Montana

States - Big Screen

When it comes to efforts to increase employment opportunities for workers with disabilities in Montana, the sky is the limit in the "Big Sky Country."

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 Montana’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.91%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,032,949
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
4.07%
Change from
2014 to 2015
71,852
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
3.69%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28,960
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-0.37%
Change from
2014 to 2015
40.31%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.48%
Change from
2014 to 2015
77.36%

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 1,015,165 1,023,579 1,032,949
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 74,107 68,927 71,852
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 29,202 27,890 28,960
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 416,186 427,221 422,617
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 39.41% 40.46% 40.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 76.78% 77.73% 77.36%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.40% 4.70% 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.00% 20.40% 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.80% 14.70% 13.60%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 74,170 66,825 75,099
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 65,643 65,921 64,678
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 125,606 119,162 125,953
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 4,707 3,985 4,767
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 9,608 9,053 8,945
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 239 636 531
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 3,767 3,025 3,085
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 507 381 1,002

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 1,830 1,812 1,874
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 10.30% 10.50% 10.80%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 28,170 27,807 27,848

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 1,069 1,152 1,433
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 2,924 3,082 3,347
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 7,062 7,793 9,753
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 15.10% 14.80% 14.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.40% 0.50% 0.50%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.70% 1.80% 1.80%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.50% 1.40% 1.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 92 125 128
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 382 407 423
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 333 329 316
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. 1,549 1,519 2,179
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.01 0.01 0.02

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2011 2012 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 15 859 10
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 8 384 5
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. 53.00% 45.00% 50.00%
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. 0.80 38.20 0.48

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
2,037
1,945
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 185 135 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 114 84 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 611 570 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 491 494 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 597 631 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 39 31 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 25.30% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 1,200 1,163 1,496
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 40,218 39,902 40,038
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. 76 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $1,013,000 $1,148,000 $2,003,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $8,630,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 $21,184,000 $11,401,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 12.00% 24.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. N/A 0 0
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A 0 1,070
Number of people served in facility based non-work. N/A 1,630 959
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 25.50 22.10 43.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 47.30% 47.19% 46.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 13.10% 13.00% 12.74%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.50% 1.43% 1.40%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 92.10% 100.00% 100.00%
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). 25.20% 21.57% 20.71%
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). 73.30% 71.24% 71.77%
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). 86.90% 84.62% 85.11%
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). 48.10% 49.66% 51.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 294,615
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,038
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 42,808
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 25,481
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 68,289
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 245
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 381
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 626
AbilityOne wages (products). $139,465
AbilityOne wages (services). $243,632

 

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

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 27 27 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 0 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 27 28
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 1,202 1,202
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 0 54
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 1,202 1,256

 

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)
  • Each year there will be a customer satisfaction survey conducted and an analysis of the survey results.
  • A statewide town hall meeting will be held each of the three years to gather input from consumers and other stakeholders.
  • In FY 2016 VRBS’ counselors will be surveyed to gain their input on the needs of consumers.
  • VRBS will continue to be involved with the State Employment Leadership Network to gather information on how VRBS can assist with the Employment First initiative activities.
  • In FY2016 the input that has been obtained from the previous activities will be presented to the VRBS’ leadership team to assess and develop priorities for the upcoming strategic plan.
  • After a draft of priorities are developed, input on the priorities and potential strategies for achieving the priorities will be obtained from the SRC and if possible the SILC.
  • In FY 2016 a final draft of the strategic plan will be presented to the SRC for any final recommendations.  (Page 196)
  1. Expansion of mental health providers as CRP’s to serve those with severe and persistent mental illness
  2. Planning for the needs of consumers requiring higher level of long-term supports was identified through participation with the Supported Employment Leadership Network (the employment first network of Montana. (Page 200)
Customized Employment

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) will continue to encumber Title VI, Part B funds on a fee-for service basis. When supported employment services exhaust Title VI, Part B funds, then Title I funds will be utilized to provide needed supported employment services. At this time and in recent years, this procedure has made it possible to provide all planned supported employment services for individuals receiving VRBS services. If in the future VRBS determines that there are inadequate funds to provide all needed supported employment services for individuals on the VRBS caseload, then the first priority for supported employment services will be on the job supports. The second priority will be services such as transportation and work clothing.

In addition, VRBS prioritizes the use of supported employment models that maximize integration of persons with the most significant disabilities in real work sites, doing meaningful work. VRBS does not support the use of segregated bench work, sheltered, enclave or segregated crew models. VRBS has been aware of and used customized employment techniques for some time, however with the passage of WIOA, VRBS plans to emphasize these techniques to a greater degree. (Page 211)

Comment 6: North Central Independent Living Services, Inc. (NCILS) urge the state to implement policies, procedures, and practices which will benefit all Montanans to receive a fair and competitive wage within an integrated work setting throughout Montana by working with Montana VRBS Section 511. NCLIS supports VRBS in the expanded use of customized employment. NCILS mentions the importance of continuum of services that leads to competitive and integrated employment for all Montanans, including those with disabilities. Response: DPHHS–VRBS appreciates the comments and they will be kept up to date on the implementation of Section–511. (Page 279)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Braiding funds with other core partners for conferences and trainings focused on supporting career pathways will be the manner in which leadership dollars will align with the work of our core partners. This collaboration across core partner agencies will evolve to meet the needs of WIOA implementation and sustainability. Secondly, the state will support the eligible providers’ ability to integrate and sustain career pathways in their instructional practice. Funds will be available to support regional meetings with workforce and one–stop partners to help AE programs identify the components of job–driven training that needs to be incorporated into their curriculum. Regional professional development will make use of leadership dollars to assist programs in learning how to become responsive to local labor market demands. Thirdly, the state will use funds to develop templates and identify resources that support a systemic approach to career pathways; technical assistance will be made available for providers on the use of state developed resources that will inform their pathway implementation. (Page 56-57)  and   (Page 151)

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners), will comply with section 188 of WIOA (if applicable) and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) with regard to the physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology, and materials for individuals with disabilities. This also must include a description of compliance through providing staff training and support for addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria.

The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. Physical and programmatic accessibility will be among the criteria required for local site certification. (Page 85)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Veterans that are homeless or at risk of being homeless ?

Veterans separated from service within the last three years and, at any point in the previous 12 months, have been unemployed for 27 or more consecutive weeks?

Veterans that have ever been incarcerated?

Veterans without a high school diploma or equivalent certificate?

Veterans that fall below the poverty line for the area in which they reside?

Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 years’ old? 

The spouse of a service member who died of a service– connected disability, has been missing in action for more than 90 days, captured in the line of duty by a hostile force for more than 90 days, forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power for more than 90 days, or who has a total disability that is permanent in nature resulting from a service–connected disability or who died as a result of a service–connected disability?

A family member (parent, spouse, child, step– family member or other that live with but are not a member of the family) that provides personal care services to an eligible veteran Addressing Accessibility of the One–Stop System The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. (Page 78-79)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.

VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)

  • Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
  • Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)

Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders 

An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.

Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)

During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159) 

  • Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.  

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities.

Plans

  • Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)

Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff. 

In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)

3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.

4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.

  • Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
  • Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
  • Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)

In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.

VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.

VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

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

Benefits
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)

VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following. 

  • Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
  • Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
  • Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
    • Membership of state and local workforce boards.
    • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)

Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. 

  • Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
  • Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
  • Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116) 

The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)

Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.

Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.

In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)

VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling. Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities.

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)

Employment First

As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.

Technical Assistance and Consultation

Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)

VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.

VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)

The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)

Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)

An eligible individual with a disability which:

  1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
  2. Requires two or more primary services;
  3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
  4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222)  

Order of Selection Policies

Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities. 

After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.

This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)

  • Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
  • Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
  • Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
  • Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)

1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.

1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.

1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.

1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers. 

  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.

  • At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)

  • Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)

FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:

  • Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
  • Inability to locate or contact clients;
  • Clients’ relocation out of state;
  • Staff vacancies;
  • Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
  • Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
  • Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
  • Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
School to Work Transition

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:

  1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
  2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
  3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
  4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)

In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15) 

Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.

In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.

VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)

In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
  • Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
  • The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective

Transition services delivery.

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. 

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.

Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)

VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)

Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)

Data Collection
  • To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
  • To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems. 

Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education 

The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)

Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes. 

  • CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
  • Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
  • One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)

Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) 

Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs, (Page 76)

The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)

VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)

VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.

Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)

FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)

Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.

VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.

Florida Small Business Development Center Network

Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)

Career Pathways

Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.

Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)

(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)

Employment Networks
  • Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)

LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.

In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act

One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)

The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities. 

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
    • Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
    • Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
    • Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
    • Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)

FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.

FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)

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House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

“Enrollment Dashboard December 2016” - 03/02/2017

~~“This document shows the state data on the number of people who receive benefits from various Medicaid programs.”

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

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

The Montana Medicaid Program “Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Report to the 2017 Legislature” - 01/09/2017

~~“Money Follows the Person (MFP) - Montana was awarded a MFP demonstration grant from CMS to augment existing Montana’s community-based long term services and supports and to increase HCBS. The grant provides a temporary increase in the federal share of the Medicaid matching rate to pay for services to people who are already receiving Medicaid funded care in an institutional setting and choose to move into certain types of community settings…..

All waiver and demonstration services receive an enhanced FMAP rate for Medicaid benefits for a period of 365 days of service. At day 366, a participant is served under a HCBS waiver at regular FMAP. This grant was extended in the amount of $9,306,595. Montana will transition individuals to HCBS waiver programs with MFP funds through December 31, 2017. MFP funding will continue through the first quarter of calendar year 2019.”

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

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

Montana ABLE Legislation Senate Bill 399 - 05/05/2015

It is the intent of the legislature to give Montana residents access to a program authorized section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 529A, 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, federal and state medical and disability insurance, a beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

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

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 15

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program - 07/01/2015

The state plan has provisions for supported employment services.  Provisions include:  Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services: 8.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54), 363.11(g)(6) and (7)) (a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in Section 7(36) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54). (b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site. (c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities. 8.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Sections 7(2)(B) and 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 361.5(b)(6)(ii) and 363.11(g)(2)) The comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under Section 102(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and funded under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome. 8.3 Individualized plan for employment. (Sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 625(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.46(b) and 363.11(g)(3) and (5))  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Goals and Priorities - 06/01/2014

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation goals include:

“MVR/BLVS will increase the capacity to serve transition age (14‐24) youth with disabilities.” “MVR/BLVS will increase the quality of successful closures by placing more consumers in positions that pay a living wage and have employee benefits.” “MVR/BLVS will become a model of an accessible work place for individuals with disabilities.”  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana National Federation of the Blind 2013 Resolutions - 10/27/2013

“WHEREAS, Section 511 links the Rehabilitation Act, which was established to assist people with disabilities in obtaining competitive integrated employment, with Section 14(C) of the FLSA, which is based on the false premise that people with disabilities cannot be competitively employed and therefore can be paid subminimum wages; and

WHEREAS, The language of Section 511 is only contained in the Senate version of the bill, S. 1356, and not in the House version: NOW THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled this Twenty-seventh Day of October, 2013, in the city of Billings, Montana, that this organization calls on its United States Senators, The Honorable Max Baucus and The Honorable Jon Tester, to support fair wages for all American workers by actively working for the removal of > Title V, Section 511 from S. 1356 before its passage by the United States Senate, and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on our entire Montana Congressional Delegation to cosponsor the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of  2013.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

"What is Transition?" Montana Office of Public Instruction “Secondary Transition"

“Montana Workforce Investment Act For an individual to be eligible, they must be between the ages of 14-21 for in-school youth and 16-24 for out-of-school youth, have a low income, and meet at least one of the following barriers to employment: For youth who are still enrolled in schools the following eligibility: (681.220 In-School Youth) • Must be attending school, including secondary or postsecondary school; • Be not younger than 14 or older than 21 at the time or enrollment; • Be of low-income and have one or more of the following: o Have a basic skills deficiency o Be an English language learner o Be an offender o Be a homeless individual which may include: - runaway youth, - youth in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, - youth eligible for assistance under Sec. 477 of the Social Security Act, or - youth in an out-of-home placement. o Be pregnant or parenting o Be an individual with a disability o Be an individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an education o Be in a program to secure and hold employment. “

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

Secondary Transition “Transition Binder”

This site has the publication on Secondary Transition available in eight sections. The information can be opened in pdf or Word format.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Montana Center for Inclusive Education - 06/01/2014

The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity. The mission supporting this vision states that MCIE serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers. MCIE also provides grant management and fiscal management for the Montana State University Billings (MSUB) College of Education’s externally funded projects.   Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project   The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)    • Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.    • Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.    • Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.    • Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.    • Provides healthcare planning and counseling.    • The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DPHHS Developmental Services Division - 01/01/2010

In July 2009, the Disability Services Division (DSD) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) was restructured under the Medicaid and Health Services Branch of DPHHS. In January 2010, the name was changed to Developmental Services Division.

The Montana Disability Services Division joined the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) in 2011, since then it has worked to address concerns reflected in the State Strategic Employment Assessment. Building a focused state workplan through key stakeholder input is reflective of the Division’s strong interest in improving employment statewide, across both urban and rural settings.   The Division continues to engage self-advocates and families in planning efforts. This is helping to create strong external pressures and demands for increasing integrated employment opportunities and the expectation of work, regardless of disability.
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

~~The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)-Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.-Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.-Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.-Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.-Provides healthcare planning and counseling.-The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person. 

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

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities

~~By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

The University of Montana Rural Institute Transition Projects

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has been a leader in the area of transition planning for youth with disabilities since 1995. Activities have included:-Providing education and training to schools, families, students and agencies;-Developing creative strategies and transition models;-Offering training and assistance on-site and long distance;-Promoting systems changes to support effective transition for youth from school to adult life; and 

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, And Service

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has strived to collaborate with partners across Montana and across the nation to further its mission. Partners include Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Child Care Resource and Referral Network,  Missoula City/County Public Health Department, Montana Department of Commerce,  Montana’s Office of Public Instruction,  State Deaf-Blind Coordinator, and  Vocational Rehabilitation agencies throughout the state.

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute "MonTech"

 

 

~~The Montana Assistive Technology Program (MATP) is the Statewide AT Program funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. MATP’s lead agency is Montana DPHHS: Disability Services Division, Vocational Rehabilitation Services. MATP is located within the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Missoula and serves all Montanans with disabilities and their supports.

MATP provides AT information and services in the areas of education, employment, community living, and telecommunications. MATP’s services are consistent with the Rural Institute for Inclusive Community’s mission of enhancing the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with disabilities through consumer responsiveness as defined in the AT act.

 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Youth Transitions (MYTransitions)

Disability Employment and Transitions and the Office of Public Instruction sponsor the Montana Youth Transitions Program (MYTransitions). MYTransitions is a website where you can explore, ask questions and discover. The intent of their website is to connect students and families to others across Montana who are also in transition or who have already navigated the transition process. MYTransitions is a reference tool for youth with disabilities and their families."

 
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Montana Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) - 06/01/2014

“The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program is authorized in 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. The program permits a State to furnish an array of home and community-based services that assist Medicaid beneficiaries to live in the community and avoid institutionalization. The State has broad discretion to design its waiver program to address the needs of the waiver’s target population. Waiver services complement and/or supplement the services that are available to participants through the Medicaid State plan and other federal, state and local public programs as well as the supports that families and communities provide.  Application dated October 1,2013”

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

ASPIRE PROMISE Grant - 09/01/2013

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the PROMISE Initiative (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) to a six state consortium, ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment).  The six states of the ASPIRE consortium are Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.

The same interventions will be delivered to all youth in the six states.  Delivery of the ASPIRE Services may vary by state depending on each state’s infrastructure and framework.   Interventions for youth and families assigned to ASPIRE Services include:

-Training and information for parents and families, including advocacy, community resources, educational and employment opportunities, and more.

-A complete individualized explanation of the public benefits the youth and family are receiving and how working and increased earnings will impact those benefits.

-A paid employment opportunity for the youth while he or she is still in high school.

-Self-determination training for the youth and families.

-Financial education and capability training to assist families in understanding their values and available resources to move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

-Case management services provided to the youth and family to assist them in navigating the complicated systems of public benefits and assistance in accessing services, supports and information to support greater self-sufficiency

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Montana Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Research Assistance to States (MIG-RATS) Center launched a website to provide resources and support to states implementing MIGs. The website is designed to help staff find research reports and resources, learn about MIG-RATS activities and initiatives, and connect with MIG researchers. The website includes info on topics such as Medicaid Buy-In programs, outreach and marketing, and youth in transition and also provides links to tools and a calendar of events.

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

Montana Money Follows the Person (MFP)

“MFP is a demonstration program [that] helps Montana shift its long term care system by reducing the use of institutionally based services and increasing the use of home and community based services (HCBS). MFP is focused on helping individuals transition from in-patient facilities to the community. [The Program’s vision is to] create a sustainable system that supports community options as a first choice for individuals needing long term care services.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement

MT Office of Public Instruction- Secondary Transition Academy Module 3: - 01/01/2011

“Module 3 will provide information on how to develop instructional programs for teaching employment and employment-related skills. After completing this module, you will be able to: • Operationally define student learning objectives. • Understand how to use response prompting and fading procedures including: • System of most-to-least prompts. • System of least-to-most prompts. • Constant time delay. • Error correction. • Reinforcement strategies. • Describe the prompt hierarchy. • Develop a worksite analysis. • Develop a task analysis. • Understand data collection and summary formats”

Systems
  • Other

MT Teleconference Training - Transition Planning - 12/12/2006

The goal of this presentation is to “provide listeners with ideas to help them support students with disabilities in  grades 6 ¬- 8, their parents, teachers, and  community¬ based service providers to be  informed  and well¬ equipped to successfully navigate the gate the transition proc on process.  This will lead to increased post ¬ school success for these students.”

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

MT INVEST Employment Specialist Training

Many of us know somebody that has a disability. Individuals with disabilities can face additional challenges to obtaining and retaining good jobs. To create an opportunity for that person to be most successful, there are several activities and/or steps to identify employment options that are a good match to the person’s skills, interests, and workplace preference (likes quiet or likes noise and activity for example). The curriculum and testing will help learners develop the skill of facilitating Employment Supports, as well as inspire and motivate employment staff to new levels of performance and professionalism. Whether you are helping a family member or friend, or whether you are or plan to be, an employment specialist professional: this information can help you bring successful results to those you are assisting.

The course consists of five sections, including resources and sample forms:

1. Introduction to Community Employment

2. Assessment for the Job Seeker

3. Job Development

4. Job Analysis, Training & Job Coaching

5. Long-Term Supports, Customer Service & Review

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

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities

By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.

As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Center for Inclusive Education

The Montana Center on Disabilities (MCD) is part of Montana State University-Billings. MCD works to make sure that all people are part of the community.  The Center supports the idea that people with disabilities can make their own choices about how they live and work.  MCD does this by offering education and information to many people.  One focus is on giving young people with disabilities the tools to become leaders.

The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity. The mission supporting this vision states that MCIE serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers. MCIE also provides grant management and fiscal management for the Montana State University Billings (MSUB) College of Education’s externally funded projects.

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Montana Community First Choice

The Community First Choice and Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Programs are …programs designed to provide long term supportive care in the home setting. These programs enable thousands of elderly and disabled citizens to remain in their homes. The type of care authorized is tailored to each individual in a person centered manner and dependent upon their needs, living situation, and availability of caregivers.

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

MT Office of Public Instruction - Secondary Transition Academy Training, Module 2

“One of the primary functions of transition-related planning and instruction… is to prepare students for post-school employment. Module 2 will provide information about how to help students plan for employment. Part I focuses on employment planning for transition-age student; it describes the stages of employment preparation for students with disabilities and describes ways to determine employment-related goals and objectives. Part II describes the roles and responsibilities of para-educators working in secondary transition settings.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement

MT Office of Public Instruction - Secondary Transition Academy, Module 1

“Module 1 is an introduction to supporting students with disabilities in secondary transition settings. Part I of the module is an overview of disability awareness. Specifically, it describes who is eligible for special education and related services, it describes how labels can lead to stereotypes of disabilities, and it describes how educators can better advocate for students with disabilities. Part II is a brief review of the legislation and history of secondary transition services for students with disabilities. Part III provides a discussion of the overall structure of adult employment programs and the importance of developing a community-based employment program for students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

“Enrollment Dashboard December 2016” - 03/02/2017

~~“This document shows the state data on the number of people who receive benefits from various Medicaid programs.”

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

The Montana Medicaid Program “Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Report to the 2017 Legislature” - 01/09/2017

~~“Money Follows the Person (MFP) - Montana was awarded a MFP demonstration grant from CMS to augment existing Montana’s community-based long term services and supports and to increase HCBS. The grant provides a temporary increase in the federal share of the Medicaid matching rate to pay for services to people who are already receiving Medicaid funded care in an institutional setting and choose to move into certain types of community settings…..

All waiver and demonstration services receive an enhanced FMAP rate for Medicaid benefits for a period of 365 days of service. At day 366, a participant is served under a HCBS waiver at regular FMAP. This grant was extended in the amount of $9,306,595. Montana will transition individuals to HCBS waiver programs with MFP funds through December 31, 2017. MFP funding will continue through the first quarter of calendar year 2019.”

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

MT HCB Waiver for Adults w/Severe Disabling Mental Illness (0455.R02.00) - 07/01/2015

Provides adult day health, case management, day hab, homemaker, prevocational services, residential hab, respite, supported employment, OT, chore, community transition, dietitian/nutrition/meals, habilitation aide, health and wellness, illness management and recovery, non-medical transportation, pain and symptom management, personal assistance service/specially trained attendant care, PERS, private duty nursing (& registered nurse supervision), psychosocial counseling and consultation, specialized medical equipment and supplies, substance use related disorder services, supported living, wellness recovery action plan for individuals w/mental illness ages 18 - no max age.

The waiver expired 06/30/2015, and the renewal was approved 07/01/2015.

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

Montana HCBS Transition Plan - 06/01/2014

CMS has issued regulations that define the settings in which it is permissible for states to pay for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS).The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that individuals receive Medicaid HCBS in settings that are integrated in, and support full access to, the greater community.  This includes opportunities to engage in community life, control personal resources, receive services in the community, and, when appropriate, seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings to the same degree as individuals who do not receive HCBS…   To assist states in making this transition, CMS has published guidance to provide further information about settings in which HCBS may or may not be allowed.  States will be allowed a maximum of five years to make the transition and must submit a transition plan to CMS within one year of the effective date of the rule   DPHHS submitted their transition plan late 2014  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Supported Employment, Individual Employment Support - 01/31/2014

“Individual employment supports are habilitation services and staff supports needed by a person to acquire integrated employment or career advancement in the general workforce. Individual employment support is delivered in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. The outcome of this service is paid employment in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting within the general workforce that meets the person's personal and career goals, as documented in the plan of care.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Support Employment, Follow Along Support - 01/31/2014

“Follow along support consists of habilitation services and supports that enable a person to stabilize or expand employment in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. The person may require follow along support when:   (a) the person's job is in jeopardy; or   (b) a job promotion opportunity requires more complex, comprehensive, or intensive supports. Follow along support may be provided in an extended ongoing manner or intermittently as needed.”  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Job Preparation - 01/31/2014

“Job preparation provides formalized training and work experiences, based upon the goals identified during job discovery, intended to teach a person the skills necessary to succeed in a paid competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. Training may also address workplace social skills and the development of practices and behaviors necessary for successful employment.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Supports for Community Work and Living Waiver (1037.R00.00) - 10/01/2013

~~Provides job discovery/job preparation, respite, supported employment-follow along support, supports brokerage, behavioral support services, environmental mods/adaptive equipment, individual goods and services, meals, PERS, personal supports, supported employment-co-worker supports, supported employment-individual employment support, supported employment-small group employment support, transportation for individuals with IID and DD ages 16 - no max age.”

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

MT HCBW for Individuals w/DD Waiver (0208.R05.00) - 07/01/2013

~~Provides day supports and activities, homemaker, job discovery/job preparation, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, supported employment-follow along support, waiver-funded children's case management, OT, PT, psychological services, speech therapy, supports brokerage, adult companion services, adult foster support, assisted living, behavioral support, caregiver training and support, community transition, environmental mods/adaptive equipment, individual goods and services, meals, nutritionist, personal care, PERS, personal supports, private duty nursing, remote monitoring equipment, remote monitoring, retirement services, supported employment-co-worker support, supported employment-individual employment support, supported employment-small group employment support, transportation for individuals w/IDD/DD ages 0 - no max age

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

MT Big Sky Waiver (0148.R05.00) - 07/01/2011

This waiver, 'provides adult day health, case management, day hab, homemaker, personal assistance, prevocational, residential hab, respite, supported employment, OT, PT, respiratory therapy, speech therapy and audiology, FMS, independence advisor, community supports, community transition, consultative clinical and therapeutic services, consumer goods and services, dietetic services, environmental accessibility adaptations, family training and support, health and wellness, homemaker chore, non-medical transportation…”

This waiver expires 06/30/2016.

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

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

When it comes to efforts to increase employment opportunities for workers with disabilities in Montana, the sky is the limit in the "Big Sky Country."

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 Montana’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.91%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,032,949
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
4.07%
Change from
2014 to 2015
71,852
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
3.69%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28,960
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-0.37%
Change from
2014 to 2015
40.31%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.48%
Change from
2014 to 2015
77.36%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 1,015,165 1,023,579 1,032,949
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 74,107 68,927 71,852
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 29,202 27,890 28,960
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 416,186 427,221 422,617
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 39.41% 40.46% 40.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 76.78% 77.73% 77.36%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.40% 4.70% 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.00% 20.40% 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.80% 14.70% 13.60%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 74,170 66,825 75,099
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 65,643 65,921 64,678
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 125,606 119,162 125,953
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 4,707 3,985 4,767
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 9,608 9,053 8,945
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 239 636 531
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 3,767 3,025 3,085
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 507 381 1,002

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 1,830 1,812 1,874
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 10.30% 10.50% 10.80%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 28,170 27,807 27,848

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 1,069 1,152 1,433
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 2,924 3,082 3,347
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 7,062 7,793 9,753
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 15.10% 14.80% 14.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.40% 0.50% 0.50%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.70% 1.80% 1.80%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.50% 1.40% 1.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 92 125 128
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 382 407 423
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 333 329 316
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. 1,549 1,519 2,179
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.01 0.01 0.02

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2011 2012 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 15 859 10
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 8 384 5
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. 53.00% 45.00% 50.00%
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. 0.80 38.20 0.48

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
2,037
1,945
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 185 135 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 114 84 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 611 570 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 491 494 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 597 631 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 39 31 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 25.30% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 1,200 1,163 1,496
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 40,218 39,902 40,038
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. 76 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $1,013,000 $1,148,000 $2,003,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $8,630,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 $21,184,000 $11,401,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 12.00% 24.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. N/A 0 0
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A 0 1,070
Number of people served in facility based non-work. N/A 1,630 959
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 25.50 22.10 43.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 47.30% 47.19% 46.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 13.10% 13.00% 12.74%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.50% 1.43% 1.40%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 92.10% 100.00% 100.00%
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). 25.20% 21.57% 20.71%
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). 73.30% 71.24% 71.77%
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). 86.90% 84.62% 85.11%
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). 48.10% 49.66% 51.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 294,615
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,038
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 42,808
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 25,481
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 68,289
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 245
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 381
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 626
AbilityOne wages (products). $139,465
AbilityOne wages (services). $243,632

 

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

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 27 27 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 0 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 27 28
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 1,202 1,202
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 0 54
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 1,202 1,256

 

WIOA Proflie

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)
  • Each year there will be a customer satisfaction survey conducted and an analysis of the survey results.
  • A statewide town hall meeting will be held each of the three years to gather input from consumers and other stakeholders.
  • In FY 2016 VRBS’ counselors will be surveyed to gain their input on the needs of consumers.
  • VRBS will continue to be involved with the State Employment Leadership Network to gather information on how VRBS can assist with the Employment First initiative activities.
  • In FY2016 the input that has been obtained from the previous activities will be presented to the VRBS’ leadership team to assess and develop priorities for the upcoming strategic plan.
  • After a draft of priorities are developed, input on the priorities and potential strategies for achieving the priorities will be obtained from the SRC and if possible the SILC.
  • In FY 2016 a final draft of the strategic plan will be presented to the SRC for any final recommendations.  (Page 196)
  1. Expansion of mental health providers as CRP’s to serve those with severe and persistent mental illness
  2. Planning for the needs of consumers requiring higher level of long-term supports was identified through participation with the Supported Employment Leadership Network (the employment first network of Montana. (Page 200)
Customized Employment

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) will continue to encumber Title VI, Part B funds on a fee-for service basis. When supported employment services exhaust Title VI, Part B funds, then Title I funds will be utilized to provide needed supported employment services. At this time and in recent years, this procedure has made it possible to provide all planned supported employment services for individuals receiving VRBS services. If in the future VRBS determines that there are inadequate funds to provide all needed supported employment services for individuals on the VRBS caseload, then the first priority for supported employment services will be on the job supports. The second priority will be services such as transportation and work clothing.

In addition, VRBS prioritizes the use of supported employment models that maximize integration of persons with the most significant disabilities in real work sites, doing meaningful work. VRBS does not support the use of segregated bench work, sheltered, enclave or segregated crew models. VRBS has been aware of and used customized employment techniques for some time, however with the passage of WIOA, VRBS plans to emphasize these techniques to a greater degree. (Page 211)

Comment 6: North Central Independent Living Services, Inc. (NCILS) urge the state to implement policies, procedures, and practices which will benefit all Montanans to receive a fair and competitive wage within an integrated work setting throughout Montana by working with Montana VRBS Section 511. NCLIS supports VRBS in the expanded use of customized employment. NCILS mentions the importance of continuum of services that leads to competitive and integrated employment for all Montanans, including those with disabilities. Response: DPHHS–VRBS appreciates the comments and they will be kept up to date on the implementation of Section–511. (Page 279)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Braiding funds with other core partners for conferences and trainings focused on supporting career pathways will be the manner in which leadership dollars will align with the work of our core partners. This collaboration across core partner agencies will evolve to meet the needs of WIOA implementation and sustainability. Secondly, the state will support the eligible providers’ ability to integrate and sustain career pathways in their instructional practice. Funds will be available to support regional meetings with workforce and one–stop partners to help AE programs identify the components of job–driven training that needs to be incorporated into their curriculum. Regional professional development will make use of leadership dollars to assist programs in learning how to become responsive to local labor market demands. Thirdly, the state will use funds to develop templates and identify resources that support a systemic approach to career pathways; technical assistance will be made available for providers on the use of state developed resources that will inform their pathway implementation. (Page 56-57)  and   (Page 151)

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners), will comply with section 188 of WIOA (if applicable) and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) with regard to the physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology, and materials for individuals with disabilities. This also must include a description of compliance through providing staff training and support for addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria.

The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. Physical and programmatic accessibility will be among the criteria required for local site certification. (Page 85)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Veterans that are homeless or at risk of being homeless ?

Veterans separated from service within the last three years and, at any point in the previous 12 months, have been unemployed for 27 or more consecutive weeks?

Veterans that have ever been incarcerated?

Veterans without a high school diploma or equivalent certificate?

Veterans that fall below the poverty line for the area in which they reside?

Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 years’ old? 

The spouse of a service member who died of a service– connected disability, has been missing in action for more than 90 days, captured in the line of duty by a hostile force for more than 90 days, forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power for more than 90 days, or who has a total disability that is permanent in nature resulting from a service–connected disability or who died as a result of a service–connected disability?

A family member (parent, spouse, child, step– family member or other that live with but are not a member of the family) that provides personal care services to an eligible veteran Addressing Accessibility of the One–Stop System The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. (Page 78-79)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.

VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)

  • Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
  • Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)

Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders 

An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.

Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)

During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159) 

  • Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.  

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities.

Plans

  • Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)

Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff. 

In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)

3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.

4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.

  • Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
  • Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
  • Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)

In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.

VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.

VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

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

Benefits
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)

VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following. 

  • Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
  • Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
  • Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
    • Membership of state and local workforce boards.
    • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)

Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. 

  • Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
  • Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
  • Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116) 

The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)

Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.

Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.

In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)

VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling. Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities.

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)

Employment First

As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.

Technical Assistance and Consultation

Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)

VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.

VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)

The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)

Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)

An eligible individual with a disability which:

  1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
  2. Requires two or more primary services;
  3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
  4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222)  

Order of Selection Policies

Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities. 

After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.

This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)

  • Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
  • Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
  • Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
  • Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)

1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.

1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.

1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.

1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers. 

  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.

  • At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)

  • Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)

FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:

  • Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
  • Inability to locate or contact clients;
  • Clients’ relocation out of state;
  • Staff vacancies;
  • Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
  • Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
  • Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
  • Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
School to Work Transition

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:

  1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
  2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
  3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
  4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)

In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15) 

Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.

In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.

VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)

In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
  • Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
  • The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective

Transition services delivery.

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. 

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.

Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)

VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)

Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)

Data Collection
  • To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
  • To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems. 

Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education 

The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)

Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes. 

  • CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
  • Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
  • One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)

Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) 

Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs, (Page 76)

The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)

VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)

VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.

Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)

FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)

Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.

VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.

Florida Small Business Development Center Network

Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)

Career Pathways

Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.

Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)

(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)

Employment Networks
  • Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)

LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.

In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act

One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)

The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities. 

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
    • Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
    • Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
    • Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
    • Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)

FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.

FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 53

House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

“Enrollment Dashboard December 2016” - 03/02/2017

~~“This document shows the state data on the number of people who receive benefits from various Medicaid programs.”

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

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

The Montana Medicaid Program “Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Report to the 2017 Legislature” - 01/09/2017

~~“Money Follows the Person (MFP) - Montana was awarded a MFP demonstration grant from CMS to augment existing Montana’s community-based long term services and supports and to increase HCBS. The grant provides a temporary increase in the federal share of the Medicaid matching rate to pay for services to people who are already receiving Medicaid funded care in an institutional setting and choose to move into certain types of community settings…..

All waiver and demonstration services receive an enhanced FMAP rate for Medicaid benefits for a period of 365 days of service. At day 366, a participant is served under a HCBS waiver at regular FMAP. This grant was extended in the amount of $9,306,595. Montana will transition individuals to HCBS waiver programs with MFP funds through December 31, 2017. MFP funding will continue through the first quarter of calendar year 2019.”

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

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

Montana ABLE Legislation Senate Bill 399 - 05/05/2015

It is the intent of the legislature to give Montana residents access to a program authorized section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 529A, 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, federal and state medical and disability insurance, a beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

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

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 15

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program - 07/01/2015

The state plan has provisions for supported employment services.  Provisions include:  Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services: 8.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54), 363.11(g)(6) and (7)) (a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in Section 7(36) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54). (b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site. (c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities. 8.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Sections 7(2)(B) and 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 361.5(b)(6)(ii) and 363.11(g)(2)) The comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under Section 102(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and funded under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome. 8.3 Individualized plan for employment. (Sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 625(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.46(b) and 363.11(g)(3) and (5))  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Goals and Priorities - 06/01/2014

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation goals include:

“MVR/BLVS will increase the capacity to serve transition age (14‐24) youth with disabilities.” “MVR/BLVS will increase the quality of successful closures by placing more consumers in positions that pay a living wage and have employee benefits.” “MVR/BLVS will become a model of an accessible work place for individuals with disabilities.”  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana National Federation of the Blind 2013 Resolutions - 10/27/2013

“WHEREAS, Section 511 links the Rehabilitation Act, which was established to assist people with disabilities in obtaining competitive integrated employment, with Section 14(C) of the FLSA, which is based on the false premise that people with disabilities cannot be competitively employed and therefore can be paid subminimum wages; and

WHEREAS, The language of Section 511 is only contained in the Senate version of the bill, S. 1356, and not in the House version: NOW THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled this Twenty-seventh Day of October, 2013, in the city of Billings, Montana, that this organization calls on its United States Senators, The Honorable Max Baucus and The Honorable Jon Tester, to support fair wages for all American workers by actively working for the removal of > Title V, Section 511 from S. 1356 before its passage by the United States Senate, and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on our entire Montana Congressional Delegation to cosponsor the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of  2013.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

"What is Transition?" Montana Office of Public Instruction “Secondary Transition"

“Montana Workforce Investment Act For an individual to be eligible, they must be between the ages of 14-21 for in-school youth and 16-24 for out-of-school youth, have a low income, and meet at least one of the following barriers to employment: For youth who are still enrolled in schools the following eligibility: (681.220 In-School Youth) • Must be attending school, including secondary or postsecondary school; • Be not younger than 14 or older than 21 at the time or enrollment; • Be of low-income and have one or more of the following: o Have a basic skills deficiency o Be an English language learner o Be an offender o Be a homeless individual which may include: - runaway youth, - youth in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, - youth eligible for assistance under Sec. 477 of the Social Security Act, or - youth in an out-of-home placement. o Be pregnant or parenting o Be an individual with a disability o Be an individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an education o Be in a program to secure and hold employment. “

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

Secondary Transition “Transition Binder”

This site has the publication on Secondary Transition available in eight sections. The information can be opened in pdf or Word format.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Montana Center for Inclusive Education - 06/01/2014

The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity. The mission supporting this vision states that MCIE serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers. MCIE also provides grant management and fiscal management for the Montana State University Billings (MSUB) College of Education’s externally funded projects.   Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project   The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)    • Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.    • Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.    • Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.    • Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.    • Provides healthcare planning and counseling.    • The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DPHHS Developmental Services Division - 01/01/2010

In July 2009, the Disability Services Division (DSD) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) was restructured under the Medicaid and Health Services Branch of DPHHS. In January 2010, the name was changed to Developmental Services Division.

The Montana Disability Services Division joined the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) in 2011, since then it has worked to address concerns reflected in the State Strategic Employment Assessment. Building a focused state workplan through key stakeholder input is reflective of the Division’s strong interest in improving employment statewide, across both urban and rural settings.   The Division continues to engage self-advocates and families in planning efforts. This is helping to create strong external pressures and demands for increasing integrated employment opportunities and the expectation of work, regardless of disability.
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

~~The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)-Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.-Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.-Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.-Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.-Provides healthcare planning and counseling.-The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person. 

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

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities

~~By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

The University of Montana Rural Institute Transition Projects

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has been a leader in the area of transition planning for youth with disabilities since 1995. Activities have included:-Providing education and training to schools, families, students and agencies;-Developing creative strategies and transition models;-Offering training and assistance on-site and long distance;-Promoting systems changes to support effective transition for youth from school to adult life; and 

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, And Service

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has strived to collaborate with partners across Montana and across the nation to further its mission. Partners include Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Child Care Resource and Referral Network,  Missoula City/County Public Health Department, Montana Department of Commerce,  Montana’s Office of Public Instruction,  State Deaf-Blind Coordinator, and  Vocational Rehabilitation agencies throughout the state.

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute "MonTech"

 

 

~~The Montana Assistive Technology Program (MATP) is the Statewide AT Program funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. MATP’s lead agency is Montana DPHHS: Disability Services Division, Vocational Rehabilitation Services. MATP is located within the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Missoula and serves all Montanans with disabilities and their supports.

MATP provides AT information and services in the areas of education, employment, community living, and telecommunications. MATP’s services are consistent with the Rural Institute for Inclusive Community’s mission of enhancing the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with disabilities through consumer responsiveness as defined in the AT act.

 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Youth Transitions (MYTransitions)

Disability Employment and Transitions and the Office of Public Instruction sponsor the Montana Youth Transitions Program (MYTransitions). MYTransitions is a website where you can explore, ask questions and discover. The intent of their website is to connect students and families to others across Montana who are also in transition or who have already navigated the transition process. MYTransitions is a reference tool for youth with disabilities and their families."

 
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Montana Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) - 06/01/2014

“The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program is authorized in 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. The program permits a State to furnish an array of home and community-based services that assist Medicaid beneficiaries to live in the community and avoid institutionalization. The State has broad discretion to design its waiver program to address the needs of the waiver’s target population. Waiver services complement and/or supplement the services that are available to participants through the Medicaid State plan and other federal, state and local public programs as well as the supports that families and communities provide.  Application dated October 1,2013”

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

ASPIRE PROMISE Grant - 09/01/2013

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the PROMISE Initiative (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) to a six state consortium, ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment).  The six states of the ASPIRE consortium are Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.

The same interventions will be delivered to all youth in the six states.  Delivery of the ASPIRE Services may vary by state depending on each state’s infrastructure and framework.   Interventions for youth and families assigned to ASPIRE Services include:

-Training and information for parents and families, including advocacy, community resources, educational and employment opportunities, and more.

-A complete individualized explanation of the public benefits the youth and family are receiving and how working and increased earnings will impact those benefits.

-A paid employment opportunity for the youth while he or she is still in high school.

-Self-determination training for the youth and families.

-Financial education and capability training to assist families in understanding their values and available resources to move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

-Case management services provided to the youth and family to assist them in navigating the complicated systems of public benefits and assistance in accessing services, supports and information to support greater self-sufficiency

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Montana Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Research Assistance to States (MIG-RATS) Center launched a website to provide resources and support to states implementing MIGs. The website is designed to help staff find research reports and resources, learn about MIG-RATS activities and initiatives, and connect with MIG researchers. The website includes info on topics such as Medicaid Buy-In programs, outreach and marketing, and youth in transition and also provides links to tools and a calendar of events.

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

Montana Money Follows the Person (MFP)

“MFP is a demonstration program [that] helps Montana shift its long term care system by reducing the use of institutionally based services and increasing the use of home and community based services (HCBS). MFP is focused on helping individuals transition from in-patient facilities to the community. [The Program’s vision is to] create a sustainable system that supports community options as a first choice for individuals needing long term care services.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement

MT Office of Public Instruction- Secondary Transition Academy Module 3: - 01/01/2011

“Module 3 will provide information on how to develop instructional programs for teaching employment and employment-related skills. After completing this module, you will be able to: • Operationally define student learning objectives. • Understand how to use response prompting and fading procedures including: • System of most-to-least prompts. • System of least-to-most prompts. • Constant time delay. • Error correction. • Reinforcement strategies. • Describe the prompt hierarchy. • Develop a worksite analysis. • Develop a task analysis. • Understand data collection and summary formats”

Systems
  • Other

MT Teleconference Training - Transition Planning - 12/12/2006

The goal of this presentation is to “provide listeners with ideas to help them support students with disabilities in  grades 6 ¬- 8, their parents, teachers, and  community¬ based service providers to be  informed  and well¬ equipped to successfully navigate the gate the transition proc on process.  This will lead to increased post ¬ school success for these students.”

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

MT INVEST Employment Specialist Training

Many of us know somebody that has a disability. Individuals with disabilities can face additional challenges to obtaining and retaining good jobs. To create an opportunity for that person to be most successful, there are several activities and/or steps to identify employment options that are a good match to the person’s skills, interests, and workplace preference (likes quiet or likes noise and activity for example). The curriculum and testing will help learners develop the skill of facilitating Employment Supports, as well as inspire and motivate employment staff to new levels of performance and professionalism. Whether you are helping a family member or friend, or whether you are or plan to be, an employment specialist professional: this information can help you bring successful results to those you are assisting.

The course consists of five sections, including resources and sample forms:

1. Introduction to Community Employment

2. Assessment for the Job Seeker

3. Job Development

4. Job Analysis, Training & Job Coaching

5. Long-Term Supports, Customer Service & Review

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

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities

By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.

As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Center for Inclusive Education

The Montana Center on Disabilities (MCD) is part of Montana State University-Billings. MCD works to make sure that all people are part of the community.  The Center supports the idea that people with disabilities can make their own choices about how they live and work.  MCD does this by offering education and information to many people.  One focus is on giving young people with disabilities the tools to become leaders.

The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity. The mission supporting this vision states that MCIE serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers. MCIE also provides grant management and fiscal management for the Montana State University Billings (MSUB) College of Education’s externally funded projects.

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Montana Community First Choice

The Community First Choice and Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Programs are …programs designed to provide long term supportive care in the home setting. These programs enable thousands of elderly and disabled citizens to remain in their homes. The type of care authorized is tailored to each individual in a person centered manner and dependent upon their needs, living situation, and availability of caregivers.

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

MT Office of Public Instruction - Secondary Transition Academy Training, Module 2

“One of the primary functions of transition-related planning and instruction… is to prepare students for post-school employment. Module 2 will provide information about how to help students plan for employment. Part I focuses on employment planning for transition-age student; it describes the stages of employment preparation for students with disabilities and describes ways to determine employment-related goals and objectives. Part II describes the roles and responsibilities of para-educators working in secondary transition settings.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement

MT Office of Public Instruction - Secondary Transition Academy, Module 1

“Module 1 is an introduction to supporting students with disabilities in secondary transition settings. Part I of the module is an overview of disability awareness. Specifically, it describes who is eligible for special education and related services, it describes how labels can lead to stereotypes of disabilities, and it describes how educators can better advocate for students with disabilities. Part II is a brief review of the legislation and history of secondary transition services for students with disabilities. Part III provides a discussion of the overall structure of adult employment programs and the importance of developing a community-based employment program for students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

“Enrollment Dashboard December 2016” - 03/02/2017

~~“This document shows the state data on the number of people who receive benefits from various Medicaid programs.”

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

The Montana Medicaid Program “Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Report to the 2017 Legislature” - 01/09/2017

~~“Money Follows the Person (MFP) - Montana was awarded a MFP demonstration grant from CMS to augment existing Montana’s community-based long term services and supports and to increase HCBS. The grant provides a temporary increase in the federal share of the Medicaid matching rate to pay for services to people who are already receiving Medicaid funded care in an institutional setting and choose to move into certain types of community settings…..

All waiver and demonstration services receive an enhanced FMAP rate for Medicaid benefits for a period of 365 days of service. At day 366, a participant is served under a HCBS waiver at regular FMAP. This grant was extended in the amount of $9,306,595. Montana will transition individuals to HCBS waiver programs with MFP funds through December 31, 2017. MFP funding will continue through the first quarter of calendar year 2019.”

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

MT HCB Waiver for Adults w/Severe Disabling Mental Illness (0455.R02.00) - 07/01/2015

Provides adult day health, case management, day hab, homemaker, prevocational services, residential hab, respite, supported employment, OT, chore, community transition, dietitian/nutrition/meals, habilitation aide, health and wellness, illness management and recovery, non-medical transportation, pain and symptom management, personal assistance service/specially trained attendant care, PERS, private duty nursing (& registered nurse supervision), psychosocial counseling and consultation, specialized medical equipment and supplies, substance use related disorder services, supported living, wellness recovery action plan for individuals w/mental illness ages 18 - no max age.

The waiver expired 06/30/2015, and the renewal was approved 07/01/2015.

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

Montana HCBS Transition Plan - 06/01/2014

CMS has issued regulations that define the settings in which it is permissible for states to pay for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS).The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that individuals receive Medicaid HCBS in settings that are integrated in, and support full access to, the greater community.  This includes opportunities to engage in community life, control personal resources, receive services in the community, and, when appropriate, seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings to the same degree as individuals who do not receive HCBS…   To assist states in making this transition, CMS has published guidance to provide further information about settings in which HCBS may or may not be allowed.  States will be allowed a maximum of five years to make the transition and must submit a transition plan to CMS within one year of the effective date of the rule   DPHHS submitted their transition plan late 2014  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Supported Employment, Individual Employment Support - 01/31/2014

“Individual employment supports are habilitation services and staff supports needed by a person to acquire integrated employment or career advancement in the general workforce. Individual employment support is delivered in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. The outcome of this service is paid employment in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting within the general workforce that meets the person's personal and career goals, as documented in the plan of care.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Support Employment, Follow Along Support - 01/31/2014

“Follow along support consists of habilitation services and supports that enable a person to stabilize or expand employment in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. The person may require follow along support when:   (a) the person's job is in jeopardy; or   (b) a job promotion opportunity requires more complex, comprehensive, or intensive supports. Follow along support may be provided in an extended ongoing manner or intermittently as needed.”  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Job Preparation - 01/31/2014

“Job preparation provides formalized training and work experiences, based upon the goals identified during job discovery, intended to teach a person the skills necessary to succeed in a paid competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. Training may also address workplace social skills and the development of practices and behaviors necessary for successful employment.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Supports for Community Work and Living Waiver (1037.R00.00) - 10/01/2013

~~Provides job discovery/job preparation, respite, supported employment-follow along support, supports brokerage, behavioral support services, environmental mods/adaptive equipment, individual goods and services, meals, PERS, personal supports, supported employment-co-worker supports, supported employment-individual employment support, supported employment-small group employment support, transportation for individuals with IID and DD ages 16 - no max age.”

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

MT HCBW for Individuals w/DD Waiver (0208.R05.00) - 07/01/2013

~~Provides day supports and activities, homemaker, job discovery/job preparation, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, supported employment-follow along support, waiver-funded children's case management, OT, PT, psychological services, speech therapy, supports brokerage, adult companion services, adult foster support, assisted living, behavioral support, caregiver training and support, community transition, environmental mods/adaptive equipment, individual goods and services, meals, nutritionist, personal care, PERS, personal supports, private duty nursing, remote monitoring equipment, remote monitoring, retirement services, supported employment-co-worker support, supported employment-individual employment support, supported employment-small group employment support, transportation for individuals w/IDD/DD ages 0 - no max age

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

MT Big Sky Waiver (0148.R05.00) - 07/01/2011

This waiver, 'provides adult day health, case management, day hab, homemaker, personal assistance, prevocational, residential hab, respite, supported employment, OT, PT, respiratory therapy, speech therapy and audiology, FMS, independence advisor, community supports, community transition, consultative clinical and therapeutic services, consumer goods and services, dietetic services, environmental accessibility adaptations, family training and support, health and wellness, homemaker chore, non-medical transportation…”

This waiver expires 06/30/2016.

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

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

When it comes to efforts to increase employment opportunities for workers with disabilities in Montana, the sky is the limit in the "Big Sky Country."

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 Montana’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.91%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,032,949
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
4.07%
Change from
2014 to 2015
71,852
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
3.69%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28,960
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-0.37%
Change from
2014 to 2015
40.31%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.48%
Change from
2014 to 2015
77.36%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 1,015,165 1,023,579 1,032,949
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 74,107 68,927 71,852
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 29,202 27,890 28,960
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 416,186 427,221 422,617
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 39.41% 40.46% 40.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 76.78% 77.73% 77.36%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.40% 4.70% 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.00% 20.40% 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.80% 14.70% 13.60%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 74,170 66,825 75,099
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 65,643 65,921 64,678
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 125,606 119,162 125,953
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 4,707 3,985 4,767
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 9,608 9,053 8,945
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 239 636 531
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 3,767 3,025 3,085
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 507 381 1,002

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 1,830 1,812 1,874
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 10.30% 10.50% 10.80%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 28,170 27,807 27,848

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 1,069 1,152 1,433
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 2,924 3,082 3,347
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 7,062 7,793 9,753
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 15.10% 14.80% 14.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.40% 0.50% 0.50%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.70% 1.80% 1.80%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.50% 1.40% 1.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 92 125 128
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 382 407 423
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 333 329 316
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. 1,549 1,519 2,179
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.01 0.01 0.02

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2011 2012 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 15 859 10
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 8 384 5
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. 53.00% 45.00% 50.00%
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. 0.80 38.20 0.48

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
2,037
1,945
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 185 135 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 114 84 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 611 570 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 491 494 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 597 631 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 39 31 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 25.30% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 1,200 1,163 1,496
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 40,218 39,902 40,038
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. 76 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $1,013,000 $1,148,000 $2,003,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $8,630,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 $21,184,000 $11,401,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 13.00% 12.00% 24.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. N/A 0 0
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A 0 1,070
Number of people served in facility based non-work. N/A 1,630 959
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 25.50 22.10 43.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 47.30% 47.19% 46.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 13.10% 13.00% 12.74%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.50% 1.43% 1.40%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 92.10% 100.00% 100.00%
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). 25.20% 21.57% 20.71%
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). 73.30% 71.24% 71.77%
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). 86.90% 84.62% 85.11%
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). 48.10% 49.66% 51.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 294,615
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,038
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 42,808
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 25,481
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 68,289
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 245
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 381
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 626
AbilityOne wages (products). $139,465
AbilityOne wages (services). $243,632

 

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

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 27 27 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 0 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 27 28
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 1,202 1,202
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 0 54
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 1,202 1,256

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)
  • Each year there will be a customer satisfaction survey conducted and an analysis of the survey results.
  • A statewide town hall meeting will be held each of the three years to gather input from consumers and other stakeholders.
  • In FY 2016 VRBS’ counselors will be surveyed to gain their input on the needs of consumers.
  • VRBS will continue to be involved with the State Employment Leadership Network to gather information on how VRBS can assist with the Employment First initiative activities.
  • In FY2016 the input that has been obtained from the previous activities will be presented to the VRBS’ leadership team to assess and develop priorities for the upcoming strategic plan.
  • After a draft of priorities are developed, input on the priorities and potential strategies for achieving the priorities will be obtained from the SRC and if possible the SILC.
  • In FY 2016 a final draft of the strategic plan will be presented to the SRC for any final recommendations.  (Page 196)
  1. Expansion of mental health providers as CRP’s to serve those with severe and persistent mental illness
  2. Planning for the needs of consumers requiring higher level of long-term supports was identified through participation with the Supported Employment Leadership Network (the employment first network of Montana. (Page 200)
Customized Employment

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) will continue to encumber Title VI, Part B funds on a fee-for service basis. When supported employment services exhaust Title VI, Part B funds, then Title I funds will be utilized to provide needed supported employment services. At this time and in recent years, this procedure has made it possible to provide all planned supported employment services for individuals receiving VRBS services. If in the future VRBS determines that there are inadequate funds to provide all needed supported employment services for individuals on the VRBS caseload, then the first priority for supported employment services will be on the job supports. The second priority will be services such as transportation and work clothing.

In addition, VRBS prioritizes the use of supported employment models that maximize integration of persons with the most significant disabilities in real work sites, doing meaningful work. VRBS does not support the use of segregated bench work, sheltered, enclave or segregated crew models. VRBS has been aware of and used customized employment techniques for some time, however with the passage of WIOA, VRBS plans to emphasize these techniques to a greater degree. (Page 211)

Comment 6: North Central Independent Living Services, Inc. (NCILS) urge the state to implement policies, procedures, and practices which will benefit all Montanans to receive a fair and competitive wage within an integrated work setting throughout Montana by working with Montana VRBS Section 511. NCLIS supports VRBS in the expanded use of customized employment. NCILS mentions the importance of continuum of services that leads to competitive and integrated employment for all Montanans, including those with disabilities. Response: DPHHS–VRBS appreciates the comments and they will be kept up to date on the implementation of Section–511. (Page 279)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Braiding funds with other core partners for conferences and trainings focused on supporting career pathways will be the manner in which leadership dollars will align with the work of our core partners. This collaboration across core partner agencies will evolve to meet the needs of WIOA implementation and sustainability. Secondly, the state will support the eligible providers’ ability to integrate and sustain career pathways in their instructional practice. Funds will be available to support regional meetings with workforce and one–stop partners to help AE programs identify the components of job–driven training that needs to be incorporated into their curriculum. Regional professional development will make use of leadership dollars to assist programs in learning how to become responsive to local labor market demands. Thirdly, the state will use funds to develop templates and identify resources that support a systemic approach to career pathways; technical assistance will be made available for providers on the use of state developed resources that will inform their pathway implementation. (Page 56-57)  and   (Page 151)

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners), will comply with section 188 of WIOA (if applicable) and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) with regard to the physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology, and materials for individuals with disabilities. This also must include a description of compliance through providing staff training and support for addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria.

The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. Physical and programmatic accessibility will be among the criteria required for local site certification. (Page 85)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Veterans that are homeless or at risk of being homeless ?

Veterans separated from service within the last three years and, at any point in the previous 12 months, have been unemployed for 27 or more consecutive weeks?

Veterans that have ever been incarcerated?

Veterans without a high school diploma or equivalent certificate?

Veterans that fall below the poverty line for the area in which they reside?

Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 years’ old? 

The spouse of a service member who died of a service– connected disability, has been missing in action for more than 90 days, captured in the line of duty by a hostile force for more than 90 days, forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power for more than 90 days, or who has a total disability that is permanent in nature resulting from a service–connected disability or who died as a result of a service–connected disability?

A family member (parent, spouse, child, step– family member or other that live with but are not a member of the family) that provides personal care services to an eligible veteran Addressing Accessibility of the One–Stop System The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. (Page 78-79)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.

VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)

  • Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
  • Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)

Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders 

An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.

Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)

During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159) 

  • Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.  

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities.

Plans

  • Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)

Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff. 

In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)

3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.

4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.

  • Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
  • Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
  • Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)

In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.

VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.

VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

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

Benefits
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)

VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following. 

  • Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
  • Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
  • Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
    • Membership of state and local workforce boards.
    • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)

Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. 

  • Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
  • Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
  • Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116) 

The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)

Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.

Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.

In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)

VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling. Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities.

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)

Employment First

As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.

Technical Assistance and Consultation

Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)

VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.

VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)

The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)

Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)

An eligible individual with a disability which:

  1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
  2. Requires two or more primary services;
  3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
  4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222)  

Order of Selection Policies

Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities. 

After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.

This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)

  • Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
  • Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
  • Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
  • Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)

1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.

1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.

1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.

1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers. 

  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.

  • At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)

  • Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)

FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:

  • Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
  • Inability to locate or contact clients;
  • Clients’ relocation out of state;
  • Staff vacancies;
  • Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
  • Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
  • Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
  • Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
School to Work Transition

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:

  1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
  2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
  3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
  4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)

In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15) 

Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.

In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.

VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)

In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
  • Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
  • The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective

Transition services delivery.

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. 

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.

Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)

VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)

Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)

Data Collection
  • To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
  • To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems. 

Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education 

The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)

Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes. 

  • CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
  • Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
  • One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)

Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) 

Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs, (Page 76)

The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)

VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)

VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.

Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)

FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)

Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.

VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.

Florida Small Business Development Center Network

Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)

Career Pathways

Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.

Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)

(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)

Employment Networks
  • Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)

LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.

In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act

One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)

The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities. 

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
    • Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
    • Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
    • Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
    • Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)

FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.

FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 53

House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

“Enrollment Dashboard December 2016” - 03/02/2017

~~“This document shows the state data on the number of people who receive benefits from various Medicaid programs.”

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

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

The Montana Medicaid Program “Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Report to the 2017 Legislature” - 01/09/2017

~~“Money Follows the Person (MFP) - Montana was awarded a MFP demonstration grant from CMS to augment existing Montana’s community-based long term services and supports and to increase HCBS. The grant provides a temporary increase in the federal share of the Medicaid matching rate to pay for services to people who are already receiving Medicaid funded care in an institutional setting and choose to move into certain types of community settings…..

All waiver and demonstration services receive an enhanced FMAP rate for Medicaid benefits for a period of 365 days of service. At day 366, a participant is served under a HCBS waiver at regular FMAP. This grant was extended in the amount of $9,306,595. Montana will transition individuals to HCBS waiver programs with MFP funds through December 31, 2017. MFP funding will continue through the first quarter of calendar year 2019.”

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

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

Montana ABLE Legislation Senate Bill 399 - 05/05/2015

It is the intent of the legislature to give Montana residents access to a program authorized section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 529A, 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, federal and state medical and disability insurance, a beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

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

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 15

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program - 07/01/2015

The state plan has provisions for supported employment services.  Provisions include:  Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services: 8.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54), 363.11(g)(6) and (7)) (a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in Section 7(36) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54). (b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site. (c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities. 8.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Sections 7(2)(B) and 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 361.5(b)(6)(ii) and 363.11(g)(2)) The comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under Section 102(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and funded under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome. 8.3 Individualized plan for employment. (Sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 625(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.46(b) and 363.11(g)(3) and (5))  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Goals and Priorities - 06/01/2014

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation goals include:

“MVR/BLVS will increase the capacity to serve transition age (14‐24) youth with disabilities.” “MVR/BLVS will increase the quality of successful closures by placing more consumers in positions that pay a living wage and have employee benefits.” “MVR/BLVS will become a model of an accessible work place for individuals with disabilities.”  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana National Federation of the Blind 2013 Resolutions - 10/27/2013

“WHEREAS, Section 511 links the Rehabilitation Act, which was established to assist people with disabilities in obtaining competitive integrated employment, with Section 14(C) of the FLSA, which is based on the false premise that people with disabilities cannot be competitively employed and therefore can be paid subminimum wages; and

WHEREAS, The language of Section 511 is only contained in the Senate version of the bill, S. 1356, and not in the House version: NOW THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled this Twenty-seventh Day of October, 2013, in the city of Billings, Montana, that this organization calls on its United States Senators, The Honorable Max Baucus and The Honorable Jon Tester, to support fair wages for all American workers by actively working for the removal of > Title V, Section 511 from S. 1356 before its passage by the United States Senate, and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on our entire Montana Congressional Delegation to cosponsor the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of  2013.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

"What is Transition?" Montana Office of Public Instruction “Secondary Transition"

“Montana Workforce Investment Act For an individual to be eligible, they must be between the ages of 14-21 for in-school youth and 16-24 for out-of-school youth, have a low income, and meet at least one of the following barriers to employment: For youth who are still enrolled in schools the following eligibility: (681.220 In-School Youth) • Must be attending school, including secondary or postsecondary school; • Be not younger than 14 or older than 21 at the time or enrollment; • Be of low-income and have one or more of the following: o Have a basic skills deficiency o Be an English language learner o Be an offender o Be a homeless individual which may include: - runaway youth, - youth in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, - youth eligible for assistance under Sec. 477 of the Social Security Act, or - youth in an out-of-home placement. o Be pregnant or parenting o Be an individual with a disability o Be an individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an education o Be in a program to secure and hold employment. “

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

Secondary Transition “Transition Binder”

This site has the publication on Secondary Transition available in eight sections. The information can be opened in pdf or Word format.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Montana Center for Inclusive Education - 06/01/2014

The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity. The mission supporting this vision states that MCIE serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers. MCIE also provides grant management and fiscal management for the Montana State University Billings (MSUB) College of Education’s externally funded projects.   Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project   The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)    • Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.    • Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.    • Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.    • Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.    • Provides healthcare planning and counseling.    • The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DPHHS Developmental Services Division - 01/01/2010

In July 2009, the Disability Services Division (DSD) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) was restructured under the Medicaid and Health Services Branch of DPHHS. In January 2010, the name was changed to Developmental Services Division.

The Montana Disability Services Division joined the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) in 2011, since then it has worked to address concerns reflected in the State Strategic Employment Assessment. Building a focused state workplan through key stakeholder input is reflective of the Division’s strong interest in improving employment statewide, across both urban and rural settings.   The Division continues to engage self-advocates and families in planning efforts. This is helping to create strong external pressures and demands for increasing integrated employment opportunities and the expectation of work, regardless of disability.
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

~~The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)-Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.-Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.-Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.-Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.-Provides healthcare planning and counseling.-The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person. 

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

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities

~~By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

The University of Montana Rural Institute Transition Projects

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has been a leader in the area of transition planning for youth with disabilities since 1995. Activities have included:-Providing education and training to schools, families, students and agencies;-Developing creative strategies and transition models;-Offering training and assistance on-site and long distance;-Promoting systems changes to support effective transition for youth from school to adult life; and 

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, And Service

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has strived to collaborate with partners across Montana and across the nation to further its mission. Partners include Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Child Care Resource and Referral Network,  Missoula City/County Public Health Department, Montana Department of Commerce,  Montana’s Office of Public Instruction,  State Deaf-Blind Coordinator, and  Vocational Rehabilitation agencies throughout the state.

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute "MonTech"

 

 

~~The Montana Assistive Technology Program (MATP) is the Statewide AT Program funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. MATP’s lead agency is Montana DPHHS: Disability Services Division, Vocational Rehabilitation Services. MATP is located within the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Missoula and serves all Montanans with disabilities and their supports.

MATP provides AT information and services in the areas of education, employment, community living, and telecommunications. MATP’s services are consistent with the Rural Institute for Inclusive Community’s mission of enhancing the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with disabilities through consumer responsiveness as defined in the AT act.

 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Youth Transitions (MYTransitions)

Disability Employment and Transitions and the Office of Public Instruction sponsor the Montana Youth Transitions Program (MYTransitions). MYTransitions is a website where you can explore, ask questions and discover. The intent of their website is to connect students and families to others across Montana who are also in transition or who have already navigated the transition process. MYTransitions is a reference tool for youth with disabilities and their families."

 
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Montana Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) - 06/01/2014

“The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program is authorized in 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. The program permits a State to furnish an array of home and community-based services that assist Medicaid beneficiaries to live in the community and avoid institutionalization. The State has broad discretion to design its waiver program to address the needs of the waiver’s target population. Waiver services complement and/or supplement the services that are available to participants through the Medicaid State plan and other federal, state and local public programs as well as the supports that families and communities provide.  Application dated October 1,2013”

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

ASPIRE PROMISE Grant - 09/01/2013

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the PROMISE Initiative (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) to a six state consortium, ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment).  The six states of the ASPIRE consortium are Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.

The same interventions will be delivered to all youth in the six states.  Delivery of the ASPIRE Services may vary by state depending on each state’s infrastructure and framework.   Interventions for youth and families assigned to ASPIRE Services include:

-Training and information for parents and families, including advocacy, community resources, educational and employment opportunities, and more.

-A complete individualized explanation of the public benefits the youth and family are receiving and how working and increased earnings will impact those benefits.

-A paid employment opportunity for the youth while he or she is still in high school.

-Self-determination training for the youth and families.

-Financial education and capability training to assist families in understanding their values and available resources to move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

-Case management services provided to the youth and family to assist them in navigating the complicated systems of public benefits and assistance in accessing services, supports and information to support greater self-sufficiency

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Montana Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Research Assistance to States (MIG-RATS) Center launched a website to provide resources and support to states implementing MIGs. The website is designed to help staff find research reports and resources, learn about MIG-RATS activities and initiatives, and connect with MIG researchers. The website includes info on topics such as Medicaid Buy-In programs, outreach and marketing, and youth in transition and also provides links to tools and a calendar of events.

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

Montana Money Follows the Person (MFP)

“MFP is a demonstration program [that] helps Montana shift its long term care system by reducing the use of institutionally based services and increasing the use of home and community based services (HCBS). MFP is focused on helping individuals transition from in-patient facilities to the community. [The Program’s vision is to] create a sustainable system that supports community options as a first choice for individuals needing long term care services.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement

MT Office of Public Instruction- Secondary Transition Academy Module 3: - 01/01/2011

“Module 3 will provide information on how to develop instructional programs for teaching employment and employment-related skills. After completing this module, you will be able to: • Operationally define student learning objectives. • Understand how to use response prompting and fading procedures including: • System of most-to-least prompts. • System of least-to-most prompts. • Constant time delay. • Error correction. • Reinforcement strategies. • Describe the prompt hierarchy. • Develop a worksite analysis. • Develop a task analysis. • Understand data collection and summary formats”

Systems
  • Other

MT Teleconference Training - Transition Planning - 12/12/2006

The goal of this presentation is to “provide listeners with ideas to help them support students with disabilities in  grades 6 ¬- 8, their parents, teachers, and  community¬ based service providers to be  informed  and well¬ equipped to successfully navigate the gate the transition proc on process.  This will lead to increased post ¬ school success for these students.”

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

MT INVEST Employment Specialist Training

Many of us know somebody that has a disability. Individuals with disabilities can face additional challenges to obtaining and retaining good jobs. To create an opportunity for that person to be most successful, there are several activities and/or steps to identify employment options that are a good match to the person’s skills, interests, and workplace preference (likes quiet or likes noise and activity for example). The curriculum and testing will help learners develop the skill of facilitating Employment Supports, as well as inspire and motivate employment staff to new levels of performance and professionalism. Whether you are helping a family member or friend, or whether you are or plan to be, an employment specialist professional: this information can help you bring successful results to those you are assisting.

The course consists of five sections, including resources and sample forms:

1. Introduction to Community Employment

2. Assessment for the Job Seeker

3. Job Development

4. Job Analysis, Training & Job Coaching

5. Long-Term Supports, Customer Service & Review

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

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities

By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.

As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Center for Inclusive Education

The Montana Center on Disabilities (MCD) is part of Montana State University-Billings. MCD works to make sure that all people are part of the community.  The Center supports the idea that people with disabilities can make their own choices about how they live and work.  MCD does this by offering education and information to many people.  One focus is on giving young people with disabilities the tools to become leaders.

The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity. The mission supporting this vision states that MCIE serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers. MCIE also provides grant management and fiscal management for the Montana State University Billings (MSUB) College of Education’s externally funded projects.

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Montana Community First Choice

The Community First Choice and Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Programs are …programs designed to provide long term supportive care in the home setting. These programs enable thousands of elderly and disabled citizens to remain in their homes. The type of care authorized is tailored to each individual in a person centered manner and dependent upon their needs, living situation, and availability of caregivers.

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

MT Office of Public Instruction - Secondary Transition Academy Training, Module 2

“One of the primary functions of transition-related planning and instruction… is to prepare students for post-school employment. Module 2 will provide information about how to help students plan for employment. Part I focuses on employment planning for transition-age student; it describes the stages of employment preparation for students with disabilities and describes ways to determine employment-related goals and objectives. Part II describes the roles and responsibilities of para-educators working in secondary transition settings.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Employer Engagement

MT Office of Public Instruction - Secondary Transition Academy, Module 1

“Module 1 is an introduction to supporting students with disabilities in secondary transition settings. Part I of the module is an overview of disability awareness. Specifically, it describes who is eligible for special education and related services, it describes how labels can lead to stereotypes of disabilities, and it describes how educators can better advocate for students with disabilities. Part II is a brief review of the legislation and history of secondary transition services for students with disabilities. Part III provides a discussion of the overall structure of adult employment programs and the importance of developing a community-based employment program for students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

“Enrollment Dashboard December 2016” - 03/02/2017

~~“This document shows the state data on the number of people who receive benefits from various Medicaid programs.”

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

The Montana Medicaid Program “Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Report to the 2017 Legislature” - 01/09/2017

~~“Money Follows the Person (MFP) - Montana was awarded a MFP demonstration grant from CMS to augment existing Montana’s community-based long term services and supports and to increase HCBS. The grant provides a temporary increase in the federal share of the Medicaid matching rate to pay for services to people who are already receiving Medicaid funded care in an institutional setting and choose to move into certain types of community settings…..

All waiver and demonstration services receive an enhanced FMAP rate for Medicaid benefits for a period of 365 days of service. At day 366, a participant is served under a HCBS waiver at regular FMAP. This grant was extended in the amount of $9,306,595. Montana will transition individuals to HCBS waiver programs with MFP funds through December 31, 2017. MFP funding will continue through the first quarter of calendar year 2019.”

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

MT HCB Waiver for Adults w/Severe Disabling Mental Illness (0455.R02.00) - 07/01/2015

Provides adult day health, case management, day hab, homemaker, prevocational services, residential hab, respite, supported employment, OT, chore, community transition, dietitian/nutrition/meals, habilitation aide, health and wellness, illness management and recovery, non-medical transportation, pain and symptom management, personal assistance service/specially trained attendant care, PERS, private duty nursing (& registered nurse supervision), psychosocial counseling and consultation, specialized medical equipment and supplies, substance use related disorder services, supported living, wellness recovery action plan for individuals w/mental illness ages 18 - no max age.

The waiver expired 06/30/2015, and the renewal was approved 07/01/2015.

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

Montana HCBS Transition Plan - 06/01/2014

CMS has issued regulations that define the settings in which it is permissible for states to pay for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS).The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that individuals receive Medicaid HCBS in settings that are integrated in, and support full access to, the greater community.  This includes opportunities to engage in community life, control personal resources, receive services in the community, and, when appropriate, seek employment and work in competitive and integrated settings to the same degree as individuals who do not receive HCBS…   To assist states in making this transition, CMS has published guidance to provide further information about settings in which HCBS may or may not be allowed.  States will be allowed a maximum of five years to make the transition and must submit a transition plan to CMS within one year of the effective date of the rule   DPHHS submitted their transition plan late 2014  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Supported Employment, Individual Employment Support - 01/31/2014

“Individual employment supports are habilitation services and staff supports needed by a person to acquire integrated employment or career advancement in the general workforce. Individual employment support is delivered in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. The outcome of this service is paid employment in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting within the general workforce that meets the person's personal and career goals, as documented in the plan of care.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Support Employment, Follow Along Support - 01/31/2014

“Follow along support consists of habilitation services and supports that enable a person to stabilize or expand employment in a competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. The person may require follow along support when:   (a) the person's job is in jeopardy; or   (b) a job promotion opportunity requires more complex, comprehensive, or intensive supports. Follow along support may be provided in an extended ongoing manner or intermittently as needed.”  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Medicaid HCBS Program: Job Preparation - 01/31/2014

“Job preparation provides formalized training and work experiences, based upon the goals identified during job discovery, intended to teach a person the skills necessary to succeed in a paid competitive, customized, or self-employment setting. Training may also address workplace social skills and the development of practices and behaviors necessary for successful employment.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MT Supports for Community Work and Living Waiver (1037.R00.00) - 10/01/2013

~~Provides job discovery/job preparation, respite, supported employment-follow along support, supports brokerage, behavioral support services, environmental mods/adaptive equipment, individual goods and services, meals, PERS, personal supports, supported employment-co-worker supports, supported employment-individual employment support, supported employment-small group employment support, transportation for individuals with IID and DD ages 16 - no max age.”

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

MT HCBW for Individuals w/DD Waiver (0208.R05.00) - 07/01/2013

~~Provides day supports and activities, homemaker, job discovery/job preparation, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, supported employment-follow along support, waiver-funded children's case management, OT, PT, psychological services, speech therapy, supports brokerage, adult companion services, adult foster support, assisted living, behavioral support, caregiver training and support, community transition, environmental mods/adaptive equipment, individual goods and services, meals, nutritionist, personal care, PERS, personal supports, private duty nursing, remote monitoring equipment, remote monitoring, retirement services, supported employment-co-worker support, supported employment-individual employment support, supported employment-small group employment support, transportation for individuals w/IDD/DD ages 0 - no max age

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

MT Big Sky Waiver (0148.R05.00) - 07/01/2011

This waiver, 'provides adult day health, case management, day hab, homemaker, personal assistance, prevocational, residential hab, respite, supported employment, OT, PT, respiratory therapy, speech therapy and audiology, FMS, independence advisor, community supports, community transition, consultative clinical and therapeutic services, consumer goods and services, dietetic services, environmental accessibility adaptations, family training and support, health and wellness, homemaker chore, non-medical transportation…”

This waiver expires 06/30/2016.

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

States - Phablet

Snapshot

When it comes to efforts to increase employment opportunities for workers with disabilities in Montana, the sky is the limit in the "Big Sky Country."

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 Montana’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.91%
Change from
2014 to 2015
1,032,949
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
4.07%
Change from
2014 to 2015
71,852
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
3.69%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28,960
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-0.37%
Change from
2014 to 2015
40.31%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.48%
Change from
2014 to 2015
77.36%

State Data

General

2015
Population. 1,032,949
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 71,852
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 28,960
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 422,617
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 40.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 77.36%
Overall unemployment rate. 4.20%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 13.60%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 75,099
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 64,678
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 125,953
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 4,767
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 8,945
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 531
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 3,085
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 1,002

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 1,874
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 10.80%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 27,848

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 1,433
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 3,347
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 9,753
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 14.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.80%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 128
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 423
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 316
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 2,179
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.02

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 10
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 5
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. 50.00%
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. 0.48

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 1,496
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 40,038
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $2,003,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $8,630,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $11,401,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 24.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 1,070
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 959
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 43.50

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 46.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 12.74%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.40%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00%
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). 20.71%
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). 71.77%
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). 85.11%
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). 51.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 294,615
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,038
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 42,808
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 25,481
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 68,289
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 245
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 381
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 626
AbilityOne wages (products). $139,465
AbilityOne wages (services). $243,632

 

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

2016
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). 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 28
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). 1,202
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 54
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 1,256

 

WIOA Proflie

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)
  • Each year there will be a customer satisfaction survey conducted and an analysis of the survey results.
  • A statewide town hall meeting will be held each of the three years to gather input from consumers and other stakeholders.
  • In FY 2016 VRBS’ counselors will be surveyed to gain their input on the needs of consumers.
  • VRBS will continue to be involved with the State Employment Leadership Network to gather information on how VRBS can assist with the Employment First initiative activities.
  • In FY2016 the input that has been obtained from the previous activities will be presented to the VRBS’ leadership team to assess and develop priorities for the upcoming strategic plan.
  • After a draft of priorities are developed, input on the priorities and potential strategies for achieving the priorities will be obtained from the SRC and if possible the SILC.
  • In FY 2016 a final draft of the strategic plan will be presented to the SRC for any final recommendations.  (Page 196)
  1. Expansion of mental health providers as CRP’s to serve those with severe and persistent mental illness
  2. Planning for the needs of consumers requiring higher level of long-term supports was identified through participation with the Supported Employment Leadership Network (the employment first network of Montana. (Page 200)
Customized Employment

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) will continue to encumber Title VI, Part B funds on a fee-for service basis. When supported employment services exhaust Title VI, Part B funds, then Title I funds will be utilized to provide needed supported employment services. At this time and in recent years, this procedure has made it possible to provide all planned supported employment services for individuals receiving VRBS services. If in the future VRBS determines that there are inadequate funds to provide all needed supported employment services for individuals on the VRBS caseload, then the first priority for supported employment services will be on the job supports. The second priority will be services such as transportation and work clothing.

In addition, VRBS prioritizes the use of supported employment models that maximize integration of persons with the most significant disabilities in real work sites, doing meaningful work. VRBS does not support the use of segregated bench work, sheltered, enclave or segregated crew models. VRBS has been aware of and used customized employment techniques for some time, however with the passage of WIOA, VRBS plans to emphasize these techniques to a greater degree. (Page 211)

Comment 6: North Central Independent Living Services, Inc. (NCILS) urge the state to implement policies, procedures, and practices which will benefit all Montanans to receive a fair and competitive wage within an integrated work setting throughout Montana by working with Montana VRBS Section 511. NCLIS supports VRBS in the expanded use of customized employment. NCILS mentions the importance of continuum of services that leads to competitive and integrated employment for all Montanans, including those with disabilities. Response: DPHHS–VRBS appreciates the comments and they will be kept up to date on the implementation of Section–511. (Page 279)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Braiding funds with other core partners for conferences and trainings focused on supporting career pathways will be the manner in which leadership dollars will align with the work of our core partners. This collaboration across core partner agencies will evolve to meet the needs of WIOA implementation and sustainability. Secondly, the state will support the eligible providers’ ability to integrate and sustain career pathways in their instructional practice. Funds will be available to support regional meetings with workforce and one–stop partners to help AE programs identify the components of job–driven training that needs to be incorporated into their curriculum. Regional professional development will make use of leadership dollars to assist programs in learning how to become responsive to local labor market demands. Thirdly, the state will use funds to develop templates and identify resources that support a systemic approach to career pathways; technical assistance will be made available for providers on the use of state developed resources that will inform their pathway implementation. (Page 56-57)  and   (Page 151)

Section 188/Section 188 Guide

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners), will comply with section 188 of WIOA (if applicable) and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) with regard to the physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology, and materials for individuals with disabilities. This also must include a description of compliance through providing staff training and support for addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria.

The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. Physical and programmatic accessibility will be among the criteria required for local site certification. (Page 85)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Veterans that are homeless or at risk of being homeless ?

Veterans separated from service within the last three years and, at any point in the previous 12 months, have been unemployed for 27 or more consecutive weeks?

Veterans that have ever been incarcerated?

Veterans without a high school diploma or equivalent certificate?

Veterans that fall below the poverty line for the area in which they reside?

Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 years’ old? 

The spouse of a service member who died of a service– connected disability, has been missing in action for more than 90 days, captured in the line of duty by a hostile force for more than 90 days, forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power for more than 90 days, or who has a total disability that is permanent in nature resulting from a service–connected disability or who died as a result of a service–connected disability?

A family member (parent, spouse, child, step– family member or other that live with but are not a member of the family) that provides personal care services to an eligible veteran Addressing Accessibility of the One–Stop System The State of Montana offers services to individuals with disabilities through the Job Service offices across the state. The workforce system is continually developing new and fostering ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and expanding the system’s capacity to serve customers and employers with disabilities. Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) are funded through Wagner–Peyser and are located at each Job Service office. These coordinators assist individuals with barriers with a variety of employment–related services, and serve as a resource to the workforce community. The DRCs also develop linkages with and collaborate on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placement for persons with barriers to employment. The DRCs assist anyone that encounters additional barriers to securing employment, such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, ex–felons, the aging workforce, youth at risk and veterans. Disability Resource Coordinators work with partner agencies routinely to garner mutual support and share information through Community Management Teams, interagency and community organizations. The DRCs identify gaps in service and create working groups to recognize individuals who may benefit from their services. The DRCs, in collaboration with service providers, organize Resource Fairs, provide training opportunities to customers and the employer community, grow relationships with public and private schools to assist with continual learning opportunities. DRCs also meet annually with veterans’ representatives to receive new information and collaborate on the best ways to support their targeted populations. Montana is a single–area workforce system. The SWIB is discussing a process for One–Stop center certification, particularly with the new core partners that are included in WIOA. (Page 78-79)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

VR contracts with employment service providers, and maintains partnerships and agreements with multiple agencies and entities around the state to ensure comprehensive and coordinated services for job seekers with disabilities. VR anticipates that pilot programs and Innovation and Expansion grant opportunities in the upcoming year will further increase its service capacity.

VR’s services are provided statewide, with exception to pilot programs, Innovation and Expansion grant activities, and transition services delivered under a Third-Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). VR currently holds TPCA with 20 school districts, and as required, has a waiver of statewideness in place for these arrangements. More details on TPCA and other factors that affect VR’s service capacity can be found in the VR services portion of this plan. (Page 45)

  • Pilot innovative service models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/peer mentoring to provide more service options to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. VR has expanded the use of Discovery and Customized Employment statewide, and is now focusing on increasing capacity to provide these services. VR continues to develop agreements with and partner with other agencies and organizations to provide customers more access to community resources.
  • Fully implement a coordinated business relations program across core programs that includes leveraging community partnerships to engage and support Florida’s employers and increase access to appropriate employment and educational services.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document to assist customers in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry. Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting. (Page 61)

Improving Employment Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders 

An example of an ongoing partnership is a collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DEO, CareerSource Florida, and the LWDBs aimed at improving the employment outcomes for juvenile offenders. On January 1, 2015, DJJ and DEO entered into a statewide Memorandum of Agreement to establish general conditions and joint processes that will enable each agency to collaborate as partners to ensure juvenile offenders under the supervision of DJJ have information about and access to services provided by the state’s workforce system. The agreement outlines mutual responsibilities that allow for planning at the state, regional and local levels, promotes the development of linkages between DJJ and the LWDBs, encourages collaboration and establishes guidelines for data sharing protocol development.

Based on this Agreement, DJJ, DEO, and CareerSource Northeast Florida entered into a pilot project with funding from DJJ and CareerSource Florida. The purpose of the pilot project is to improve the employment outcomes for youth offenders under the jurisdiction of DJJ within CareerSource Northeast Florida’s local workforce area. (Page 63)

During the next four years, the state will continue to pilot and refine the integrated education and training model for Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS). FICAPS is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I–BEST) model from the state of Washington. The initial pilot year includes eight programs with a cohort of students that are simultaneously enrolled in the GED® Preparation program (GED®–i course) and a career and technical certificate program. Students will learn about career ladders and how to earn stackable credentials. This will provide options for accelerated learning for those adults that are motivated to move ahead as quickly as possible. The goal is to increase the number of students that earn their high school diploma or equivalent and earn entry level industry recognized certification/credential. State wide implementation of the FICAPS will occur in phases as additional programs begin the planning and design activities. Support will be provided in planning and implementation grants as funds are available. (Page 159) 

  • Review pilot and innovative employment practices and assess the feasibility of replicating programs with successful strategies. VR has initiated Discovery Services, a person-centered planning tool as a way to increase the number of individuals with significant and complex disabilities receiving supported employment services. Training opportunities were developed for providers and VR staff on this customized employment strategy.  

Goal 2: Use Title VI, Part B funds to achieve the maximum number of quality employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities.

Plans

  • Use Title I funds, supplemented with Title VI, Part B funds, to provide supported employment services as specified in the Individualized Plan for Employment. (Page 225)

Actual Performance: The contract was successfully negotiated and was awarded to Market Decisions in June 2014. The strategy was then revised to focus on implementation of new tools and process for assessing customer satisfaction. The new customer satisfaction survey and reports were finalized and implemented, and a pilot was completed in October 2014, with great feedback from customers and vendor. Monthly extract and survey documents have been finalized. Tools to market the new survey in local VR offices were developed by FRC and VR Communications staff. 

In addition to data collected through the customer satisfaction survey, VR uses data collected by the Ombudsman Unit to analyze customer success and satisfaction. Below is a comparative summary of customer inquiry and mediation requests fielded by the Ombudsman Unit during FFYs 2014–15 and 2013–14. (Page 236)

3.   VR administrators provide technical assistance and consultations on individual cases as requested by supervisors, family members, VR staff, and individual customers.

4.   A number of strategies were used to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities listed below.

  • Representation on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Employment Task Force. This included helping develop pilot projects on a wide array of employment topics. Administrators were involved as task force members, on advisory committees, and as monitors of projects. The projects complimented and supported VR’s mission of helping individuals get or keep a job.
  • Presentations on supported employment at conferences around the state. Audiences included professionals, families, and students regarding employment options.
  • Participation as a board member for the Florida Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). (Page 244)

In response to these challenges, VR increased its collaboration with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and other stakeholders to develop pilot projects designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals with most significant disabilities.

VR’s focus on expanding current supported employment service options with Discovery and other related customized services is an important step in reducing the reliance on paid Follow Along/Extended services.

VR was also contending with waiting lists for part of the reporting year which caused cases to be on hold for supported employment services. The wait list caused hardships for some of the providers and they reduced their staff during this time. Providers will now have the opportunity to serve increased numbers of individuals. The Category 1 waiting list was eliminated and referrals and services are progressing. (Page 246)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

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

Benefits
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for WIPA services so more VR customers who are ticketholders, youth, and SSI/SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work may be served.(Page 62)

VR will continue to collaborate with partners at the state and local levels to maximize employment services for people with disabilities. Florida VR anticipates that all projects within its Strategic Plan will have a positive impact on program performance. Specific activities include the following. 

  • Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.
  • Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
  • Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
  • Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self-support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 96)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate among core programs to efficiently provide services.
    • Membership of state and local workforce boards.
    • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services. SSA-contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/SSDI (Page 115)

Beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. 

  • Collaborate with CareerSource Florida and other career center partners to implement universal design principles into the workforce development system’s facilities and operations, with intent to include universal design as a separate component of the career center certification process.
  • Continue partnerships with community rehabilitation service providers, employers, and career centers.
  • Continue partnerships with the Florida Rehabilitation Council and the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind to review, analyze, and advise the rehabilitation partners regarding the performance of their responsibilities. (Page 116) 

The FRC is pleased to see revisions to the new employee training program and an increased number of course offerings in the learning management system (LMS). The professional development will strengthen the VR workforce further and could ultimately improve customer satisfaction of VR services. The FRC also has been a strong proponent of an advocacy curriculum within the counselor/employee training curriculum. Advocacy is an essential element for the success of this program and the Council renews collective efforts to increase understanding of the benefits of customer self-advocacy and the client development of their own Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). FRC is working with VR on developing this self-advocacy module for system inclusion into LMS. (Page 174)

Goal 3: To advocate for employment of persons with disabilities - The FRC continues to educate the public and legislative delegates on the benefits of hiring individuals living with a disability and the services that VR may provide. The Council is working with communities and VR to expand outreach to employers by offering disability employment information and resources for businesses. The Council focus and areas of collaboration are further expressed in Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 provided above.

Goal 4: To strengthen the management of FRC internal operation - This goal focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Council functions and program staff, especially during this period of change and WIOA implementation. FRC members discuss and review program budget and expenditures on a regular basis and are working toward streamlining internal processes to increase the efficiency of costs and efforts. Many actions this past year and for the future are focusing on utilizing electronic communication, access and media to educate and inform members as to the needs of VR and the customers we serve. At this time the FRC has 16 members on the Council with a variety of representative members, such as, a member of DOE, a VR Counselor, the Client Assistance Program (CAP), parents, the Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), vendors and CareerSource Florida to name a few. The Council continues to work with the Governors Appointment Office to meet the federal mandates of Council membership and the strategic partnerships represented as required. Communication and collaboration with VR is at its best, yet remains an important focus for FRC staff and members.

In closing, the FRC is focused on furthering the VR mission to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. The FRC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the counselors and field staff of VR. The Council will continue its review of VR service delivery through public forums, supporting strong survey initiatives, promoting effective and efficient methods while incorporating best practices and strategically planning with stakeholders. The recommendations identified in this plan are designed to strengthen the efforts of counselors, field staff, and the collective workforce system to employ all customers in competitive jobs of their choice. (Page 175-176)

VR adopted an early referral/application process for transition students during SFY 2008–2009 to better coordinate with state and local education agencies. Brochures for the VR Transition Youth Program are available to students and families so they can begin gathering information at age 14. The referral process for VR services was updated for SFY 2015 so that students with disabilities may begin to receive VR services at age 15. Students with disabilities who are at high risk for dropping out of school may be referred at any age. This early referral process allows the counselor to develop a rapport with the transition student and family, explore vocational options and comparable benefits, and begin necessary guidance and counseling. Provisions for Development and Approval of Individualized Plans for Employment for Students with Disabilities.

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), Supported Employment IPE, Individual Support Plan, and/ or Care Coordination Plans are completed or updated as early as possible prior to graduation or leaving school to allow a seamless transition to a student’s desired postsecondary outcome. VR counselors, with assistance from VR technicians, serve as representatives to work with all public high schools statewide and any private high school requesting assistance. They provide outreach and vocational rehabilitation services orientation to students, school officials, parents, and others involved in transition services. Only the counselor may determine a student’s eligibility for VR services, develop an approved IPE, and sponsor the delivery of necessary transition services to help the student with planning, preparing for, and achieving successful employment. (Page 188)

Employment First

As an employment leader, VR strongly encourages partner agencies, organizations, and employers to promote competitive integrated employment in the community as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities who are employed experience enhanced independence and quality of life. They are also contributing to the rich diversity of the workforce so the entire community benefits.

Technical Assistance and Consultation

Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to have written agreements with VR, FDBS, APD, Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health Services. The agreement addresses consultation, coordination, and providing technical assistance to each other, as well as to students and their families/ guardians/surrogates to plan for the transition from high school to postsecondary activities and becoming part of the adult community. (Page 189)

VR recognizes I & E grants as an opportunity that could be beneficial and complementary to WIOA- related initiatives. In the upcoming year, VR will be looking for innovative opportunities that could improve employment services to and successful closures for individuals with “unique abilities,” defined in Florida legislation as including individuals who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These opportunities, when identified, will be offered through formal procurement processes.

VR also has collaborative, non-contractual arrangements and agreements with non-profit organizations that provide referrals, other vocational rehabilitation services, and comparable benefits. Through coordinating with Centers for Independent Living, individuals with disabilities receive life skills training, employability skills training, and support such as transportation, clothing, and emergency funds. Relationships with organizations that serve customers with hearing impairments provide opportunities for support groups, sign language classes, and placement assistance. (Page 192 -193)

The Human Resources page is a one-stop information resource for VR personnel. The Human Resources page consists of six functional groups, which are further divided into subject groups, specific categories, and detailed information pages. Topics include employee rights, benefits and responsibilities, resources such as forms, procedures, and policies, and useful information about VR and state government. Most pages have embedded links to either an internal portion of the VR Intranet, or to an outside website. Each employee can then bookmark any page for easy access. (Page 206-207)

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 213-214)

Individuals with Significant Disabilities (Priority Category 2)

An eligible individual with a disability which:

  1. Seriously limits one or two functional capacities, in terms of an employment outcome;
  2. Requires two or more primary services;
  3. Requires services which must be provided over an extended period of time (at least six months); OR
  4. The individual is a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of disability or blindness. (Page 222)  

Order of Selection Policies

Individuals needing Supported Employment services are assessed as having a most significant disability. Additionally, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as a result of being determined to be disabled or blind are assessed as having at least a significant disability and are evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for individuals with most significant disabilities. 

After an individual is found eligible for VR services, an OOS determination is completed. Additional evaluations or assessments to make this determination may be needed. The VR counselor and individual jointly determine the individual’s OOS priority category by evaluating his or her functional limitations, anticipated services needed, and the duration of the services.

This policy does not affect an individual who began to receive services under an approved individualized plan for employment prior to the implementation date of OOS, or those individuals who are in need of post-employment services. (Page 224)

  • Participate in the development of a consortium of providers designed to identify, share, and promote innovative employment practices.
  • Promote awareness of social security benefits planning as a way to fund extended services.
  • Continue to provide joint training opportunities for VR employees and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
  • Provide funding to support collaboration between VR and other community resources through networking and leadership activities. (Page 226)

1.1.1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program.

1.1.2. Redesign and implement pre–employment services for transition–age customers.

1.1.3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.

1.1.4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers. 

  • Implement additional mental health training for counselors, and develop transitional employment, Individual Placement and Support, and peer specialist models to improve success with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Expand the capacity for providing Discovery and Customized Employment services.
  • Establish additional casework quality assurance review practices to validate data entry.
  • Continue data validation practices to detect errors prior to reporting.
  • Expand use of Benefits Planning services for Social Security recipients that will promote self–support. Purchase these services when not available from SSA. (Page 233)
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity. (Page 234)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events. (Page 318)

  • Contact community organizations and civic groups. Meet with these identified groups on a regular basis to educate and increase their awareness of our agency, services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Educate employers on hiring persons who are blind and visually impaired in presentations to community organizations and civic groups. Use these opportunities to set up additional events.

  • At least a quarterly, Employment Placement Specialists will make presentations to community organizations and civic groups. If possible, engage employers who have secured blind and visually impaired employees to participate in the presentations. (Page 320)

  • Each district will nominate at least one employer for the joint agency statewide exemplary employer event in October. The Director will award plaques to those nominated for statewide exemplary employer. This occurred in 2013, 2014 and should become an annual process. (Page 330)

FDBS has specifically identified the following factors as further contributing to the outcome and not meeting Standard 1.2:

  • Clients refusing services or not needing further services;
  • Inability to locate or contact clients;
  • Clients’ relocation out of state;
  • Staff vacancies;
  • Time it took to train new employment placement staff;
  • Employer resistance to hiring individuals with disabilities;
  • Increase in the number of individuals pursuing post–secondary training instead of employment; and
  • Competing between securing employment and maintaining Social Security benefits. (Page 337)
School to Work Transition

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities for each partner agency as required by federal and state regulations are as follows:

  1. Local education agencies provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other postsecondary activities.
  2. VR and FDBS assist with student transition from secondary school to work through postsecondary training, education, or direct placement services necessary to achieve a successful employment outcome.
  3. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities tries to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment,” (Chapter 393, Florida Statutes). Additionally, “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide support and services, within available resources, to assist customers enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in Florida rule.
  4. Children’s Medical Services ensures a smooth and successful transition process to adult healthcare services and providers for youth and young adults with special healthcare needs. (Page 190)

In-Service Training Grant (please note this grant ended on 9/30/15) 

Funds were requested for the in-service training grant based on current and anticipated needs. VR continues to provide a variety of in-house training programs, including counselor training, supervisory training, policy training, new legislation, casework review training, etc.

In carrying out its staff development and training program, VR addresses several topics in its training curricula. The training curricula include (but are not limited to) modules on the following: preliminary assessment, eligibility determination, assessment, IPE development, vocational counseling (within the modules on eligibility determination and individualized plan for employment development), job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural competence, ethics, supported employment, transition from school to work, medical and psychological issues, caseload management, and special programs.

VR places emphasis on the professional development of unit supervisors, area supervisors, and area directors. Topics are selected based on policy or procedure changes, new initiatives, audit and review findings, and general professional development. (Page 207)

In general, the purpose of this agreement is to encourage and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among the local leadership and staff of the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and local offices of VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; and
  • Children’s Medical Services works to ensure that youth and young adults with special health care needs are provided with a smooth and successful transition of leaving pediatric or child health care services to receiving services from adult health care providers. Starting at age 12, care coordinators work with parents and children/young adults to prepare them for their future health care needs and services; and
  • The Department of Children and Families, Mental Health Unit works to provide a system of care, in partnership with families and the community enabling children and adults with mental health problems or emotional disturbances to successfully live in the community, to be self-sufficient or to attain self-sufficiency at adulthood, and to realize their full potential. Mental health supports and services will enable adults and transitioning students to participate in community activities such as employment and other valued community roles. (Page 268)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective

Transition services delivery.

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.(Page 271-272)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. 

The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities. (Page 273)

FDBS dedicates a staff transition program consultant as the central point of contact for the School to Work Transition Program. The administrator serves as the liaison for the 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The administrator coordinates and plans for effective transition services delivery. The FDBS transition program consultant is responsible for training internal employees and making presentations about FDBS transition services at statewide conferences in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the agency’s role in assisting eligible students with disabilities.

Additionally, the FDBS transition program consultant provides transition-related technical assistance to field staff. The consultant serves as a representative on the State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee. (Page 305)

VR, FDBS, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Children’s Medical Services, and Mental Health throughout Florida, within the context of applicable federal and state regulations required of each agency, namely: 

  • LEAs work to provide FAPE for students with disabilities, including preparation for transition from school to work or other post-school activities; and (Page 321)
  • VR and FDBS work to assist student transition from secondary school to work through post- secondary educational supports and/or employment supports for a successful employment outcome; and
  • APD works to “reduce the use of sheltered workshops and other noncompetitive employment day activities and promote opportunities for gainful employment for persons with developmental disabilities who choose to seek such employment” (Florida Statute 393). Additionally, F.S. 393 states that “to promote independence and productivity, the agency shall provide supports and services, within available resources, to assist clients enrolled in Medicaid waivers who choose to pursue gainful employment.” If an individual is eligible for APD waiver services and employment is a needed service, then this service must be provided to meet standards as outlined in rule; (Page 322)

Florida VR’s most recent CSNA was conducted prior to the addition of this provision. The VR Transition Youth Program conducted an analysis of “VR Engagement of Youth with Disabilities in High School". Data from the VR Rehabilitation Information Management System (RIMS) and the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services’ (BEESS) State and Local Education Agency profiles was used to determine the extent to which VR was engaging youth while still in high school. The analysis compared the number of youth with disabilities who had applied for VR services to the total number of youth with disabilities (having an IEP) in a given school district. This provided a percentage of VR engagement for each Florida School District and a way to make comparisons between and among school districts. The information is being used to target intensive technical assistance in poorly engaged areas and facilitate improved communication and collaboration in all school districts. VR will use student engagement data to improve consistency of effort throughout the state and as an additional way to measure gains in performance. (Page 214)

Data Collection
  • To promote a system that maximizes educational access and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians;
  • To promote a system of coordinated and consistent transfer of credit and data collection for improved accountability purposes between education delivery systems. 

Blending Academics with Career and Technical Education 

The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as High School High Tech, Project SEARCH, and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied. (Page 68)

Florida operates WIOA Title I, Title III, and TAA out of the same data management system. It operates SNAP and TANF out of a separate data management system and Unemployment Compensation out of another data management system. These systems are all managed by DEO. However, prior to WIOA, the three systems were already integrated using simple low cost/low effort database and web services technologies. This model has allowed efficient data collection and reporting capabilities while maintaining built-in essential and desired program specific business rules in the respective systems. All data, including Unemployment Compensation data is housed in the same data source for reporting and analysis purposes. 

  • CONNECT is the data collection management and reporting system for unemployment compensation;
  • Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is the data collection management and reporting system for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and state workforce/employment initiatives;
  • One Stop Service Tracking (OSST) is the data collection management and reporting system for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training activities. (Page 75)

Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) 

Florida’s system infrastructure is comprised of interconnected data collections, management, and reporting systems. The first is responsible for collection management and reporting of unemployment compensation data; the second system serves as the central hub for data collection management and reporting for Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act, Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), WIOA, and state workforce/ employment initiatives. One of Florida’s earliest and most successful innovations in evaluation and performance tracking has been FETPIP, which was established in mid-1980 within FDOE. This program was developed mainly to help evaluate the effectiveness of postsecondary education and training programs, particularly vocational education and similar career preparation programs. The scope of the groups to be tracked rapidly expanded to cover nearly all job training and placement programs including WIOA, Wagner-Peyser (WP), Adult Education, FDBS, Job Corps, Veterans, Welfare Transition (WT)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Apprenticeship, Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants, and ex-offenders. A total of nearly 600 groups or sub-cohorts are being tracked. FETPIP follow-up data is electronically derived from Reemployment Assistance (RA) quarterly wage records, federal military and civilian personnel records, public assistance, incarceration/parole records, and continued education rosters. Access to this data allows for annual reports with extensive detail and longitudinal capabilities. Each group is typically tracked for at least two years with many tracked over much longer periods, including all graduates (and drop-outs) of high school, certificate programs, (Page 76)

The state will use technology to assist in data collection across the mandatory one-stop career center partner programs. Most of the mandatory program data is already captured and shared extensively between three systems using a strong federated architecture. The intent is to continue this direction by extending it to the new one-stop career center partner programs. Technologies from real-time web services to real time database interfaces will be used. This model will allow workforce assistance experts to see and assess the needs of every job seeker including the unemployed, TANF, SNAP, VR, and Adult Education program participants. New partners will enjoy the same set of streamlined services under one roof in addition to the new partners bringing their product lines to the partnership. All participants will also have access to the labor exchange and labor market information systems. (Page 103)

VR invests 35–40 percent of its statewide staffing resources in transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the rehabilitation information and billing systems for transition students’ data collection were implemented on April 22, 2015 to collect transition data elements and track expenditures for transition youth. The Rehabilitation Services Administration will announce any additional data enhancements to meet WIOA requirements once the associated rules and regulations have been finalized. (Page189)

VR senior leaders continue to participate in quarterly planning meetings following the team approach established in 2012. VR senior leaders review progress made toward strategies, prioritize strategies still in progress, and agree on the strategies that will continue in the updated plan. Senior leaders consider employee feedback from the climate survey, customer, stakeholder and public input, needs assessment findings, customer satisfaction data, general process performance, and data collection and reporting requirements when updating goals, objectives, and strategic projects.

Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is vrplan@vr.fldoe.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions. (Page 241)

FDBS invests 15 percent of its staffing resources to transition services to serve students with disabilities in Florida’s 67 school districts and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Additional improvements to the AWARE Case Management System for transition students’ data collection and tracking were implemented July 2015 to comply with the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The enhancements will enable FDBS to conduct differential analysis and tracking to better evaluate agency performance and identify how to best improve service delivery and outcomes for students with disabilities. (Page 274)

Pending final RSA regulations, FDBS will review and align measures with appropriate data collection and service systems. (Page 313)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 319)

FDBS continues to assess its services to individuals with most significant disabilities as well as individuals who are considered as a part of unserved or underserved populations and minorities. In addition, FDBS has identified the following strategies to address this population. Initial implementation of the strategies began during May 2014; a refined data collection instrument was put in place in July 2014. District offices submit monthly data reports that are compiled and analyzed by the state office. (Page 320)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.

VR coordinates with Florida Independent Living Council, Inc. (FILC), and the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state. Through memoranda of agreement with each of the 16 Centers, VR provides funding, outlines roles and responsibilities, and ensures cooperative planning. VR and the Division of Blind Services (FDBS) are both partners in the agreement with FILC, and both provide funds for council activities outlined in the agreement.

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

VR and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind agree to cooperate in serving students and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in establishing transition meetings. Activities are implemented to increase public awareness of programs serving these customers and to improve transition between the school and local counselors.

Florida Small Business Development Center Network

Coordination with this network is carried out at the local level on a case-by-case basis. VR customers who are seeking self-employment can use a Business Planning Team. A representative from the Small Business Development Center Network can serve on such teams to help VR customers assess their potential for self-employment and analyze the various issues that need to be taken into account. (Page 183)

Career Pathways

Training activities are provided statewide through face-to-face workshops, webinars, podcasts, and conferences. Needs assessments are conducted to assist in determining state professional development priorities. Current initiatives also determine training topics such as college and career readiness standards, integrated education and training models, essential components of reading instruction, career pathways, mathematics instruction and GED® preparation.

Florida’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (FICAPS) is Florida’s adult education approach to career pathways. Students will simultaneously enroll in an adult education course (GED® Integrated Preparation) and a career and technical certificate program. Adult education programs will collaborate with their LWDB to determine local high-wage high-demand careers when developing career pathways. The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) also promotes implementation of non-credit bridge programs that promote the teaching of literacy skills in a career context. (Page 42)

(GED-i) and a career and technical certificate program. To build capacity for career pathway programs planning and implementation grants were awarded in 2015-2016 and additional grants will be available for 2016-2017. Adult education programs will collaborate with CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards to determine career pathways suitable for adult learners and the local supply and demand for careers. Resources and training along with the mini-grants will expand the capacity of programs to offer workforce activities. A building capacity goal is to build and deepen partnerships across agencies and organizations within the state to implement Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan. The core partners will develop strategies to support staff training and awareness, disseminate best practices, develop and continuously improve the one-stop delivery system, and support the CareerSource Local Workforce Development Boards. The LWDB helps adult education partners and other customers identify high wage, high demand jobs and assist to develop career pathways for the regional areas. Core partners will work together to increase the opportunities and access points for individuals needing service and will work on ways to improve the number of individuals moving from under and unemployment into education and employment opportunities. (Page 43)

Employment Networks
  • Ticket to Work - Seventeen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers to enhance their efforts to find and retain a job and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Participating LWDBs receive funding for workforce services provided to “ticketholders” from the Social Security Administration. In Florida, the Ticket to Work program is administered by VR. VR’s Ticket to Work unit is responsible for overseeing the program and systems that track and manage ticket assignment and payments, ensuring timely filing and reimbursement of SSA claims requested by Employment Networks, and providing technical assistance and training to customers and personnel involved in the program. (Page 54)

LWDBs continue to expand employment and training services for persons with disabilities. Seventeen of Florida’s 24 LWDBs have been approved as Employment Networks (EN) under the Ticket to Work program.

In addition, the state and several LWDBs have accessible mobile CareerSource Florida centers which can provide on-site services for mass layoffs, remote job fairs and other employment and training events, thus providing additional access for individuals with disabilities. (Page 111)

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act

One of VR’s ongoing objectives for the Ticket to Work Program is to increase the number of partnerships with Employment Networks (Employment and Rehabilitation Service Providers). VR hopes to expand the resources available to customers to meet the current and future levels of demand. It is also the goal of VR to ensure that customers have a choice in service providers available within their communities. VR has also implemented an Employment Network Referral and Partnership Agreement that creates more opportunity to develop partnerships with Employment Networks. The agreement features a transitional approach by assisting Social Security Administration customers in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency through core VR services followed by ongoing support services from employment networks. VR will continue to monitor the Agreement’s effectiveness in meeting the previously stated goal. (Page 185)

The Statewide Workforce Development System. In addition to the above CSNA recommendations and requirements outlined in WIOA, the following strategies will increase partnerships with the statewide workforce development system to further help jobseekers with disabilities. 

  • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
  • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services.
  • Continue area directors’ and representatives’ participation on the local Workforce Boards.
  • Continue to promote VR’s presence in CareerSource Florida through co-location of VR units in One- Stop Career Centers, employees being out-stationed, and/or through regular visits by VR employees to One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Develop a network of qualified benefits planners to augment the SSA contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program services. SSA contracted networks are insufficient in quantity, and they have reprioritized their service population so that ticketholders, youth and SSI/ SSDI beneficiaries who are not yet working or ready to work are in last place. VR believes benefits planning must be provided early to families and youth, and will purchase these services when not available through SSA capacity.  (Page 213-214)
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports.
    • Encourage the use of employer and natural supports as a resource for ongoing supports.
    • Enhance relationships with businesses and employers to let them know that on-the-job supports for individuals in supported employment are available. VR will continue efforts to strengthen community partnerships to increase access to appropriate employment services. (Page 226)
    • Continue to work with APD to make sure that referred customers know about the extended service resources they can get through Medicaid Waiver Funding and/or general revenue funding.
    • Continue to work with a network of providers to provide technical assistance and support of innovative projects that promote employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
    • Provide training on the availability of funding ongoing support through Ticket to Work-Employment Network partnerships, natural supports, and Social Security Work Incentives as possible resources for ongoing supports. (Page 228)
    • Continue implementation of WIOA with other core programs, including design of the one-stop career center system and integrated performance accountability system.
    • Collaborate with and offer training to CareerSource Florida and Employment Networks to provide services. (Page 233)

FDBS also strengthened its relationship with Community Rehabilitation Providers and local employment networks in the area of job placement related services. In August 2014, FDBS began utilizing the TAP, an online platform that connects persons with disabilities seeking employment to businesses who are actively hiring. By the end of June 2015, FDBS had a total of 31 clients listed in TAP.

FDBS continued activity with the Employment First Initiative, supported by Executive Order 13–284, which re–affirms a commitment to employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Interagency Cooperative Agreement was signed into effect on July 2014 by nine partner agencies, including FDBS. (Page 338)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 53

House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

“Enrollment Dashboard December 2016” - 03/02/2017

~~“This document shows the state data on the number of people who receive benefits from various Medicaid programs.”

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

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

The Montana Medicaid Program “Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Report to the 2017 Legislature” - 01/09/2017

~~“Money Follows the Person (MFP) - Montana was awarded a MFP demonstration grant from CMS to augment existing Montana’s community-based long term services and supports and to increase HCBS. The grant provides a temporary increase in the federal share of the Medicaid matching rate to pay for services to people who are already receiving Medicaid funded care in an institutional setting and choose to move into certain types of community settings…..

All waiver and demonstration services receive an enhanced FMAP rate for Medicaid benefits for a period of 365 days of service. At day 366, a participant is served under a HCBS waiver at regular FMAP. This grant was extended in the amount of $9,306,595. Montana will transition individuals to HCBS waiver programs with MFP funds through December 31, 2017. MFP funding will continue through the first quarter of calendar year 2019.”

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

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

House Bill 2 “AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING 6 JUNE 30, 2019; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." - 04/24/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division is appropriated $775,000 of state special revenue from the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) during each year of the 2019 biennium to cover a contingent FCC mandate, which would require states to provide both video and internet protocol relay services for people with severe hearing, mobility or speech impairments.”

Systems
  • Other

Montana ABLE Legislation Senate Bill 399 - 05/05/2015

It is the intent of the legislature to give Montana residents access to a program authorized section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 529A, 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, federal and state medical and disability insurance, a beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

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

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 15

Presentation to the 2017 Health and Human Services Joint Appropriation Subcommittee - 01/27/2017

~~“The Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DETD) is engaged in multiple reforms. In particular, the Division’s  Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) program is undergoing very significant changes due to new national and state public policies. The United States adopted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, and the regulations for this law became official in September 2016. These changes mesh with Montana’s and the Department’s priorities, especially the larger purposes of creating more high paying jobs and operating an efficient and cost-effective government.VRBS started down the path of flipping its focus from adult to youth services. We’ve partnered with 90 of Montana’s 177 school districts that include high schools and launched multiple other projects to prepare youth for employment. Competitive integrated employment is another outcome sought by national and state leaders. Workers with disabilities should be able to work in their communities for comparable wages and advancement opportunities, and the pipeline to segregated, sub-minimum wage employment must be disrupted with 21st Century approaches to employment, approaches that zero in on high quality, in-demand jobs and high expectations for workers with disabilities. Lastly, VRBS is aligning itself with other workforce development partners. We are now in a combined state plan and obligated to achieve common performance measures with the Department of Labor and Industry’s WIOA programs and the Office of Public Instruction’s Adult Basic Education. Other public and private partners are also involved in our combined effort to support Montana employers and workers with services that break free from organizational silos and provide seamless services across multiple employment agencies. The WIOA requires that that VRBS serve businesses so that the program has dual customers, Montana workers with disabilities and the businesses that employ their talent.” 

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

Disability Employment and Transitions - 01/15/2017

~~“Mission and GoalsAdvancing the employment, independence, and transitions of Montanans with disabilities.•Employment in a competitive integrated setting;•Independence grounded in self-determination, informed choice, and consumer control; and•Transitions from high school to post-secondary education and work that are collaborative and successful……The disability Employment and Transitions Division is comprised of two bureaus and multiple programs.The Disability Employment and Transitions Division includes three citizen councils. They are:• State Rehabilitation Council; and,• Statewide Independent Living Council; and,• The Telecommunications Access by People with Disabilities Committee..” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services Mission and Vision - 07/12/2016

Mission

Our mission is real jobs with real wages.  We maximize the potential for Montanans with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high demand careers as persons without disabilities.  We deliver employment services consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Vision

Youth and adults with disabilities face many disadvantages in employment, including when working for others or in self-employment.  VRBS reverses those disadvantages with high quality and timely employment services. … Moreover, VRBS champions competitive integrated employment, that is, quality jobs in the community for wages comparable to others performing the same work.  Very deliberately, VRBS presumes all people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive integrated settings … In addition, VRBS cultivates many partnerships including those with Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, tribal vocational rehabilitation programs, high schools, colleges, and workforce development programs.  Our primary partner is the State Rehabilitation Council, which reviews, analyzes, and advises VRBS.  And last but not least, VRBS serves employers and Montana’s business community.  Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to Montana’s workforce.  We seek and apply employer input and the latest labor and management information to inform people with disabilities so that they can make choices based on job-driven information.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Career Guide – Tips for Workers with Disabilities - 06/01/2016

Tips for Workers with Disabilities starting on page 41 this publication has information on reasonable accommodation, disclosing a disability, what questions cannot be asked by an employer and resources that are available to persons with disabilities. “Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (MVR) helps Montanans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in the same high-quality jobs and high-demand careers as persons without disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development

MT National Federation of the Blind 2015 Resolutions - Integrated Employment - 05/06/2016

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind of Montana believes that the blind and other people with disabilities can and should work in their communities for livable wages; and,   WHEREAS Montana and the nation far too frequently pipeline workers with disabilities into sheltered, crew, or sub-minimum wage jobs, rather than into competitive integrated employment; and,   WHEREAS The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies support work in the community for minimum or higher wages: NOW, THEREFORE,   BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled on this Eleventh Day of October, 2015, in the city of Great Falls, Montana that this organization call upon the Disability Employment and Transitions Division (DET) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to assure quality Vocational Rehabilitation Services grounded in high expectations for workers with > disabilities by championing the cause of competitive integrated employment for all, and by dropping support of any kind for segregated sub-minimum wage employment for workers with disabilities.
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program - 07/01/2015

The state plan has provisions for supported employment services.  Provisions include:  Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services: 8.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54), 363.11(g)(6) and (7)) (a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in Section 7(36) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54). (b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site. (c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities. 8.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Sections 7(2)(B) and 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 361.5(b)(6)(ii) and 363.11(g)(2)) The comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under Section 102(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and funded under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome. 8.3 Individualized plan for employment. (Sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 625(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.46(b) and 363.11(g)(3) and (5))  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Goals and Priorities - 06/01/2014

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation goals include:

“MVR/BLVS will increase the capacity to serve transition age (14‐24) youth with disabilities.” “MVR/BLVS will increase the quality of successful closures by placing more consumers in positions that pay a living wage and have employee benefits.” “MVR/BLVS will become a model of an accessible work place for individuals with disabilities.”  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Montana National Federation of the Blind 2013 Resolutions - 10/27/2013

“WHEREAS, Section 511 links the Rehabilitation Act, which was established to assist people with disabilities in obtaining competitive integrated employment, with Section 14(C) of the FLSA, which is based on the false premise that people with disabilities cannot be competitively employed and therefore can be paid subminimum wages; and

WHEREAS, The language of Section 511 is only contained in the Senate version of the bill, S. 1356, and not in the House version: NOW THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Montana in convention assembled this Twenty-seventh Day of October, 2013, in the city of Billings, Montana, that this organization calls on its United States Senators, The Honorable Max Baucus and The Honorable Jon Tester, to support fair wages for all American workers by actively working for the removal of > Title V, Section 511 from S. 1356 before its passage by the United States Senate, and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on our entire Montana Congressional Delegation to cosponsor the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of  2013.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

"What is Transition?" Montana Office of Public Instruction “Secondary Transition"

“Montana Workforce Investment Act For an individual to be eligible, they must be between the ages of 14-21 for in-school youth and 16-24 for out-of-school youth, have a low income, and meet at least one of the following barriers to employment: For youth who are still enrolled in schools the following eligibility: (681.220 In-School Youth) • Must be attending school, including secondary or postsecondary school; • Be not younger than 14 or older than 21 at the time or enrollment; • Be of low-income and have one or more of the following: o Have a basic skills deficiency o Be an English language learner o Be an offender o Be a homeless individual which may include: - runaway youth, - youth in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, - youth eligible for assistance under Sec. 477 of the Social Security Act, or - youth in an out-of-home placement. o Be pregnant or parenting o Be an individual with a disability o Be an individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an education o Be in a program to secure and hold employment. “

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

Secondary Transition “Transition Binder”

This site has the publication on Secondary Transition available in eight sections. The information can be opened in pdf or Word format.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Montana Center for Inclusive Education - 06/01/2014

The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity. The mission supporting this vision states that MCIE serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers. MCIE also provides grant management and fiscal management for the Montana State University Billings (MSUB) College of Education’s externally funded projects.   Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project   The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)    • Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.    • Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.    • Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.    • Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.    • Provides healthcare planning and counseling.    • The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MT DPHHS Developmental Services Division - 01/01/2010

In July 2009, the Disability Services Division (DSD) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) was restructured under the Medicaid and Health Services Branch of DPHHS. In January 2010, the name was changed to Developmental Services Division.

The Montana Disability Services Division joined the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) in 2011, since then it has worked to address concerns reflected in the State Strategic Employment Assessment. Building a focused state workplan through key stakeholder input is reflective of the Division’s strong interest in improving employment statewide, across both urban and rural settings.   The Division continues to engage self-advocates and families in planning efforts. This is helping to create strong external pressures and demands for increasing integrated employment opportunities and the expectation of work, regardless of disability.
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

~~The Montana State University Billings Montana Center for Inclusive Education WIPA project has been awarded a grant as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was established in 1999. The goal of the WIPA project is to help Social Security Disability beneficiaries understand and utilize employment supports and work incentives so they can achieve their employment and vocational goals. The Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC)-Provides effective work incentives planning and assistance services to Social Security beneficiaries.-Promotes and supports employment outcomes for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.-Partners with community agencies and conducts community outreach.-Understands Social Security Disability benefits programs as well as other federal/state/local programs for which beneficiaries might be eligible.-Provides healthcare planning and counseling.-The project utilizes community networks such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and Montana Offices of Public Assistance to help in the identification of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from receiving this information. The CWIC provides statewide coverage in local areas either electronically or in person. 

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

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities

~~By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

The University of Montana Rural Institute Transition Projects

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has been a leader in the area of transition planning for youth with disabilities since 1995. Activities have included:-Providing education and training to schools, families, students and agencies;-Developing creative strategies and transition models;-Offering training and assistance on-site and long distance;-Promoting systems changes to support effective transition for youth from school to adult life; and 

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, And Service

~~The University of Montana Rural Institute has strived to collaborate with partners across Montana and across the nation to further its mission. Partners include Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Child Care Resource and Referral Network,  Missoula City/County Public Health Department, Montana Department of Commerce,  Montana’s Office of Public Instruction,  State Deaf-Blind Coordinator, and  Vocational Rehabilitation agencies throughout the state.

Systems
  • Other

University of Montana Rural Institute "MonTech"

 

 

~~The Montana Assistive Technology Program (MATP) is the Statewide AT Program funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. MATP’s lead agency is Montana DPHHS: Disability Services Division, Vocational Rehabilitation Services. MATP is located within the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Missoula and serves all Montanans with disabilities and their supports.

MATP provides AT information and services in the areas of education, employment, community living, and telecommunications. MATP’s services are consistent with the Rural Institute for Inclusive Community’s mission of enhancing the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with disabilities through consumer responsiveness as defined in the AT act.

 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Montana Youth Transitions (MYTransitions)

Disability Employment and Transitions and the Office of Public Instruction sponsor the Montana Youth Transitions Program (MYTransitions). MYTransitions is a website where you can explore, ask questions and discover. The intent of their website is to connect students and families to others across Montana who are also in transition or who have already navigated the transition process. MYTransitions is a reference tool for youth with disabilities and their families."

 
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Montana Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) - 06/01/2014

“The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program is authorized in 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. The program permits a State to furnish an array of home and community-based services that assist Medicaid beneficiaries to live in the community and avoid institutionalization. The State has broad discretion to design its waiver program to address the needs of the waiver’s target population. Waiver services complement and/or supplement the services that are available to participants through the Medicaid State plan and other federal, state and local public programs as well as the supports that families and communities provide.  Application dated October 1,2013”

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

ASPIRE PROMISE Grant - 09/01/2013

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the PROMISE Initiative (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) to a six state consortium, ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment).  The six states of the ASPIRE consortium are Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.

The same interventions will be delivered to all youth in the six states.  Delivery of the ASPIRE Services may vary by state depending on each state’s infrastructure and framework.   Interventions for youth and families assigned to ASPIRE Services include:

-Training and information for parents and families, including advocacy, community resources, educational and employment opportunities, and more.

-A complete individualized explanation of the public benefits the youth and family are receiving and how working and increased earnings will impact those benefits.

-A paid employment opportunity for the youth while he or she is still in high school.

-Self-determination training for the youth and families.

-Financial education and capability training to assist families in understanding their values and available resources to move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

-Case management services provided to the youth and family to assist them in navigating the complicated systems of public benefits and assistance in accessing services, supports and information to support greater self-sufficiency

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Montana Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Research Assistance to States (MIG-RATS) Center launched a website to provide resources and support to states implementing MIGs. The website is designed to help staff find research reports and resources, learn about MIG-RATS activities and initiatives, and connect with MIG researchers. The website includes info on topics such as Medicaid Buy-In programs, outreach and marketing, and youth in transition and also provides links to tools and a calendar of events.

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

Montana Money Follows the Person (MFP)

“MFP is a demonstration program [that] helps Montana shift its long term care system by reducing the use of institutionally based services and increasing the use of home and community based services (HCBS). MFP is focused on helping individuals transition from in-patient facilities to the community. [The Program’s vision is to] create a sustainable system that supports community options as a first choice for individuals needing long term care services.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Montana Disability Employability Conference - 05/11/2016

“This is the first conference of its type in Montana in which multiple departments, organizations, and other interested parties are brought together to share information and tools that are available for individuals with disabilities who are interested in integrated employment. Our goal is to promote the opportunity of meaningful work to the lives of Montanans which support and give pride to the community, as well as the individuals themselves. The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. In addition there will be plenty of fun including a vendor and job fair and entertainment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MT DHHS "Employing People with Disabilities" Self-Assessment Tool - 04/14/2016

Using this self-assessment tool, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana encourages the employers in his state to self-assess how “friendly” their business is to people with disabilities and encourages them to explore the potential of workers with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement

MT Office of Public Instruction- Secondary Transition Academy Module 3: - 01/01/2011

“Module 3 will provide information on how to develop instructional programs for teaching employment and employment-related skills. After completing this module, you will be able to: • Operationally define student learning objectives. • Understand how to use response prompting and fading procedures including: • System of most-to-least prompts. • System of least-to-most prompts. • Constant time delay. • Error correction. • Reinforcement strategies. • Describe the prompt hierarchy. • Develop a worksite analysis. • Develop a task analysis. • Understand data collection and summary formats”

Systems
  • Other

MT Teleconference Training - Transition Planning - 12/12/2006

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