~~The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) recently launched the Provider Transformation 2.0 Webinar Series, a new technical assistance opportunity. These webinars are designed for community rehabilitation providers (CRPs) who have already begun to transform their service delivery model to one with an emphasis on competitive, integrated employment as the priority outcome for individuals served. Even though the call for participation in the live webinar series is closed, the webinar recordings will be shared with the EFSLMP Community of Practice. The webinars are available for review
Self-Guided Discovery Facilitator's Guide: Helping People Discover Their Own Path to Employment - 04/26/2018
~~The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the LEAD Center are pleased to release this Facilitator’s Guide to Self-Guided Discovery. For many years, ODEP has worked to strengthen the capacity of the nation’s workforce development system to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities, using Customized Employment (CE) approaches as a universal strategy. With the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and ongoing systems change efforts like Employment First, formal adoption and implementation of Customized Employment policies and practices are increasingly occurring in state and local age` ncies to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities and other significant barriers to employment. Customized Employment’s signature strategy, Discovery, offers an approach for job seekers with barriers to employment that is consistent with some of the most widely accepted strategies for successful career development.
Guided Group Discovery Resources: Introduction and Course, Participant Workbook, and Facilitator Guide - 04/26/2018
~~The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the LEAD Center are pleased to release resources for Guided Group Discovery. Guided Group Discovery materials include a Facilitator Manual, an accompanying PowerPoint slide deck (Introduction and Course), and a Participant Workbook.
The purpose of Guided Group Discovery is to lay the foundation for competitive integrated employment as a Universal Design that can benefit all job seekers. For some people, Guided Group Discovery leads to Customized Employment. For everyone, the process assists job seekers in identifying employment that would be a good fit both for them and an employer.
The Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) and the Youth Technical Assistance Center (Y-TAC) are national technical assistance centers funded by the Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide technical assistance and training to state vocational rehabilitation agencies and their partners. The WINTAC and Y-TAC entered into a partnership with Griffin-Hammis Associates, TransCen, Inc., Marc Gold & Associates, and Virginia Commonwealth University to develop a document to identify the essential elements of customized employment (CE) as a guide for the universal application of these elements across service delivery and training providers. This effort began in response to attempts by VR agencies and other core partners in the workforce development system to effectively achieve competitive integrated employment for individuals with barriers to employment, especially individuals with significant disabilities, as stressed throughout the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Rehabilitation Act as amended. Representatives from the Department of Labor’s Office on Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and RSA have reviewed and approved the content of this Essential Elements document.
Model Cooperative Agreements Between VR Agency and Medicaid, Mental Health, and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Agencies - 11/20/2017
~~Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires that the state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency include in its State Plan an assurance that it has entered into a formal cooperative agreement with the State agency responsible for administering the State Medicaid plan and the State agency with primary responsibility for providing services and supports for individuals with mental health needs, intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities, with respect to the delivery of VR services, including extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. In addition, the State plan must assure that the Governor, in consultation with the entity responsible for the state VR program and other appropriate agencies, will ensure that an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination take effect between the designated State VR unit and any appropriate public entity, including the State entity responsible for administering the State Medicaid program, to ensure the provision of VR services.
In order to facilitate the entering into cooperative agreements, the LEAD Center has created the following documents, with input from the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and State Directors who shared state MOUs and participated in teleconferences to discuss content.
The model MOU is intended to serve as a template for VR and other agencies to use when discussing and negotiating MOUs with state partners from Mental Health, Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Medicaid. The MOU has been reviewed by the Rehabilitation Services Agency (RSA). However, this does not constitute an approval of this template. It is expected that States will use the model MOU and other documents in a manner that facilitates discussion between the VR agency and partner agencies and will not be used as a “cookie cutter” MOU that the VR agency and other agencies simply sign. Negotiating the terms of these agreements is key to assuring compliance with the intent of WIOA. This MOU template is an excellent tool to facilitate your moving forward with these discussions and negotiations.
~~A critical priority for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), is to invest in systems change efforts that result in increased competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. This priority reflects growing support for a national movement called Employment First, a framework for systems change that is centered on the premise that all citizens, including those individuals with the most significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in competitive integrated employment and community life. Under this approach, publicly-financed systems are urged to align policies, regulatory guidance, and reimbursement structures to commit to competitive integrated employment as the priority option with respect to the use of publicly-financed day and employment services for youth and adults with significant disabilities. Many states have formally committed to the Employment First framework through official executive proclamation or formal legislative action. Now, interest is gaining with community rehabilitation providers (CRPs).ODEP recognizes that many CRPs desire to align their organizational policies in support of an Employment First approach but may not yet possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and/or resources necessary to lead and facilitate such change. To address this need, ODEP has initiated the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) Provider Transformation Webinar Series, six (6) ninety-minute webinars led by national subject matter experts. Through our contractor, EconSys, EFSLMP is providing the impetus for selected CRPs to pursue systems change to fully implement the Employment First approach as the primary service delivery system for people with the most significant disabilities.
To Facilitate Voluntary Compliance with Federal Law, Regulation and Guidance Designed to Prevent the Unnecessary Segregation of Persons with Disabilities by Entities Administering Public Funds
This tool has been created to assist Governors and State Administrations in understanding and voluntarily meeting their obligations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. Both federal laws prevent the unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities.
This tool is specifically focused on assisting Governors and State Administrations in understanding and voluntarily meeting their obligations in relation to the provision of publicly-funded employment and non-work day services to persons with disabilities.
For further interpretation of these laws, see Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581, 591 (1999). Also see Statement of the United States Department of Justice on Enforcement of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. (June 29, 2011) which can be found in Appendix A of this document.
Please carefully review the Instructions page(link is external) on how to use this digital assessment tool prior to beginning any sections.
~~The Vision Quest Replication Manual is a useful guide for helping develop systemic policy change. “Vision Quest” is a nine month process that involves three stages: assessment, development, and implementation. By using the Vision Quest process, states have crafted Employment First legislation and executive orders as well as multi-agency memorandum of understanding to move forward goals of WIOA. This guide explains, month by month, how to accomplish systems change and explains Vision Quest’s applicability in a wide variety of policy arenas.
~~In order to support states in their Employment First and systems change efforts, ODEP has identified 10 Critical Areas to Increase Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) based on the recommendations put forth in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID) Final Report. The 10 areas are:
· Employment First Policy
· Capacity Building
· Interagency Coordination
· Provider Transformation
· 14(c) Phase Out
· Employer Engagement
· Mental Health
· Seamless Transition
· Data Collection System
To assist with developing and implementing strategies in each of these 10 Critical Areas, ODEP has created a tool called the “E1st State Transformation Guide.” This new guide is intended to help states make holistic systems change by further explaining the intent of the recommendations, applying the ACICIED recommendations at the state and local level, as well as giving examples of how these changes have already been successfully achieved.
~~This Provider Transformation Manual has been created to capture learning from, and support the continued success of, the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), an initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Based on ODEP’s Criteria for Performance Excellence in Employment First Systems Change, the manual is intended to help guide and support provider organizations interested in transforming their service delivery models to have an Employment First approach. The new manual features eight modules, written by Employment First Subject Matter Experts, on the following topics:•Module 1: Leadership and Setting the Tone for Change•Module 2: Strategic Planning•Module 3: Making It Happen (Operations Focus)•Module 4: Funding•Module 5: Individualized Planning and Services (Customer Focus)•Module 6: Reorganizing Staff for Transformative Change•Module 7: How Are We Doing? (Measuring Results)•Module 8: Beyond Transformation
To view the webinar sessions for this manual please go to the second link "Provider Transformation Webinar Information and Links"
This brief is intended to provide State governments and external stakeholders with information about available Federal funding resources and technical assistance available to further state Employment First systems change efforts. The Federal government utilizes funding vehicles such as competitive grants, direct programmatic funding, demonstration projects, pilot initiatives, and increased Federal matching funds to help State and local governments prioritize strategies that lead to competitive, integrated employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
This document contains a 50-state analysis of current day/employment service rates under the Home and Community Based Services waiver.
Connecting the Dots: Using Federal Policy to Promote Employment First Systems-Change Efforts - 09/14/2015
Federal public policy has consistently promoted the vision that all individuals with disabilities have access to the supports they need to secure and sustain a job in the community, earn a livable wage, build assets, and advance socioeconomically. This focus reflects a growing national movement called Employment First, a systems change framework for improving service delivery systems that is centered on the premise that all youth and adults with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in competitive, integrated employment and community life. Under this approach, publicly-financed systems are urged to align policies, funding structures, and service delivery practices toward a commitment to competitive, integrated employment as the priority outcome of education and long-term supports and services for youth and adults with disabilities. Many states have formally committed to establishing an Employment First framework through official executive order or formal legislative action.
The following technical brief is the first in a four-part series, and provides an overview of Federal policy guidance and administrative regulations that support systems change efforts to enhance competitive, integrated employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities.
Federal Legal Framework that Supports Integrated Employment Outcomes of Youth and Adults with Significant Disabilities - 09/14/2015
Understanding the rights of individuals with disabilities and the responsibility of state and local entities to comply with the civil rights obligations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can provide a framework to support the implementation of Employment First initiatives in states. The following brief highlights various legal actions by Federal enforcement agencies that have significant implications for how states prioritize and deliver services for individuals with disabilities. These actions relate to the organization, financing, and provision of employment and long-term services and supports consistent with an Employment First framework, and reinforce the principle that competitive, integrated employment is a critical component for citizens with disabilities in developing a full and meaningful life in the community.
This technical brief is the second of a four-part series highlighting current Federal policies, regulations, resources, and the legal framework that collectively promote Employment First initiatives across the country.
Criteria for Performance Excellence in Employment First State Systems Change & Provider Transformation - 09/14/2015
A critical priority for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and other Federal agencies is to invest in systems-change efforts that result in increased competitive, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. This priority is reflected in the growing national movement called Employment First, a framework for systems change centered on the premise that all youth and adults with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in competitive, integrated employment and community life. Under this approach, state government entities are urged to align policies, regulatory guidance, and reimbursement structures to promote and support competitive, integrated employment as the priority option of publicly-financed day and employment services for all youth and adults with disabilities.