy - 09/29/2014

The Employment First Policy envisions a future where all people with disabilities can achieve competitive, integrated employment. Competitive employment means:

·         Full-time, part-time, or self-employment with and without supports

·         In the competitive labor force

·         On the payroll of a competitive business or industry

·         Pays at least minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by workers without a disability.

This policy increases options and choices for people with disabilities by aligning policies, funding practices and collaborative efforts among state agencies. This will help people who choose to work to enter an integrated, competitive workforce or become self-employed.

 

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

Minnesota Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment - 09/04/2014

This needs assessment is a report jointly developed under the direction of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), a unit of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota State Rehabilitation Council…

The project team examined needs across various populations, subgroups, and disabilities, using a large variety of sources spanning across providers, agencies, experts, advocates and consumers. In addition to the objective data and qualitative data about consumer needs, this needs assessment contains updates to the Literature Review.

VRS organized the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) into five categories (Transition Services, Employment Preparation, Employer Relationships, Long-Term Supports and Communication) representing areas of need consistently identified in previous needs assessments. In light of resource constraints and the results of CSNAs, it seemed wise to focus the needs assessment on the most pressing unresolved needs. The CSNA identified needs as either "Consistent and Documented" or "Potential and Emerging"

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

Minnesota Employment Learning Community - 09/01/2014

“The Minnesota Employment Learning Community is a group of people working to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. It started in September 2014 and is a joint effort between the Minnesota departments of Human Services, Employment and Economic Development and Education.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

MN Statute 16C.16: Designation of Procurements from Small Businesses - 04/01/2016

The commissioner of administration shall periodically designate businesses that are majority owned and operated by women, persons with a substantial physical disability, or specific minorities as targeted group businesses within purchasing categories as determined by the commissioner. A group may be targeted within a purchasing category if the commissioner determines there is a statistical disparity between the percentage of purchasing from businesses owned by group members and the representation of businesses owned by group members among all businesses in the state in the purchasing category.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota SF 1458 - ABLE Plan - 05/22/2015

A savings plan known as the Minnesota ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] plan is established. In establishing this plan, the legislature seeks to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and to provide secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

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

Minnesota Statute 268A.15: Extended Employment Program - 06/01/2011

The extended employment program shall have two categories of clients consisting of those with severe disabilities and those with severe impairment to employment. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe disabilities is to provide the ongoing services necessary to maintain and advance the employment of persons with severe disabilities. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe impairment to employment is to provide the ongoing support services necessary to secure, maintain, and advance in employment. Employment must encompass the broad range of employment choices available to all persons and promote an individual's self-sufficiency and financial independence.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

256B.0622 ASSERTIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT AND INTENSIVE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT SERVICES

“Subd. 7. Assertive community treatment service standards. (a) ACT teams must offer and have the capacity to directly provide the following services: (1) assertive engagement; (2) benefits and finance support; (3) co-occurring disorder treatment; (4) crisis assessment and intervention; (5) employment services;….. "Employment services" means assisting clients to work at jobs of their choosing. Services must follow the principles of the individual placement and support (IPS) employment model, including focusing on competitive employment; emphasizing individual client preferences and strengths; ensuring employment services are integrated with mental health services;…”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Statute 43A.09

The commissioner in cooperation with appointing authorities of all state agencies shall maintain an active recruiting program publicly conducted and designed to attract sufficient numbers of well-qualified people to meet the needs of the civil service, and to enhance the image and public esteem of state service employment. Special emphasis shall be given to recruitment of veterans and protected group members to assist state agencies in meeting affirmative action goals to achieve a balanced work force. 

Protected Groups:  females, persons with disabilities, and members of the following minorities: Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan native.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

“Connect 700” State Hiring Initiative - 10/13/2016

“Joined by community advocates and state hiring leaders, Governor Mark Dayton today announced the re-launch of the Connect 700 and the Supported Worker programs, two state hiring initiatives aimed at removing barriers and creating opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities. This effort supports Governor Dayton’s 2014 executive order directing state agencies to increase employment for people with disabilities to at least seven percent by August 2018.” ““State government should reflect all of the people it serves. They should include Minnesotans with disabilities,” said Governor Dayton. “These programs will provide employment opportunities for more of our citizens, and help to create a more inclusive Minnesota.” Connect 700 (formerly known as 700-Hour Program On-The-Job Demonstration and Appointment) will give Minnesotans with disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their ability through an on-the job trial work experience, lasting up to 700 hours. This gives hiring managers the ability to better match people with the best opportunities for success, based on their skills and abilities.”

Systems
  • Other

“Supported Worker Program” - 10/13/2016

“A second initiative, the Supported Worker program, offers people with disabilities integrated employment opportunities with up to 50 full time positions within various state agencies. These positions can be shared by up to three people with disabilities. State agencies that sponsor the positions will integrate employees into existing teams, and will provide job coaches as needed.”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 15-03 - 01/28/2015

Supporting Freedom of Choice and Opportunity to Live, Work, and Participate in the Most Inclusive Setting for Individuals with Disabilities through the Implementation of Minnesota's Olmstead Plan; Rescinding Executive Order 13-01   “A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting ofthe Commissioner, or Commissioner' s designees, ofthe following State agencies, shall implement         Minnesota' s Olmstead Plan: a) Department ofHuman Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transportation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education.”  
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
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 13-01 - 01/28/2013

A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting of the Commissioner, or Commissioner's designees, of the following State agencies, shall develop and implement a comprehensive Minnesota Olmstead Plan: (i) that uses measurable goals to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving services that best meet their individual needs and in the most integrated setting, and (ii) that is consistent and in accord with the U.S. Supreme Comi's decision in Olmstead v. L. C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999): a) Department of Human Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transpmiation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education. 
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
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 21 - 25 of 25

A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota

“The Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program (MEEP) was created during the 2016 Legislative session and replaces the Urban Initiative Loan Program (Chapter 189, Laws of Minnesota). The objective of the program is to fund loans to businesses throughout the state that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities; provide jobs for minority and/or low-income persons, create and strengthen minority business enterprises, and promote economic development in a low-income area.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Self-Employment

Secondary Transition, Minnesota Department of Education

“Secondary Transition Planning is the process of preparing students for life after high school and includes planning for postsecondary education or training, employment, and independent living. This page is a collection of resources and tools to help students, parents and educators plan for transition using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process to meet both federal and state requirements. Related links on this page include Minnesota Rule language regarding secondary transition evaluation, planning and services; Minnesota Statute language regarding Community Transition Interagency Committees; and resources for transitioning students and those who help them.”

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

MN Employment Policy Initiative (MEPI): Policy Briefs & Reports

This is a repository of policy briefs and reports from Minnesota’s Employment Policy Initiative. It covers a wide range of disabilities as well as school-to-work transition and other relevant topics for job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

MN DoE Policy Division Foundation Statement – 2015 Special Education Administration

Guiding principles are beliefs and behavioral norms that the division agrees to apply to its professional practice. The Special Education Policy Division guiding principles are to:   1. Provide leadership   We provide educational support and guidance to Minnesota’s broader educational communities.   2. Support whole-child thinking   Educational support is based on each child’s unique needs to prepare them for further education, employment, independent living, and community participation.   3. Collaborate with our partners   We collaborate with and value the contributions of our partners.   4. Model accountability   We promote and measure evidence-based outcomes that are meaningful to our communities
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan

“In January 2013, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order establishing a Sub-Cabinet to develop and implement a comprehensive plan supporting freedom of choice and opportunity for people with disabilities…The Sub-Cabinet evaluates policies, programs, statutes and regulations of state agencies against the standards set forth in the Olmstead decision to determine whether any should be revised or modified or require legislative action in an effort to improve the availability of community-based services for people with disabilities. The Sub-Cabinet seeks input from consumers, families of consumers, advocacy organizations, service providers and others”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Employment Policy Initiative

“MEPI works with numerous stakeholder partners to align policies, services and practices to increase competitive employment of people with disabilities and meet Minnesota’s workforce needs. MEPI also works in close collaboration with the Minnesota Employment Training and Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) to maximize the impact of employment policy and practice across Minnesota. APSE, in conjunction with Minnesota APSE, provides leadership for MEPI.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Services Innovation Grants - 05/05/2018

“The Minnesota Department of Human Services offers disability services innovation grants. These grants promote innovative ideas to improve outcomes for people with disabilities. Funded projects include new ways to help people with disabilities in Minnesota:

-Achieve integrated, competitive employment

-Live in the most integrated setting

-Connect with others in their communities

During state fiscal year 2018, approximately $2 million will be available. Applications are now closed for this round of grants. DHS anticipates it will award contracts to four to 10 qualified responders. The maximum award will be $500,000.

DHS is distributing the innovation grants in three parts:

-The large grants program

-The microgrant program

-The small grant program”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

“Six states receive nearly $15M in grants to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities” - 09/14/2016

“Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development $2,500,000” This is the seventh round of DEI funding. Since 2010, the department has awarded grants of more than $123 million through the initiative to 49 projects in 28 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. More information on the DEI is available here. DEI funds help refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful, and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers, training front-line AJC and partner staff, and increasing partnerships and collaboration across numerous systems critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 3) - 12/11/2013

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. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 5) - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration.  Round 3 will end in 2015.  Round 5 was awarded in 2014 and will end in 2017.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

“Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Upcoming workshop offers accessibility training and tools for members of disability community - 01/01/2018

“St. Paul, Minn. Three of the state’s leading disability advocacy organizations are joining forces to conduct a hands-on workshop to equip people with disabilities, advocates, and family members with tools, guidance, and a greater understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The workshop will help participants develop effective ways to address building access and compliance issues.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Family Invest Program - 04/04/2017

~~“Meeting your MFIP Employment Services training needsA training needs assessment survey is being developed to allow DHS to prioritize and make informed decisions about the resources and training offered to you. Keep your eye out for this opportunity!” 

Systems
  • Other

Free Training for Supported Eemployment Sservices Providers - 01/01/2017

~~“The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Moving Home Minnesota initiative will offer free web-based training to employment service providers who serve people with disabilities. This 12-week training will begin May 9 and train 25 people to deliver high-quality employment services to people with disabilities. DHS invites applications from employment specialists, job developers, job coaches and anyone who would like to add to their knowledge and skills to provide supported employment services.”

Systems
  • Other

Competitive Employment Capacity Building: Starting points to increase employment for people with disabilities - 06/01/2016

“The purpose of this document is to spark dialogue and support your local planning efforts to improve employment outcomes for the people you serve. In your efforts, consider these evidence based practices to develop your next steps:

1. Set/Affirm Expectations and Roles

2. Analyze and Use Data

3. Embed Benefits Planning and Education

4. Make Employment Part of the Plan

5. Develop and Increase Capacity for Employment Services and Supports

6. Build Early Work Experience for Youth

The best advice we heard is to jump in and start trying something; learn, build and adapt along the way.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

MNTAT - Customized Employment & Supported Employment Presentation - 06/11/2013

This Griffin-Hammis & Associates presentation compares and contrasts Customized Employment and Supported Employment IPS as models for aiding people with disabilities through the employment process. It focuses on the areas of compatibility between the two approaches.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation

The Minnesota Training & Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) - 04/01/2009

MNTAT will use a variety of formats and media to respond to constituents’ training and technical assistance needs throughout the state. The goal is to demonstrate and build flexible supports and strategies that will increase and improve the employment outcomes for Minnesotans with disabilities. Among the strategies MNTAT will employ include web-based training (webinars and webcasts); local and regional training events with the support of Minnesota APSE; and the presentation of an annual statewide disability employment conference. In addition, training and technical assistance will be provided in local communities through the establishment of local Community Action Teams (CATs) that will be used as a vehicle for training and technical assistance as well as examples of replicable employment practices that result in the flexible, customized employment of people with disabilities in their local communities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

MN Customized Employment Presentation

This presentation defines and explains Customized Employment through the use of different applications and case studies. It explains the need for, and potential of, customized employment, especially in the context of the job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Thaleaha McBee vs. Team Industries, Inc. - 01/16/2018

“In February 2015, McBee sought medical attention for severe pain in her hands, back, and neck, including numbness in her hands and arms. In March 2015, McBee’s doctor gave her a ten-pound lifting restriction due to disc narrowing, a bulged disc, and bone spurs in her vertebrae. On March 10, 2015, McBee informed her supervisors at Team of her lifting restriction, who then instructed her to discuss the restriction with human resources. McBee’s supervisors placed her on a machine that produced parts weighing less than ten pounds, and she finished her shift. The next day, McBee met with human resources to discuss possible accommodations. Team terminated McBee on March 12, 2015, due to concerns relating to her medical restriction.

[…]

D E C I S I O N

 The district court did not err in dismissing McBee’s MHRA and MWCA claims. Because McBee’s medical restrictions rendered her unqualified for her position with or without reasonable accommodation, her employment posed a serious threat of harm to herself and her coworkers, Team’s successful serious-threat defense precludes her reprisal claim, and she did not engage in conduct protected by the workers’ compensation act, we affirm.

 Affirmed."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.

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

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

Individuals with disabilities should reach for the stars and pursue their dreams when it comes to exploring their employment options in the North Star State of Minnesota!

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 VR Rates and Services

2016 State Population.
0.55%
Change from
2015 to 2016
5,519,952
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.54%
Change from
2015 to 2016
302,274
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.64%
Change from
2015 to 2016
145,080
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
1.13%
Change from
2015 to 2016
48.00%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.1%
Change from
2015 to 2016
83.84%

State Data

General

2014 2015 2016
Population. 5,457,173 5,489,594 5,519,952
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 289,747 297,630 302,274
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 128,605 141,257 145,080
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 2,554,187 2,579,011 2,576,753
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 44.39% 47.46% 48.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 82.92% 83.76% 83.84%
Overall unemployment rate. 4.10% 3.70% 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.70% 18.70% 18.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.30% 9.10% 8.80%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 296,122 301,474 302,266
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 284,372 292,201 299,748
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 492,667 504,772 511,971
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 39,685 40,578 41,420
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 18,822 23,355 21,628
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 7,882 8,407 9,376
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 18,857 17,516 17,435
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 16,029 16,352 14,097
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 6,116 5,989 7,621

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,886 11,116 10,997
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 12.70% 12.90% 12.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 127,364 126,390 124,537

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 42,731 57,440 65,452
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 49,743 62,807 71,415
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 126,754 153,766 182,808
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 33.70% 37.40% 35.80%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.40% 0.80% 1.10%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.40% 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 2.10% 2.10% 2.10%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 338 785 1,007
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 497 403 459
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,984 2,009 1,935
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 12,112 10,941 11,058
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.06

 

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. 46 2 55
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 31 1 43
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. 67.00% 50.00% 78.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.57 0.02 0.78

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
5,018
5,196
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 9 11 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 298 322 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 805 830 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,717 1,691 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 1,916 1,997 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 273 345 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.10% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 5,144 5,248 5,732
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 187,564 187,379 185,523
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 307 333 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $20,418,000 $16,861,000 $14,631,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $180,612,000 $188,505,000 $205,951,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $14,739,000 $13,929,000 $16,762,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $40,887,000 $87,990,000 $97,275,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 11.00% 9.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 5,609 7,960 8,015
Number of people served in facility based work. 11,906 13,075 13,050
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 1,882 1,869 2,181
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 53.70 52.80 40.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.12% 60.52% 60.45%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.14% 10.99% 10.08%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.24% 4.26% 4.15%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 89.38% 88.30% 88.40%
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). 23.39% 29.31% 24.86%
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). 66.63% 70.53% 69.25%
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). 80.67% 84.54% 86.78%
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). 43.24% 41.22% 44.39%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,448,836
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,880
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 33,646
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 162,155
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 195,801
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 159
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 201
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 360
AbilityOne wages (products). $284,324
AbilityOne wages (services). $1,837,245

 

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

2015 2016 2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 25 18 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 74 103 63
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1 1 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 102 122 63
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 10 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 386 388 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 24,611 16,014 8,512
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 9 9 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 25,016 16,411 8,512

 

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.

Customized Employment

3) provide technical assistance to non–integrated employment programs to design new business models that lead to competitive employment in the most integrated setting, and

4) provide information about effective employment strategies, such as supported and customized employment, that make competitive employment possible for individuals with complex and significant disabilities. (Page 254)

SSB has allocated approximately $41,000 in funds for FFY16 for youth with disabilities who required extended services. There are two supported employment youth populations within SSB: 

  • Those youth who were already determined by SSB or the Department of Education to be competitively employable in an integrated setting who will/may require extended services, and
  • Those youth where in the past, shelter workshops, enclaves, and other non-competitive, segregated settings would have been identified as possible options. For all youth who are already identified as supported employment candidates, a supported employment plan is required. The plan identifies the extended services required for that youth and who would be providing those extended services. Collaboration with extended service providers occurs, and a negotiation happens with who picks up the cost and when. With four years allowed for the VR agency to provide those extended services, this allows time for the families to get set up with waiver programs and natural supports. The extended services activities that are provided by SSB (and subsequently the extended service provider when it becomes available) under the supported employment plan include:
  • Customized employment, including job carving, employer negotiation
  • Social skills training
  • Job coaching
  • Development of natural supports on the job (Pages 319-320)
Blending/ Braiding Resources

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs: 

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.
  • Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%. 
  • Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program.

  • Implement the primary indicators of performance under section 116. (Page 312)
DEI/DRC

Minnesota learned that as a state, we were already doing a great deal around alignment and partnership. Minnesota has been recognized as a leader and early adaptor in career pathways, Minnesota FastTRAC program. This program brought together Adult Basic Education, workforce (WIA Adult, DSW, Youth, TAA), higher education (CTE, Perkins), and industry to develop curriculum and programming to move individuals to receive education attainment. Minnesota learned from experience that there was more to be done in order to reach and serve individuals with barriers. This work has expanded and evidenced through our DEI grant (serving individuals with disabilities), Pipeline project (serving youth and CTE students), incarcerated or recently released individuals, homeless, individuals exiting chemical dependency programs, and veterans faced with difficulty facing re-entry. (Page 42)

WorkForce Centers (WFCs) serve a significant number of people with disabilities beyond the customers served by VRS and SSB. The needs assessment indicated that notable progress has been made toward achieving universal design; almost 100 percent of survey respondents indicated they felt WFC resources were universally available. However, WFCs need to articulate and better disseminate information about their program access. VRS provides consultation to the WFCs’ Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) federal grant to serve youth in transition and adults. (Page 257)

Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies.
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide youth employment services to Teen Parents, 16 through 24 years of age, who are receiving Minnesota Family Investment (MFIP) benefits; and Youth ages 14 through 18, who are on the grant in the MFIP household. Thirteen Local Workforce Development Areas will participate projects that focus on work readiness, work experience, introduction to career pathways and preparation of youth for long–term employment. (Page 148) 

In 2012 a Next Generation Placement Design Team was developed, consisting of 18 key VRS and CRP leaders who engaged in a facilitated process to develop the ‘Next Generation’ of placement services for the benefit of job seekers and employers. The model was piloted in each region of the state (northern, metro, and southern) and at the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Units in St. Paul and St. Cloud. The model is currently being expanded statewide to all geographic areas of the state and all VR communities (VRS, community rehabilitation programs and limited use vendors). (Page 220)

VRS and CRPs in Minnesota continue to make a concerted effort to work in partnership to serve VR consumers. Placement 101, a foundational training program in job placement for new VRS and CRP placement staff is offered on a quarterly basis with an average of 18 participants in attendance. The training design team also developed a training program on Business Engagement; implementation is pending infrastructure enhancements that will enable the rehabilitation community to successfully meet the needs of businesses. Training on a VRS initiated pilot project “Next Generation Placement” concluded in 2015; the pilot is designed to implement and assess the effectiveness of an enhanced team approach to providing job placement services. (Page 233)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) – This program provides comprehensive services to prepare at–risk youth, ages 14 to 24, for the world of work, including: career exploration and planning, labor market information on in–demand occupations, work readiness skills, financial literacy training and quality work experience opportunities. MYP is available in all 87 counties; strong local partnerships are in place with oversight from local Workforce Development Boards/Youth Committees. The Outreach to Schools/Career Advisor component of MYP provides cost–effective strategies for delivering career and labor market information to in–school youth. MYP is a state–funded program. (Page 69)

The WIOA Young Adult Program serves at–risk youth, ages 16–24, who are not attending any school, and in–school youth, ages 14–21, who are low–income and at–risk. WIOA improves job and career options for youth through an integrated, job–driven workforce system that supports the development of strong regional economies. WIOA Youth program elements include: dropout recovery and prevention; paid and unpaid work experience; tutoring; occupational skills training; leadership development, mentoring; comprehensive guidance and counseling; financial literacy education; entrepreneurial skills training; tutoring; study skills training; entrepreneurial skills training; labor market information on in–demand industry sectors/occupations; alternative secondary school services; education offered with workforce preparation activities and training; support services and follow up. (Page 148)

  • Classroom presentation skills training based on the state’s Creative Job Search workshop will continue to be offered to all employees who facilitate workshops.
  • All Job Service employees have access to the Skill–soft online training platform. Training specific to each employee is documented in the employee’s Individual Development Plan.
  • Ongoing training in the areas of dealing with diverse populations, accessibility, safety, and financial literacy will continue to be offered to all employees. (Page 155)

*   SGA Project: the Institute on Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts – Boston has received RSA funding to demonstrate effective strategies to assist SSDI beneficiaries achieve income above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. Minnesota VRS is one of the demonstration sites. At time of enrollment, the SSDI beneficiary is assigned a counselor, placement specialist and financial specialist. Eligibility for services is presumed within three days and the Employment Plan is developed within 30 days of application. VRS has partnered with the DLL to provide financial counseling in VR offices. RSA funding was used to provide the benefits planners with financial literacy training so that in addition to benefits planning the financial specialists can provide assistance with improving credits scores, paying off credit card debt, and developing savings plans. It is hoped that the combination of rapid engagement and financial planning services will lead to better outcomes. Although the SGA Project does not receive any Medicaid funding, the financial specialist positions would not have been possible without the initial collaboration with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. (Page 223)

School to Work Transition

Overall, people felt the collaborative was very helpful for prioritizing what needs to be addressed first, Social Security benefits counseling, learning about community services, independent living skills, and learning advocacy skills.

The SRC and VRS have reviewed the notes of the discussion groups to help determine staff training needs. More emphasis needs to be placed on teaching self–advocacy skills. Several people mentioned they would have benefited from specific services but never asked for the services. People were appreciative of the team approach (VRS staff, IL staff and CRP staff co–located) but some people presumed everyone was employed by VRS. It is important that everyone is aware that VR provides choice of vendor and you don’t need to select the co–located staff. VRS needs to look at better ways to disengage when the person is successfully employed and does not need long–term supports. The information about post–employment services needs to be more inviting. (Page 205)

The SGA Project: The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts–Boston is conducting RSA funded research on best practices for assisting SSDI beneficiaries achieve employment above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The VR agencies in Minnesota and Kentucky are currently demonstrating this rapid engagement model where eligibility is determined within three days; within seven days transferable work skills are identified, labor market information is presented to the consumer, and benefits and financial planning services are started; and within 30 days the IPE and a Placement Plan are developed. A benefits analysis is completed within 8 weeks of application if needed. RSA demonstration grant funding is being used to provide SSDI beneficiaries’ access to a financial specialist to help the person know how income will impact federal and state benefits, and how work incentives and VR services can help improve credit scores and provide savings that can be used as a down–payment on a home or to purchase reliable transportation, etc. Minnesota hopes to demonstrate that rapid engagement and holistic services will lead to more placements at higher wages. (Page 208)

The Minnesota STAR (System of Technology to Achieve Results) Program: The STAR Program, a program within the Minnesota Department of Administration, is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. Vocational Rehabilitation often refers people to STAR for a device demonstration. This allows consumers to compare benefits and features of a particular device or category of devices. Once a decision on a device is made, the person can borrow the device for 30 days to make sure it meets the person’s needs before VR purchases the item. VR also maintains an agreement with STAR to provide VR assistive technology specialists with commonly used devices for use in doing assessments with consumers. (Page 209)

*   Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits. (Page 222)

Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor – Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 223)

Vocational Rehabilitation is showing continuous improvement in the number of participants from minority backgrounds. Individuals who are Black/African American represent 5.4% of the state population, 12.8% of the VR caseload, and 11.6% of VR’s successful closures. Individuals who are Hispanic/Latino represent 4.8% of the state population, 4.0% of the VR caseload, and 3.4% of VR’s successful closures. American Indians represent 1.0% of the state population, 2.5% of the VR caseload, and 1.2% of the successful closures. Asians represent 4.8% of the state population, 2.4% of the VR caseload, and 2.4% of the successful closures. Research suggests blacks and American Indians experience disability at a higher rate than other cultural/ethnic groups. VRS needs to continue active outreach to minorities to assure equal access to the benefits of VR services. (Page 236)

About 40 percent of VRS applicants receive SSA benefits. VRS was instrumental in establishing the Work Incentives Connection, a program of Goodwill Industries that provides work incentives planning and assistance for consumers and work incentives training for VRS staff. (Page 256)

Minnesota has been selected by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts – Boston as a demonstration site for the RSA funded demonstration grant to improve employment outcomes for VR customers who are SSDI beneficiaries (“The SGA Project”). Minnesota VRS is working closely with the ICI to promote rehabilitation counseling techniques that promote consumer engagement, provide early access to financial planning and benefits planning services, and provides early job development activities. Goals include presuming eligibility within 3 days, holding a meeting with the consumer to start benefits planning and to discuss Labor Market information within 7 days, and to implement the Employment Plan within 30 days.  (Page 256)

B1. All VRS managers, counselors and VR Technicians Seniors will have attended four informational sessions on Social Security work incentives and benefits planning by the end of FFY 2015. 

Progress to Date: All teams participated in training on Developing PASS Plans and a Disability Benefits 101 refresher. New employees participated in benefits planning training provided by local WIPA staff. An advanced course on benefits planning was also offered to all staff. VRS is one of the sites for the Institute for Community Inclusion’s SGA Project. (Page 259)

Medicaid will apply the payment to the consumer’s spenddown. Minnesota’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant was a joint project of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (VRS and SSB) and the State Council on Disability. 

Collaborative efforts started utilizing grant funding has been continued using state appropriations, including:

Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits.
Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor - Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 297)

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs:

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment. ? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring. 

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems. (Page 312)

There are 5 specific areas that SSB is targeting to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities. They are: 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Methods used will include:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Methods used will be include:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program. (Page 321)

Supported employment services promoting the integration of people with the most severe disabilities into employment in Minnesota have become increasingly available. The scope and quality of supported employment services have improved as more entities become aware of the benefits of ongoing employment supports for individuals with the most significant disabilities. However, the demand for supported employment exceeds the capacity of systems in Minnesota to provide the necessary extended ongoing employment supports. In addition to the goals for Title VI Part B described in Section N, SSB will continue to engage in capacity building and technical assistance efforts with other state agencies and community service providers. For example, SSB is working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services regarding the need for ongoing employment supports for individuals who are DeafBlind. SSB counselors have had some success working with county social workers to obtain waiver funding for those ongoing supports. (Page 332)

Eligibility An applicant for MFIP or for DWP must meet the eligibility requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes Sections 256J.01 through 256J.95 before receiving benefits and services. All requirements under Section 408 of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 are included in Minnesota law. Assistance is provided equitably to all program recipients in accordance with State and Federal law. Neither MFIP nor DWP requires basis of eligibility tests, such as the previous AFDC 100–hour rule requirement for two–parent families. The asset limit for both programs is $2,000 for applicants and $5,000 for participants. The trade–in value limit on the first licensed vehicle excluded in determining eligibility is $10,000. In addition, the combined loan value of all other vehicles must be less than or equal to $7,500. For MFIP and DWP, statewide payment standards are based on the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit. Persons convicted of a drug offense committed after July 1, 1997 may receive cash assistance subject to the conditions set forth in Minnesota Statutes 256J.26. (Page 431)

Career Pathways

* Way to Work Project: Also referred to as the Ohio model, VRS has placed vocational rehabilitation counselors in a sheltered workshop to assess consumer needs and develop strategies to move the employees from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. Dakota County, the Department of Human Services and VRS are studying effective ways to provide training, supports and benefits planning to assist people transition into the community. (Page 224)

With the greater emphasis on providing pre–employment transition services, VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community–based work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators, hired by the school district, that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is working collaboratively with these coordinators to create a structure for connecting them to employer relationships and job leads created/ identified by the regional placement partnerships and to revise and deliver the Placement 101 training in order to meet the unique needs of these school staff members. On the flip side, where there aren’t work–based learning coordinators available to students, VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

The Minnesota Department of Education, several local school districts, the Title 1 Youth programs and VRS is currently conducting this assessment to determine how to provide cost effective coordinated transition career services and pre–employment transition services. The pilot activities are described in the section on youth with disabilities. (Page 238)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237) 

students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 One case, this has led to a vendor/SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

FOCUS AREA: SSB-A Great Place to Work

  • Increase the numbers of individuals hired by SSB that reflect the customer base served by 3.
  1. Strategies:

? All SSB job postings have a preferred qualification of fluency in a second language. 

? All individuals meeting the required qualifications and are flagged as “special population” defined by Human Resources are granted an interview.

? SSB will participate in the Connect 700 Hour program for the State of Minnesota.

? All postings are sent to consumer groups for broad dissemination.

? SSB will hire at least 3 student workers who are blind, visually impaired, or DeafBlind.

  • Implement the accepted Assistive Technology workgroup recommendation by piloting CETT (Customer Evaluation of Technology and Training) by December 31, 2016. Implement strengths based meeting framework within the team model process by December 31, 2016. (Page 313)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

 

Work Incentives & Benefits

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Career Pathways – Beginning in 2014, Minnesota’s DEI project supports job–driven approaches in career pathway systems and programs to equip youth and adults with disabilities (including individuals with significant disabilities) with the skills, competencies, and credentials necessary to help them obtain in–demand jobs, increase earnings, and advance their careers. Three Local Workforce Development Areas operate career pathways in manufacturing, health care, and information technology sectors. Disability Resources Coordinators work to strengthen partnerships with Vocational Rehabilitation, disability agencies, and employers and modify career pathway education and employment for individual success. (Page 71)

129. Partnerships and Development of Career Pathways: The degree to which the eligible provider’s activities coordinate with other available education, training, and social service resources in the community, such as by establishing strong links with elementary schools and secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, institutions of higher education, local workforce development boards, one-stop centers, job training programs, and social service agencies, business, industry, labor organizations, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and intermediaries, for the development of career pathways. (Page 111)

1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies. (Page 148)

VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community. In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

DHS/DEED staff will continue to work with Mr. LaPlante and his staff to discuss potential SNAP E&T opportunities with each reservation utilizing FFP at the 75 percent rate. Tribal Reservations will be encouraged, with DHS/DEED assistance, to develop local programs designed to provide volunteer SNAP E&T services/activities to their members. As these programs develop, they will be added to this SNAP E&T Plan and submitted for approval to FNS. DEED is currently working with the Northwest Indian Occupational Industrialization Center (OIC) which was provided a Career Pathways grant to provide Career Pathways opportunities for Indians residing on or off the reservations. We hope to expand this project to other areas along with increasing Adult Basic Education (ABE) to better reach and serve this population. (Page 461)

Employer Engagement

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services: Memorandum of Understanding to enhance work opportunities for veterans with disabilities by sharing information, coordinating activities and offering complementary services.

Ticket to Work Employment Networks: VRS, State Services for the Blind and SSA co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks to provide staff training, updates on Ticket to Work procedural changes, and to promote Partnership Plus job retention services after VRS/SSB case closure. (Page 208)

The designated state unit maintains a close working relationship with the local Workforce Development Board’s Youth Programs, including the Youth Disability Employment Initiative. Two of the service providers have become Employment Networks so they can continue job retention services after WIOA services have ended. One of the providers is seeking CARF accreditation to become a community rehabilitation provider to better meet the needs of youth with disabilities. (Page 209)

People with disabilities are served in all components of the workforce development system, both as universal customers and in eligibility based programs. Ten percent of the universal customers self–report having a disability. However, when the system became an Employment Network under the SSA Ticket to work Program many people who had indicated they did not have a disability assigned their ticket, suggesting people prefer not to disclose a disability until there is a reason to.

A customer Job Seeker Satisfaction Survey indicated an overall satisfaction with services. The five resources customers found most helpful were developing job related skills (44%), learning job search skills (34%), resources to help in job search (28%), financial help and gas vouchers for job search (26%), and staff helpfulness (17%). Recommendations for improvement included providing more services directly in the Centers (32%), improving the quality of services (16%), increasing financial support (10%), and improving the staffing ratio (8%). It was noted services aren’t always consistent statewide. For example, not all Centers have special “zones” for youth and young adults with disabilities. (Page 237)

SSA, VRS and State Services for the Blind co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. In addition to providing in–service training, the meetings provide an opportunity to learn more about the services offered by each Employment Network to assist consumers make informed choices when selecting a vendor for employment services and/or on–going job retention services. The current focus of this group is to expand the use of Ticket to Work funding to provide ongoing job retention supports, and to promote the use of PASS Plans. (Page 256)

Progress to Date: All direct service staff have received training on the available funding streams for supported employment. Measuring the impact of this training has been difficult due to the complexity of the funding streams, and the fact that a person may access multiple funding streams to meet specific needs. VRS works closely with the SSA funded Employment Networks to encourage leveraging of Ticket to Work funding to provide on–going supports. In FFY 2015, Employment Networks received over $250,000 in SSA funding for post–VR job retention services. (Page 260)

SSA, VRS and SSB continue to co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. One result of this is more Employment Networks are providing Ticket–to–Work funded job retention (Partnership Plus) services following VRS intensive services. There are currently 188 consumers receiving Partnership Plus services. Ticket–to–Work funding is used to supplement Supported Employment funding or to provide continued job retention services beyond the 90 days VRS typically provides. Work incentives basic and advanced training for counselors was provided by work incentives specialists at the Work Incentives Connection.(Page 267)

 

511

No specific disability related information found

Mental Health

The ADA Site Selection Criteria and Access Standards – The standards were developed to assess the accessibility of potential WorkForce Center (WFC) locations and identify the building elements that are critical to program access. The standards address the obligation by all WFC partners under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOA). (Page 121-122)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 31 - 40 of 74

Minnesota HCBS Transition Plan - 11/03/2014

Minnesota has developed a Statewide Transition Plan to address new rules governing home and community-based services funded through Medical Assistance. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the new rules in January 2014. The rules outline the mandatory requirements for person-centered planning and home and community-based settings. In general, it is intended to give participants receiving home and community-based services increased choice and integration into the community. CMS requires each state to create a transition plan detailing how the state will come into compliance with the requirements by March 17, 2019.    This document offers the framework Minnesota will use to ensure compliance with the final Rule.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MN Employment First Policy - Olmstead Sub-Cabinet Approval - 10/01/2014

MN APSE announces the approval of an Employment First Policy by the MN Olmstead Sub-Cabinet on September 29, 2014. The approval of this policy is [a] culmination of years of collaboration, partnership, education, and dedication of a group … united around the idea that people with disabilities are just as valued and have the same rights as other citizens. The idea that employment should be the first option for working aged Minnesotans with disabilities was not always embraced, but today Minnesota stands on the doorstep of real and permanent change by making employment an option for all Minnesotans with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Employment First Policy - 09/29/2014

The Employment First Policy envisions a future where all people with disabilities can achieve competitive, integrated employment. Competitive employment means:

·         Full-time, part-time, or self-employment with and without supports

·         In the competitive labor force

·         On the payroll of a competitive business or industry

·         Pays at least minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by workers without a disability.

This policy increases options and choices for people with disabilities by aligning policies, funding practices and collaborative efforts among state agencies. This will help people who choose to work to enter an integrated, competitive workforce or become self-employed.

 

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

Minnesota Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment - 09/04/2014

This needs assessment is a report jointly developed under the direction of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), a unit of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota State Rehabilitation Council…

The project team examined needs across various populations, subgroups, and disabilities, using a large variety of sources spanning across providers, agencies, experts, advocates and consumers. In addition to the objective data and qualitative data about consumer needs, this needs assessment contains updates to the Literature Review.

VRS organized the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) into five categories (Transition Services, Employment Preparation, Employer Relationships, Long-Term Supports and Communication) representing areas of need consistently identified in previous needs assessments. In light of resource constraints and the results of CSNAs, it seemed wise to focus the needs assessment on the most pressing unresolved needs. The CSNA identified needs as either "Consistent and Documented" or "Potential and Emerging"

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

Minnesota Employment Learning Community - 09/01/2014

“The Minnesota Employment Learning Community is a group of people working to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. It started in September 2014 and is a joint effort between the Minnesota departments of Human Services, Employment and Economic Development and Education.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

MN Statute 16C.16: Designation of Procurements from Small Businesses - 04/01/2016

The commissioner of administration shall periodically designate businesses that are majority owned and operated by women, persons with a substantial physical disability, or specific minorities as targeted group businesses within purchasing categories as determined by the commissioner. A group may be targeted within a purchasing category if the commissioner determines there is a statistical disparity between the percentage of purchasing from businesses owned by group members and the representation of businesses owned by group members among all businesses in the state in the purchasing category.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota SF 1458 - ABLE Plan - 05/22/2015

A savings plan known as the Minnesota ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] plan is established. In establishing this plan, the legislature seeks to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and to provide secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

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

Minnesota Statute 268A.15: Extended Employment Program - 06/01/2011

The extended employment program shall have two categories of clients consisting of those with severe disabilities and those with severe impairment to employment. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe disabilities is to provide the ongoing services necessary to maintain and advance the employment of persons with severe disabilities. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe impairment to employment is to provide the ongoing support services necessary to secure, maintain, and advance in employment. Employment must encompass the broad range of employment choices available to all persons and promote an individual's self-sufficiency and financial independence.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

256B.0622 ASSERTIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT AND INTENSIVE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT SERVICES

“Subd. 7. Assertive community treatment service standards. (a) ACT teams must offer and have the capacity to directly provide the following services: (1) assertive engagement; (2) benefits and finance support; (3) co-occurring disorder treatment; (4) crisis assessment and intervention; (5) employment services;….. "Employment services" means assisting clients to work at jobs of their choosing. Services must follow the principles of the individual placement and support (IPS) employment model, including focusing on competitive employment; emphasizing individual client preferences and strengths; ensuring employment services are integrated with mental health services;…”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Statute 43A.09

The commissioner in cooperation with appointing authorities of all state agencies shall maintain an active recruiting program publicly conducted and designed to attract sufficient numbers of well-qualified people to meet the needs of the civil service, and to enhance the image and public esteem of state service employment. Special emphasis shall be given to recruitment of veterans and protected group members to assist state agencies in meeting affirmative action goals to achieve a balanced work force. 

Protected Groups:  females, persons with disabilities, and members of the following minorities: Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan native.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

“Connect 700” State Hiring Initiative - 10/13/2016

“Joined by community advocates and state hiring leaders, Governor Mark Dayton today announced the re-launch of the Connect 700 and the Supported Worker programs, two state hiring initiatives aimed at removing barriers and creating opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities. This effort supports Governor Dayton’s 2014 executive order directing state agencies to increase employment for people with disabilities to at least seven percent by August 2018.” ““State government should reflect all of the people it serves. They should include Minnesotans with disabilities,” said Governor Dayton. “These programs will provide employment opportunities for more of our citizens, and help to create a more inclusive Minnesota.” Connect 700 (formerly known as 700-Hour Program On-The-Job Demonstration and Appointment) will give Minnesotans with disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their ability through an on-the job trial work experience, lasting up to 700 hours. This gives hiring managers the ability to better match people with the best opportunities for success, based on their skills and abilities.”

Systems
  • Other

“Supported Worker Program” - 10/13/2016

“A second initiative, the Supported Worker program, offers people with disabilities integrated employment opportunities with up to 50 full time positions within various state agencies. These positions can be shared by up to three people with disabilities. State agencies that sponsor the positions will integrate employees into existing teams, and will provide job coaches as needed.”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 15-03 - 01/28/2015

Supporting Freedom of Choice and Opportunity to Live, Work, and Participate in the Most Inclusive Setting for Individuals with Disabilities through the Implementation of Minnesota's Olmstead Plan; Rescinding Executive Order 13-01   “A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting ofthe Commissioner, or Commissioner' s designees, ofthe following State agencies, shall implement         Minnesota' s Olmstead Plan: a) Department ofHuman Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transportation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education.”  
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
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 13-01 - 01/28/2013

A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting of the Commissioner, or Commissioner's designees, of the following State agencies, shall develop and implement a comprehensive Minnesota Olmstead Plan: (i) that uses measurable goals to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving services that best meet their individual needs and in the most integrated setting, and (ii) that is consistent and in accord with the U.S. Supreme Comi's decision in Olmstead v. L. C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999): a) Department of Human Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transpmiation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education. 
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
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 21 - 25 of 25

A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota

“The Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program (MEEP) was created during the 2016 Legislative session and replaces the Urban Initiative Loan Program (Chapter 189, Laws of Minnesota). The objective of the program is to fund loans to businesses throughout the state that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities; provide jobs for minority and/or low-income persons, create and strengthen minority business enterprises, and promote economic development in a low-income area.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Self-Employment

Secondary Transition, Minnesota Department of Education

“Secondary Transition Planning is the process of preparing students for life after high school and includes planning for postsecondary education or training, employment, and independent living. This page is a collection of resources and tools to help students, parents and educators plan for transition using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process to meet both federal and state requirements. Related links on this page include Minnesota Rule language regarding secondary transition evaluation, planning and services; Minnesota Statute language regarding Community Transition Interagency Committees; and resources for transitioning students and those who help them.”

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

MN Employment Policy Initiative (MEPI): Policy Briefs & Reports

This is a repository of policy briefs and reports from Minnesota’s Employment Policy Initiative. It covers a wide range of disabilities as well as school-to-work transition and other relevant topics for job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

MN DoE Policy Division Foundation Statement – 2015 Special Education Administration

Guiding principles are beliefs and behavioral norms that the division agrees to apply to its professional practice. The Special Education Policy Division guiding principles are to:   1. Provide leadership   We provide educational support and guidance to Minnesota’s broader educational communities.   2. Support whole-child thinking   Educational support is based on each child’s unique needs to prepare them for further education, employment, independent living, and community participation.   3. Collaborate with our partners   We collaborate with and value the contributions of our partners.   4. Model accountability   We promote and measure evidence-based outcomes that are meaningful to our communities
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan

“In January 2013, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order establishing a Sub-Cabinet to develop and implement a comprehensive plan supporting freedom of choice and opportunity for people with disabilities…The Sub-Cabinet evaluates policies, programs, statutes and regulations of state agencies against the standards set forth in the Olmstead decision to determine whether any should be revised or modified or require legislative action in an effort to improve the availability of community-based services for people with disabilities. The Sub-Cabinet seeks input from consumers, families of consumers, advocacy organizations, service providers and others”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Employment Policy Initiative

“MEPI works with numerous stakeholder partners to align policies, services and practices to increase competitive employment of people with disabilities and meet Minnesota’s workforce needs. MEPI also works in close collaboration with the Minnesota Employment Training and Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) to maximize the impact of employment policy and practice across Minnesota. APSE, in conjunction with Minnesota APSE, provides leadership for MEPI.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Services Innovation Grants - 05/05/2018

“The Minnesota Department of Human Services offers disability services innovation grants. These grants promote innovative ideas to improve outcomes for people with disabilities. Funded projects include new ways to help people with disabilities in Minnesota:

-Achieve integrated, competitive employment

-Live in the most integrated setting

-Connect with others in their communities

During state fiscal year 2018, approximately $2 million will be available. Applications are now closed for this round of grants. DHS anticipates it will award contracts to four to 10 qualified responders. The maximum award will be $500,000.

DHS is distributing the innovation grants in three parts:

-The large grants program

-The microgrant program

-The small grant program”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

“Six states receive nearly $15M in grants to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities” - 09/14/2016

“Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development $2,500,000” This is the seventh round of DEI funding. Since 2010, the department has awarded grants of more than $123 million through the initiative to 49 projects in 28 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. More information on the DEI is available here. DEI funds help refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful, and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers, training front-line AJC and partner staff, and increasing partnerships and collaboration across numerous systems critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 3) - 12/11/2013

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. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 5) - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration.  Round 3 will end in 2015.  Round 5 was awarded in 2014 and will end in 2017.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

“Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Upcoming workshop offers accessibility training and tools for members of disability community - 01/01/2018

“St. Paul, Minn. Three of the state’s leading disability advocacy organizations are joining forces to conduct a hands-on workshop to equip people with disabilities, advocates, and family members with tools, guidance, and a greater understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The workshop will help participants develop effective ways to address building access and compliance issues.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Family Invest Program - 04/04/2017

~~“Meeting your MFIP Employment Services training needsA training needs assessment survey is being developed to allow DHS to prioritize and make informed decisions about the resources and training offered to you. Keep your eye out for this opportunity!” 

Systems
  • Other

Free Training for Supported Eemployment Sservices Providers - 01/01/2017

~~“The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Moving Home Minnesota initiative will offer free web-based training to employment service providers who serve people with disabilities. This 12-week training will begin May 9 and train 25 people to deliver high-quality employment services to people with disabilities. DHS invites applications from employment specialists, job developers, job coaches and anyone who would like to add to their knowledge and skills to provide supported employment services.”

Systems
  • Other

Competitive Employment Capacity Building: Starting points to increase employment for people with disabilities - 06/01/2016

“The purpose of this document is to spark dialogue and support your local planning efforts to improve employment outcomes for the people you serve. In your efforts, consider these evidence based practices to develop your next steps:

1. Set/Affirm Expectations and Roles

2. Analyze and Use Data

3. Embed Benefits Planning and Education

4. Make Employment Part of the Plan

5. Develop and Increase Capacity for Employment Services and Supports

6. Build Early Work Experience for Youth

The best advice we heard is to jump in and start trying something; learn, build and adapt along the way.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

MNTAT - Customized Employment & Supported Employment Presentation - 06/11/2013

This Griffin-Hammis & Associates presentation compares and contrasts Customized Employment and Supported Employment IPS as models for aiding people with disabilities through the employment process. It focuses on the areas of compatibility between the two approaches.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation

The Minnesota Training & Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) - 04/01/2009

MNTAT will use a variety of formats and media to respond to constituents’ training and technical assistance needs throughout the state. The goal is to demonstrate and build flexible supports and strategies that will increase and improve the employment outcomes for Minnesotans with disabilities. Among the strategies MNTAT will employ include web-based training (webinars and webcasts); local and regional training events with the support of Minnesota APSE; and the presentation of an annual statewide disability employment conference. In addition, training and technical assistance will be provided in local communities through the establishment of local Community Action Teams (CATs) that will be used as a vehicle for training and technical assistance as well as examples of replicable employment practices that result in the flexible, customized employment of people with disabilities in their local communities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

MN Customized Employment Presentation

This presentation defines and explains Customized Employment through the use of different applications and case studies. It explains the need for, and potential of, customized employment, especially in the context of the job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Thaleaha McBee vs. Team Industries, Inc. - 01/16/2018

“In February 2015, McBee sought medical attention for severe pain in her hands, back, and neck, including numbness in her hands and arms. In March 2015, McBee’s doctor gave her a ten-pound lifting restriction due to disc narrowing, a bulged disc, and bone spurs in her vertebrae. On March 10, 2015, McBee informed her supervisors at Team of her lifting restriction, who then instructed her to discuss the restriction with human resources. McBee’s supervisors placed her on a machine that produced parts weighing less than ten pounds, and she finished her shift. The next day, McBee met with human resources to discuss possible accommodations. Team terminated McBee on March 12, 2015, due to concerns relating to her medical restriction.

[…]

D E C I S I O N

 The district court did not err in dismissing McBee’s MHRA and MWCA claims. Because McBee’s medical restrictions rendered her unqualified for her position with or without reasonable accommodation, her employment posed a serious threat of harm to herself and her coworkers, Team’s successful serious-threat defense precludes her reprisal claim, and she did not engage in conduct protected by the workers’ compensation act, we affirm.

 Affirmed."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.

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

States - Phablet

Snapshot

Individuals with disabilities should reach for the stars and pursue their dreams when it comes to exploring their employment options in the North Star State of Minnesota!

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 VR Rates and Services

2016 State Population.
0.55%
Change from
2015 to 2016
5,519,952
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.54%
Change from
2015 to 2016
302,274
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.64%
Change from
2015 to 2016
145,080
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
1.13%
Change from
2015 to 2016
48.00%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.1%
Change from
2015 to 2016
83.84%

State Data

General

2016
Population. 5,519,952
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 302,274
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 145,080
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 2,576,753
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 48.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 83.84%
Overall unemployment rate. 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 18.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 8.80%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 302,266
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 299,748
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 511,971
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 41,420
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 21,628
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 9,376
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 17,435
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 14,097
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 7,621

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,997
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 12.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 124,537

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 65,452
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 71,415
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 182,808
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 35.80%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.10%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 2.10%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,007
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 459
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,935
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,058
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.06

 

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. 55
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 43
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. 78.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.78

 

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. 5,732
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 185,523
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

2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $14,631,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $205,951,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $16,762,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $97,275,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 9.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 8,015
Number of people served in facility based work. 13,050
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 2,181
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 40.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 60.45%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.08%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.15%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 88.40%
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). 24.86%
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). 69.25%
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). 86.78%
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). 44.39%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,448,836
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,880
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 33,646
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 162,155
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 195,801
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 159
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 201
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 360
AbilityOne wages (products). $284,324
AbilityOne wages (services). $1,837,245

 

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

2017
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). 63
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 63
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). 8,512
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 8,512

 

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.

Customized Employment

3) provide technical assistance to non–integrated employment programs to design new business models that lead to competitive employment in the most integrated setting, and

4) provide information about effective employment strategies, such as supported and customized employment, that make competitive employment possible for individuals with complex and significant disabilities. (Page 254)

SSB has allocated approximately $41,000 in funds for FFY16 for youth with disabilities who required extended services. There are two supported employment youth populations within SSB: 

  • Those youth who were already determined by SSB or the Department of Education to be competitively employable in an integrated setting who will/may require extended services, and
  • Those youth where in the past, shelter workshops, enclaves, and other non-competitive, segregated settings would have been identified as possible options. For all youth who are already identified as supported employment candidates, a supported employment plan is required. The plan identifies the extended services required for that youth and who would be providing those extended services. Collaboration with extended service providers occurs, and a negotiation happens with who picks up the cost and when. With four years allowed for the VR agency to provide those extended services, this allows time for the families to get set up with waiver programs and natural supports. The extended services activities that are provided by SSB (and subsequently the extended service provider when it becomes available) under the supported employment plan include:
  • Customized employment, including job carving, employer negotiation
  • Social skills training
  • Job coaching
  • Development of natural supports on the job (Pages 319-320)
Blending/ Braiding Resources

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs: 

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.
  • Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%. 
  • Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program.

  • Implement the primary indicators of performance under section 116. (Page 312)
DEI/DRC

Minnesota learned that as a state, we were already doing a great deal around alignment and partnership. Minnesota has been recognized as a leader and early adaptor in career pathways, Minnesota FastTRAC program. This program brought together Adult Basic Education, workforce (WIA Adult, DSW, Youth, TAA), higher education (CTE, Perkins), and industry to develop curriculum and programming to move individuals to receive education attainment. Minnesota learned from experience that there was more to be done in order to reach and serve individuals with barriers. This work has expanded and evidenced through our DEI grant (serving individuals with disabilities), Pipeline project (serving youth and CTE students), incarcerated or recently released individuals, homeless, individuals exiting chemical dependency programs, and veterans faced with difficulty facing re-entry. (Page 42)

WorkForce Centers (WFCs) serve a significant number of people with disabilities beyond the customers served by VRS and SSB. The needs assessment indicated that notable progress has been made toward achieving universal design; almost 100 percent of survey respondents indicated they felt WFC resources were universally available. However, WFCs need to articulate and better disseminate information about their program access. VRS provides consultation to the WFCs’ Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) federal grant to serve youth in transition and adults. (Page 257)

Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies.
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide youth employment services to Teen Parents, 16 through 24 years of age, who are receiving Minnesota Family Investment (MFIP) benefits; and Youth ages 14 through 18, who are on the grant in the MFIP household. Thirteen Local Workforce Development Areas will participate projects that focus on work readiness, work experience, introduction to career pathways and preparation of youth for long–term employment. (Page 148) 

In 2012 a Next Generation Placement Design Team was developed, consisting of 18 key VRS and CRP leaders who engaged in a facilitated process to develop the ‘Next Generation’ of placement services for the benefit of job seekers and employers. The model was piloted in each region of the state (northern, metro, and southern) and at the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Units in St. Paul and St. Cloud. The model is currently being expanded statewide to all geographic areas of the state and all VR communities (VRS, community rehabilitation programs and limited use vendors). (Page 220)

VRS and CRPs in Minnesota continue to make a concerted effort to work in partnership to serve VR consumers. Placement 101, a foundational training program in job placement for new VRS and CRP placement staff is offered on a quarterly basis with an average of 18 participants in attendance. The training design team also developed a training program on Business Engagement; implementation is pending infrastructure enhancements that will enable the rehabilitation community to successfully meet the needs of businesses. Training on a VRS initiated pilot project “Next Generation Placement” concluded in 2015; the pilot is designed to implement and assess the effectiveness of an enhanced team approach to providing job placement services. (Page 233)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) – This program provides comprehensive services to prepare at–risk youth, ages 14 to 24, for the world of work, including: career exploration and planning, labor market information on in–demand occupations, work readiness skills, financial literacy training and quality work experience opportunities. MYP is available in all 87 counties; strong local partnerships are in place with oversight from local Workforce Development Boards/Youth Committees. The Outreach to Schools/Career Advisor component of MYP provides cost–effective strategies for delivering career and labor market information to in–school youth. MYP is a state–funded program. (Page 69)

The WIOA Young Adult Program serves at–risk youth, ages 16–24, who are not attending any school, and in–school youth, ages 14–21, who are low–income and at–risk. WIOA improves job and career options for youth through an integrated, job–driven workforce system that supports the development of strong regional economies. WIOA Youth program elements include: dropout recovery and prevention; paid and unpaid work experience; tutoring; occupational skills training; leadership development, mentoring; comprehensive guidance and counseling; financial literacy education; entrepreneurial skills training; tutoring; study skills training; entrepreneurial skills training; labor market information on in–demand industry sectors/occupations; alternative secondary school services; education offered with workforce preparation activities and training; support services and follow up. (Page 148)

  • Classroom presentation skills training based on the state’s Creative Job Search workshop will continue to be offered to all employees who facilitate workshops.
  • All Job Service employees have access to the Skill–soft online training platform. Training specific to each employee is documented in the employee’s Individual Development Plan.
  • Ongoing training in the areas of dealing with diverse populations, accessibility, safety, and financial literacy will continue to be offered to all employees. (Page 155)

*   SGA Project: the Institute on Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts – Boston has received RSA funding to demonstrate effective strategies to assist SSDI beneficiaries achieve income above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. Minnesota VRS is one of the demonstration sites. At time of enrollment, the SSDI beneficiary is assigned a counselor, placement specialist and financial specialist. Eligibility for services is presumed within three days and the Employment Plan is developed within 30 days of application. VRS has partnered with the DLL to provide financial counseling in VR offices. RSA funding was used to provide the benefits planners with financial literacy training so that in addition to benefits planning the financial specialists can provide assistance with improving credits scores, paying off credit card debt, and developing savings plans. It is hoped that the combination of rapid engagement and financial planning services will lead to better outcomes. Although the SGA Project does not receive any Medicaid funding, the financial specialist positions would not have been possible without the initial collaboration with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. (Page 223)

School to Work Transition

Overall, people felt the collaborative was very helpful for prioritizing what needs to be addressed first, Social Security benefits counseling, learning about community services, independent living skills, and learning advocacy skills.

The SRC and VRS have reviewed the notes of the discussion groups to help determine staff training needs. More emphasis needs to be placed on teaching self–advocacy skills. Several people mentioned they would have benefited from specific services but never asked for the services. People were appreciative of the team approach (VRS staff, IL staff and CRP staff co–located) but some people presumed everyone was employed by VRS. It is important that everyone is aware that VR provides choice of vendor and you don’t need to select the co–located staff. VRS needs to look at better ways to disengage when the person is successfully employed and does not need long–term supports. The information about post–employment services needs to be more inviting. (Page 205)

The SGA Project: The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts–Boston is conducting RSA funded research on best practices for assisting SSDI beneficiaries achieve employment above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The VR agencies in Minnesota and Kentucky are currently demonstrating this rapid engagement model where eligibility is determined within three days; within seven days transferable work skills are identified, labor market information is presented to the consumer, and benefits and financial planning services are started; and within 30 days the IPE and a Placement Plan are developed. A benefits analysis is completed within 8 weeks of application if needed. RSA demonstration grant funding is being used to provide SSDI beneficiaries’ access to a financial specialist to help the person know how income will impact federal and state benefits, and how work incentives and VR services can help improve credit scores and provide savings that can be used as a down–payment on a home or to purchase reliable transportation, etc. Minnesota hopes to demonstrate that rapid engagement and holistic services will lead to more placements at higher wages. (Page 208)

The Minnesota STAR (System of Technology to Achieve Results) Program: The STAR Program, a program within the Minnesota Department of Administration, is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. Vocational Rehabilitation often refers people to STAR for a device demonstration. This allows consumers to compare benefits and features of a particular device or category of devices. Once a decision on a device is made, the person can borrow the device for 30 days to make sure it meets the person’s needs before VR purchases the item. VR also maintains an agreement with STAR to provide VR assistive technology specialists with commonly used devices for use in doing assessments with consumers. (Page 209)

*   Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits. (Page 222)

Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor – Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 223)

Vocational Rehabilitation is showing continuous improvement in the number of participants from minority backgrounds. Individuals who are Black/African American represent 5.4% of the state population, 12.8% of the VR caseload, and 11.6% of VR’s successful closures. Individuals who are Hispanic/Latino represent 4.8% of the state population, 4.0% of the VR caseload, and 3.4% of VR’s successful closures. American Indians represent 1.0% of the state population, 2.5% of the VR caseload, and 1.2% of the successful closures. Asians represent 4.8% of the state population, 2.4% of the VR caseload, and 2.4% of the successful closures. Research suggests blacks and American Indians experience disability at a higher rate than other cultural/ethnic groups. VRS needs to continue active outreach to minorities to assure equal access to the benefits of VR services. (Page 236)

About 40 percent of VRS applicants receive SSA benefits. VRS was instrumental in establishing the Work Incentives Connection, a program of Goodwill Industries that provides work incentives planning and assistance for consumers and work incentives training for VRS staff. (Page 256)

Minnesota has been selected by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts – Boston as a demonstration site for the RSA funded demonstration grant to improve employment outcomes for VR customers who are SSDI beneficiaries (“The SGA Project”). Minnesota VRS is working closely with the ICI to promote rehabilitation counseling techniques that promote consumer engagement, provide early access to financial planning and benefits planning services, and provides early job development activities. Goals include presuming eligibility within 3 days, holding a meeting with the consumer to start benefits planning and to discuss Labor Market information within 7 days, and to implement the Employment Plan within 30 days.  (Page 256)

B1. All VRS managers, counselors and VR Technicians Seniors will have attended four informational sessions on Social Security work incentives and benefits planning by the end of FFY 2015. 

Progress to Date: All teams participated in training on Developing PASS Plans and a Disability Benefits 101 refresher. New employees participated in benefits planning training provided by local WIPA staff. An advanced course on benefits planning was also offered to all staff. VRS is one of the sites for the Institute for Community Inclusion’s SGA Project. (Page 259)

Medicaid will apply the payment to the consumer’s spenddown. Minnesota’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant was a joint project of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (VRS and SSB) and the State Council on Disability. 

Collaborative efforts started utilizing grant funding has been continued using state appropriations, including:

Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits.
Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor - Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 297)

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs:

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment. ? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring. 

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems. (Page 312)

There are 5 specific areas that SSB is targeting to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities. They are: 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Methods used will include:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Methods used will be include:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program. (Page 321)

Supported employment services promoting the integration of people with the most severe disabilities into employment in Minnesota have become increasingly available. The scope and quality of supported employment services have improved as more entities become aware of the benefits of ongoing employment supports for individuals with the most significant disabilities. However, the demand for supported employment exceeds the capacity of systems in Minnesota to provide the necessary extended ongoing employment supports. In addition to the goals for Title VI Part B described in Section N, SSB will continue to engage in capacity building and technical assistance efforts with other state agencies and community service providers. For example, SSB is working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services regarding the need for ongoing employment supports for individuals who are DeafBlind. SSB counselors have had some success working with county social workers to obtain waiver funding for those ongoing supports. (Page 332)

Eligibility An applicant for MFIP or for DWP must meet the eligibility requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes Sections 256J.01 through 256J.95 before receiving benefits and services. All requirements under Section 408 of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 are included in Minnesota law. Assistance is provided equitably to all program recipients in accordance with State and Federal law. Neither MFIP nor DWP requires basis of eligibility tests, such as the previous AFDC 100–hour rule requirement for two–parent families. The asset limit for both programs is $2,000 for applicants and $5,000 for participants. The trade–in value limit on the first licensed vehicle excluded in determining eligibility is $10,000. In addition, the combined loan value of all other vehicles must be less than or equal to $7,500. For MFIP and DWP, statewide payment standards are based on the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit. Persons convicted of a drug offense committed after July 1, 1997 may receive cash assistance subject to the conditions set forth in Minnesota Statutes 256J.26. (Page 431)

Career Pathways

* Way to Work Project: Also referred to as the Ohio model, VRS has placed vocational rehabilitation counselors in a sheltered workshop to assess consumer needs and develop strategies to move the employees from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. Dakota County, the Department of Human Services and VRS are studying effective ways to provide training, supports and benefits planning to assist people transition into the community. (Page 224)

With the greater emphasis on providing pre–employment transition services, VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community–based work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators, hired by the school district, that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is working collaboratively with these coordinators to create a structure for connecting them to employer relationships and job leads created/ identified by the regional placement partnerships and to revise and deliver the Placement 101 training in order to meet the unique needs of these school staff members. On the flip side, where there aren’t work–based learning coordinators available to students, VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

The Minnesota Department of Education, several local school districts, the Title 1 Youth programs and VRS is currently conducting this assessment to determine how to provide cost effective coordinated transition career services and pre–employment transition services. The pilot activities are described in the section on youth with disabilities. (Page 238)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237) 

students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 One case, this has led to a vendor/SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

FOCUS AREA: SSB-A Great Place to Work

  • Increase the numbers of individuals hired by SSB that reflect the customer base served by 3.
  1. Strategies:

? All SSB job postings have a preferred qualification of fluency in a second language. 

? All individuals meeting the required qualifications and are flagged as “special population” defined by Human Resources are granted an interview.

? SSB will participate in the Connect 700 Hour program for the State of Minnesota.

? All postings are sent to consumer groups for broad dissemination.

? SSB will hire at least 3 student workers who are blind, visually impaired, or DeafBlind.

  • Implement the accepted Assistive Technology workgroup recommendation by piloting CETT (Customer Evaluation of Technology and Training) by December 31, 2016. Implement strengths based meeting framework within the team model process by December 31, 2016. (Page 313)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

 

Work Incentives & Benefits

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Career Pathways – Beginning in 2014, Minnesota’s DEI project supports job–driven approaches in career pathway systems and programs to equip youth and adults with disabilities (including individuals with significant disabilities) with the skills, competencies, and credentials necessary to help them obtain in–demand jobs, increase earnings, and advance their careers. Three Local Workforce Development Areas operate career pathways in manufacturing, health care, and information technology sectors. Disability Resources Coordinators work to strengthen partnerships with Vocational Rehabilitation, disability agencies, and employers and modify career pathway education and employment for individual success. (Page 71)

129. Partnerships and Development of Career Pathways: The degree to which the eligible provider’s activities coordinate with other available education, training, and social service resources in the community, such as by establishing strong links with elementary schools and secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, institutions of higher education, local workforce development boards, one-stop centers, job training programs, and social service agencies, business, industry, labor organizations, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and intermediaries, for the development of career pathways. (Page 111)

1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies. (Page 148)

VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community. In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

DHS/DEED staff will continue to work with Mr. LaPlante and his staff to discuss potential SNAP E&T opportunities with each reservation utilizing FFP at the 75 percent rate. Tribal Reservations will be encouraged, with DHS/DEED assistance, to develop local programs designed to provide volunteer SNAP E&T services/activities to their members. As these programs develop, they will be added to this SNAP E&T Plan and submitted for approval to FNS. DEED is currently working with the Northwest Indian Occupational Industrialization Center (OIC) which was provided a Career Pathways grant to provide Career Pathways opportunities for Indians residing on or off the reservations. We hope to expand this project to other areas along with increasing Adult Basic Education (ABE) to better reach and serve this population. (Page 461)

Employer Engagement

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services: Memorandum of Understanding to enhance work opportunities for veterans with disabilities by sharing information, coordinating activities and offering complementary services.

Ticket to Work Employment Networks: VRS, State Services for the Blind and SSA co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks to provide staff training, updates on Ticket to Work procedural changes, and to promote Partnership Plus job retention services after VRS/SSB case closure. (Page 208)

The designated state unit maintains a close working relationship with the local Workforce Development Board’s Youth Programs, including the Youth Disability Employment Initiative. Two of the service providers have become Employment Networks so they can continue job retention services after WIOA services have ended. One of the providers is seeking CARF accreditation to become a community rehabilitation provider to better meet the needs of youth with disabilities. (Page 209)

People with disabilities are served in all components of the workforce development system, both as universal customers and in eligibility based programs. Ten percent of the universal customers self–report having a disability. However, when the system became an Employment Network under the SSA Ticket to work Program many people who had indicated they did not have a disability assigned their ticket, suggesting people prefer not to disclose a disability until there is a reason to.

A customer Job Seeker Satisfaction Survey indicated an overall satisfaction with services. The five resources customers found most helpful were developing job related skills (44%), learning job search skills (34%), resources to help in job search (28%), financial help and gas vouchers for job search (26%), and staff helpfulness (17%). Recommendations for improvement included providing more services directly in the Centers (32%), improving the quality of services (16%), increasing financial support (10%), and improving the staffing ratio (8%). It was noted services aren’t always consistent statewide. For example, not all Centers have special “zones” for youth and young adults with disabilities. (Page 237)

SSA, VRS and State Services for the Blind co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. In addition to providing in–service training, the meetings provide an opportunity to learn more about the services offered by each Employment Network to assist consumers make informed choices when selecting a vendor for employment services and/or on–going job retention services. The current focus of this group is to expand the use of Ticket to Work funding to provide ongoing job retention supports, and to promote the use of PASS Plans. (Page 256)

Progress to Date: All direct service staff have received training on the available funding streams for supported employment. Measuring the impact of this training has been difficult due to the complexity of the funding streams, and the fact that a person may access multiple funding streams to meet specific needs. VRS works closely with the SSA funded Employment Networks to encourage leveraging of Ticket to Work funding to provide on–going supports. In FFY 2015, Employment Networks received over $250,000 in SSA funding for post–VR job retention services. (Page 260)

SSA, VRS and SSB continue to co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. One result of this is more Employment Networks are providing Ticket–to–Work funded job retention (Partnership Plus) services following VRS intensive services. There are currently 188 consumers receiving Partnership Plus services. Ticket–to–Work funding is used to supplement Supported Employment funding or to provide continued job retention services beyond the 90 days VRS typically provides. Work incentives basic and advanced training for counselors was provided by work incentives specialists at the Work Incentives Connection.(Page 267)

 

511

No specific disability related information found

Mental Health

The ADA Site Selection Criteria and Access Standards – The standards were developed to assess the accessibility of potential WorkForce Center (WFC) locations and identify the building elements that are critical to program access. The standards address the obligation by all WFC partners under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOA). (Page 121-122)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 31 - 40 of 74

Minnesota HCBS Transition Plan - 11/03/2014

Minnesota has developed a Statewide Transition Plan to address new rules governing home and community-based services funded through Medical Assistance. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the new rules in January 2014. The rules outline the mandatory requirements for person-centered planning and home and community-based settings. In general, it is intended to give participants receiving home and community-based services increased choice and integration into the community. CMS requires each state to create a transition plan detailing how the state will come into compliance with the requirements by March 17, 2019.    This document offers the framework Minnesota will use to ensure compliance with the final Rule.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MN Employment First Policy - Olmstead Sub-Cabinet Approval - 10/01/2014

MN APSE announces the approval of an Employment First Policy by the MN Olmstead Sub-Cabinet on September 29, 2014. The approval of this policy is [a] culmination of years of collaboration, partnership, education, and dedication of a group … united around the idea that people with disabilities are just as valued and have the same rights as other citizens. The idea that employment should be the first option for working aged Minnesotans with disabilities was not always embraced, but today Minnesota stands on the doorstep of real and permanent change by making employment an option for all Minnesotans with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Employment First Policy - 09/29/2014

The Employment First Policy envisions a future where all people with disabilities can achieve competitive, integrated employment. Competitive employment means:

·         Full-time, part-time, or self-employment with and without supports

·         In the competitive labor force

·         On the payroll of a competitive business or industry

·         Pays at least minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by workers without a disability.

This policy increases options and choices for people with disabilities by aligning policies, funding practices and collaborative efforts among state agencies. This will help people who choose to work to enter an integrated, competitive workforce or become self-employed.

 

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

Minnesota Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment - 09/04/2014

This needs assessment is a report jointly developed under the direction of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), a unit of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota State Rehabilitation Council…

The project team examined needs across various populations, subgroups, and disabilities, using a large variety of sources spanning across providers, agencies, experts, advocates and consumers. In addition to the objective data and qualitative data about consumer needs, this needs assessment contains updates to the Literature Review.

VRS organized the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) into five categories (Transition Services, Employment Preparation, Employer Relationships, Long-Term Supports and Communication) representing areas of need consistently identified in previous needs assessments. In light of resource constraints and the results of CSNAs, it seemed wise to focus the needs assessment on the most pressing unresolved needs. The CSNA identified needs as either "Consistent and Documented" or "Potential and Emerging"

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

Minnesota Employment Learning Community - 09/01/2014

“The Minnesota Employment Learning Community is a group of people working to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. It started in September 2014 and is a joint effort between the Minnesota departments of Human Services, Employment and Economic Development and Education.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

MN Statute 16C.16: Designation of Procurements from Small Businesses - 04/01/2016

The commissioner of administration shall periodically designate businesses that are majority owned and operated by women, persons with a substantial physical disability, or specific minorities as targeted group businesses within purchasing categories as determined by the commissioner. A group may be targeted within a purchasing category if the commissioner determines there is a statistical disparity between the percentage of purchasing from businesses owned by group members and the representation of businesses owned by group members among all businesses in the state in the purchasing category.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota SF 1458 - ABLE Plan - 05/22/2015

A savings plan known as the Minnesota ABLE [Achieving a Better Life Experience] plan is established. In establishing this plan, the legislature seeks to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and to provide secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Medical Assistance Reform Waiver (256B.021) - 06/01/2014

"It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services…."

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Minnesota Medical Assistance Reform Waiver - 06/01/2014

“It is the intent of the legislature to reform components of the medical assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities or other complex needs, and medical assistance enrollees in general, in order to achieve better outcomes, such as community integration and independence; improved health; reduced reliance on institutional care; maintained or obtained employment and housing; and long-term sustainability of needed services through better alignment of available services that most effectively meet people's needs, including other state agencies' services….”

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

Minnesota Statute 268A.15: Extended Employment Program - 06/01/2011

The extended employment program shall have two categories of clients consisting of those with severe disabilities and those with severe impairment to employment. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe disabilities is to provide the ongoing services necessary to maintain and advance the employment of persons with severe disabilities. The purpose of the extended employment program for persons with severe impairment to employment is to provide the ongoing support services necessary to secure, maintain, and advance in employment. Employment must encompass the broad range of employment choices available to all persons and promote an individual's self-sufficiency and financial independence.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

256B.0622 ASSERTIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT AND INTENSIVE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT SERVICES

“Subd. 7. Assertive community treatment service standards. (a) ACT teams must offer and have the capacity to directly provide the following services: (1) assertive engagement; (2) benefits and finance support; (3) co-occurring disorder treatment; (4) crisis assessment and intervention; (5) employment services;….. "Employment services" means assisting clients to work at jobs of their choosing. Services must follow the principles of the individual placement and support (IPS) employment model, including focusing on competitive employment; emphasizing individual client preferences and strengths; ensuring employment services are integrated with mental health services;…”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Statute 43A.09

The commissioner in cooperation with appointing authorities of all state agencies shall maintain an active recruiting program publicly conducted and designed to attract sufficient numbers of well-qualified people to meet the needs of the civil service, and to enhance the image and public esteem of state service employment. Special emphasis shall be given to recruitment of veterans and protected group members to assist state agencies in meeting affirmative action goals to achieve a balanced work force. 

Protected Groups:  females, persons with disabilities, and members of the following minorities: Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan native.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

“Connect 700” State Hiring Initiative - 10/13/2016

“Joined by community advocates and state hiring leaders, Governor Mark Dayton today announced the re-launch of the Connect 700 and the Supported Worker programs, two state hiring initiatives aimed at removing barriers and creating opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities. This effort supports Governor Dayton’s 2014 executive order directing state agencies to increase employment for people with disabilities to at least seven percent by August 2018.” ““State government should reflect all of the people it serves. They should include Minnesotans with disabilities,” said Governor Dayton. “These programs will provide employment opportunities for more of our citizens, and help to create a more inclusive Minnesota.” Connect 700 (formerly known as 700-Hour Program On-The-Job Demonstration and Appointment) will give Minnesotans with disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their ability through an on-the job trial work experience, lasting up to 700 hours. This gives hiring managers the ability to better match people with the best opportunities for success, based on their skills and abilities.”

Systems
  • Other

“Supported Worker Program” - 10/13/2016

“A second initiative, the Supported Worker program, offers people with disabilities integrated employment opportunities with up to 50 full time positions within various state agencies. These positions can be shared by up to three people with disabilities. State agencies that sponsor the positions will integrate employees into existing teams, and will provide job coaches as needed.”

Systems
  • Other

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 15-03 - 01/28/2015

Supporting Freedom of Choice and Opportunity to Live, Work, and Participate in the Most Inclusive Setting for Individuals with Disabilities through the Implementation of Minnesota's Olmstead Plan; Rescinding Executive Order 13-01   “A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting ofthe Commissioner, or Commissioner' s designees, ofthe following State agencies, shall implement         Minnesota' s Olmstead Plan: a) Department ofHuman Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transportation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education.”  
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
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 14-14 - 08/04/2014

The Governor’s Executive Order instructs Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity to develop a model for recruitment and hiring strategies to increase the employment of people with disabilities. It also requires all state agencies to develop plans for promoting employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities, and to begin reporting their progress on a quarterly basis. The Order also directs MMB to develop ways to help employees to more easily update their disability status with their employer.   Executive Order 14-14 is the latest initiative enacted by Dayton’s Administration to demonstrate its commitment to help Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently and improve the quality of their lives.  Other initiatives include:  -Creating Equitable Policies – The Department of Transportation updated its policies and implemented new trainings to help ensure that all employees with disabilities receive proper accommodations.   -Improving Life and Work Opportunities – Governor Dayton and the Department of Human Services launched Reform 2020, which will make it easier for people to understand and access services and support for Minnesotans with disabilities, while also redesigning and improving services and increasing service coordination and integration.   -Increasing Options and Independence – The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation program helps those with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. In 2013, the program assisted more than 19,500 people with disabilities.   -Supporting Stable Employment – The Department of Human Services began funding a new initiative to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment – helping Minnesotans with disabilities live more independently, and decreasing their need for other state aid.     -Encouraging Diverse Hiring – The Department of Human Rights held a statewide video conference in December to highlight the strategic advantages of hiring people with disabilities.   -Increasing Access to Work Opportunities – The budget signed by Governor Dayton increased funding for State Services for the Blind to help people with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful employment.   
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Governor's Executive Order 13-01 - 01/28/2013

A Sub-Cabinet, appointed by the Governor, consisting of the Commissioner, or Commissioner's designees, of the following State agencies, shall develop and implement a comprehensive Minnesota Olmstead Plan: (i) that uses measurable goals to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving services that best meet their individual needs and in the most integrated setting, and (ii) that is consistent and in accord with the U.S. Supreme Comi's decision in Olmstead v. L. C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999): a) Department of Human Services; b) Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; c) Department of Employment and Economic Development; d) Department of Transpmiation; e) Department of Corrections; f) Department of Health; g) Department of Human Rights; and h) Department of Education. 
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
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 21 - 25 of 25

A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota

“The Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program (MEEP) was created during the 2016 Legislative session and replaces the Urban Initiative Loan Program (Chapter 189, Laws of Minnesota). The objective of the program is to fund loans to businesses throughout the state that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities; provide jobs for minority and/or low-income persons, create and strengthen minority business enterprises, and promote economic development in a low-income area.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Self-Employment

Secondary Transition, Minnesota Department of Education

“Secondary Transition Planning is the process of preparing students for life after high school and includes planning for postsecondary education or training, employment, and independent living. This page is a collection of resources and tools to help students, parents and educators plan for transition using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process to meet both federal and state requirements. Related links on this page include Minnesota Rule language regarding secondary transition evaluation, planning and services; Minnesota Statute language regarding Community Transition Interagency Committees; and resources for transitioning students and those who help them.”

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

MN Employment Policy Initiative (MEPI): Policy Briefs & Reports

This is a repository of policy briefs and reports from Minnesota’s Employment Policy Initiative. It covers a wide range of disabilities as well as school-to-work transition and other relevant topics for job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

MN DoE Policy Division Foundation Statement – 2015 Special Education Administration

Guiding principles are beliefs and behavioral norms that the division agrees to apply to its professional practice. The Special Education Policy Division guiding principles are to:   1. Provide leadership   We provide educational support and guidance to Minnesota’s broader educational communities.   2. Support whole-child thinking   Educational support is based on each child’s unique needs to prepare them for further education, employment, independent living, and community participation.   3. Collaborate with our partners   We collaborate with and value the contributions of our partners.   4. Model accountability   We promote and measure evidence-based outcomes that are meaningful to our communities
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan

“In January 2013, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order establishing a Sub-Cabinet to develop and implement a comprehensive plan supporting freedom of choice and opportunity for people with disabilities…The Sub-Cabinet evaluates policies, programs, statutes and regulations of state agencies against the standards set forth in the Olmstead decision to determine whether any should be revised or modified or require legislative action in an effort to improve the availability of community-based services for people with disabilities. The Sub-Cabinet seeks input from consumers, families of consumers, advocacy organizations, service providers and others”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Employment Policy Initiative

“MEPI works with numerous stakeholder partners to align policies, services and practices to increase competitive employment of people with disabilities and meet Minnesota’s workforce needs. MEPI also works in close collaboration with the Minnesota Employment Training and Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) to maximize the impact of employment policy and practice across Minnesota. APSE, in conjunction with Minnesota APSE, provides leadership for MEPI.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Services Innovation Grants - 05/05/2018

“The Minnesota Department of Human Services offers disability services innovation grants. These grants promote innovative ideas to improve outcomes for people with disabilities. Funded projects include new ways to help people with disabilities in Minnesota:

-Achieve integrated, competitive employment

-Live in the most integrated setting

-Connect with others in their communities

During state fiscal year 2018, approximately $2 million will be available. Applications are now closed for this round of grants. DHS anticipates it will award contracts to four to 10 qualified responders. The maximum award will be $500,000.

DHS is distributing the innovation grants in three parts:

-The large grants program

-The microgrant program

-The small grant program”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

“Six states receive nearly $15M in grants to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities” - 09/14/2016

“Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development $2,500,000” This is the seventh round of DEI funding. Since 2010, the department has awarded grants of more than $123 million through the initiative to 49 projects in 28 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. More information on the DEI is available here. DEI funds help refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful, and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers, training front-line AJC and partner staff, and increasing partnerships and collaboration across numerous systems critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Empower and Encourage Work, Housing, and Independence - 07/01/2014

“Beginning July 1, 2014, DHS will establish a demonstration project to promote economic stability, increase independence, and reduce applications for disability benefits while providing a positive impact on the health and future of participants. Services provided under the demonstration project will include navigation, employment supports, and benefits planning. These services will be provided to a targeted group of federally funded Medicaid recipients.  The demonstration project will be funded with state general funds.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 3) - 12/11/2013

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. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development

Minnesota DEI Grant Abstract (Round 5) - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Minnesota Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration.  Round 3 will end in 2015.  Round 5 was awarded in 2014 and will end in 2017.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

“Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Upcoming workshop offers accessibility training and tools for members of disability community - 01/01/2018

“St. Paul, Minn. Three of the state’s leading disability advocacy organizations are joining forces to conduct a hands-on workshop to equip people with disabilities, advocates, and family members with tools, guidance, and a greater understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The workshop will help participants develop effective ways to address building access and compliance issues.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Family Invest Program - 04/04/2017

~~“Meeting your MFIP Employment Services training needsA training needs assessment survey is being developed to allow DHS to prioritize and make informed decisions about the resources and training offered to you. Keep your eye out for this opportunity!” 

Systems
  • Other

Free Training for Supported Eemployment Sservices Providers - 01/01/2017

~~“The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Moving Home Minnesota initiative will offer free web-based training to employment service providers who serve people with disabilities. This 12-week training will begin May 9 and train 25 people to deliver high-quality employment services to people with disabilities. DHS invites applications from employment specialists, job developers, job coaches and anyone who would like to add to their knowledge and skills to provide supported employment services.”

Systems
  • Other

Competitive Employment Capacity Building: Starting points to increase employment for people with disabilities - 06/01/2016

“The purpose of this document is to spark dialogue and support your local planning efforts to improve employment outcomes for the people you serve. In your efforts, consider these evidence based practices to develop your next steps:

1. Set/Affirm Expectations and Roles

2. Analyze and Use Data

3. Embed Benefits Planning and Education

4. Make Employment Part of the Plan

5. Develop and Increase Capacity for Employment Services and Supports

6. Build Early Work Experience for Youth

The best advice we heard is to jump in and start trying something; learn, build and adapt along the way.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Moving Home Minnesota Customized Employment Training - 08/12/2014

Providers will learn to use defined customized employment tools and techniques to help people with disabilities gain competitive employment positions. They must:

·   Develop an individualized approach to employment planning and job development

·   Utilize a “one person at a time – one employer at a time” approach

·   Provide strategies to individualize and match the strengths, conditions and interests of a candidate to the needs of an employer

·   Learn to personalize the employment relationship between a candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

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

MNTAT - Customized Employment & Supported Employment Presentation - 06/11/2013

This Griffin-Hammis & Associates presentation compares and contrasts Customized Employment and Supported Employment IPS as models for aiding people with disabilities through the employment process. It focuses on the areas of compatibility between the two approaches.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation

The Minnesota Training & Technical Assistance Center (MNTAT) - 04/01/2009

MNTAT will use a variety of formats and media to respond to constituents’ training and technical assistance needs throughout the state. The goal is to demonstrate and build flexible supports and strategies that will increase and improve the employment outcomes for Minnesotans with disabilities. Among the strategies MNTAT will employ include web-based training (webinars and webcasts); local and regional training events with the support of Minnesota APSE; and the presentation of an annual statewide disability employment conference. In addition, training and technical assistance will be provided in local communities through the establishment of local Community Action Teams (CATs) that will be used as a vehicle for training and technical assistance as well as examples of replicable employment practices that result in the flexible, customized employment of people with disabilities in their local communities.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

MN Customized Employment Presentation

This presentation defines and explains Customized Employment through the use of different applications and case studies. It explains the need for, and potential of, customized employment, especially in the context of the job seekers with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Thaleaha McBee vs. Team Industries, Inc. - 01/16/2018

“In February 2015, McBee sought medical attention for severe pain in her hands, back, and neck, including numbness in her hands and arms. In March 2015, McBee’s doctor gave her a ten-pound lifting restriction due to disc narrowing, a bulged disc, and bone spurs in her vertebrae. On March 10, 2015, McBee informed her supervisors at Team of her lifting restriction, who then instructed her to discuss the restriction with human resources. McBee’s supervisors placed her on a machine that produced parts weighing less than ten pounds, and she finished her shift. The next day, McBee met with human resources to discuss possible accommodations. Team terminated McBee on March 12, 2015, due to concerns relating to her medical restriction.

[…]

D E C I S I O N

 The district court did not err in dismissing McBee’s MHRA and MWCA claims. Because McBee’s medical restrictions rendered her unqualified for her position with or without reasonable accommodation, her employment posed a serious threat of harm to herself and her coworkers, Team’s successful serious-threat defense precludes her reprisal claim, and she did not engage in conduct protected by the workers’ compensation act, we affirm.

 Affirmed."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

Minnesota Money Follows the Person

Moving Home Minnesota is a person-centered approach to help people … transition from nursing home and other institutional settings to community living that meets their needs and wants. Moving Home Minnesota services are available to eligible Minnesota residents for up to one year after their move from institutional care.

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

States - Phone

Snapshot

Individuals with disabilities should reach for the stars and pursue their dreams when it comes to exploring their employment options in the North Star State of Minnesota!

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 VR Rates and Services

2016 State Population.
0.55%
Change from
2015 to 2016
5,519,952
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.54%
Change from
2015 to 2016
302,274
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
2.64%
Change from
2015 to 2016
145,080
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
1.13%
Change from
2015 to 2016
48.00%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.1%
Change from
2015 to 2016
83.84%

State Data

General

2016
Population. 5,519,952
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 302,274
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 145,080
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 2,576,753
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 48.00%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 83.84%
Overall unemployment rate. 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 18.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 8.80%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 302,266
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 299,748
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 511,971
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 41,420
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 21,628
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 9,376
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 17,435
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 14,097
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 7,621

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 10,997
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 12.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 124,537

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 65,452
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 71,415
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 182,808
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 35.80%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.10%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 2.10%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,007
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 459
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,935
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,058
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.06

 

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. 55
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 43
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. 78.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.78

 

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. 5,732
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 185,523
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

2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $14,631,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $205,951,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $16,762,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $97,275,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 9.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 8,015
Number of people served in facility based work. 13,050
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 2,181
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 40.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 60.45%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.08%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 4.15%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 88.40%
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). 24.86%
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). 69.25%
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). 86.78%
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). 44.39%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,448,836
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,880
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 33,646
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 162,155
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 195,801
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 159
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 201
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 360
AbilityOne wages (products). $284,324
AbilityOne wages (services). $1,837,245

 

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

2017
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). 63
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 63
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). 8,512
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 8,512

 

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.

Customized Employment

3) provide technical assistance to non–integrated employment programs to design new business models that lead to competitive employment in the most integrated setting, and

4) provide information about effective employment strategies, such as supported and customized employment, that make competitive employment possible for individuals with complex and significant disabilities. (Page 254)

SSB has allocated approximately $41,000 in funds for FFY16 for youth with disabilities who required extended services. There are two supported employment youth populations within SSB: 

  • Those youth who were already determined by SSB or the Department of Education to be competitively employable in an integrated setting who will/may require extended services, and
  • Those youth where in the past, shelter workshops, enclaves, and other non-competitive, segregated settings would have been identified as possible options. For all youth who are already identified as supported employment candidates, a supported employment plan is required. The plan identifies the extended services required for that youth and who would be providing those extended services. Collaboration with extended service providers occurs, and a negotiation happens with who picks up the cost and when. With four years allowed for the VR agency to provide those extended services, this allows time for the families to get set up with waiver programs and natural supports. The extended services activities that are provided by SSB (and subsequently the extended service provider when it becomes available) under the supported employment plan include:
  • Customized employment, including job carving, employer negotiation
  • Social skills training
  • Job coaching
  • Development of natural supports on the job (Pages 319-320)
Blending/ Braiding Resources

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs: 

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.
  • Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%. 
  • Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program.

  • Implement the primary indicators of performance under section 116. (Page 312)
DEI/DRC

Minnesota learned that as a state, we were already doing a great deal around alignment and partnership. Minnesota has been recognized as a leader and early adaptor in career pathways, Minnesota FastTRAC program. This program brought together Adult Basic Education, workforce (WIA Adult, DSW, Youth, TAA), higher education (CTE, Perkins), and industry to develop curriculum and programming to move individuals to receive education attainment. Minnesota learned from experience that there was more to be done in order to reach and serve individuals with barriers. This work has expanded and evidenced through our DEI grant (serving individuals with disabilities), Pipeline project (serving youth and CTE students), incarcerated or recently released individuals, homeless, individuals exiting chemical dependency programs, and veterans faced with difficulty facing re-entry. (Page 42)

WorkForce Centers (WFCs) serve a significant number of people with disabilities beyond the customers served by VRS and SSB. The needs assessment indicated that notable progress has been made toward achieving universal design; almost 100 percent of survey respondents indicated they felt WFC resources were universally available. However, WFCs need to articulate and better disseminate information about their program access. VRS provides consultation to the WFCs’ Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) federal grant to serve youth in transition and adults. (Page 257)

Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies.
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide youth employment services to Teen Parents, 16 through 24 years of age, who are receiving Minnesota Family Investment (MFIP) benefits; and Youth ages 14 through 18, who are on the grant in the MFIP household. Thirteen Local Workforce Development Areas will participate projects that focus on work readiness, work experience, introduction to career pathways and preparation of youth for long–term employment. (Page 148) 

In 2012 a Next Generation Placement Design Team was developed, consisting of 18 key VRS and CRP leaders who engaged in a facilitated process to develop the ‘Next Generation’ of placement services for the benefit of job seekers and employers. The model was piloted in each region of the state (northern, metro, and southern) and at the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Units in St. Paul and St. Cloud. The model is currently being expanded statewide to all geographic areas of the state and all VR communities (VRS, community rehabilitation programs and limited use vendors). (Page 220)

VRS and CRPs in Minnesota continue to make a concerted effort to work in partnership to serve VR consumers. Placement 101, a foundational training program in job placement for new VRS and CRP placement staff is offered on a quarterly basis with an average of 18 participants in attendance. The training design team also developed a training program on Business Engagement; implementation is pending infrastructure enhancements that will enable the rehabilitation community to successfully meet the needs of businesses. Training on a VRS initiated pilot project “Next Generation Placement” concluded in 2015; the pilot is designed to implement and assess the effectiveness of an enhanced team approach to providing job placement services. (Page 233)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) – This program provides comprehensive services to prepare at–risk youth, ages 14 to 24, for the world of work, including: career exploration and planning, labor market information on in–demand occupations, work readiness skills, financial literacy training and quality work experience opportunities. MYP is available in all 87 counties; strong local partnerships are in place with oversight from local Workforce Development Boards/Youth Committees. The Outreach to Schools/Career Advisor component of MYP provides cost–effective strategies for delivering career and labor market information to in–school youth. MYP is a state–funded program. (Page 69)

The WIOA Young Adult Program serves at–risk youth, ages 16–24, who are not attending any school, and in–school youth, ages 14–21, who are low–income and at–risk. WIOA improves job and career options for youth through an integrated, job–driven workforce system that supports the development of strong regional economies. WIOA Youth program elements include: dropout recovery and prevention; paid and unpaid work experience; tutoring; occupational skills training; leadership development, mentoring; comprehensive guidance and counseling; financial literacy education; entrepreneurial skills training; tutoring; study skills training; entrepreneurial skills training; labor market information on in–demand industry sectors/occupations; alternative secondary school services; education offered with workforce preparation activities and training; support services and follow up. (Page 148)

  • Classroom presentation skills training based on the state’s Creative Job Search workshop will continue to be offered to all employees who facilitate workshops.
  • All Job Service employees have access to the Skill–soft online training platform. Training specific to each employee is documented in the employee’s Individual Development Plan.
  • Ongoing training in the areas of dealing with diverse populations, accessibility, safety, and financial literacy will continue to be offered to all employees. (Page 155)

*   SGA Project: the Institute on Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts – Boston has received RSA funding to demonstrate effective strategies to assist SSDI beneficiaries achieve income above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. Minnesota VRS is one of the demonstration sites. At time of enrollment, the SSDI beneficiary is assigned a counselor, placement specialist and financial specialist. Eligibility for services is presumed within three days and the Employment Plan is developed within 30 days of application. VRS has partnered with the DLL to provide financial counseling in VR offices. RSA funding was used to provide the benefits planners with financial literacy training so that in addition to benefits planning the financial specialists can provide assistance with improving credits scores, paying off credit card debt, and developing savings plans. It is hoped that the combination of rapid engagement and financial planning services will lead to better outcomes. Although the SGA Project does not receive any Medicaid funding, the financial specialist positions would not have been possible without the initial collaboration with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. (Page 223)

School to Work Transition

Overall, people felt the collaborative was very helpful for prioritizing what needs to be addressed first, Social Security benefits counseling, learning about community services, independent living skills, and learning advocacy skills.

The SRC and VRS have reviewed the notes of the discussion groups to help determine staff training needs. More emphasis needs to be placed on teaching self–advocacy skills. Several people mentioned they would have benefited from specific services but never asked for the services. People were appreciative of the team approach (VRS staff, IL staff and CRP staff co–located) but some people presumed everyone was employed by VRS. It is important that everyone is aware that VR provides choice of vendor and you don’t need to select the co–located staff. VRS needs to look at better ways to disengage when the person is successfully employed and does not need long–term supports. The information about post–employment services needs to be more inviting. (Page 205)

The SGA Project: The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts–Boston is conducting RSA funded research on best practices for assisting SSDI beneficiaries achieve employment above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The VR agencies in Minnesota and Kentucky are currently demonstrating this rapid engagement model where eligibility is determined within three days; within seven days transferable work skills are identified, labor market information is presented to the consumer, and benefits and financial planning services are started; and within 30 days the IPE and a Placement Plan are developed. A benefits analysis is completed within 8 weeks of application if needed. RSA demonstration grant funding is being used to provide SSDI beneficiaries’ access to a financial specialist to help the person know how income will impact federal and state benefits, and how work incentives and VR services can help improve credit scores and provide savings that can be used as a down–payment on a home or to purchase reliable transportation, etc. Minnesota hopes to demonstrate that rapid engagement and holistic services will lead to more placements at higher wages. (Page 208)

The Minnesota STAR (System of Technology to Achieve Results) Program: The STAR Program, a program within the Minnesota Department of Administration, is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. Vocational Rehabilitation often refers people to STAR for a device demonstration. This allows consumers to compare benefits and features of a particular device or category of devices. Once a decision on a device is made, the person can borrow the device for 30 days to make sure it meets the person’s needs before VR purchases the item. VR also maintains an agreement with STAR to provide VR assistive technology specialists with commonly used devices for use in doing assessments with consumers. (Page 209)

*   Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits. (Page 222)

Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor – Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 223)

Vocational Rehabilitation is showing continuous improvement in the number of participants from minority backgrounds. Individuals who are Black/African American represent 5.4% of the state population, 12.8% of the VR caseload, and 11.6% of VR’s successful closures. Individuals who are Hispanic/Latino represent 4.8% of the state population, 4.0% of the VR caseload, and 3.4% of VR’s successful closures. American Indians represent 1.0% of the state population, 2.5% of the VR caseload, and 1.2% of the successful closures. Asians represent 4.8% of the state population, 2.4% of the VR caseload, and 2.4% of the successful closures. Research suggests blacks and American Indians experience disability at a higher rate than other cultural/ethnic groups. VRS needs to continue active outreach to minorities to assure equal access to the benefits of VR services. (Page 236)

About 40 percent of VRS applicants receive SSA benefits. VRS was instrumental in establishing the Work Incentives Connection, a program of Goodwill Industries that provides work incentives planning and assistance for consumers and work incentives training for VRS staff. (Page 256)

Minnesota has been selected by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts – Boston as a demonstration site for the RSA funded demonstration grant to improve employment outcomes for VR customers who are SSDI beneficiaries (“The SGA Project”). Minnesota VRS is working closely with the ICI to promote rehabilitation counseling techniques that promote consumer engagement, provide early access to financial planning and benefits planning services, and provides early job development activities. Goals include presuming eligibility within 3 days, holding a meeting with the consumer to start benefits planning and to discuss Labor Market information within 7 days, and to implement the Employment Plan within 30 days.  (Page 256)

B1. All VRS managers, counselors and VR Technicians Seniors will have attended four informational sessions on Social Security work incentives and benefits planning by the end of FFY 2015. 

Progress to Date: All teams participated in training on Developing PASS Plans and a Disability Benefits 101 refresher. New employees participated in benefits planning training provided by local WIPA staff. An advanced course on benefits planning was also offered to all staff. VRS is one of the sites for the Institute for Community Inclusion’s SGA Project. (Page 259)

Medicaid will apply the payment to the consumer’s spenddown. Minnesota’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant was a joint project of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (VRS and SSB) and the State Council on Disability. 

Collaborative efforts started utilizing grant funding has been continued using state appropriations, including:

Disability Linkage Line (DLL): The DLL is a partnership between DHS and the Centers for Independent Living to provide disability related information and referral resources for Minnesotans with disabilities. Assistance is available in the areas of accessible housing, personal care services, transportation, employment, disability benefits, assistive technology, and other community resources. Services are available through a toll free number or online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info. The most recent expansion of the DLL has been in the area of benefits planning and benefits analysis for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits.
Disability Benefits 101: DB101 (www.db101.org) is a free online service operated by the Disability Linkage Line that was initially developed using Medicaid Infrastructure grant funding. The program allows people to plan for their future by providing estimator sessions showing how income will impact benefits, explores effective use of work incentives, helps people establish work goals, and provides answers to questions through live chat, phone or email. The program includes short videos of success stories. Many of the DLL staff are certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and can provide benefits analysis services if there are complex issues. Utilizing Department of Labor - Disability Employment Initiative funding, a new section on Work Benefits for Youth has been added. In addition to VRS and SSB staff being actively involved in the development of the online program, consumers were actively involved in the BETA testing to make sure the program was accessible to people with disabilities. (Page 297)

SSB, in conjunction with the SRC-B is committed to the following priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs:

FOCUS AREA: JOBS, MORE JOBS, BETTER JOBS 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Strategies:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment. ? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, and IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring. 

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Strategies:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems. (Page 312)

There are 5 specific areas that SSB is targeting to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities. They are: 

  • Increase competitive integrated employment outcomes by 3% from the previous year.

o Methods used will include:

? Annual review of customer base with counselors and develop targeted plans for those in “ready for employment” status.

? Complete revision of intake process including materials, training for staff, and incorporation of an intake overview training for customers.

? Ensuring applicants fully understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment.

? Work with Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Olmstead interagency workgroup focused on blending and braiding funding that allow access to extended services for the long term supports needed for customers for desiring employment.

? Active participation in the State interagency workgroup promoting the Governor’s executive order to improve hiring persons with disabilities in state government to 7%. SSB provides technical assistance to HR Directors, Accessibility Coordinators, IT staff in accommodations, reviews software and hardware issues, and makes recommendations to the Governor and his staff of steps that can be taken to improve hiring.

  • Increase the percentage of eligible individuals achieving employment outcomes from 55% to 70%.

o Methods used will be include:

? Regularly analyze data of unsuccessful closures to determine trends, issues and opportunities. From that develop plans to mitigate those problems.

? Implement the new intake process so individuals have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties when entering the public vocational rehabilitation program. (Page 321)

Supported employment services promoting the integration of people with the most severe disabilities into employment in Minnesota have become increasingly available. The scope and quality of supported employment services have improved as more entities become aware of the benefits of ongoing employment supports for individuals with the most significant disabilities. However, the demand for supported employment exceeds the capacity of systems in Minnesota to provide the necessary extended ongoing employment supports. In addition to the goals for Title VI Part B described in Section N, SSB will continue to engage in capacity building and technical assistance efforts with other state agencies and community service providers. For example, SSB is working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services regarding the need for ongoing employment supports for individuals who are DeafBlind. SSB counselors have had some success working with county social workers to obtain waiver funding for those ongoing supports. (Page 332)

Eligibility An applicant for MFIP or for DWP must meet the eligibility requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes Sections 256J.01 through 256J.95 before receiving benefits and services. All requirements under Section 408 of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 are included in Minnesota law. Assistance is provided equitably to all program recipients in accordance with State and Federal law. Neither MFIP nor DWP requires basis of eligibility tests, such as the previous AFDC 100–hour rule requirement for two–parent families. The asset limit for both programs is $2,000 for applicants and $5,000 for participants. The trade–in value limit on the first licensed vehicle excluded in determining eligibility is $10,000. In addition, the combined loan value of all other vehicles must be less than or equal to $7,500. For MFIP and DWP, statewide payment standards are based on the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit. Persons convicted of a drug offense committed after July 1, 1997 may receive cash assistance subject to the conditions set forth in Minnesota Statutes 256J.26. (Page 431)

Career Pathways

* Way to Work Project: Also referred to as the Ohio model, VRS has placed vocational rehabilitation counselors in a sheltered workshop to assess consumer needs and develop strategies to move the employees from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. Dakota County, the Department of Human Services and VRS are studying effective ways to provide training, supports and benefits planning to assist people transition into the community. (Page 224)

With the greater emphasis on providing pre–employment transition services, VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community–based work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators, hired by the school district, that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is working collaboratively with these coordinators to create a structure for connecting them to employer relationships and job leads created/ identified by the regional placement partnerships and to revise and deliver the Placement 101 training in order to meet the unique needs of these school staff members. On the flip side, where there aren’t work–based learning coordinators available to students, VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

The Minnesota Department of Education, several local school districts, the Title 1 Youth programs and VRS is currently conducting this assessment to determine how to provide cost effective coordinated transition career services and pre–employment transition services. The pilot activities are described in the section on youth with disabilities. (Page 238)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237) 

students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

The Community Rehabilitation Advisory Committee meets an average of six times per year. There has been substantial discussion this year on deepening and strengthening collaboration. Activities included co–hosting a statewide community partners meeting, sharing an understanding of WIOA regulations regarding Pre–Employment Transition Services and the impact this will have on VRS and CRPs, discussing a pilot program at ProAct (a center–based employment site) that will help transform centered–based programs to competitive integrated work opportunities, and providing an effective conduit for sharing important information with community providers and consumers. (Page 262)

 One case, this has led to a vendor/SSB committee that developed a more meaningful reporting tool with the vendor. As required by statute, SSB contracts with three CRPs to provide the minimum of six weeks intensive training under sleep shades from an adjustment to blindness center for Rehabilitation Counselors. Contracts have also been developed with CRPs to provide transition programs to students. Services are meant to augment work done by school districts with activities on evenings and weekends. Additionally, SSB has implemented “Vendor Forums” twice per year as an opportunity to provide updates about agency happenings, discuss trends in findings from monitoring visits and provide training on pertinent topics such as data practices, navigating the state system for job placement and assistive technology. In the area of assistive technology, vendors were part of a pilot program which tested a new curriculum and reporting tool for technology training. That curriculum and reporting tool have since been adopted as standard procedure. In the summer of 2015, a request for proposal (RFP) was released to the public to provide programming to transition students during the school year in the evenings and weekends designed to augment/supplement training they are receiving in school. Beginning on October 2015, SSB awarded two Adjustment To Blindness training centers contracts to provide these services. (Page 292)

FOCUS AREA: SSB-A Great Place to Work

  • Increase the numbers of individuals hired by SSB that reflect the customer base served by 3.
  1. Strategies:

? All SSB job postings have a preferred qualification of fluency in a second language. 

? All individuals meeting the required qualifications and are flagged as “special population” defined by Human Resources are granted an interview.

? SSB will participate in the Connect 700 Hour program for the State of Minnesota.

? All postings are sent to consumer groups for broad dissemination.

? SSB will hire at least 3 student workers who are blind, visually impaired, or DeafBlind.

  • Implement the accepted Assistive Technology workgroup recommendation by piloting CETT (Customer Evaluation of Technology and Training) by December 31, 2016. Implement strengths based meeting framework within the team model process by December 31, 2016. (Page 313)

This system involves a group orientation and clear, consistent messaging. This workgroup is still in the process of implementation. SSB as a whole will be piloting a group orientation for any new referrals to enhance the effort for individuals to make an informed choice regarding their intent to achieve an employment outcome. This orientation will be designed to meet the needs of all incoming referrals, regardless of culture or disability. In the area of increasing partnerships, WDU has developed relationships with Gillette Hospital and Ecolab to increase the likelihood of employment outcomes. We have achieved three successful employment outcomes from these employer relationships. WDU’s employment team is actively involved in Statewide Placement Partnerships that has resulted in approximately seven successful employment outcomes. The Statewide Placement Partnerships include VRS and other employment agencies throughout the state. WDU is working collaboratively with VRS on a model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administration, and the Department of Corrections. The MOU indicates that if a vocational rehabilitation applicant meets the minimum qualifications, they are guaranteed an interview with the department. WDU and VRS are working together on the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP), which is managed by the National Employment Team. WDU hired a transition coordinator. (Page 328)

The third goal seeks to develop and maintain a positive work environment by developing and implementing a team oriented model of customer service, ongoing customer support and training plan for the assistive technology team, and hiring practices that reflect the customer base served. SSB formed a workgroup to research, develop, and implement a team approach to service delivery. The purpose of the team approach is to increase the probability of success for customers by offering a structure that provides the maximum support to a counselor and their caseload. This approach was piloted to WDU staff, and there is now an approximately 85% participation rate. The goal is to have 100% of staff involved in the team approach for FFY16. Recommendations from the SSB Assistive Technology Workgroup have identified strategies which were recently approved by SSB senior management. Strategies focus on 3 areas including: SSB making the commitment to be “The Model” for accessibility standards; adopting and implementing the Customer Environment Task Tool (CETT) framework of how we approach students at the beginning of their vocational rehabilitation process; and providing customers with multiple training options. The WDU Assistive Technology staff are now working to implement them. The CETT is based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala. (Page 329)

 

Work Incentives & Benefits

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Career Pathways – Beginning in 2014, Minnesota’s DEI project supports job–driven approaches in career pathway systems and programs to equip youth and adults with disabilities (including individuals with significant disabilities) with the skills, competencies, and credentials necessary to help them obtain in–demand jobs, increase earnings, and advance their careers. Three Local Workforce Development Areas operate career pathways in manufacturing, health care, and information technology sectors. Disability Resources Coordinators work to strengthen partnerships with Vocational Rehabilitation, disability agencies, and employers and modify career pathway education and employment for individual success. (Page 71)

129. Partnerships and Development of Career Pathways: The degree to which the eligible provider’s activities coordinate with other available education, training, and social service resources in the community, such as by establishing strong links with elementary schools and secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, institutions of higher education, local workforce development boards, one-stop centers, job training programs, and social service agencies, business, industry, labor organizations, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and intermediaries, for the development of career pathways. (Page 111)

1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) to provide Pre–Employment Transition Services to assist In–School Youth with disabilities. Three pilot sites will be established in Rural Minnesota CEP, Anoka County and Southwest Minnesota in April of 2016 (will expand to other Local Workforce Development Areas at later date). The pilot sites will provide direct services in the form of work experience, introduction to career pathways and support services to VRS–eligible youth ages 14–21, who are attending secondary school (including alternative schools). The pilot sites will demonstrate effective intra–agency collaboration and local partnerships, best practices and co–enrollment strategies that can be shared across states and local youth workforce system providers and youth–serving agencies. (Page 148)

VRS is identifying alternative options to work with employers to offer students work experiences. First, VRS and three Workforce Investment Board Title I Youth programs are currently piloting a way to collaboratively identify students in need of paid work–based learning experiences and connect them to employers to provide these experiences at integrated work settings in the community. In these 12–week experiences, students will gain confidence and skills to help propel them along career pathways. As many as 50 students will be served with this model. Furthermore, VRS is working with Community Rehabilitation Providers on various opportunities as well. These include job shadows, job try–outs, internships, and full and part–time jobs. Lastly, VRS has both internal and contracted job placement positions that are re–directing their time within VRS offices to focus more intentionally on partnering with employers to offer these opportunities as well. (Page 221)

VRS staff have reached out to local school districts across the state to identify how transition students are currently able to access community work–based learning opportunities and what gaps need to be filled. In many instances, there are work–based learning coordinators hired by the school district that have at least some employer relationships within the community. However, many of these coordinators report that they don’t always have the time or expertise to form the breadth of relationships that meets the needs of all students. VRS is currently developing a structure to share job leads developed by the VRS/CRP Placement Partnerships, and plan are being made to offer the Placement 101 training curriculum to school personnel. VRS and three Title 1 Youth programs are piloting a model where students will participate in a 12 week paid work experience to gain confidence and encourage development of career pathways. VRS is also working with CRPs to develop more opportunities for job shadows, job try–outs, internships and integrated competitive placements. It is anticipated that these pilot projects will lead to a model to better serve youth with disabilities in both the WIOA Title 1 youth programs and VRS. (Page 237)

DHS/DEED staff will continue to work with Mr. LaPlante and his staff to discuss potential SNAP E&T opportunities with each reservation utilizing FFP at the 75 percent rate. Tribal Reservations will be encouraged, with DHS/DEED assistance, to develop local programs designed to provide volunteer SNAP E&T services/activities to their members. As these programs develop, they will be added to this SNAP E&T Plan and submitted for approval to FNS. DEED is currently working with the Northwest Indian Occupational Industrialization Center (OIC) which was provided a Career Pathways grant to provide Career Pathways opportunities for Indians residing on or off the reservations. We hope to expand this project to other areas along with increasing Adult Basic Education (ABE) to better reach and serve this population. (Page 461)

Employer Engagement

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services: Memorandum of Understanding to enhance work opportunities for veterans with disabilities by sharing information, coordinating activities and offering complementary services.

Ticket to Work Employment Networks: VRS, State Services for the Blind and SSA co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks to provide staff training, updates on Ticket to Work procedural changes, and to promote Partnership Plus job retention services after VRS/SSB case closure. (Page 208)

The designated state unit maintains a close working relationship with the local Workforce Development Board’s Youth Programs, including the Youth Disability Employment Initiative. Two of the service providers have become Employment Networks so they can continue job retention services after WIOA services have ended. One of the providers is seeking CARF accreditation to become a community rehabilitation provider to better meet the needs of youth with disabilities. (Page 209)

People with disabilities are served in all components of the workforce development system, both as universal customers and in eligibility based programs. Ten percent of the universal customers self–report having a disability. However, when the system became an Employment Network under the SSA Ticket to work Program many people who had indicated they did not have a disability assigned their ticket, suggesting people prefer not to disclose a disability until there is a reason to.

A customer Job Seeker Satisfaction Survey indicated an overall satisfaction with services. The five resources customers found most helpful were developing job related skills (44%), learning job search skills (34%), resources to help in job search (28%), financial help and gas vouchers for job search (26%), and staff helpfulness (17%). Recommendations for improvement included providing more services directly in the Centers (32%), improving the quality of services (16%), increasing financial support (10%), and improving the staffing ratio (8%). It was noted services aren’t always consistent statewide. For example, not all Centers have special “zones” for youth and young adults with disabilities. (Page 237)

SSA, VRS and State Services for the Blind co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. In addition to providing in–service training, the meetings provide an opportunity to learn more about the services offered by each Employment Network to assist consumers make informed choices when selecting a vendor for employment services and/or on–going job retention services. The current focus of this group is to expand the use of Ticket to Work funding to provide ongoing job retention supports, and to promote the use of PASS Plans. (Page 256)

Progress to Date: All direct service staff have received training on the available funding streams for supported employment. Measuring the impact of this training has been difficult due to the complexity of the funding streams, and the fact that a person may access multiple funding streams to meet specific needs. VRS works closely with the SSA funded Employment Networks to encourage leveraging of Ticket to Work funding to provide on–going supports. In FFY 2015, Employment Networks received over $250,000 in SSA funding for post–VR job retention services. (Page 260)

SSA, VRS and SSB continue to co–host periodic meetings of the Employment Networks. One result of this is more Employment Networks are providing Ticket–to–Work funded job retention (Partnership Plus) services following VRS intensive services. There are currently 188 consumers receiving Partnership Plus services. Ticket–to–Work funding is used to supplement Supported Employment funding or to provide continued job retention services beyond the 90 days VRS typically provides. Work incentives basic and advanced training for counselors was provided by work incentives specialists at the Work Incentives Connection.(Page 267)

 

511

No specific disability related information found

Mental Health

The ADA Site Selection Criteria and Access Standards – The standards were developed to assess the accessibility of potential WorkForce Center (WFC) locations and identify the building elements that are critical to program access. The standards address the obligation by all WFC partners under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOA). (Page 121-122)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 31 - 40 of 74

Minnesota HCBS Transition Plan - 11/03/2014

Minnesota has developed a Statewide Transition Plan to address new rules governing home and community-based services funded through Medical Assistance. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the new rules in January 2014. The rules outline the mandatory requirements for person-centered planning and home and community-based settings. In general, it is intended to give participants receiving home and community-based services increased choice and integration into the community. CMS requires each state to create a transition plan detailing how the state will come into compliance with the requirements by March 17, 2019.    This document offers the framework Minnesota will use to ensure compliance with the final Rule.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MN Employment First Policy - Olmstead Sub-Cabinet Approval - 10/01/2014

MN APSE announces the approval of an Employment First Policy by the MN Olmstead Sub-Cabinet on September 29, 2014. The approval of this policy is [a] culmination of years of collaboration, partnership, education, and dedication of a group … united around the idea that people with disabilities are just as valued and have the same rights as other citizens. The idea that employment should be the first option for working aged Minnesotans with disabilities was not always embraced, but today Minnesota stands on the doorstep of real and permanent change by making employment an option for all Minnesotans with disabilities.

 
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Minnesota Employment First Policy - 09/29/2014

The Employment First Policy envisions a future where all people with disabilities can achieve competitive, integrated employment. Competitive employment means:

·         Full-time, part-time, or self-employment with and without supports

·         In the competitive labor force

·         On the payroll of a competitive business or industry

·         Pays at least minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by workers without a disability.

This policy increases options and choices for people with disabilities by aligning policies, funding practices and collaborative efforts among state agencies. This will help people who choose to work to enter an integrated, competitive workforce or become self-employed.

 

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

Minnesota Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment - 09/04/2014

This needs assessment is a report jointly developed under the direction of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), a unit of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota State Rehabilitation Council…

The project team examined needs across various populations, subgroups, and disabilities, using a large variety of sources spanning across providers, agencies, experts, advocates and consumers. In addition to the objective data and qualitative data about consumer needs, this needs assessment contains updates to the Literature Review.

VRS organized the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) into five categories (Transition Services, Employment Preparation, Employer Relationships, Long-Term Supports and Communication) representing areas of need consistently identified in previous needs assessments. In light of resource constraints and the results of CSNAs, it seemed wise to focus the needs assessment on the most pressing unresolved needs. The CSNA identified needs as either "Consistent and Documented" or "Potential and Emerging"

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation

Minnesota Employment Learning Community - 09/01/2014

“The Minnesota Employment Learning Community is a group of people working to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. It started in September 2014 and is a joint effort between the Minnesota departments of Human Services, Employment and Economic Development and Education.”