South Carolina

States - Big Screen

The Palmetto State is "Prepared in Mind and Resources" when it comes to improving supports for individuals with disabilities to increase access to competitive, integrated employment and socioeconomic advancement in South Carolina.

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 South Carolina’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.3%
Change from
2014 to 2015
4,896,146
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.29%
Change from
2014 to 2015
370,744
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.5%
Change from
2014 to 2015
106,350
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.19%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28.69%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.39%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.33%

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 4,774,839 4,832,482 4,896,146
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 367,570 375,543 370,744
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,971 109,012 106,350
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,835,729 1,875,518 1,908,376
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 30.73% 29.03% 28.69%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 72.67% 74.04% 74.33%
Overall unemployment rate. 7.60% 6.40% 6.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 23.80% 23.90% 22.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 17.70% 17.00% 15.70%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 331,142 339,600 344,318
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 348,896 361,493 368,421
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 458,100 471,949 483,588
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 200,596 205,126 204,296
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 13,431 14,661 16,894
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 3,446 3,458 2,757
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 3,627 5,514 2,842
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 10,262 12,056 14,434
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 3,818 2,907 4,383

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 4,162 4,221 4,430
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.80% 3.80% 4.00%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 179,893 179,872 178,822

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 5,724 5,654 1,475
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 28,730 28,306 7,386
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 45,273 45,105 12,607
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.60% 12.50% 11.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.70% 0.70% 0.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 368 339 339
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A N/A N/A
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. 102,867 10,232 9,724
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.30 0.03 0.04

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 84 113 88
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 39 64 53
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. 46.00% 57.00% 60.00%
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. 0.83 1.34 1.08

 

VR OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Total Number of people served under VR.
9,038
11,728
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 26 23 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 554 590 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,913 2,465 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,729 2,636 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,143 3,872 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 1,673 2,142 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 38.60% 38.70% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. N/A 4,877 4,918
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. N/A 254,597 25,222
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 107 N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 190 242 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $11,028,000 $11,616,000 $11,773,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $18,743,000 $18,954,000 $19,278,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $20,754,000 $20,902,000 $21,209,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $5,880,000 $5,639,000 $6,178,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00% 29.00% 29.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 886 845 912
Number of people served in facility based work. 2,824 2,840 2,846
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 3,127 3,132 3,131
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 45.00 45.30 45.00

 

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). 57.30% 57.59% 58.26%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 18.60% 18.48% 17.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.71% 1.61% 1.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 92.00% 80.23% 96.60%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 26.02% 15.11% 25.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 46.96% 43.20% 53.64%
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). 64.32% 50.24% 58.10%
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). 20.94% 28.09% 28.09%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,561,788
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 3,877
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 14,767
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 510,687
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 525,454
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 143
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 743
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 886
AbilityOne wages (products). $80,150
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,233,265

 

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

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 1 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). 71 71 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 3 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 75 37
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 1 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 9,038 3,257
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 133 86
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 9,172 3,343

 

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)

No specific disability related information found.

Customized Employment

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas.  (Page 385)

SCCB should consider developing partnerships with other state agencies, including SCVRD, to determine if individuals with most significant disabilities who are also blind and visually impaired can be served in existing programs. SCCB should consider modification of its programs at EBMRC to address the needs of individuals with most significant disabilities. Specifically, SCCB should investigate how Supported Employment and Customized Employment can be integrated into EBMRC’s programs. SCCB should consider assigning a program administrator the responsibilities of reaching out to individuals with the most significant disabilities and overseeing services that meet their needs. Once SCCB either creates or gains access to Supported Employment programs, these programs should have administrative oversight as well. In compliance with WIOA, SCCB should investigate the options for creating Customized Employment programs that would serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. While there are several organizations around the country that provide training in Customized Employment, it should be noted that training alone will not increase SCCB’s capacity to serve individuals with most significant disabilities. Extensive planning, partnership development, policy and fee structure development are also needed. SCCB should develop an extensive strategic plan around building capacity for serving this population. SECTION 3 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH BLINDNESS AND VISION IMPAIRMENTS FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS, INCLUDING NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN UNSERVED OR UNDERSERVED BY THE VR PROGRAM Section 3 identifies the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by SCCB. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. (Page 421)

Priority 2.2: Increase Employment for those with Most Significant Disabilities 

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and on–going supports for consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI.

Strategy 2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

Strategy 2.4.3: Staff Training & Development in Evidence Based Practice SCCB will invest in staff training and development in VR evidence based practices such as: Motivational Interviewing; Customized Employment; Discovery Assessment; Supported Employment; Individual Placement and Supports; Integrating Labor Market Information into Vocational Goal Setting, IPE Development and Informed Choice.

Strategy 2.4.4: Summer Internship Program (SIP) SCCB will continue to offer the successful Summer Internship Program (SIP) where college students engage in a paid summer internship program in their chosen field of study. Students complete a set number of working internship hours and receive a stipend upon successful completion. SIP has a proven track record of influencing the obtainment of permanent employment. (Page 441)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

SCCB is committed to ensuring that services are provided in an equitable manner and are fully accessible. SCCB reviews, assesses and monitors agency programs to conduct continuous improvement activities. The greatest gap identified in the 2016 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment pertained to the lack of a Supported Employment program at SCCB.

In response SCCB has committed itself to

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. As well as

Strategy 1.2.2: Engagement with Department of Disability & Special Needs SCCB will engage with DDSN to develop a new Cooperative Agreement designed to improve collaboration and leverage long term supported employment funding to meet the needs of persons with Most Significant Disabilities. (Page 446)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Additionally, the continued use of collaborative work groups allows partners to gain a better understanding of the resources available and to identify opportunities for braiding and leveraging resources. (Page 56)

As mentioned previously, the SWDB approved funding for EvolveSC, a grant program that allows businesses to develop a training program in partnership with technical colleges that meet employer skill needs and improves educational access for incumbent workers and newly hired employees. EvolveSC is another example of braiding and leveraging resources to increase educational access. Co-enrollment strategies also facilitate resource sharing across workforce development programs. One of the state’s strategies for alignment and coordination is co-enrollment across core, mandatory, and optional programs, replicating the co-enrollment practice that already exists between TAA and WIOA and increasing access to education and training, case management, and supportive services.

 In addition to the examples provided above, the state will continue to seek grant funding opportunities that align with the state’s vision and strategic goals for workforce development and coordinate with colleges that receive grants. (Page 86)

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.

South Carolina’s one–stop delivery system is designed to be fully accessible so that all job seekers and employers can participate in the services offered. The Methods of Administration (MOA) – a state document required by the Civil Rights Center – is a “living” document that ensures current federal regulations and directives are implemented at the state and local level expeditiously, and details how compliance with WIOA Section 188 will be accomplished. Monitoring performed at both the state and local level ensures that all SC Works Centers are in compliance with Section 188 of WIOA, the ADA, and other applicable regulations. Individuals who seek to utilize South Carolina’s workforce system can expect facilities, whether physical or virtual (e.g., SC Works Online Services) to meet federally–mandated accessibility standards. Complaints of discrimination are directed to the State Equal Opportunity Officer. (Page 123)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

The South Carolina Workforce Development Board (SWDB) approved $741,235 to fund an EvolveSC pilot for Program Year 2015. Through EvolveSC, businesses, either individually or as a consortium, can apply for training grants to upskill their existing workforce. Additionally, EvolveSC provides nationally recognized certificate training for new hires in order to meet the requirements for entry level positions. Twenty–five Evolve SC grants have been awarded to fund training in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare, construction, transportation, logistics, and distribution. (Page 31)

The DD Council is federally funded by the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act) and consists of consumers and family members, DD Act partners, and non–governmental organizations. The DD Council provides leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The council recently funded several pilot projects across the state, including Ready, Set to Go to Work, Project Inclusion, and STEP for SC. In addition to providing employment–training experiences for students with disabilities, these pilot projects also fund the training of job coaches and other support professionals who work directly with students.

A brief description of each project is provided below.

Project Inclusion. Executed by Able SC, Project Inclusion is a pilot project that connects independent living specialists with students with disabilities to promote transition to adulthood with an emphasis on community–based employment in Abbeville, Laurens, and Fairfield counties. Activities include classroom instruction on topics related to employment skills development, self–advocacy during IEP meetings, and rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Several school districts have integrated these activities into their curricula, including Laurens and Fairfield School Districts.

STEP for SC. STEP for SC is a pilot project executed by Community Options, Inc. in the Midlands region that connects high school students with disabilities with community–based career experiences. A job coach assesses students’ job skills and provides training so students are able to participate in community–based internships at local businesses. Job coaches work with students to transition internship experiences and supports into job accommodations and employment.

SCCB Summer Teen Program. As previously mentioned, SCCB also operates the Summer Teen Program which provides five weeks of vocational exploration, job shadowing and internship opportunities, as well as adjustment to blindness training, work readiness and self–advocacy skills training. The Student Internship Program (SIP) provides paid summer internships to college seniors and juniors in their field of study. (Page 41)

Similarly, DEW and DSS are piloting a co–enrollment partnership in the Pee Dee LWDA where DEW provides case management and works with DSS clients to develop an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). DEW also provides workshops and helps DSS clients obtain employment. More recently, the Governor announced that the SNAP E&T program will be transferred to DEW resulting in better alignment and coordination of programs that help individuals prepare for competitive employment. (Page 43)

Manning One–Stop Pilot. DEW and SCDC are partnering to help offenders find jobs through a work ready initiative that launched in November 2014. With onsite support from SC Works at the Manning Correctional Institution, this venture allows inmates to apply to participate in a series of workshops that develop important capabilities including computer skills, interview techniques, resume writing and work assessments testing. After completing the required workshops and intensive services, job–ready participants are referred to a recruiter or career development specialists for additional training and services. DEW also assists in getting each inmate that successfully completes the program bonded through the Federal Bonding Program. (Page 44)

Goal 2, Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include:

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting (Page 445)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Very few deaf-blind consumers applied for services over the 3-year period. Vision impaired is the disability-type most highly represented among SCCB applicants, although the percentage declined from 61% to 53% over the three years while those classified as “Other” climbed from 13% to 20%. In each of the three years 2012 to 2014, individuals with the most significant disabilities were virtually unserved by VR, declining in number from 18 to 8, and from 5% to 2.5% of all applicants, over the 3-year period. According to SCCB, 21% of its 2014 consumers were SSA beneficiaries. While it is unclear whether these individuals have more significant disabilities than other consumers, it is evident that SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn less per hour and work fewer hours per week than non-beneficiaries, suggesting that they have more employment-related challenges. Many of these individuals and their families are concerned about losing the safety net that is provided by either SSI or SSDI if they go to work.

These fears may adversely affect return-to-work behavior and result in settling for part-time work that keeps them under the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount, or prevents them from going over the “cashcliff.” Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include: SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

Benefits
  • 55,700 persons with disabilities aged 18 to 64 receive benefits. (Page 23) 

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities.

Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is an international program first developed in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There are 300 programs across 46 states and five other countries. South Carolina currently has two Project Search locations – Spartanburg and Columbia – based at regional hospitals. (Page 42)

Job Seeker Services. There is at least one comprehensive SC Works Center in each LWDA and one or more satellite center or access point. Through these centers, job seekers can access WIOA programs and Wagner–Peyser Employment Services. Individuals can also get assistance filing for UI benefits and reemployment assistance, including but not limited to: looking for a job, resume preparation, and interviewing skills workshops. Job seekers can also access employment services and manage UI benefits remotely using SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) and the MyBenefits (Page 54)

Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age.

Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1 (Page 248)

Frequency: annual Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1. Item 17 Performance Measure: Reimbursement from Social Security Administration for SCVRD Job Placements Last Value: $906,146 Current Value: (Page 350)

  • South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission (WCC) to facilitate the referral process of injured workers to SCCB to enhance return–to–work efforts;
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) to collaborate on employment incentives and supports and maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program;
  • South Carolina Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) to help identify veterans who need additional supports in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services;
  • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) to eliminate potential duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to eliminate duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • SCCB will develop a Cooperative Agreement with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to collaborate, coordinate, eliminate potential duplication of services, and enhance the employment outcomes of shared consumer populations. (Page 369)

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. (Page 385)
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. 

Section Three: Needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

The most common themes that emerged in this area were: (Page 397)

SECTION 2 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES, INCLUDING THEIR NEED FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT 

Section 2 provides an assessment of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment, as conveyed by statistical data and as expressed by the different groups interviewed and surveyed. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities including their need for supported employment: Indicators Employers’ perceptions, lack of education and training and job skills, and geographic access to services and jobs were all identified by key informants as major barriers to employment for individuals with most significant disabilities. A large majority of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits, and fear of benefit loss affects their return-to-work behavior. Staff and partners agree that employment barriers are different for individuals with most significant disabilities than for the general population. SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment services. SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either through SCCB in-house or through CRPs. There is no evidence of collaboration between SCCB and SCVRD on behalf of customers with multiple diagnoses. Agency performance Surveyed partners and staff were in agreement that geographic access and slow service delivery are the biggest barriers to SCCB services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. SCCB served a very small number of individuals with most significant disabilities over a 3-year period, declining from a total of 18 in 2012 to 8 in 2014. SCCB appears to provide limited services to individuals with cognitive or mental health disabilities. (Page 418)

(RSA Annual Review Report) – Total number of applicants who were SSA recipients, broken down by SSI and SSDI: FY2012 - 57 SSI recipients, 94 SSDI beneficiaries FY2013 - 60 SSI recipients, 126 SSDI beneficiaries SCCB Programming: Asset Development Services - SCCB does not provide benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include:

  • SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

For instance, if an individual with blindness or a vision impairment wanted to go to a training program to become an IT Specialist, then the AJC could fund a part of the training with an ITA, and SCCB could fund part of the training with case service dollars, or provide AT, transportation, or other needed support services. The case becomes a shared case with both entities and the consumer benefits from the employment experience of the AJC and the disability experience of SCCB. SCCB should offer its technical expertise to the SC Works centers to insure they are fully accessible and include the latest and most relevant assistive technology. In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide inservice training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). This is a rarely used model that can bring resources to the SC Works Center and provide support to individuals with blindness and vision impairments for several years. 

SECTION 5 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS IN TRANSITION

The reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act under WIOA places a greater emphasis on the provision of transition services to youth and students with disabilities, especially their need for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 34 CFR 361 and 363 released recently by RSA indicates that the comprehensive statewide needs assessment must include an assessment of the needs of youth and students with disabilities in the State, including their need for Pre-ETS. The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. (Page 426)

2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

School to Work Transition

Students with Disabilities. Based on FY 2014 school district report card data, the statewide total for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) has reached 28,738 (SC Dept. of Education). Comparatively, SCVRD opened 2,253 new cases for students referred through the school system, which represents 15% of the agency’s total new referrals. Successful employment outcomes for clients referred by the school system increased to 1,041, representing 15% of all agency closures. Although SCVRD has made significant inroads in transition services in recent years by ramping up partnerships in schools and dedicating more staffing to school–to–work transition, to meet the new WIOA requirements and the need indicated by the total number of students receiving IDEA services, additional resources and continued focus on this population will be required.

The SCVRD provides a robust set of student and youth services to enhance the transition from school–to–work or other post–secondary training opportunities. As indicated in WIOA, transition counselors provide pre–employment transition services for students prior to their exit from high school, and SCVRD staff continue to provide services to support placement into competitive employment, or completion of post–secondary training and/or credential–based programs. The number of SCVRD successful employment outcomes for transition–aged youth has grown by 48 percent over the past two years.

SCVRD has agreements with each of South Carolina’s public school districts and the S.C. Department of Education for collaborative delivery of school–to–work transition services. SCVRD has a counselor assigned to each public high school in the state, and in some instances an SCVRD counselor is physically located at a school. This entails providing pre–employment transition services to students, including: (Page 38)

Similarly, the SCCB provides student and youth services, including the pre–employment transition services listed above, to enhance the transition from school–to–work or to other post–secondary training opportunities. It recently increased the transition team to better serve students with visual impairments and/or legal blindness. Although SCCB is working to establish formal written agreements with school districts throughout the state, a counselor is currently assigned to each public high school, including the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB). Transition counselors serve a specific territory and collaborate with teachers for the visually impaired and other specialized staff to improve outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

The employment rate for working age people with disabilities (18 to 64) in South Carolina is 29.0%, compared to 74.0% for persons without disabilities (Annual Disability Statistics Compendium). This reflects a 45 point gap in the (Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) between people with and without disabilities. In further detail, only 36.3% of the 24,900 South Carolinians who are blind or have vision loss are employed. Also, 46.8% of the 42,800 individuals with hearing differences are employed and only 21.9% of South Carolinians with intellectual or developmental disabilities are employed. This further illustrates the need for effective utilization of assistive technology solutions and expanding school to work transition programs. (Page 39)

A significant focus of WIOA includes strategies to strengthen school–to–work transition programs and youth programs. This includes specific activities conducted within the secondary school system for students to better prepare them for employment, post–secondary education or post–secondary training. There are also provisions within WIOA to address the needs of out–of–school youth to ensure that they are connected with the services needed to achieve competitive, integrated employment. Strong partnerships with local education agencies, VR service delivery capacity for school–to–work transition services, workforce development programs for youth, and connection with stakeholders involved in student, youth and parent engagement are being deployed in South Carolina. The work of these partnerships will help to prepare the next generation of job seekers for the emerging employment opportunities before exiting school settings, in keeping with the education and career pathways development. ( Page 62)

In carrying out its mission to prepare and assist eligible individuals to achieve and maintain competitive employment, the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) actively seeks referrals and comparable services and benefits. In doing so, the department has established formal and informal partnerships with other providers of facilities and services. For the purpose of referral, service collaboration, facility allocation, and staff designation, cooperative agreements have been established with the following agencies in South Carolina: Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). Detailed agreements between SCVRD and the SCDE describe the coordination of school–to–work transition services and also Adult Education services.

With regard to the S.C. Independent Living Council, the department acts in an advisory and technical support capacity. The SCVRD portion of the Unified State Plan assures that an interagency agreement or similar document for interagency coordination between any appropriate public entities becomes operative. The department has entered into collaborative arrangements with institutions of higher education as well. This is to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, described in Title I of WIOA, is included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual. This includes the provision of vocational rehabilitation services during pending disputes as described in the interagency agreement or similar document. SCVRD will seek to assure the participation of individuals with physical and mental impairments in training and employment opportunities, as appropriate. With the exception of services specified in paragraph (E) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) enacted on July 22, 2014, information shall specify policies and procedures for public entities to identify and determine interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity in order to promote coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services. (Page 194)

Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis. 

  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 202)

SCVRD has an MOU with DDSN. Staff works collaboratively with local Disabilities and Special Needs (DSN) boards and providers in serving individuals in need of supported employment services and long–term follow along supports to maintain competitive, integrated employment. DDSN has representatives on TASC to assist in school–to–work transition efforts as well as ensuring youth with the most significant disabilities have access to the supports needed to gain and maintain competitive employment. Through these efforts, clients/consumers are served in a complementary fashion based on the expertise and distinct roles of each agency. (Page 204)

SCVRD has an extensive HRD department that facilitates training for all employees, with programmatic training being provided by internal and external subject matter experts. The department provides/sponsors trainings that focus on medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of specific disabilities, and feature the application of assistive technology as appropriate. Recent topics include: disability etiquette, brain injury, alcohol/drug addictions, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, autism, deafness and hearing impairments, epilepsy, learning disabilities, musculoskeletal, spinal cord injury, diabetes as well as other disability–specific trainings. Workshops on transition from school to work, HS/HT, supported employment, vocational assessment, serving ex–offenders, serving the Hispanic/Latino population, leadership development, and maintaining a culture of quality were also provided. Counseling skills training is provided on an ongoing basis with a focus on motivational interviewing techniques. A series of statewide trainings focusing on providing specific counseling skills and the application of those skills within the VR setting to counselors and other staff who provide direct services to clients also began in 2013 and will continue for all designated new staff. (Page 212)

TASC is a robust state–level interagency collaborative that works in support of increasing positive post–secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. It has multiple stakeholder agencies and organizations, and supports local level interagency teams through training, technical assistance, and strategic planning. The department continues to coordinate the development of designated staff with emerging initiatives by the SCDE and the 81 local school districts (LEAs) under IDEA and state school–to–work transition efforts. Transition training efforts this year included the following: a two–day transition summer series was conducted for transition staff that included presentations and training on vocational assessment, use of ACT and Work Keys assessments, referral development, best practices, documentation and use of school records, work experiences, using O*Net, and post–secondary training. Selected transition staff participated in a session on active training techniques and self–determination. Over 40 transition staff participated in an annual interagency transition conference, focused on local interagency planning and content sessions focused on effective service delivery for students with disabilities. Youth leaders also participated in the conference. (Page 213)

Items covered in the agreement include:

Student identification and exchange of information, procedures for outreach to students with disabilities who need transition services, methods for dispute resolution, consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for school–to–work transition activities, and the requirements for regular monitoring of the agreement. Timing of student referrals is individualized based on need but should generally occur no later than the second semester of the year prior to the student’s exit from school. (Page 226)

Strategy 1.1 Improve the quality of employment outcomes for eligible individuals with disabilities.

Objective 1.1.1 Support continuous improvement within Program Integrity: Productivity, Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services.

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes. (Page 297-298)

 

Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures.

Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services. 

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes

Goal 2 We will be a team of highly qualified professionals who have the commitment, accountability and opportunity to excel. 

Strategy 2.1 Provide training to equip staff to provide quality vocational rehabilitation services.

Objective 2.1.1 Develop training based on needs assessment in accordance with the State Plan. (Page 307)

Strategies that contributed to the achievement of overall goals and specific objectives included:

  • Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 347)

The following programs have recently been implemented or expanded to enhance transition services: 

  • Junior Student Internship Program (JSIP) – The SCCB provides eligible high school students who an opportunity to gain valuable work experience during a summer internship with business partners throughout the state. Participants receive a stipend upon successful completion of the program. This program is also available to college students. 

Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students 

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program. (Page 439-440)

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, (Page 445)

Data Collection

Rallying for Inclusive, Successful Employment (RISE). RISE is a comprehensive, systematic approach to increasing employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Projects and services include: supporting and participating in the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, hosting community workshops for families, partnering with the University of South Carolina (USC) to improve data collection on barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities, and providing individualized employment and empowerment services to consumers.

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others. (Page 42)

A State-level Vision for System Integration has been outlined with an initial timeline. Activities that have occurred or are in process include the following: review of final rules regarding performance and reporting, review of current intake forms/applications, and identification of common elements and referral processes. Early fall activities will include a review of system needs and project planning in the context of final reporting guidelines and data collection instructions. Each core program is adapting and making changes to data collection and reporting systems to adhere to the final reporting requirements. (Page 81)

SCCB’s data collection process consists of data that is collected directly from consumers, medical health providers (eye and medical doctors), educational institutions, consumer organizations and advocacy groups, and the Social Security Administration. Although Counselors in all consumer services programs have the primary responsibility of collecting and entering data, other staff, such as Counselor Assistants, Supervisors and service providers, can also collect and enter consumer data as needed.

As the SCCB works toward adopting a fully integrated case management, data collection, and reporting system that is shared by all core programs, it will need to reexamine its data collection and reporting processes so that they are consistent and aligned across partner agencies. (Page 94)

This initiative aligns with SCVRD’s longstanding commitment to its Program Integrity model, which seeks a balance among productivity, customer service, and compliance assurance. Each of those components has measurable results and can be used to evaluate the agency at levels ranging from specific caseload or work unit up to an agency-wide level. National standards and indicators, issued by the agency’s parent federal organization, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, are also critical measures of SCVRD’s success. The agency’s performance levels in meeting those standards have been consistently high. The agency is proactively integrating the new WIOA common performance measures into program evaluation, data collection and management information reports. (Page 108)

The South Carolina workforce system continuously seeks ways to improve processes, policies, services and outcomes for job seekers and employers. As such, the core program partners will work alongside the SWDB and LWDBs to identify areas of opportunity that would benefit from further evaluation and research. For example, the new legislation highlights the need for system and data integration among core programs. In 2015, a partner agency work group began to research existing unified data collection and reporting systems in addition to other methods of data sharing. Although the group’s work is still in its infancy, several systems have been demonstrated and options for portals or overlays to existing systems have been explored. As the federal oversight agencies provide more guidance on performance measures and reporting requirements, the work group can further hone the study to determine precise system needs.

The state will also coordinate evaluation and research projects with those provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education. (Page 109)

Data collection efforts solicited input from a broad spectrum of VR stakeholders, including persons with blindness and vision impairments, service providers, SCCB staff and businesses.

It is expected that data from the needs assessment effort will provide SCCB and the Board of Directors with direction when creating the VR portion of the Unified State Plan and when planning for future program development, outreach and resource allocation. (Page 104)

Data collection. Data was gathered from SCCB staff through the use of an Internet-based survey. All 125 staff were sent an electronic invitation and link to the survey. Approximately one week after the initial distribution, a subsequent notice was sent as both a “thank you” to those who had completed the survey and a reminder to those who had not. A third and final invitation was sent out 5 weeks after the second invitation. Surveys were then placed into “inactive” status and the data analyzed.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the staff survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses to the electronic surveys were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the business survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents. (Page 406)

In interviews with staff, it was indicated that these individuals “tend to sit around,” receiving no services. There is a significant gap between the needs of and services available to individuals with the most significant disabilities. Agency services appear to be targeted to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and have no additional disabilities. Individuals with cognitive and mental disabilities in addition to blindness appear to be significantly underserved, and in many cases may receive no substantial services. There is also a significant gap in the employment outcomes for these populations. Results by Data Collection Method Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Quantitative Data on Barriers and Improvements National and/or Agency Specific Data Related to the Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, including their need for Supported Employment. SCCB uses a definition for MSD consistent with federal requirements. SSA Beneficiaries SSA Beneficiaries Applying for SCCB Services (SCCB data) - Total number and percentage of applicants who were SSA recipients: 2012: 169 (29%) 2013: 134 (25%) 2014: 88 (21%) SSI/SSDI Recipients. (Page 418)

Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. South Carolina is one of only four states in the country to see an over 150% increase (specifically 167%, the 2nd highest in the nation) in the Hispanic population from 2000- 2013. ? 68% of SC residents are White. African-Americans make up 28% of the general population. (Page 421)

The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. In 2013, there were 12,700 individuals with blindness or vision impairment aged 20 and under. 57% of South Carolina residents with disabilities under the age of 18 live in poverty. 35% of South Carolina residents with disabilities attained a level of education equivalent to a high school diploma, and 12% attained a level of education equivalent to a college degree. Agency performance From 2012 to 2014, the rate of transition-age youth served by SCCB was 50% or more lower than the national average for Blind agencies. SCCB reported zero successful outcomes for transition age youth over the 2012-2014 reporting period. In its 2010 monitoring report, RSA recommended that SCCB expand its array of programming, including services for transition-age youth. The agency responded that transition programming would be expanded, but this had not been accomplished as of the end of 2015. (Page 425)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting. (Page 445)

Career Pathways

Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. (Page 303)

Findings of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment indicate that SCCB needs to reestablish Cooperative Agreements and community partnerships. SCCB is committed to becoming a cooperative and collaborative partner with community entities wherever such reciprocal relationships can benefit consumers and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the VR program. SCCB will vigilantly seek out community partnerships that enhance our ability to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services that lead to competitive integrated employment outcomes and career pathways. SCCB will develop and maintain new Cooperative Agreements with the following entities not carrying out activities under the Statewide Workforce Development System: 

  • The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of South Carolina for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • South Carolina Association of the Deaf, Inc.
  • Goodwill Industries for the purposes of providing statewide access to job readiness and computer skills training.
  • The Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for the purpose of expanding training options for consumers who are Deaf/Blind and need training beyond the scope of programs provided at the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC).
  • And informal partnerships with community based partners such as faith based organizations, charitable organizations, and non–governmental community based organizations. (Page 374)

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity, resources, and staff expertise to provide Job Driven vocational counseling and guidance that utilizes Labor Market Information and aligns with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project and Sector Strategies initiatives to assist eligible consumers in accessing career pathways that lead to high and middle skill/income jobs.

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity to assist eligible consumers in the development of occupational knowledge, skills, and abilities that culminate in obtaining industry recognized credentials to include GED attainment, certifications, degrees, apprenticeships, occupational licensure, among others.

Gap: SCCB will build VR program capacities, expertise, and partnerships to provide improved transition services including Pre–Employment Transition Services to students who are blind or visually impaired. (Page 390)

Priority 2.1: Align VR Counseling with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project, Emphasizing Career Pathways, Attainment of Industry Recognized Credentials, Job Driven/Sector Strategies & Labor Market Information

Strategy 2.1.1: Staff Training SCCB in collaboration with the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Business Intelligence Unit staff will conduct extensive SCCB staff training during FFY 2016 in order to expand VR staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to access current Local Labor Market Information, conduct Job Driven research, utilize Job Driven and Sector Strategies to provide informed choice and guidance to consumers in selecting vocational goals, assessing skills, locating vocational training to close skill gaps, and connect skilled consumers with existing or emerging vacant positions. (Page 439)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. This is an expansion of a proven model. (Page 445)

Employment Networks

Able SC is approved by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to serve ticket beneficiaries as an Employment Network (EN) under SSA’s Ticket to Work program (discussed in more detail below), and also serves as the host and facilitator for the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, an organization that addresses employment barriers for individuals with disabilities.

SC Disability Employment Coalition. The S.C. Disability Employment Coalition is a statewide systems improvement effort that comprises a broad stakeholder group working to improve employment recruitment, retention, and advancement for South Carolinians with disabilities.  (Page 40)

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities. (Page 42)

C.   THE DESIGNATED STATE UNIT WILL COORDINATE ACTIVITIES WITH ANY OTHER STATE AGENCY THAT IS FUNCTIONING AS AN EMPLOYMENT NETWORK UNDER THE TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 1148 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. (Page 364)

In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide in service training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). (Page 425)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 26

SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Employment First In South Carolina

One of the greatest challenges faced by people with disabilities has been securing and maintaining meaningful employment . SCDDSN believes that most people who want a job should be able to have one and regardless of his or her disability, can work if provided with necessary and appropriate supports. Employment First Assumes the following: 1) Assumes employment is the preferred day services option for adults with disability 2) Assumes people with disabilities require/ want services/support to obtain or maintain employment 3) Promotes Employment rather than non-work services options as the primary option for adults from the first contracts through all contracts 4) Arms Staff with a thorough knowledge of employment service/ supports and of employment related solutions/issues, 5) Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful considerations and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful 6) Responds quickly to those choosing employment without extending waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-works options. 7) Has in place well qualified providers who can readily: - Assess readiness and preferences - Match people to and place people in appropriate jobs selected from and array of possibility - Provide on the job training and coaching - Provide support as needed to sustain employment

Systems
  • Other

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs: Employment First Position

“…SCDDSN embraces the principle of ‘employment first” as an approach to service delivery. As such “employment first’:

1. Assumes employment is the preferred day service option for adults with disabilities;2. Assumes people with disabilities require/want services/support to obtain and/or maintain employment3. Promotes employment, rather than non-work service options, as the primary option for adults from the first contact and through all contacts. Arms staff with a thorough knowledge of employment services/supports and of employment related issues/solutions;4. Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful consideration and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful;,5. Responds quickly to those choosing employment, without extended waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-work options6. Has in place well-qualified providers…”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Supported Employment Programs - 05/30/2013

• “Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidenced-based supported employment best practice model. IPS is collaboration between South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD). Since 2005 these state agencies have combined resources and personnel to implement the IPS Supported Employment model. The goal of this partnership is to place people with serve mental illness in competitive employment. Through the collaboration of this Supported Employment model, SCVRD and SCDMH are able to provide an integrated and seamless employment service delivery that results in improved employment outcomes for people with severe mental illness.”

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

The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC)

“The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC) is spearheaded by the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine. Utilizing funding and support from TASC partners, project staff housed at the Center for Disability Resources developed an infrastructure to support local interagency transition teams.  Project activities are focused on providing interagency teams the resources to increase their capacity to collaboratively and effectively serve young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are transitioning from high school to adult life.”

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

South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition

The SC Disability Employment Coalition (SCDEC) formed in the fall of 2014 to address employment barriers for individuals with disabilities in South Carolina. SCDEC stakeholders represent SC employers, state, and private agencies. SCDEC members meet quarterly. The SCDEC currently has three work committees that meet on a monthly basis. The Coalition is currently comprised of over 20 stakeholder organizations and individuals. The organizations below are currently represented on the Coalition. The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition is made possible by funding from the Southeast ADA Center and SC Developmental Disabilities Council

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE)

“People with all types of disabilities are employed, pursuing careers and building assets just like people without disabilities… Through advocacy and education, APSE advances employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Employment Development Initiative - 10/01/2012

“In an effort to assist State Mental Health Authorities, in close collaboration with Single State Authorities, in planning and implementing activities to foster increased employment opportunities for people with mental health and/or substance use disorders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) created the Employment Development Initiative (EDI).

This initiative provides, on a competitive basis, modest funding awards in the form of fixed-price subcontracts between the Contractor, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and the States, Territories and District of Columbia. In addition, each awardee will receive two consultant technical assistance visits coordinated and paid through the Contractor's portion of the project." South Carolina received an EDI award for its program Integration Peer Support into Supported Employment.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

South Carolina Youth Employment Services (YES)

“South Carolina was awarded a federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) transition demonstration grant in 2007 to fund the Youth Employment Services (YES) program in several schools. SCVRD used the Guideposts to design the YES program activities led by SCVRD’s transition staff… As a part of the demonstration project, SCVRD created agreements with the project schools to locate SCVRD’s transition staff within the school. This provided SCVRD’s staff with greater access to the VR-eligible students and opportunities to develop relationships with the youth, families, and school personnel.”

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

Sourh Carolina SAMHSA Grant - "Health Mind Body Alliance"

“The integration model brings primary care into state community mental health clinics. Clinics are located in the underserved rural counties of Marlboro, Dillon, and Chesterfield South Carolina and the initial strategy included an FQHC [Federal Qualified Health Center]. Year two enrollment target is to serve 150 unduplicated clients (During the first quarters of year two for the grant 194 clients unduplicated clients were enrolled). Services are accessible to all consenting adult clients of TCCMHC [Tri-County Community Mental Health Center] with serious mental illness (Excepting incarcerated clients).”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

No Training/Capacity Building have been entered for this state.

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

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

SC Community Supports (0676.R01.00) - 07/01/2012

Provides adult day health care, personal care, respite care, waiver case management, incontinence supplies, adult day health care-nursing, adult day health care-transportation, assistive technology and appliances, behavior support, career preparation, community services, day activity, employment services, environmental mods, in-home support, PERS, private vehicle mods, support center services for individuals w/IID ages 0 - no max age.

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

South Carolina ESEA Flexibility Request - 02/28/2012

“South Carolina’s college and career readiness aspirations extend to all students, including those who need additional support and consideration because English is not their first language or due to a disability. To help ensure that we effectively analyze the linguistic demands of the CCSS to inform development of corresponding standards specific to these students that enable their success.”

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

South Carolina Statewide Transition Plan – Revised (HCBS)

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) gives notice that the revised draft Statewide Transition Plan, required per Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Rule (42 CFR 441.301(c)(6)),was submitted on March 31, 2016 to CMS for review. It will be effective upon CMS approval.

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

South Carolina Medicaid State Plan

Medicaid is a federal-state partnership. Federal regulations provide a framework for each state to build a unique Medicaid program. States must all comply with some basic requirements such as:  • Serving certain mandatory populations like poverty-level children and low-income pregnant women; • Providing certain mandatory services like hospital care and physician services; • Providing services that are “sufficient in amount, duration, and scope to reasonably achieve (their) purpose;” and, • Providing services throughout the state.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

South Carolina Community Choices Medicaid Waiver

“This Medicaid program is also referred to as the Elderly and Disabled Waiver. It allows individuals who require nursing home level care and assistance with their activities of daily living to receive care in their communities or homes instead of in nursing homes. There is a condition associated with the waiver which states that the cost of the care at home cannot exceed a certain percentage of the cost for the same care in a nursing home.”

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

South Carolina Medicaid Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

The Palmetto State is "Prepared in Mind and Resources" when it comes to improving supports for individuals with disabilities to increase access to competitive, integrated employment and socioeconomic advancement in South Carolina.

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 South Carolina’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.3%
Change from
2014 to 2015
4,896,146
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.29%
Change from
2014 to 2015
370,744
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.5%
Change from
2014 to 2015
106,350
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.19%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28.69%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.39%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.33%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 4,774,839 4,832,482 4,896,146
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 367,570 375,543 370,744
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,971 109,012 106,350
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,835,729 1,875,518 1,908,376
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 30.73% 29.03% 28.69%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 72.67% 74.04% 74.33%
Overall unemployment rate. 7.60% 6.40% 6.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 23.80% 23.90% 22.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 17.70% 17.00% 15.70%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 331,142 339,600 344,318
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 348,896 361,493 368,421
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 458,100 471,949 483,588
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 200,596 205,126 204,296
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 13,431 14,661 16,894
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 3,446 3,458 2,757
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 3,627 5,514 2,842
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 10,262 12,056 14,434
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 3,818 2,907 4,383

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 4,162 4,221 4,430
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.80% 3.80% 4.00%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 179,893 179,872 178,822

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 5,724 5,654 1,475
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 28,730 28,306 7,386
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 45,273 45,105 12,607
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.60% 12.50% 11.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.70% 0.70% 0.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 368 339 339
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A N/A N/A
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. 102,867 10,232 9,724
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.30 0.03 0.04

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 84 113 88
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 39 64 53
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. 46.00% 57.00% 60.00%
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. 0.83 1.34 1.08

 

VR OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Total Number of people served under VR.
9,038
11,728
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 26 23 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 554 590 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,913 2,465 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,729 2,636 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,143 3,872 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 1,673 2,142 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 38.60% 38.70% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. N/A 4,877 4,918
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. N/A 254,597 25,222
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 107 N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 190 242 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $11,028,000 $11,616,000 $11,773,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $18,743,000 $18,954,000 $19,278,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $20,754,000 $20,902,000 $21,209,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $5,880,000 $5,639,000 $6,178,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00% 29.00% 29.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 886 845 912
Number of people served in facility based work. 2,824 2,840 2,846
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 3,127 3,132 3,131
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 45.00 45.30 45.00

 

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). 57.30% 57.59% 58.26%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 18.60% 18.48% 17.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.71% 1.61% 1.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 92.00% 80.23% 96.60%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 26.02% 15.11% 25.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 46.96% 43.20% 53.64%
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). 64.32% 50.24% 58.10%
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). 20.94% 28.09% 28.09%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,561,788
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 3,877
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 14,767
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 510,687
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 525,454
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 143
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 743
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 886
AbilityOne wages (products). $80,150
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,233,265

 

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

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 1 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). 71 71 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 3 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 75 37
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 1 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 9,038 3,257
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 133 86
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 9,172 3,343

 

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)

No specific disability related information found.

Customized Employment

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas.  (Page 385)

SCCB should consider developing partnerships with other state agencies, including SCVRD, to determine if individuals with most significant disabilities who are also blind and visually impaired can be served in existing programs. SCCB should consider modification of its programs at EBMRC to address the needs of individuals with most significant disabilities. Specifically, SCCB should investigate how Supported Employment and Customized Employment can be integrated into EBMRC’s programs. SCCB should consider assigning a program administrator the responsibilities of reaching out to individuals with the most significant disabilities and overseeing services that meet their needs. Once SCCB either creates or gains access to Supported Employment programs, these programs should have administrative oversight as well. In compliance with WIOA, SCCB should investigate the options for creating Customized Employment programs that would serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. While there are several organizations around the country that provide training in Customized Employment, it should be noted that training alone will not increase SCCB’s capacity to serve individuals with most significant disabilities. Extensive planning, partnership development, policy and fee structure development are also needed. SCCB should develop an extensive strategic plan around building capacity for serving this population. SECTION 3 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH BLINDNESS AND VISION IMPAIRMENTS FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS, INCLUDING NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN UNSERVED OR UNDERSERVED BY THE VR PROGRAM Section 3 identifies the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by SCCB. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. (Page 421)

Priority 2.2: Increase Employment for those with Most Significant Disabilities 

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and on–going supports for consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI.

Strategy 2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

Strategy 2.4.3: Staff Training & Development in Evidence Based Practice SCCB will invest in staff training and development in VR evidence based practices such as: Motivational Interviewing; Customized Employment; Discovery Assessment; Supported Employment; Individual Placement and Supports; Integrating Labor Market Information into Vocational Goal Setting, IPE Development and Informed Choice.

Strategy 2.4.4: Summer Internship Program (SIP) SCCB will continue to offer the successful Summer Internship Program (SIP) where college students engage in a paid summer internship program in their chosen field of study. Students complete a set number of working internship hours and receive a stipend upon successful completion. SIP has a proven track record of influencing the obtainment of permanent employment. (Page 441)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

SCCB is committed to ensuring that services are provided in an equitable manner and are fully accessible. SCCB reviews, assesses and monitors agency programs to conduct continuous improvement activities. The greatest gap identified in the 2016 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment pertained to the lack of a Supported Employment program at SCCB.

In response SCCB has committed itself to

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. As well as

Strategy 1.2.2: Engagement with Department of Disability & Special Needs SCCB will engage with DDSN to develop a new Cooperative Agreement designed to improve collaboration and leverage long term supported employment funding to meet the needs of persons with Most Significant Disabilities. (Page 446)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Additionally, the continued use of collaborative work groups allows partners to gain a better understanding of the resources available and to identify opportunities for braiding and leveraging resources. (Page 56)

As mentioned previously, the SWDB approved funding for EvolveSC, a grant program that allows businesses to develop a training program in partnership with technical colleges that meet employer skill needs and improves educational access for incumbent workers and newly hired employees. EvolveSC is another example of braiding and leveraging resources to increase educational access. Co-enrollment strategies also facilitate resource sharing across workforce development programs. One of the state’s strategies for alignment and coordination is co-enrollment across core, mandatory, and optional programs, replicating the co-enrollment practice that already exists between TAA and WIOA and increasing access to education and training, case management, and supportive services.

 In addition to the examples provided above, the state will continue to seek grant funding opportunities that align with the state’s vision and strategic goals for workforce development and coordinate with colleges that receive grants. (Page 86)

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.

South Carolina’s one–stop delivery system is designed to be fully accessible so that all job seekers and employers can participate in the services offered. The Methods of Administration (MOA) – a state document required by the Civil Rights Center – is a “living” document that ensures current federal regulations and directives are implemented at the state and local level expeditiously, and details how compliance with WIOA Section 188 will be accomplished. Monitoring performed at both the state and local level ensures that all SC Works Centers are in compliance with Section 188 of WIOA, the ADA, and other applicable regulations. Individuals who seek to utilize South Carolina’s workforce system can expect facilities, whether physical or virtual (e.g., SC Works Online Services) to meet federally–mandated accessibility standards. Complaints of discrimination are directed to the State Equal Opportunity Officer. (Page 123)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

The South Carolina Workforce Development Board (SWDB) approved $741,235 to fund an EvolveSC pilot for Program Year 2015. Through EvolveSC, businesses, either individually or as a consortium, can apply for training grants to upskill their existing workforce. Additionally, EvolveSC provides nationally recognized certificate training for new hires in order to meet the requirements for entry level positions. Twenty–five Evolve SC grants have been awarded to fund training in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare, construction, transportation, logistics, and distribution. (Page 31)

The DD Council is federally funded by the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act) and consists of consumers and family members, DD Act partners, and non–governmental organizations. The DD Council provides leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The council recently funded several pilot projects across the state, including Ready, Set to Go to Work, Project Inclusion, and STEP for SC. In addition to providing employment–training experiences for students with disabilities, these pilot projects also fund the training of job coaches and other support professionals who work directly with students.

A brief description of each project is provided below.

Project Inclusion. Executed by Able SC, Project Inclusion is a pilot project that connects independent living specialists with students with disabilities to promote transition to adulthood with an emphasis on community–based employment in Abbeville, Laurens, and Fairfield counties. Activities include classroom instruction on topics related to employment skills development, self–advocacy during IEP meetings, and rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Several school districts have integrated these activities into their curricula, including Laurens and Fairfield School Districts.

STEP for SC. STEP for SC is a pilot project executed by Community Options, Inc. in the Midlands region that connects high school students with disabilities with community–based career experiences. A job coach assesses students’ job skills and provides training so students are able to participate in community–based internships at local businesses. Job coaches work with students to transition internship experiences and supports into job accommodations and employment.

SCCB Summer Teen Program. As previously mentioned, SCCB also operates the Summer Teen Program which provides five weeks of vocational exploration, job shadowing and internship opportunities, as well as adjustment to blindness training, work readiness and self–advocacy skills training. The Student Internship Program (SIP) provides paid summer internships to college seniors and juniors in their field of study. (Page 41)

Similarly, DEW and DSS are piloting a co–enrollment partnership in the Pee Dee LWDA where DEW provides case management and works with DSS clients to develop an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). DEW also provides workshops and helps DSS clients obtain employment. More recently, the Governor announced that the SNAP E&T program will be transferred to DEW resulting in better alignment and coordination of programs that help individuals prepare for competitive employment. (Page 43)

Manning One–Stop Pilot. DEW and SCDC are partnering to help offenders find jobs through a work ready initiative that launched in November 2014. With onsite support from SC Works at the Manning Correctional Institution, this venture allows inmates to apply to participate in a series of workshops that develop important capabilities including computer skills, interview techniques, resume writing and work assessments testing. After completing the required workshops and intensive services, job–ready participants are referred to a recruiter or career development specialists for additional training and services. DEW also assists in getting each inmate that successfully completes the program bonded through the Federal Bonding Program. (Page 44)

Goal 2, Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include:

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting (Page 445)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Very few deaf-blind consumers applied for services over the 3-year period. Vision impaired is the disability-type most highly represented among SCCB applicants, although the percentage declined from 61% to 53% over the three years while those classified as “Other” climbed from 13% to 20%. In each of the three years 2012 to 2014, individuals with the most significant disabilities were virtually unserved by VR, declining in number from 18 to 8, and from 5% to 2.5% of all applicants, over the 3-year period. According to SCCB, 21% of its 2014 consumers were SSA beneficiaries. While it is unclear whether these individuals have more significant disabilities than other consumers, it is evident that SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn less per hour and work fewer hours per week than non-beneficiaries, suggesting that they have more employment-related challenges. Many of these individuals and their families are concerned about losing the safety net that is provided by either SSI or SSDI if they go to work.

These fears may adversely affect return-to-work behavior and result in settling for part-time work that keeps them under the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount, or prevents them from going over the “cashcliff.” Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include: SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

Benefits
  • 55,700 persons with disabilities aged 18 to 64 receive benefits. (Page 23) 

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities.

Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is an international program first developed in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There are 300 programs across 46 states and five other countries. South Carolina currently has two Project Search locations – Spartanburg and Columbia – based at regional hospitals. (Page 42)

Job Seeker Services. There is at least one comprehensive SC Works Center in each LWDA and one or more satellite center or access point. Through these centers, job seekers can access WIOA programs and Wagner–Peyser Employment Services. Individuals can also get assistance filing for UI benefits and reemployment assistance, including but not limited to: looking for a job, resume preparation, and interviewing skills workshops. Job seekers can also access employment services and manage UI benefits remotely using SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) and the MyBenefits (Page 54)

Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age.

Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1 (Page 248)

Frequency: annual Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1. Item 17 Performance Measure: Reimbursement from Social Security Administration for SCVRD Job Placements Last Value: $906,146 Current Value: (Page 350)

  • South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission (WCC) to facilitate the referral process of injured workers to SCCB to enhance return–to–work efforts;
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) to collaborate on employment incentives and supports and maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program;
  • South Carolina Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) to help identify veterans who need additional supports in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services;
  • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) to eliminate potential duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to eliminate duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • SCCB will develop a Cooperative Agreement with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to collaborate, coordinate, eliminate potential duplication of services, and enhance the employment outcomes of shared consumer populations. (Page 369)

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. (Page 385)
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. 

Section Three: Needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

The most common themes that emerged in this area were: (Page 397)

SECTION 2 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES, INCLUDING THEIR NEED FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT 

Section 2 provides an assessment of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment, as conveyed by statistical data and as expressed by the different groups interviewed and surveyed. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities including their need for supported employment: Indicators Employers’ perceptions, lack of education and training and job skills, and geographic access to services and jobs were all identified by key informants as major barriers to employment for individuals with most significant disabilities. A large majority of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits, and fear of benefit loss affects their return-to-work behavior. Staff and partners agree that employment barriers are different for individuals with most significant disabilities than for the general population. SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment services. SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either through SCCB in-house or through CRPs. There is no evidence of collaboration between SCCB and SCVRD on behalf of customers with multiple diagnoses. Agency performance Surveyed partners and staff were in agreement that geographic access and slow service delivery are the biggest barriers to SCCB services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. SCCB served a very small number of individuals with most significant disabilities over a 3-year period, declining from a total of 18 in 2012 to 8 in 2014. SCCB appears to provide limited services to individuals with cognitive or mental health disabilities. (Page 418)

(RSA Annual Review Report) – Total number of applicants who were SSA recipients, broken down by SSI and SSDI: FY2012 - 57 SSI recipients, 94 SSDI beneficiaries FY2013 - 60 SSI recipients, 126 SSDI beneficiaries SCCB Programming: Asset Development Services - SCCB does not provide benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include:

  • SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

For instance, if an individual with blindness or a vision impairment wanted to go to a training program to become an IT Specialist, then the AJC could fund a part of the training with an ITA, and SCCB could fund part of the training with case service dollars, or provide AT, transportation, or other needed support services. The case becomes a shared case with both entities and the consumer benefits from the employment experience of the AJC and the disability experience of SCCB. SCCB should offer its technical expertise to the SC Works centers to insure they are fully accessible and include the latest and most relevant assistive technology. In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide inservice training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). This is a rarely used model that can bring resources to the SC Works Center and provide support to individuals with blindness and vision impairments for several years. 

SECTION 5 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS IN TRANSITION

The reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act under WIOA places a greater emphasis on the provision of transition services to youth and students with disabilities, especially their need for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 34 CFR 361 and 363 released recently by RSA indicates that the comprehensive statewide needs assessment must include an assessment of the needs of youth and students with disabilities in the State, including their need for Pre-ETS. The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. (Page 426)

2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

School to Work Transition

Students with Disabilities. Based on FY 2014 school district report card data, the statewide total for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) has reached 28,738 (SC Dept. of Education). Comparatively, SCVRD opened 2,253 new cases for students referred through the school system, which represents 15% of the agency’s total new referrals. Successful employment outcomes for clients referred by the school system increased to 1,041, representing 15% of all agency closures. Although SCVRD has made significant inroads in transition services in recent years by ramping up partnerships in schools and dedicating more staffing to school–to–work transition, to meet the new WIOA requirements and the need indicated by the total number of students receiving IDEA services, additional resources and continued focus on this population will be required.

The SCVRD provides a robust set of student and youth services to enhance the transition from school–to–work or other post–secondary training opportunities. As indicated in WIOA, transition counselors provide pre–employment transition services for students prior to their exit from high school, and SCVRD staff continue to provide services to support placement into competitive employment, or completion of post–secondary training and/or credential–based programs. The number of SCVRD successful employment outcomes for transition–aged youth has grown by 48 percent over the past two years.

SCVRD has agreements with each of South Carolina’s public school districts and the S.C. Department of Education for collaborative delivery of school–to–work transition services. SCVRD has a counselor assigned to each public high school in the state, and in some instances an SCVRD counselor is physically located at a school. This entails providing pre–employment transition services to students, including: (Page 38)

Similarly, the SCCB provides student and youth services, including the pre–employment transition services listed above, to enhance the transition from school–to–work or to other post–secondary training opportunities. It recently increased the transition team to better serve students with visual impairments and/or legal blindness. Although SCCB is working to establish formal written agreements with school districts throughout the state, a counselor is currently assigned to each public high school, including the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB). Transition counselors serve a specific territory and collaborate with teachers for the visually impaired and other specialized staff to improve outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

The employment rate for working age people with disabilities (18 to 64) in South Carolina is 29.0%, compared to 74.0% for persons without disabilities (Annual Disability Statistics Compendium). This reflects a 45 point gap in the (Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) between people with and without disabilities. In further detail, only 36.3% of the 24,900 South Carolinians who are blind or have vision loss are employed. Also, 46.8% of the 42,800 individuals with hearing differences are employed and only 21.9% of South Carolinians with intellectual or developmental disabilities are employed. This further illustrates the need for effective utilization of assistive technology solutions and expanding school to work transition programs. (Page 39)

A significant focus of WIOA includes strategies to strengthen school–to–work transition programs and youth programs. This includes specific activities conducted within the secondary school system for students to better prepare them for employment, post–secondary education or post–secondary training. There are also provisions within WIOA to address the needs of out–of–school youth to ensure that they are connected with the services needed to achieve competitive, integrated employment. Strong partnerships with local education agencies, VR service delivery capacity for school–to–work transition services, workforce development programs for youth, and connection with stakeholders involved in student, youth and parent engagement are being deployed in South Carolina. The work of these partnerships will help to prepare the next generation of job seekers for the emerging employment opportunities before exiting school settings, in keeping with the education and career pathways development. ( Page 62)

In carrying out its mission to prepare and assist eligible individuals to achieve and maintain competitive employment, the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) actively seeks referrals and comparable services and benefits. In doing so, the department has established formal and informal partnerships with other providers of facilities and services. For the purpose of referral, service collaboration, facility allocation, and staff designation, cooperative agreements have been established with the following agencies in South Carolina: Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). Detailed agreements between SCVRD and the SCDE describe the coordination of school–to–work transition services and also Adult Education services.

With regard to the S.C. Independent Living Council, the department acts in an advisory and technical support capacity. The SCVRD portion of the Unified State Plan assures that an interagency agreement or similar document for interagency coordination between any appropriate public entities becomes operative. The department has entered into collaborative arrangements with institutions of higher education as well. This is to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, described in Title I of WIOA, is included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual. This includes the provision of vocational rehabilitation services during pending disputes as described in the interagency agreement or similar document. SCVRD will seek to assure the participation of individuals with physical and mental impairments in training and employment opportunities, as appropriate. With the exception of services specified in paragraph (E) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) enacted on July 22, 2014, information shall specify policies and procedures for public entities to identify and determine interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity in order to promote coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services. (Page 194)

Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis. 

  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 202)

SCVRD has an MOU with DDSN. Staff works collaboratively with local Disabilities and Special Needs (DSN) boards and providers in serving individuals in need of supported employment services and long–term follow along supports to maintain competitive, integrated employment. DDSN has representatives on TASC to assist in school–to–work transition efforts as well as ensuring youth with the most significant disabilities have access to the supports needed to gain and maintain competitive employment. Through these efforts, clients/consumers are served in a complementary fashion based on the expertise and distinct roles of each agency. (Page 204)

SCVRD has an extensive HRD department that facilitates training for all employees, with programmatic training being provided by internal and external subject matter experts. The department provides/sponsors trainings that focus on medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of specific disabilities, and feature the application of assistive technology as appropriate. Recent topics include: disability etiquette, brain injury, alcohol/drug addictions, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, autism, deafness and hearing impairments, epilepsy, learning disabilities, musculoskeletal, spinal cord injury, diabetes as well as other disability–specific trainings. Workshops on transition from school to work, HS/HT, supported employment, vocational assessment, serving ex–offenders, serving the Hispanic/Latino population, leadership development, and maintaining a culture of quality were also provided. Counseling skills training is provided on an ongoing basis with a focus on motivational interviewing techniques. A series of statewide trainings focusing on providing specific counseling skills and the application of those skills within the VR setting to counselors and other staff who provide direct services to clients also began in 2013 and will continue for all designated new staff. (Page 212)

TASC is a robust state–level interagency collaborative that works in support of increasing positive post–secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. It has multiple stakeholder agencies and organizations, and supports local level interagency teams through training, technical assistance, and strategic planning. The department continues to coordinate the development of designated staff with emerging initiatives by the SCDE and the 81 local school districts (LEAs) under IDEA and state school–to–work transition efforts. Transition training efforts this year included the following: a two–day transition summer series was conducted for transition staff that included presentations and training on vocational assessment, use of ACT and Work Keys assessments, referral development, best practices, documentation and use of school records, work experiences, using O*Net, and post–secondary training. Selected transition staff participated in a session on active training techniques and self–determination. Over 40 transition staff participated in an annual interagency transition conference, focused on local interagency planning and content sessions focused on effective service delivery for students with disabilities. Youth leaders also participated in the conference. (Page 213)

Items covered in the agreement include:

Student identification and exchange of information, procedures for outreach to students with disabilities who need transition services, methods for dispute resolution, consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for school–to–work transition activities, and the requirements for regular monitoring of the agreement. Timing of student referrals is individualized based on need but should generally occur no later than the second semester of the year prior to the student’s exit from school. (Page 226)

Strategy 1.1 Improve the quality of employment outcomes for eligible individuals with disabilities.

Objective 1.1.1 Support continuous improvement within Program Integrity: Productivity, Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services.

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes. (Page 297-298)

 

Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures.

Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services. 

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes

Goal 2 We will be a team of highly qualified professionals who have the commitment, accountability and opportunity to excel. 

Strategy 2.1 Provide training to equip staff to provide quality vocational rehabilitation services.

Objective 2.1.1 Develop training based on needs assessment in accordance with the State Plan. (Page 307)

Strategies that contributed to the achievement of overall goals and specific objectives included:

  • Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 347)

The following programs have recently been implemented or expanded to enhance transition services: 

  • Junior Student Internship Program (JSIP) – The SCCB provides eligible high school students who an opportunity to gain valuable work experience during a summer internship with business partners throughout the state. Participants receive a stipend upon successful completion of the program. This program is also available to college students. 

Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students 

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program. (Page 439-440)

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, (Page 445)

Data Collection

Rallying for Inclusive, Successful Employment (RISE). RISE is a comprehensive, systematic approach to increasing employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Projects and services include: supporting and participating in the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, hosting community workshops for families, partnering with the University of South Carolina (USC) to improve data collection on barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities, and providing individualized employment and empowerment services to consumers.

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others. (Page 42)

A State-level Vision for System Integration has been outlined with an initial timeline. Activities that have occurred or are in process include the following: review of final rules regarding performance and reporting, review of current intake forms/applications, and identification of common elements and referral processes. Early fall activities will include a review of system needs and project planning in the context of final reporting guidelines and data collection instructions. Each core program is adapting and making changes to data collection and reporting systems to adhere to the final reporting requirements. (Page 81)

SCCB’s data collection process consists of data that is collected directly from consumers, medical health providers (eye and medical doctors), educational institutions, consumer organizations and advocacy groups, and the Social Security Administration. Although Counselors in all consumer services programs have the primary responsibility of collecting and entering data, other staff, such as Counselor Assistants, Supervisors and service providers, can also collect and enter consumer data as needed.

As the SCCB works toward adopting a fully integrated case management, data collection, and reporting system that is shared by all core programs, it will need to reexamine its data collection and reporting processes so that they are consistent and aligned across partner agencies. (Page 94)

This initiative aligns with SCVRD’s longstanding commitment to its Program Integrity model, which seeks a balance among productivity, customer service, and compliance assurance. Each of those components has measurable results and can be used to evaluate the agency at levels ranging from specific caseload or work unit up to an agency-wide level. National standards and indicators, issued by the agency’s parent federal organization, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, are also critical measures of SCVRD’s success. The agency’s performance levels in meeting those standards have been consistently high. The agency is proactively integrating the new WIOA common performance measures into program evaluation, data collection and management information reports. (Page 108)

The South Carolina workforce system continuously seeks ways to improve processes, policies, services and outcomes for job seekers and employers. As such, the core program partners will work alongside the SWDB and LWDBs to identify areas of opportunity that would benefit from further evaluation and research. For example, the new legislation highlights the need for system and data integration among core programs. In 2015, a partner agency work group began to research existing unified data collection and reporting systems in addition to other methods of data sharing. Although the group’s work is still in its infancy, several systems have been demonstrated and options for portals or overlays to existing systems have been explored. As the federal oversight agencies provide more guidance on performance measures and reporting requirements, the work group can further hone the study to determine precise system needs.

The state will also coordinate evaluation and research projects with those provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education. (Page 109)

Data collection efforts solicited input from a broad spectrum of VR stakeholders, including persons with blindness and vision impairments, service providers, SCCB staff and businesses.

It is expected that data from the needs assessment effort will provide SCCB and the Board of Directors with direction when creating the VR portion of the Unified State Plan and when planning for future program development, outreach and resource allocation. (Page 104)

Data collection. Data was gathered from SCCB staff through the use of an Internet-based survey. All 125 staff were sent an electronic invitation and link to the survey. Approximately one week after the initial distribution, a subsequent notice was sent as both a “thank you” to those who had completed the survey and a reminder to those who had not. A third and final invitation was sent out 5 weeks after the second invitation. Surveys were then placed into “inactive” status and the data analyzed.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the staff survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses to the electronic surveys were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the business survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents. (Page 406)

In interviews with staff, it was indicated that these individuals “tend to sit around,” receiving no services. There is a significant gap between the needs of and services available to individuals with the most significant disabilities. Agency services appear to be targeted to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and have no additional disabilities. Individuals with cognitive and mental disabilities in addition to blindness appear to be significantly underserved, and in many cases may receive no substantial services. There is also a significant gap in the employment outcomes for these populations. Results by Data Collection Method Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Quantitative Data on Barriers and Improvements National and/or Agency Specific Data Related to the Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, including their need for Supported Employment. SCCB uses a definition for MSD consistent with federal requirements. SSA Beneficiaries SSA Beneficiaries Applying for SCCB Services (SCCB data) - Total number and percentage of applicants who were SSA recipients: 2012: 169 (29%) 2013: 134 (25%) 2014: 88 (21%) SSI/SSDI Recipients. (Page 418)

Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. South Carolina is one of only four states in the country to see an over 150% increase (specifically 167%, the 2nd highest in the nation) in the Hispanic population from 2000- 2013. ? 68% of SC residents are White. African-Americans make up 28% of the general population. (Page 421)

The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. In 2013, there were 12,700 individuals with blindness or vision impairment aged 20 and under. 57% of South Carolina residents with disabilities under the age of 18 live in poverty. 35% of South Carolina residents with disabilities attained a level of education equivalent to a high school diploma, and 12% attained a level of education equivalent to a college degree. Agency performance From 2012 to 2014, the rate of transition-age youth served by SCCB was 50% or more lower than the national average for Blind agencies. SCCB reported zero successful outcomes for transition age youth over the 2012-2014 reporting period. In its 2010 monitoring report, RSA recommended that SCCB expand its array of programming, including services for transition-age youth. The agency responded that transition programming would be expanded, but this had not been accomplished as of the end of 2015. (Page 425)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting. (Page 445)

Career Pathways

Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. (Page 303)

Findings of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment indicate that SCCB needs to reestablish Cooperative Agreements and community partnerships. SCCB is committed to becoming a cooperative and collaborative partner with community entities wherever such reciprocal relationships can benefit consumers and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the VR program. SCCB will vigilantly seek out community partnerships that enhance our ability to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services that lead to competitive integrated employment outcomes and career pathways. SCCB will develop and maintain new Cooperative Agreements with the following entities not carrying out activities under the Statewide Workforce Development System: 

  • The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of South Carolina for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • South Carolina Association of the Deaf, Inc.
  • Goodwill Industries for the purposes of providing statewide access to job readiness and computer skills training.
  • The Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for the purpose of expanding training options for consumers who are Deaf/Blind and need training beyond the scope of programs provided at the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC).
  • And informal partnerships with community based partners such as faith based organizations, charitable organizations, and non–governmental community based organizations. (Page 374)

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity, resources, and staff expertise to provide Job Driven vocational counseling and guidance that utilizes Labor Market Information and aligns with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project and Sector Strategies initiatives to assist eligible consumers in accessing career pathways that lead to high and middle skill/income jobs.

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity to assist eligible consumers in the development of occupational knowledge, skills, and abilities that culminate in obtaining industry recognized credentials to include GED attainment, certifications, degrees, apprenticeships, occupational licensure, among others.

Gap: SCCB will build VR program capacities, expertise, and partnerships to provide improved transition services including Pre–Employment Transition Services to students who are blind or visually impaired. (Page 390)

Priority 2.1: Align VR Counseling with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project, Emphasizing Career Pathways, Attainment of Industry Recognized Credentials, Job Driven/Sector Strategies & Labor Market Information

Strategy 2.1.1: Staff Training SCCB in collaboration with the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Business Intelligence Unit staff will conduct extensive SCCB staff training during FFY 2016 in order to expand VR staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to access current Local Labor Market Information, conduct Job Driven research, utilize Job Driven and Sector Strategies to provide informed choice and guidance to consumers in selecting vocational goals, assessing skills, locating vocational training to close skill gaps, and connect skilled consumers with existing or emerging vacant positions. (Page 439)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. This is an expansion of a proven model. (Page 445)

Employment Networks

Able SC is approved by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to serve ticket beneficiaries as an Employment Network (EN) under SSA’s Ticket to Work program (discussed in more detail below), and also serves as the host and facilitator for the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, an organization that addresses employment barriers for individuals with disabilities.

SC Disability Employment Coalition. The S.C. Disability Employment Coalition is a statewide systems improvement effort that comprises a broad stakeholder group working to improve employment recruitment, retention, and advancement for South Carolinians with disabilities.  (Page 40)

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities. (Page 42)

C.   THE DESIGNATED STATE UNIT WILL COORDINATE ACTIVITIES WITH ANY OTHER STATE AGENCY THAT IS FUNCTIONING AS AN EMPLOYMENT NETWORK UNDER THE TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 1148 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. (Page 364)

In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide in service training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). (Page 425)

Policies and Initiatives

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SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Employment First In South Carolina

One of the greatest challenges faced by people with disabilities has been securing and maintaining meaningful employment . SCDDSN believes that most people who want a job should be able to have one and regardless of his or her disability, can work if provided with necessary and appropriate supports. Employment First Assumes the following: 1) Assumes employment is the preferred day services option for adults with disability 2) Assumes people with disabilities require/ want services/support to obtain or maintain employment 3) Promotes Employment rather than non-work services options as the primary option for adults from the first contracts through all contracts 4) Arms Staff with a thorough knowledge of employment service/ supports and of employment related solutions/issues, 5) Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful considerations and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful 6) Responds quickly to those choosing employment without extending waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-works options. 7) Has in place well qualified providers who can readily: - Assess readiness and preferences - Match people to and place people in appropriate jobs selected from and array of possibility - Provide on the job training and coaching - Provide support as needed to sustain employment

Systems
  • Other

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs: Employment First Position

“…SCDDSN embraces the principle of ‘employment first” as an approach to service delivery. As such “employment first’:

1. Assumes employment is the preferred day service option for adults with disabilities;2. Assumes people with disabilities require/want services/support to obtain and/or maintain employment3. Promotes employment, rather than non-work service options, as the primary option for adults from the first contact and through all contacts. Arms staff with a thorough knowledge of employment services/supports and of employment related issues/solutions;4. Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful consideration and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful;,5. Responds quickly to those choosing employment, without extended waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-work options6. Has in place well-qualified providers…”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Supported Employment Programs - 05/30/2013

• “Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidenced-based supported employment best practice model. IPS is collaboration between South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD). Since 2005 these state agencies have combined resources and personnel to implement the IPS Supported Employment model. The goal of this partnership is to place people with serve mental illness in competitive employment. Through the collaboration of this Supported Employment model, SCVRD and SCDMH are able to provide an integrated and seamless employment service delivery that results in improved employment outcomes for people with severe mental illness.”

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

The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC)

“The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC) is spearheaded by the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine. Utilizing funding and support from TASC partners, project staff housed at the Center for Disability Resources developed an infrastructure to support local interagency transition teams.  Project activities are focused on providing interagency teams the resources to increase their capacity to collaboratively and effectively serve young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are transitioning from high school to adult life.”

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

South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition

The SC Disability Employment Coalition (SCDEC) formed in the fall of 2014 to address employment barriers for individuals with disabilities in South Carolina. SCDEC stakeholders represent SC employers, state, and private agencies. SCDEC members meet quarterly. The SCDEC currently has three work committees that meet on a monthly basis. The Coalition is currently comprised of over 20 stakeholder organizations and individuals. The organizations below are currently represented on the Coalition. The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition is made possible by funding from the Southeast ADA Center and SC Developmental Disabilities Council

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE)

“People with all types of disabilities are employed, pursuing careers and building assets just like people without disabilities… Through advocacy and education, APSE advances employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Employment Development Initiative - 10/01/2012

“In an effort to assist State Mental Health Authorities, in close collaboration with Single State Authorities, in planning and implementing activities to foster increased employment opportunities for people with mental health and/or substance use disorders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) created the Employment Development Initiative (EDI).

This initiative provides, on a competitive basis, modest funding awards in the form of fixed-price subcontracts between the Contractor, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and the States, Territories and District of Columbia. In addition, each awardee will receive two consultant technical assistance visits coordinated and paid through the Contractor's portion of the project." South Carolina received an EDI award for its program Integration Peer Support into Supported Employment.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

South Carolina Youth Employment Services (YES)

“South Carolina was awarded a federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) transition demonstration grant in 2007 to fund the Youth Employment Services (YES) program in several schools. SCVRD used the Guideposts to design the YES program activities led by SCVRD’s transition staff… As a part of the demonstration project, SCVRD created agreements with the project schools to locate SCVRD’s transition staff within the school. This provided SCVRD’s staff with greater access to the VR-eligible students and opportunities to develop relationships with the youth, families, and school personnel.”

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

Sourh Carolina SAMHSA Grant - "Health Mind Body Alliance"

“The integration model brings primary care into state community mental health clinics. Clinics are located in the underserved rural counties of Marlboro, Dillon, and Chesterfield South Carolina and the initial strategy included an FQHC [Federal Qualified Health Center]. Year two enrollment target is to serve 150 unduplicated clients (During the first quarters of year two for the grant 194 clients unduplicated clients were enrolled). Services are accessible to all consenting adult clients of TCCMHC [Tri-County Community Mental Health Center] with serious mental illness (Excepting incarcerated clients).”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

No Training/Capacity Building have been entered for this state.

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

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

SC Community Supports (0676.R01.00) - 07/01/2012

Provides adult day health care, personal care, respite care, waiver case management, incontinence supplies, adult day health care-nursing, adult day health care-transportation, assistive technology and appliances, behavior support, career preparation, community services, day activity, employment services, environmental mods, in-home support, PERS, private vehicle mods, support center services for individuals w/IID ages 0 - no max age.

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

South Carolina ESEA Flexibility Request - 02/28/2012

“South Carolina’s college and career readiness aspirations extend to all students, including those who need additional support and consideration because English is not their first language or due to a disability. To help ensure that we effectively analyze the linguistic demands of the CCSS to inform development of corresponding standards specific to these students that enable their success.”

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

South Carolina Statewide Transition Plan – Revised (HCBS)

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) gives notice that the revised draft Statewide Transition Plan, required per Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Rule (42 CFR 441.301(c)(6)),was submitted on March 31, 2016 to CMS for review. It will be effective upon CMS approval.

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

South Carolina Medicaid State Plan

Medicaid is a federal-state partnership. Federal regulations provide a framework for each state to build a unique Medicaid program. States must all comply with some basic requirements such as:  • Serving certain mandatory populations like poverty-level children and low-income pregnant women; • Providing certain mandatory services like hospital care and physician services; • Providing services that are “sufficient in amount, duration, and scope to reasonably achieve (their) purpose;” and, • Providing services throughout the state.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

South Carolina Community Choices Medicaid Waiver

“This Medicaid program is also referred to as the Elderly and Disabled Waiver. It allows individuals who require nursing home level care and assistance with their activities of daily living to receive care in their communities or homes instead of in nursing homes. There is a condition associated with the waiver which states that the cost of the care at home cannot exceed a certain percentage of the cost for the same care in a nursing home.”

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

South Carolina Medicaid Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

The Palmetto State is "Prepared in Mind and Resources" when it comes to improving supports for individuals with disabilities to increase access to competitive, integrated employment and socioeconomic advancement in South Carolina.

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 South Carolina’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.3%
Change from
2014 to 2015
4,896,146
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.29%
Change from
2014 to 2015
370,744
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.5%
Change from
2014 to 2015
106,350
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.19%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28.69%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.39%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.33%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 4,774,839 4,832,482 4,896,146
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 367,570 375,543 370,744
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,971 109,012 106,350
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,835,729 1,875,518 1,908,376
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 30.73% 29.03% 28.69%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 72.67% 74.04% 74.33%
Overall unemployment rate. 7.60% 6.40% 6.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 23.80% 23.90% 22.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 17.70% 17.00% 15.70%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 331,142 339,600 344,318
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 348,896 361,493 368,421
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 458,100 471,949 483,588
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 200,596 205,126 204,296
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 13,431 14,661 16,894
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 3,446 3,458 2,757
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 3,627 5,514 2,842
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 10,262 12,056 14,434
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 3,818 2,907 4,383

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 4,162 4,221 4,430
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.80% 3.80% 4.00%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 179,893 179,872 178,822

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 5,724 5,654 1,475
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 28,730 28,306 7,386
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 45,273 45,105 12,607
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.60% 12.50% 11.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.70% 0.70% 0.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 368 339 339
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A N/A N/A
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. 102,867 10,232 9,724
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.30 0.03 0.04

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 84 113 88
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 39 64 53
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. 46.00% 57.00% 60.00%
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. 0.83 1.34 1.08

 

VR OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Total Number of people served under VR.
9,038
11,728
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 26 23 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 554 590 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,913 2,465 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,729 2,636 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,143 3,872 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 1,673 2,142 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 38.60% 38.70% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. N/A 4,877 4,918
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. N/A 254,597 25,222
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 107 N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 190 242 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $11,028,000 $11,616,000 $11,773,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $18,743,000 $18,954,000 $19,278,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $20,754,000 $20,902,000 $21,209,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $5,880,000 $5,639,000 $6,178,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00% 29.00% 29.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 886 845 912
Number of people served in facility based work. 2,824 2,840 2,846
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 3,127 3,132 3,131
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 45.00 45.30 45.00

 

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). 57.30% 57.59% 58.26%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 18.60% 18.48% 17.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.71% 1.61% 1.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 92.00% 80.23% 96.60%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 26.02% 15.11% 25.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 46.96% 43.20% 53.64%
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). 64.32% 50.24% 58.10%
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). 20.94% 28.09% 28.09%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,561,788
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 3,877
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 14,767
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 510,687
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 525,454
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 143
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 743
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 886
AbilityOne wages (products). $80,150
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,233,265

 

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

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 1 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). 71 71 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 3 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 75 37
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 1 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 9,038 3,257
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 133 86
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 9,172 3,343

 

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)

No specific disability related information found.

Customized Employment

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas.  (Page 385)

SCCB should consider developing partnerships with other state agencies, including SCVRD, to determine if individuals with most significant disabilities who are also blind and visually impaired can be served in existing programs. SCCB should consider modification of its programs at EBMRC to address the needs of individuals with most significant disabilities. Specifically, SCCB should investigate how Supported Employment and Customized Employment can be integrated into EBMRC’s programs. SCCB should consider assigning a program administrator the responsibilities of reaching out to individuals with the most significant disabilities and overseeing services that meet their needs. Once SCCB either creates or gains access to Supported Employment programs, these programs should have administrative oversight as well. In compliance with WIOA, SCCB should investigate the options for creating Customized Employment programs that would serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. While there are several organizations around the country that provide training in Customized Employment, it should be noted that training alone will not increase SCCB’s capacity to serve individuals with most significant disabilities. Extensive planning, partnership development, policy and fee structure development are also needed. SCCB should develop an extensive strategic plan around building capacity for serving this population. SECTION 3 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH BLINDNESS AND VISION IMPAIRMENTS FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS, INCLUDING NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN UNSERVED OR UNDERSERVED BY THE VR PROGRAM Section 3 identifies the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by SCCB. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. (Page 421)

Priority 2.2: Increase Employment for those with Most Significant Disabilities 

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and on–going supports for consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI.

Strategy 2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

Strategy 2.4.3: Staff Training & Development in Evidence Based Practice SCCB will invest in staff training and development in VR evidence based practices such as: Motivational Interviewing; Customized Employment; Discovery Assessment; Supported Employment; Individual Placement and Supports; Integrating Labor Market Information into Vocational Goal Setting, IPE Development and Informed Choice.

Strategy 2.4.4: Summer Internship Program (SIP) SCCB will continue to offer the successful Summer Internship Program (SIP) where college students engage in a paid summer internship program in their chosen field of study. Students complete a set number of working internship hours and receive a stipend upon successful completion. SIP has a proven track record of influencing the obtainment of permanent employment. (Page 441)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

SCCB is committed to ensuring that services are provided in an equitable manner and are fully accessible. SCCB reviews, assesses and monitors agency programs to conduct continuous improvement activities. The greatest gap identified in the 2016 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment pertained to the lack of a Supported Employment program at SCCB.

In response SCCB has committed itself to

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. As well as

Strategy 1.2.2: Engagement with Department of Disability & Special Needs SCCB will engage with DDSN to develop a new Cooperative Agreement designed to improve collaboration and leverage long term supported employment funding to meet the needs of persons with Most Significant Disabilities. (Page 446)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Additionally, the continued use of collaborative work groups allows partners to gain a better understanding of the resources available and to identify opportunities for braiding and leveraging resources. (Page 56)

As mentioned previously, the SWDB approved funding for EvolveSC, a grant program that allows businesses to develop a training program in partnership with technical colleges that meet employer skill needs and improves educational access for incumbent workers and newly hired employees. EvolveSC is another example of braiding and leveraging resources to increase educational access. Co-enrollment strategies also facilitate resource sharing across workforce development programs. One of the state’s strategies for alignment and coordination is co-enrollment across core, mandatory, and optional programs, replicating the co-enrollment practice that already exists between TAA and WIOA and increasing access to education and training, case management, and supportive services.

 In addition to the examples provided above, the state will continue to seek grant funding opportunities that align with the state’s vision and strategic goals for workforce development and coordinate with colleges that receive grants. (Page 86)

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.

South Carolina’s one–stop delivery system is designed to be fully accessible so that all job seekers and employers can participate in the services offered. The Methods of Administration (MOA) – a state document required by the Civil Rights Center – is a “living” document that ensures current federal regulations and directives are implemented at the state and local level expeditiously, and details how compliance with WIOA Section 188 will be accomplished. Monitoring performed at both the state and local level ensures that all SC Works Centers are in compliance with Section 188 of WIOA, the ADA, and other applicable regulations. Individuals who seek to utilize South Carolina’s workforce system can expect facilities, whether physical or virtual (e.g., SC Works Online Services) to meet federally–mandated accessibility standards. Complaints of discrimination are directed to the State Equal Opportunity Officer. (Page 123)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

The South Carolina Workforce Development Board (SWDB) approved $741,235 to fund an EvolveSC pilot for Program Year 2015. Through EvolveSC, businesses, either individually or as a consortium, can apply for training grants to upskill their existing workforce. Additionally, EvolveSC provides nationally recognized certificate training for new hires in order to meet the requirements for entry level positions. Twenty–five Evolve SC grants have been awarded to fund training in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare, construction, transportation, logistics, and distribution. (Page 31)

The DD Council is federally funded by the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act) and consists of consumers and family members, DD Act partners, and non–governmental organizations. The DD Council provides leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The council recently funded several pilot projects across the state, including Ready, Set to Go to Work, Project Inclusion, and STEP for SC. In addition to providing employment–training experiences for students with disabilities, these pilot projects also fund the training of job coaches and other support professionals who work directly with students.

A brief description of each project is provided below.

Project Inclusion. Executed by Able SC, Project Inclusion is a pilot project that connects independent living specialists with students with disabilities to promote transition to adulthood with an emphasis on community–based employment in Abbeville, Laurens, and Fairfield counties. Activities include classroom instruction on topics related to employment skills development, self–advocacy during IEP meetings, and rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Several school districts have integrated these activities into their curricula, including Laurens and Fairfield School Districts.

STEP for SC. STEP for SC is a pilot project executed by Community Options, Inc. in the Midlands region that connects high school students with disabilities with community–based career experiences. A job coach assesses students’ job skills and provides training so students are able to participate in community–based internships at local businesses. Job coaches work with students to transition internship experiences and supports into job accommodations and employment.

SCCB Summer Teen Program. As previously mentioned, SCCB also operates the Summer Teen Program which provides five weeks of vocational exploration, job shadowing and internship opportunities, as well as adjustment to blindness training, work readiness and self–advocacy skills training. The Student Internship Program (SIP) provides paid summer internships to college seniors and juniors in their field of study. (Page 41)

Similarly, DEW and DSS are piloting a co–enrollment partnership in the Pee Dee LWDA where DEW provides case management and works with DSS clients to develop an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). DEW also provides workshops and helps DSS clients obtain employment. More recently, the Governor announced that the SNAP E&T program will be transferred to DEW resulting in better alignment and coordination of programs that help individuals prepare for competitive employment. (Page 43)

Manning One–Stop Pilot. DEW and SCDC are partnering to help offenders find jobs through a work ready initiative that launched in November 2014. With onsite support from SC Works at the Manning Correctional Institution, this venture allows inmates to apply to participate in a series of workshops that develop important capabilities including computer skills, interview techniques, resume writing and work assessments testing. After completing the required workshops and intensive services, job–ready participants are referred to a recruiter or career development specialists for additional training and services. DEW also assists in getting each inmate that successfully completes the program bonded through the Federal Bonding Program. (Page 44)

Goal 2, Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include:

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting (Page 445)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Very few deaf-blind consumers applied for services over the 3-year period. Vision impaired is the disability-type most highly represented among SCCB applicants, although the percentage declined from 61% to 53% over the three years while those classified as “Other” climbed from 13% to 20%. In each of the three years 2012 to 2014, individuals with the most significant disabilities were virtually unserved by VR, declining in number from 18 to 8, and from 5% to 2.5% of all applicants, over the 3-year period. According to SCCB, 21% of its 2014 consumers were SSA beneficiaries. While it is unclear whether these individuals have more significant disabilities than other consumers, it is evident that SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn less per hour and work fewer hours per week than non-beneficiaries, suggesting that they have more employment-related challenges. Many of these individuals and their families are concerned about losing the safety net that is provided by either SSI or SSDI if they go to work.

These fears may adversely affect return-to-work behavior and result in settling for part-time work that keeps them under the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount, or prevents them from going over the “cashcliff.” Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include: SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

Benefits
  • 55,700 persons with disabilities aged 18 to 64 receive benefits. (Page 23) 

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities.

Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is an international program first developed in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There are 300 programs across 46 states and five other countries. South Carolina currently has two Project Search locations – Spartanburg and Columbia – based at regional hospitals. (Page 42)

Job Seeker Services. There is at least one comprehensive SC Works Center in each LWDA and one or more satellite center or access point. Through these centers, job seekers can access WIOA programs and Wagner–Peyser Employment Services. Individuals can also get assistance filing for UI benefits and reemployment assistance, including but not limited to: looking for a job, resume preparation, and interviewing skills workshops. Job seekers can also access employment services and manage UI benefits remotely using SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) and the MyBenefits (Page 54)

Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age.

Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1 (Page 248)

Frequency: annual Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1. Item 17 Performance Measure: Reimbursement from Social Security Administration for SCVRD Job Placements Last Value: $906,146 Current Value: (Page 350)

  • South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission (WCC) to facilitate the referral process of injured workers to SCCB to enhance return–to–work efforts;
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) to collaborate on employment incentives and supports and maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program;
  • South Carolina Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) to help identify veterans who need additional supports in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services;
  • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) to eliminate potential duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to eliminate duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • SCCB will develop a Cooperative Agreement with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to collaborate, coordinate, eliminate potential duplication of services, and enhance the employment outcomes of shared consumer populations. (Page 369)

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. (Page 385)
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. 

Section Three: Needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

The most common themes that emerged in this area were: (Page 397)

SECTION 2 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES, INCLUDING THEIR NEED FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT 

Section 2 provides an assessment of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment, as conveyed by statistical data and as expressed by the different groups interviewed and surveyed. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities including their need for supported employment: Indicators Employers’ perceptions, lack of education and training and job skills, and geographic access to services and jobs were all identified by key informants as major barriers to employment for individuals with most significant disabilities. A large majority of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits, and fear of benefit loss affects their return-to-work behavior. Staff and partners agree that employment barriers are different for individuals with most significant disabilities than for the general population. SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment services. SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either through SCCB in-house or through CRPs. There is no evidence of collaboration between SCCB and SCVRD on behalf of customers with multiple diagnoses. Agency performance Surveyed partners and staff were in agreement that geographic access and slow service delivery are the biggest barriers to SCCB services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. SCCB served a very small number of individuals with most significant disabilities over a 3-year period, declining from a total of 18 in 2012 to 8 in 2014. SCCB appears to provide limited services to individuals with cognitive or mental health disabilities. (Page 418)

(RSA Annual Review Report) – Total number of applicants who were SSA recipients, broken down by SSI and SSDI: FY2012 - 57 SSI recipients, 94 SSDI beneficiaries FY2013 - 60 SSI recipients, 126 SSDI beneficiaries SCCB Programming: Asset Development Services - SCCB does not provide benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include:

  • SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

For instance, if an individual with blindness or a vision impairment wanted to go to a training program to become an IT Specialist, then the AJC could fund a part of the training with an ITA, and SCCB could fund part of the training with case service dollars, or provide AT, transportation, or other needed support services. The case becomes a shared case with both entities and the consumer benefits from the employment experience of the AJC and the disability experience of SCCB. SCCB should offer its technical expertise to the SC Works centers to insure they are fully accessible and include the latest and most relevant assistive technology. In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide inservice training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). This is a rarely used model that can bring resources to the SC Works Center and provide support to individuals with blindness and vision impairments for several years. 

SECTION 5 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS IN TRANSITION

The reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act under WIOA places a greater emphasis on the provision of transition services to youth and students with disabilities, especially their need for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 34 CFR 361 and 363 released recently by RSA indicates that the comprehensive statewide needs assessment must include an assessment of the needs of youth and students with disabilities in the State, including their need for Pre-ETS. The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. (Page 426)

2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

School to Work Transition

Students with Disabilities. Based on FY 2014 school district report card data, the statewide total for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) has reached 28,738 (SC Dept. of Education). Comparatively, SCVRD opened 2,253 new cases for students referred through the school system, which represents 15% of the agency’s total new referrals. Successful employment outcomes for clients referred by the school system increased to 1,041, representing 15% of all agency closures. Although SCVRD has made significant inroads in transition services in recent years by ramping up partnerships in schools and dedicating more staffing to school–to–work transition, to meet the new WIOA requirements and the need indicated by the total number of students receiving IDEA services, additional resources and continued focus on this population will be required.

The SCVRD provides a robust set of student and youth services to enhance the transition from school–to–work or other post–secondary training opportunities. As indicated in WIOA, transition counselors provide pre–employment transition services for students prior to their exit from high school, and SCVRD staff continue to provide services to support placement into competitive employment, or completion of post–secondary training and/or credential–based programs. The number of SCVRD successful employment outcomes for transition–aged youth has grown by 48 percent over the past two years.

SCVRD has agreements with each of South Carolina’s public school districts and the S.C. Department of Education for collaborative delivery of school–to–work transition services. SCVRD has a counselor assigned to each public high school in the state, and in some instances an SCVRD counselor is physically located at a school. This entails providing pre–employment transition services to students, including: (Page 38)

Similarly, the SCCB provides student and youth services, including the pre–employment transition services listed above, to enhance the transition from school–to–work or to other post–secondary training opportunities. It recently increased the transition team to better serve students with visual impairments and/or legal blindness. Although SCCB is working to establish formal written agreements with school districts throughout the state, a counselor is currently assigned to each public high school, including the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB). Transition counselors serve a specific territory and collaborate with teachers for the visually impaired and other specialized staff to improve outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

The employment rate for working age people with disabilities (18 to 64) in South Carolina is 29.0%, compared to 74.0% for persons without disabilities (Annual Disability Statistics Compendium). This reflects a 45 point gap in the (Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) between people with and without disabilities. In further detail, only 36.3% of the 24,900 South Carolinians who are blind or have vision loss are employed. Also, 46.8% of the 42,800 individuals with hearing differences are employed and only 21.9% of South Carolinians with intellectual or developmental disabilities are employed. This further illustrates the need for effective utilization of assistive technology solutions and expanding school to work transition programs. (Page 39)

A significant focus of WIOA includes strategies to strengthen school–to–work transition programs and youth programs. This includes specific activities conducted within the secondary school system for students to better prepare them for employment, post–secondary education or post–secondary training. There are also provisions within WIOA to address the needs of out–of–school youth to ensure that they are connected with the services needed to achieve competitive, integrated employment. Strong partnerships with local education agencies, VR service delivery capacity for school–to–work transition services, workforce development programs for youth, and connection with stakeholders involved in student, youth and parent engagement are being deployed in South Carolina. The work of these partnerships will help to prepare the next generation of job seekers for the emerging employment opportunities before exiting school settings, in keeping with the education and career pathways development. ( Page 62)

In carrying out its mission to prepare and assist eligible individuals to achieve and maintain competitive employment, the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) actively seeks referrals and comparable services and benefits. In doing so, the department has established formal and informal partnerships with other providers of facilities and services. For the purpose of referral, service collaboration, facility allocation, and staff designation, cooperative agreements have been established with the following agencies in South Carolina: Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). Detailed agreements between SCVRD and the SCDE describe the coordination of school–to–work transition services and also Adult Education services.

With regard to the S.C. Independent Living Council, the department acts in an advisory and technical support capacity. The SCVRD portion of the Unified State Plan assures that an interagency agreement or similar document for interagency coordination between any appropriate public entities becomes operative. The department has entered into collaborative arrangements with institutions of higher education as well. This is to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, described in Title I of WIOA, is included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual. This includes the provision of vocational rehabilitation services during pending disputes as described in the interagency agreement or similar document. SCVRD will seek to assure the participation of individuals with physical and mental impairments in training and employment opportunities, as appropriate. With the exception of services specified in paragraph (E) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) enacted on July 22, 2014, information shall specify policies and procedures for public entities to identify and determine interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity in order to promote coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services. (Page 194)

Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis. 

  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 202)

SCVRD has an MOU with DDSN. Staff works collaboratively with local Disabilities and Special Needs (DSN) boards and providers in serving individuals in need of supported employment services and long–term follow along supports to maintain competitive, integrated employment. DDSN has representatives on TASC to assist in school–to–work transition efforts as well as ensuring youth with the most significant disabilities have access to the supports needed to gain and maintain competitive employment. Through these efforts, clients/consumers are served in a complementary fashion based on the expertise and distinct roles of each agency. (Page 204)

SCVRD has an extensive HRD department that facilitates training for all employees, with programmatic training being provided by internal and external subject matter experts. The department provides/sponsors trainings that focus on medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of specific disabilities, and feature the application of assistive technology as appropriate. Recent topics include: disability etiquette, brain injury, alcohol/drug addictions, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, autism, deafness and hearing impairments, epilepsy, learning disabilities, musculoskeletal, spinal cord injury, diabetes as well as other disability–specific trainings. Workshops on transition from school to work, HS/HT, supported employment, vocational assessment, serving ex–offenders, serving the Hispanic/Latino population, leadership development, and maintaining a culture of quality were also provided. Counseling skills training is provided on an ongoing basis with a focus on motivational interviewing techniques. A series of statewide trainings focusing on providing specific counseling skills and the application of those skills within the VR setting to counselors and other staff who provide direct services to clients also began in 2013 and will continue for all designated new staff. (Page 212)

TASC is a robust state–level interagency collaborative that works in support of increasing positive post–secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. It has multiple stakeholder agencies and organizations, and supports local level interagency teams through training, technical assistance, and strategic planning. The department continues to coordinate the development of designated staff with emerging initiatives by the SCDE and the 81 local school districts (LEAs) under IDEA and state school–to–work transition efforts. Transition training efforts this year included the following: a two–day transition summer series was conducted for transition staff that included presentations and training on vocational assessment, use of ACT and Work Keys assessments, referral development, best practices, documentation and use of school records, work experiences, using O*Net, and post–secondary training. Selected transition staff participated in a session on active training techniques and self–determination. Over 40 transition staff participated in an annual interagency transition conference, focused on local interagency planning and content sessions focused on effective service delivery for students with disabilities. Youth leaders also participated in the conference. (Page 213)

Items covered in the agreement include:

Student identification and exchange of information, procedures for outreach to students with disabilities who need transition services, methods for dispute resolution, consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for school–to–work transition activities, and the requirements for regular monitoring of the agreement. Timing of student referrals is individualized based on need but should generally occur no later than the second semester of the year prior to the student’s exit from school. (Page 226)

Strategy 1.1 Improve the quality of employment outcomes for eligible individuals with disabilities.

Objective 1.1.1 Support continuous improvement within Program Integrity: Productivity, Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services.

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes. (Page 297-298)

 

Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures.

Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services. 

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes

Goal 2 We will be a team of highly qualified professionals who have the commitment, accountability and opportunity to excel. 

Strategy 2.1 Provide training to equip staff to provide quality vocational rehabilitation services.

Objective 2.1.1 Develop training based on needs assessment in accordance with the State Plan. (Page 307)

Strategies that contributed to the achievement of overall goals and specific objectives included:

  • Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 347)

The following programs have recently been implemented or expanded to enhance transition services: 

  • Junior Student Internship Program (JSIP) – The SCCB provides eligible high school students who an opportunity to gain valuable work experience during a summer internship with business partners throughout the state. Participants receive a stipend upon successful completion of the program. This program is also available to college students. 

Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students 

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program. (Page 439-440)

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, (Page 445)

Data Collection

Rallying for Inclusive, Successful Employment (RISE). RISE is a comprehensive, systematic approach to increasing employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Projects and services include: supporting and participating in the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, hosting community workshops for families, partnering with the University of South Carolina (USC) to improve data collection on barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities, and providing individualized employment and empowerment services to consumers.

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others. (Page 42)

A State-level Vision for System Integration has been outlined with an initial timeline. Activities that have occurred or are in process include the following: review of final rules regarding performance and reporting, review of current intake forms/applications, and identification of common elements and referral processes. Early fall activities will include a review of system needs and project planning in the context of final reporting guidelines and data collection instructions. Each core program is adapting and making changes to data collection and reporting systems to adhere to the final reporting requirements. (Page 81)

SCCB’s data collection process consists of data that is collected directly from consumers, medical health providers (eye and medical doctors), educational institutions, consumer organizations and advocacy groups, and the Social Security Administration. Although Counselors in all consumer services programs have the primary responsibility of collecting and entering data, other staff, such as Counselor Assistants, Supervisors and service providers, can also collect and enter consumer data as needed.

As the SCCB works toward adopting a fully integrated case management, data collection, and reporting system that is shared by all core programs, it will need to reexamine its data collection and reporting processes so that they are consistent and aligned across partner agencies. (Page 94)

This initiative aligns with SCVRD’s longstanding commitment to its Program Integrity model, which seeks a balance among productivity, customer service, and compliance assurance. Each of those components has measurable results and can be used to evaluate the agency at levels ranging from specific caseload or work unit up to an agency-wide level. National standards and indicators, issued by the agency’s parent federal organization, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, are also critical measures of SCVRD’s success. The agency’s performance levels in meeting those standards have been consistently high. The agency is proactively integrating the new WIOA common performance measures into program evaluation, data collection and management information reports. (Page 108)

The South Carolina workforce system continuously seeks ways to improve processes, policies, services and outcomes for job seekers and employers. As such, the core program partners will work alongside the SWDB and LWDBs to identify areas of opportunity that would benefit from further evaluation and research. For example, the new legislation highlights the need for system and data integration among core programs. In 2015, a partner agency work group began to research existing unified data collection and reporting systems in addition to other methods of data sharing. Although the group’s work is still in its infancy, several systems have been demonstrated and options for portals or overlays to existing systems have been explored. As the federal oversight agencies provide more guidance on performance measures and reporting requirements, the work group can further hone the study to determine precise system needs.

The state will also coordinate evaluation and research projects with those provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education. (Page 109)

Data collection efforts solicited input from a broad spectrum of VR stakeholders, including persons with blindness and vision impairments, service providers, SCCB staff and businesses.

It is expected that data from the needs assessment effort will provide SCCB and the Board of Directors with direction when creating the VR portion of the Unified State Plan and when planning for future program development, outreach and resource allocation. (Page 104)

Data collection. Data was gathered from SCCB staff through the use of an Internet-based survey. All 125 staff were sent an electronic invitation and link to the survey. Approximately one week after the initial distribution, a subsequent notice was sent as both a “thank you” to those who had completed the survey and a reminder to those who had not. A third and final invitation was sent out 5 weeks after the second invitation. Surveys were then placed into “inactive” status and the data analyzed.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the staff survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses to the electronic surveys were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the business survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents. (Page 406)

In interviews with staff, it was indicated that these individuals “tend to sit around,” receiving no services. There is a significant gap between the needs of and services available to individuals with the most significant disabilities. Agency services appear to be targeted to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and have no additional disabilities. Individuals with cognitive and mental disabilities in addition to blindness appear to be significantly underserved, and in many cases may receive no substantial services. There is also a significant gap in the employment outcomes for these populations. Results by Data Collection Method Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Quantitative Data on Barriers and Improvements National and/or Agency Specific Data Related to the Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, including their need for Supported Employment. SCCB uses a definition for MSD consistent with federal requirements. SSA Beneficiaries SSA Beneficiaries Applying for SCCB Services (SCCB data) - Total number and percentage of applicants who were SSA recipients: 2012: 169 (29%) 2013: 134 (25%) 2014: 88 (21%) SSI/SSDI Recipients. (Page 418)

Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. South Carolina is one of only four states in the country to see an over 150% increase (specifically 167%, the 2nd highest in the nation) in the Hispanic population from 2000- 2013. ? 68% of SC residents are White. African-Americans make up 28% of the general population. (Page 421)

The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. In 2013, there were 12,700 individuals with blindness or vision impairment aged 20 and under. 57% of South Carolina residents with disabilities under the age of 18 live in poverty. 35% of South Carolina residents with disabilities attained a level of education equivalent to a high school diploma, and 12% attained a level of education equivalent to a college degree. Agency performance From 2012 to 2014, the rate of transition-age youth served by SCCB was 50% or more lower than the national average for Blind agencies. SCCB reported zero successful outcomes for transition age youth over the 2012-2014 reporting period. In its 2010 monitoring report, RSA recommended that SCCB expand its array of programming, including services for transition-age youth. The agency responded that transition programming would be expanded, but this had not been accomplished as of the end of 2015. (Page 425)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting. (Page 445)

Career Pathways

Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. (Page 303)

Findings of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment indicate that SCCB needs to reestablish Cooperative Agreements and community partnerships. SCCB is committed to becoming a cooperative and collaborative partner with community entities wherever such reciprocal relationships can benefit consumers and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the VR program. SCCB will vigilantly seek out community partnerships that enhance our ability to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services that lead to competitive integrated employment outcomes and career pathways. SCCB will develop and maintain new Cooperative Agreements with the following entities not carrying out activities under the Statewide Workforce Development System: 

  • The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of South Carolina for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • South Carolina Association of the Deaf, Inc.
  • Goodwill Industries for the purposes of providing statewide access to job readiness and computer skills training.
  • The Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for the purpose of expanding training options for consumers who are Deaf/Blind and need training beyond the scope of programs provided at the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC).
  • And informal partnerships with community based partners such as faith based organizations, charitable organizations, and non–governmental community based organizations. (Page 374)

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity, resources, and staff expertise to provide Job Driven vocational counseling and guidance that utilizes Labor Market Information and aligns with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project and Sector Strategies initiatives to assist eligible consumers in accessing career pathways that lead to high and middle skill/income jobs.

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity to assist eligible consumers in the development of occupational knowledge, skills, and abilities that culminate in obtaining industry recognized credentials to include GED attainment, certifications, degrees, apprenticeships, occupational licensure, among others.

Gap: SCCB will build VR program capacities, expertise, and partnerships to provide improved transition services including Pre–Employment Transition Services to students who are blind or visually impaired. (Page 390)

Priority 2.1: Align VR Counseling with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project, Emphasizing Career Pathways, Attainment of Industry Recognized Credentials, Job Driven/Sector Strategies & Labor Market Information

Strategy 2.1.1: Staff Training SCCB in collaboration with the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Business Intelligence Unit staff will conduct extensive SCCB staff training during FFY 2016 in order to expand VR staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to access current Local Labor Market Information, conduct Job Driven research, utilize Job Driven and Sector Strategies to provide informed choice and guidance to consumers in selecting vocational goals, assessing skills, locating vocational training to close skill gaps, and connect skilled consumers with existing or emerging vacant positions. (Page 439)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. This is an expansion of a proven model. (Page 445)

Employment Networks

Able SC is approved by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to serve ticket beneficiaries as an Employment Network (EN) under SSA’s Ticket to Work program (discussed in more detail below), and also serves as the host and facilitator for the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, an organization that addresses employment barriers for individuals with disabilities.

SC Disability Employment Coalition. The S.C. Disability Employment Coalition is a statewide systems improvement effort that comprises a broad stakeholder group working to improve employment recruitment, retention, and advancement for South Carolinians with disabilities.  (Page 40)

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities. (Page 42)

C.   THE DESIGNATED STATE UNIT WILL COORDINATE ACTIVITIES WITH ANY OTHER STATE AGENCY THAT IS FUNCTIONING AS AN EMPLOYMENT NETWORK UNDER THE TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 1148 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. (Page 364)

In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide in service training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). (Page 425)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 26

SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Employment First In South Carolina

One of the greatest challenges faced by people with disabilities has been securing and maintaining meaningful employment . SCDDSN believes that most people who want a job should be able to have one and regardless of his or her disability, can work if provided with necessary and appropriate supports. Employment First Assumes the following: 1) Assumes employment is the preferred day services option for adults with disability 2) Assumes people with disabilities require/ want services/support to obtain or maintain employment 3) Promotes Employment rather than non-work services options as the primary option for adults from the first contracts through all contracts 4) Arms Staff with a thorough knowledge of employment service/ supports and of employment related solutions/issues, 5) Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful considerations and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful 6) Responds quickly to those choosing employment without extending waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-works options. 7) Has in place well qualified providers who can readily: - Assess readiness and preferences - Match people to and place people in appropriate jobs selected from and array of possibility - Provide on the job training and coaching - Provide support as needed to sustain employment

Systems
  • Other

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs: Employment First Position

“…SCDDSN embraces the principle of ‘employment first” as an approach to service delivery. As such “employment first’:

1. Assumes employment is the preferred day service option for adults with disabilities;2. Assumes people with disabilities require/want services/support to obtain and/or maintain employment3. Promotes employment, rather than non-work service options, as the primary option for adults from the first contact and through all contacts. Arms staff with a thorough knowledge of employment services/supports and of employment related issues/solutions;4. Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful consideration and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful;,5. Responds quickly to those choosing employment, without extended waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-work options6. Has in place well-qualified providers…”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Supported Employment Programs - 05/30/2013

• “Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidenced-based supported employment best practice model. IPS is collaboration between South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD). Since 2005 these state agencies have combined resources and personnel to implement the IPS Supported Employment model. The goal of this partnership is to place people with serve mental illness in competitive employment. Through the collaboration of this Supported Employment model, SCVRD and SCDMH are able to provide an integrated and seamless employment service delivery that results in improved employment outcomes for people with severe mental illness.”

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

The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC)

“The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC) is spearheaded by the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine. Utilizing funding and support from TASC partners, project staff housed at the Center for Disability Resources developed an infrastructure to support local interagency transition teams.  Project activities are focused on providing interagency teams the resources to increase their capacity to collaboratively and effectively serve young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are transitioning from high school to adult life.”

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

South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition

The SC Disability Employment Coalition (SCDEC) formed in the fall of 2014 to address employment barriers for individuals with disabilities in South Carolina. SCDEC stakeholders represent SC employers, state, and private agencies. SCDEC members meet quarterly. The SCDEC currently has three work committees that meet on a monthly basis. The Coalition is currently comprised of over 20 stakeholder organizations and individuals. The organizations below are currently represented on the Coalition. The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition is made possible by funding from the Southeast ADA Center and SC Developmental Disabilities Council

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE)

“People with all types of disabilities are employed, pursuing careers and building assets just like people without disabilities… Through advocacy and education, APSE advances employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Employment Development Initiative - 10/01/2012

“In an effort to assist State Mental Health Authorities, in close collaboration with Single State Authorities, in planning and implementing activities to foster increased employment opportunities for people with mental health and/or substance use disorders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) created the Employment Development Initiative (EDI).

This initiative provides, on a competitive basis, modest funding awards in the form of fixed-price subcontracts between the Contractor, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and the States, Territories and District of Columbia. In addition, each awardee will receive two consultant technical assistance visits coordinated and paid through the Contractor's portion of the project." South Carolina received an EDI award for its program Integration Peer Support into Supported Employment.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

South Carolina Youth Employment Services (YES)

“South Carolina was awarded a federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) transition demonstration grant in 2007 to fund the Youth Employment Services (YES) program in several schools. SCVRD used the Guideposts to design the YES program activities led by SCVRD’s transition staff… As a part of the demonstration project, SCVRD created agreements with the project schools to locate SCVRD’s transition staff within the school. This provided SCVRD’s staff with greater access to the VR-eligible students and opportunities to develop relationships with the youth, families, and school personnel.”

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

Sourh Carolina SAMHSA Grant - "Health Mind Body Alliance"

“The integration model brings primary care into state community mental health clinics. Clinics are located in the underserved rural counties of Marlboro, Dillon, and Chesterfield South Carolina and the initial strategy included an FQHC [Federal Qualified Health Center]. Year two enrollment target is to serve 150 unduplicated clients (During the first quarters of year two for the grant 194 clients unduplicated clients were enrolled). Services are accessible to all consenting adult clients of TCCMHC [Tri-County Community Mental Health Center] with serious mental illness (Excepting incarcerated clients).”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

No Training/Capacity Building have been entered for this state.

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

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

SC Community Supports (0676.R01.00) - 07/01/2012

Provides adult day health care, personal care, respite care, waiver case management, incontinence supplies, adult day health care-nursing, adult day health care-transportation, assistive technology and appliances, behavior support, career preparation, community services, day activity, employment services, environmental mods, in-home support, PERS, private vehicle mods, support center services for individuals w/IID ages 0 - no max age.

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

South Carolina ESEA Flexibility Request - 02/28/2012

“South Carolina’s college and career readiness aspirations extend to all students, including those who need additional support and consideration because English is not their first language or due to a disability. To help ensure that we effectively analyze the linguistic demands of the CCSS to inform development of corresponding standards specific to these students that enable their success.”

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

South Carolina Statewide Transition Plan – Revised (HCBS)

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) gives notice that the revised draft Statewide Transition Plan, required per Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Rule (42 CFR 441.301(c)(6)),was submitted on March 31, 2016 to CMS for review. It will be effective upon CMS approval.

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

South Carolina Medicaid State Plan

Medicaid is a federal-state partnership. Federal regulations provide a framework for each state to build a unique Medicaid program. States must all comply with some basic requirements such as:  • Serving certain mandatory populations like poverty-level children and low-income pregnant women; • Providing certain mandatory services like hospital care and physician services; • Providing services that are “sufficient in amount, duration, and scope to reasonably achieve (their) purpose;” and, • Providing services throughout the state.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

South Carolina Community Choices Medicaid Waiver

“This Medicaid program is also referred to as the Elderly and Disabled Waiver. It allows individuals who require nursing home level care and assistance with their activities of daily living to receive care in their communities or homes instead of in nursing homes. There is a condition associated with the waiver which states that the cost of the care at home cannot exceed a certain percentage of the cost for the same care in a nursing home.”

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

South Carolina Medicaid Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

States - Phablet

Snapshot

The Palmetto State is "Prepared in Mind and Resources" when it comes to improving supports for individuals with disabilities to increase access to competitive, integrated employment and socioeconomic advancement in South Carolina.

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 South Carolina’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.3%
Change from
2014 to 2015
4,896,146
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.29%
Change from
2014 to 2015
370,744
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.5%
Change from
2014 to 2015
106,350
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.19%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28.69%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.39%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.33%

State Data

General

2015
Population. 4,896,146
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 370,744
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 106,350
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,908,376
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 28.69%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.33%
Overall unemployment rate. 6.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 22.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.70%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 344,318
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 368,421
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 483,588
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 204,296
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 16,894
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,757
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 2,842
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 14,434
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 4,383

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 4,430
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 4.00%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 178,822

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 1,475
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,386
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 12,607
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 11.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 339
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 9,724
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04

 

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. 88
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 53
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. 60.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 1.08

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015
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. 4,918
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 25,222
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. $11,773,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $19,278,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $21,209,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $6,178,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 912
Number of people served in facility based work. 2,846
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 3,131
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 45.00

 

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). 58.26%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 17.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 96.60%
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). 25.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 53.64%
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). 58.10%
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). 28.09%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,561,788
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 3,877
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 14,767
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 510,687
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 525,454
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 143
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 743
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 886
AbilityOne wages (products). $80,150
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,233,265

 

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). 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 37
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). 3,257
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 86
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 3,343

 

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)

No specific disability related information found.

Customized Employment

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas.  (Page 385)

SCCB should consider developing partnerships with other state agencies, including SCVRD, to determine if individuals with most significant disabilities who are also blind and visually impaired can be served in existing programs. SCCB should consider modification of its programs at EBMRC to address the needs of individuals with most significant disabilities. Specifically, SCCB should investigate how Supported Employment and Customized Employment can be integrated into EBMRC’s programs. SCCB should consider assigning a program administrator the responsibilities of reaching out to individuals with the most significant disabilities and overseeing services that meet their needs. Once SCCB either creates or gains access to Supported Employment programs, these programs should have administrative oversight as well. In compliance with WIOA, SCCB should investigate the options for creating Customized Employment programs that would serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. While there are several organizations around the country that provide training in Customized Employment, it should be noted that training alone will not increase SCCB’s capacity to serve individuals with most significant disabilities. Extensive planning, partnership development, policy and fee structure development are also needed. SCCB should develop an extensive strategic plan around building capacity for serving this population. SECTION 3 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH BLINDNESS AND VISION IMPAIRMENTS FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS, INCLUDING NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN UNSERVED OR UNDERSERVED BY THE VR PROGRAM Section 3 identifies the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by SCCB. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. (Page 421)

Priority 2.2: Increase Employment for those with Most Significant Disabilities 

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and on–going supports for consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI.

Strategy 2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

Strategy 2.4.3: Staff Training & Development in Evidence Based Practice SCCB will invest in staff training and development in VR evidence based practices such as: Motivational Interviewing; Customized Employment; Discovery Assessment; Supported Employment; Individual Placement and Supports; Integrating Labor Market Information into Vocational Goal Setting, IPE Development and Informed Choice.

Strategy 2.4.4: Summer Internship Program (SIP) SCCB will continue to offer the successful Summer Internship Program (SIP) where college students engage in a paid summer internship program in their chosen field of study. Students complete a set number of working internship hours and receive a stipend upon successful completion. SIP has a proven track record of influencing the obtainment of permanent employment. (Page 441)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

SCCB is committed to ensuring that services are provided in an equitable manner and are fully accessible. SCCB reviews, assesses and monitors agency programs to conduct continuous improvement activities. The greatest gap identified in the 2016 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment pertained to the lack of a Supported Employment program at SCCB.

In response SCCB has committed itself to

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. As well as

Strategy 1.2.2: Engagement with Department of Disability & Special Needs SCCB will engage with DDSN to develop a new Cooperative Agreement designed to improve collaboration and leverage long term supported employment funding to meet the needs of persons with Most Significant Disabilities. (Page 446)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Additionally, the continued use of collaborative work groups allows partners to gain a better understanding of the resources available and to identify opportunities for braiding and leveraging resources. (Page 56)

As mentioned previously, the SWDB approved funding for EvolveSC, a grant program that allows businesses to develop a training program in partnership with technical colleges that meet employer skill needs and improves educational access for incumbent workers and newly hired employees. EvolveSC is another example of braiding and leveraging resources to increase educational access. Co-enrollment strategies also facilitate resource sharing across workforce development programs. One of the state’s strategies for alignment and coordination is co-enrollment across core, mandatory, and optional programs, replicating the co-enrollment practice that already exists between TAA and WIOA and increasing access to education and training, case management, and supportive services.

 In addition to the examples provided above, the state will continue to seek grant funding opportunities that align with the state’s vision and strategic goals for workforce development and coordinate with colleges that receive grants. (Page 86)

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.

South Carolina’s one–stop delivery system is designed to be fully accessible so that all job seekers and employers can participate in the services offered. The Methods of Administration (MOA) – a state document required by the Civil Rights Center – is a “living” document that ensures current federal regulations and directives are implemented at the state and local level expeditiously, and details how compliance with WIOA Section 188 will be accomplished. Monitoring performed at both the state and local level ensures that all SC Works Centers are in compliance with Section 188 of WIOA, the ADA, and other applicable regulations. Individuals who seek to utilize South Carolina’s workforce system can expect facilities, whether physical or virtual (e.g., SC Works Online Services) to meet federally–mandated accessibility standards. Complaints of discrimination are directed to the State Equal Opportunity Officer. (Page 123)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

The South Carolina Workforce Development Board (SWDB) approved $741,235 to fund an EvolveSC pilot for Program Year 2015. Through EvolveSC, businesses, either individually or as a consortium, can apply for training grants to upskill their existing workforce. Additionally, EvolveSC provides nationally recognized certificate training for new hires in order to meet the requirements for entry level positions. Twenty–five Evolve SC grants have been awarded to fund training in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare, construction, transportation, logistics, and distribution. (Page 31)

The DD Council is federally funded by the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act) and consists of consumers and family members, DD Act partners, and non–governmental organizations. The DD Council provides leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The council recently funded several pilot projects across the state, including Ready, Set to Go to Work, Project Inclusion, and STEP for SC. In addition to providing employment–training experiences for students with disabilities, these pilot projects also fund the training of job coaches and other support professionals who work directly with students.

A brief description of each project is provided below.

Project Inclusion. Executed by Able SC, Project Inclusion is a pilot project that connects independent living specialists with students with disabilities to promote transition to adulthood with an emphasis on community–based employment in Abbeville, Laurens, and Fairfield counties. Activities include classroom instruction on topics related to employment skills development, self–advocacy during IEP meetings, and rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Several school districts have integrated these activities into their curricula, including Laurens and Fairfield School Districts.

STEP for SC. STEP for SC is a pilot project executed by Community Options, Inc. in the Midlands region that connects high school students with disabilities with community–based career experiences. A job coach assesses students’ job skills and provides training so students are able to participate in community–based internships at local businesses. Job coaches work with students to transition internship experiences and supports into job accommodations and employment.

SCCB Summer Teen Program. As previously mentioned, SCCB also operates the Summer Teen Program which provides five weeks of vocational exploration, job shadowing and internship opportunities, as well as adjustment to blindness training, work readiness and self–advocacy skills training. The Student Internship Program (SIP) provides paid summer internships to college seniors and juniors in their field of study. (Page 41)

Similarly, DEW and DSS are piloting a co–enrollment partnership in the Pee Dee LWDA where DEW provides case management and works with DSS clients to develop an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). DEW also provides workshops and helps DSS clients obtain employment. More recently, the Governor announced that the SNAP E&T program will be transferred to DEW resulting in better alignment and coordination of programs that help individuals prepare for competitive employment. (Page 43)

Manning One–Stop Pilot. DEW and SCDC are partnering to help offenders find jobs through a work ready initiative that launched in November 2014. With onsite support from SC Works at the Manning Correctional Institution, this venture allows inmates to apply to participate in a series of workshops that develop important capabilities including computer skills, interview techniques, resume writing and work assessments testing. After completing the required workshops and intensive services, job–ready participants are referred to a recruiter or career development specialists for additional training and services. DEW also assists in getting each inmate that successfully completes the program bonded through the Federal Bonding Program. (Page 44)

Goal 2, Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include:

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting (Page 445)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Very few deaf-blind consumers applied for services over the 3-year period. Vision impaired is the disability-type most highly represented among SCCB applicants, although the percentage declined from 61% to 53% over the three years while those classified as “Other” climbed from 13% to 20%. In each of the three years 2012 to 2014, individuals with the most significant disabilities were virtually unserved by VR, declining in number from 18 to 8, and from 5% to 2.5% of all applicants, over the 3-year period. According to SCCB, 21% of its 2014 consumers were SSA beneficiaries. While it is unclear whether these individuals have more significant disabilities than other consumers, it is evident that SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn less per hour and work fewer hours per week than non-beneficiaries, suggesting that they have more employment-related challenges. Many of these individuals and their families are concerned about losing the safety net that is provided by either SSI or SSDI if they go to work.

These fears may adversely affect return-to-work behavior and result in settling for part-time work that keeps them under the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount, or prevents them from going over the “cashcliff.” Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include: SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

Benefits
  • 55,700 persons with disabilities aged 18 to 64 receive benefits. (Page 23) 

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities.

Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is an international program first developed in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There are 300 programs across 46 states and five other countries. South Carolina currently has two Project Search locations – Spartanburg and Columbia – based at regional hospitals. (Page 42)

Job Seeker Services. There is at least one comprehensive SC Works Center in each LWDA and one or more satellite center or access point. Through these centers, job seekers can access WIOA programs and Wagner–Peyser Employment Services. Individuals can also get assistance filing for UI benefits and reemployment assistance, including but not limited to: looking for a job, resume preparation, and interviewing skills workshops. Job seekers can also access employment services and manage UI benefits remotely using SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) and the MyBenefits (Page 54)

Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age.

Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1 (Page 248)

Frequency: annual Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1. Item 17 Performance Measure: Reimbursement from Social Security Administration for SCVRD Job Placements Last Value: $906,146 Current Value: (Page 350)

  • South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission (WCC) to facilitate the referral process of injured workers to SCCB to enhance return–to–work efforts;
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) to collaborate on employment incentives and supports and maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program;
  • South Carolina Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) to help identify veterans who need additional supports in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services;
  • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) to eliminate potential duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to eliminate duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • SCCB will develop a Cooperative Agreement with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to collaborate, coordinate, eliminate potential duplication of services, and enhance the employment outcomes of shared consumer populations. (Page 369)

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. (Page 385)
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. 

Section Three: Needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

The most common themes that emerged in this area were: (Page 397)

SECTION 2 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES, INCLUDING THEIR NEED FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT 

Section 2 provides an assessment of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment, as conveyed by statistical data and as expressed by the different groups interviewed and surveyed. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities including their need for supported employment: Indicators Employers’ perceptions, lack of education and training and job skills, and geographic access to services and jobs were all identified by key informants as major barriers to employment for individuals with most significant disabilities. A large majority of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits, and fear of benefit loss affects their return-to-work behavior. Staff and partners agree that employment barriers are different for individuals with most significant disabilities than for the general population. SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment services. SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either through SCCB in-house or through CRPs. There is no evidence of collaboration between SCCB and SCVRD on behalf of customers with multiple diagnoses. Agency performance Surveyed partners and staff were in agreement that geographic access and slow service delivery are the biggest barriers to SCCB services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. SCCB served a very small number of individuals with most significant disabilities over a 3-year period, declining from a total of 18 in 2012 to 8 in 2014. SCCB appears to provide limited services to individuals with cognitive or mental health disabilities. (Page 418)

(RSA Annual Review Report) – Total number of applicants who were SSA recipients, broken down by SSI and SSDI: FY2012 - 57 SSI recipients, 94 SSDI beneficiaries FY2013 - 60 SSI recipients, 126 SSDI beneficiaries SCCB Programming: Asset Development Services - SCCB does not provide benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include:

  • SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

For instance, if an individual with blindness or a vision impairment wanted to go to a training program to become an IT Specialist, then the AJC could fund a part of the training with an ITA, and SCCB could fund part of the training with case service dollars, or provide AT, transportation, or other needed support services. The case becomes a shared case with both entities and the consumer benefits from the employment experience of the AJC and the disability experience of SCCB. SCCB should offer its technical expertise to the SC Works centers to insure they are fully accessible and include the latest and most relevant assistive technology. In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide inservice training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). This is a rarely used model that can bring resources to the SC Works Center and provide support to individuals with blindness and vision impairments for several years. 

SECTION 5 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS IN TRANSITION

The reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act under WIOA places a greater emphasis on the provision of transition services to youth and students with disabilities, especially their need for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 34 CFR 361 and 363 released recently by RSA indicates that the comprehensive statewide needs assessment must include an assessment of the needs of youth and students with disabilities in the State, including their need for Pre-ETS. The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. (Page 426)

2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

School to Work Transition

Students with Disabilities. Based on FY 2014 school district report card data, the statewide total for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) has reached 28,738 (SC Dept. of Education). Comparatively, SCVRD opened 2,253 new cases for students referred through the school system, which represents 15% of the agency’s total new referrals. Successful employment outcomes for clients referred by the school system increased to 1,041, representing 15% of all agency closures. Although SCVRD has made significant inroads in transition services in recent years by ramping up partnerships in schools and dedicating more staffing to school–to–work transition, to meet the new WIOA requirements and the need indicated by the total number of students receiving IDEA services, additional resources and continued focus on this population will be required.

The SCVRD provides a robust set of student and youth services to enhance the transition from school–to–work or other post–secondary training opportunities. As indicated in WIOA, transition counselors provide pre–employment transition services for students prior to their exit from high school, and SCVRD staff continue to provide services to support placement into competitive employment, or completion of post–secondary training and/or credential–based programs. The number of SCVRD successful employment outcomes for transition–aged youth has grown by 48 percent over the past two years.

SCVRD has agreements with each of South Carolina’s public school districts and the S.C. Department of Education for collaborative delivery of school–to–work transition services. SCVRD has a counselor assigned to each public high school in the state, and in some instances an SCVRD counselor is physically located at a school. This entails providing pre–employment transition services to students, including: (Page 38)

Similarly, the SCCB provides student and youth services, including the pre–employment transition services listed above, to enhance the transition from school–to–work or to other post–secondary training opportunities. It recently increased the transition team to better serve students with visual impairments and/or legal blindness. Although SCCB is working to establish formal written agreements with school districts throughout the state, a counselor is currently assigned to each public high school, including the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB). Transition counselors serve a specific territory and collaborate with teachers for the visually impaired and other specialized staff to improve outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

The employment rate for working age people with disabilities (18 to 64) in South Carolina is 29.0%, compared to 74.0% for persons without disabilities (Annual Disability Statistics Compendium). This reflects a 45 point gap in the (Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) between people with and without disabilities. In further detail, only 36.3% of the 24,900 South Carolinians who are blind or have vision loss are employed. Also, 46.8% of the 42,800 individuals with hearing differences are employed and only 21.9% of South Carolinians with intellectual or developmental disabilities are employed. This further illustrates the need for effective utilization of assistive technology solutions and expanding school to work transition programs. (Page 39)

A significant focus of WIOA includes strategies to strengthen school–to–work transition programs and youth programs. This includes specific activities conducted within the secondary school system for students to better prepare them for employment, post–secondary education or post–secondary training. There are also provisions within WIOA to address the needs of out–of–school youth to ensure that they are connected with the services needed to achieve competitive, integrated employment. Strong partnerships with local education agencies, VR service delivery capacity for school–to–work transition services, workforce development programs for youth, and connection with stakeholders involved in student, youth and parent engagement are being deployed in South Carolina. The work of these partnerships will help to prepare the next generation of job seekers for the emerging employment opportunities before exiting school settings, in keeping with the education and career pathways development. ( Page 62)

In carrying out its mission to prepare and assist eligible individuals to achieve and maintain competitive employment, the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) actively seeks referrals and comparable services and benefits. In doing so, the department has established formal and informal partnerships with other providers of facilities and services. For the purpose of referral, service collaboration, facility allocation, and staff designation, cooperative agreements have been established with the following agencies in South Carolina: Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). Detailed agreements between SCVRD and the SCDE describe the coordination of school–to–work transition services and also Adult Education services.

With regard to the S.C. Independent Living Council, the department acts in an advisory and technical support capacity. The SCVRD portion of the Unified State Plan assures that an interagency agreement or similar document for interagency coordination between any appropriate public entities becomes operative. The department has entered into collaborative arrangements with institutions of higher education as well. This is to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, described in Title I of WIOA, is included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual. This includes the provision of vocational rehabilitation services during pending disputes as described in the interagency agreement or similar document. SCVRD will seek to assure the participation of individuals with physical and mental impairments in training and employment opportunities, as appropriate. With the exception of services specified in paragraph (E) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) enacted on July 22, 2014, information shall specify policies and procedures for public entities to identify and determine interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity in order to promote coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services. (Page 194)

Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis. 

  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 202)

SCVRD has an MOU with DDSN. Staff works collaboratively with local Disabilities and Special Needs (DSN) boards and providers in serving individuals in need of supported employment services and long–term follow along supports to maintain competitive, integrated employment. DDSN has representatives on TASC to assist in school–to–work transition efforts as well as ensuring youth with the most significant disabilities have access to the supports needed to gain and maintain competitive employment. Through these efforts, clients/consumers are served in a complementary fashion based on the expertise and distinct roles of each agency. (Page 204)

SCVRD has an extensive HRD department that facilitates training for all employees, with programmatic training being provided by internal and external subject matter experts. The department provides/sponsors trainings that focus on medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of specific disabilities, and feature the application of assistive technology as appropriate. Recent topics include: disability etiquette, brain injury, alcohol/drug addictions, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, autism, deafness and hearing impairments, epilepsy, learning disabilities, musculoskeletal, spinal cord injury, diabetes as well as other disability–specific trainings. Workshops on transition from school to work, HS/HT, supported employment, vocational assessment, serving ex–offenders, serving the Hispanic/Latino population, leadership development, and maintaining a culture of quality were also provided. Counseling skills training is provided on an ongoing basis with a focus on motivational interviewing techniques. A series of statewide trainings focusing on providing specific counseling skills and the application of those skills within the VR setting to counselors and other staff who provide direct services to clients also began in 2013 and will continue for all designated new staff. (Page 212)

TASC is a robust state–level interagency collaborative that works in support of increasing positive post–secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. It has multiple stakeholder agencies and organizations, and supports local level interagency teams through training, technical assistance, and strategic planning. The department continues to coordinate the development of designated staff with emerging initiatives by the SCDE and the 81 local school districts (LEAs) under IDEA and state school–to–work transition efforts. Transition training efforts this year included the following: a two–day transition summer series was conducted for transition staff that included presentations and training on vocational assessment, use of ACT and Work Keys assessments, referral development, best practices, documentation and use of school records, work experiences, using O*Net, and post–secondary training. Selected transition staff participated in a session on active training techniques and self–determination. Over 40 transition staff participated in an annual interagency transition conference, focused on local interagency planning and content sessions focused on effective service delivery for students with disabilities. Youth leaders also participated in the conference. (Page 213)

Items covered in the agreement include:

Student identification and exchange of information, procedures for outreach to students with disabilities who need transition services, methods for dispute resolution, consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for school–to–work transition activities, and the requirements for regular monitoring of the agreement. Timing of student referrals is individualized based on need but should generally occur no later than the second semester of the year prior to the student’s exit from school. (Page 226)

Strategy 1.1 Improve the quality of employment outcomes for eligible individuals with disabilities.

Objective 1.1.1 Support continuous improvement within Program Integrity: Productivity, Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services.

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes. (Page 297-298)

 

Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures.

Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services. 

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes

Goal 2 We will be a team of highly qualified professionals who have the commitment, accountability and opportunity to excel. 

Strategy 2.1 Provide training to equip staff to provide quality vocational rehabilitation services.

Objective 2.1.1 Develop training based on needs assessment in accordance with the State Plan. (Page 307)

Strategies that contributed to the achievement of overall goals and specific objectives included:

  • Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 347)

The following programs have recently been implemented or expanded to enhance transition services: 

  • Junior Student Internship Program (JSIP) – The SCCB provides eligible high school students who an opportunity to gain valuable work experience during a summer internship with business partners throughout the state. Participants receive a stipend upon successful completion of the program. This program is also available to college students. 

Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students 

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program. (Page 439-440)

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, (Page 445)

Data Collection

Rallying for Inclusive, Successful Employment (RISE). RISE is a comprehensive, systematic approach to increasing employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Projects and services include: supporting and participating in the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, hosting community workshops for families, partnering with the University of South Carolina (USC) to improve data collection on barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities, and providing individualized employment and empowerment services to consumers.

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others. (Page 42)

A State-level Vision for System Integration has been outlined with an initial timeline. Activities that have occurred or are in process include the following: review of final rules regarding performance and reporting, review of current intake forms/applications, and identification of common elements and referral processes. Early fall activities will include a review of system needs and project planning in the context of final reporting guidelines and data collection instructions. Each core program is adapting and making changes to data collection and reporting systems to adhere to the final reporting requirements. (Page 81)

SCCB’s data collection process consists of data that is collected directly from consumers, medical health providers (eye and medical doctors), educational institutions, consumer organizations and advocacy groups, and the Social Security Administration. Although Counselors in all consumer services programs have the primary responsibility of collecting and entering data, other staff, such as Counselor Assistants, Supervisors and service providers, can also collect and enter consumer data as needed.

As the SCCB works toward adopting a fully integrated case management, data collection, and reporting system that is shared by all core programs, it will need to reexamine its data collection and reporting processes so that they are consistent and aligned across partner agencies. (Page 94)

This initiative aligns with SCVRD’s longstanding commitment to its Program Integrity model, which seeks a balance among productivity, customer service, and compliance assurance. Each of those components has measurable results and can be used to evaluate the agency at levels ranging from specific caseload or work unit up to an agency-wide level. National standards and indicators, issued by the agency’s parent federal organization, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, are also critical measures of SCVRD’s success. The agency’s performance levels in meeting those standards have been consistently high. The agency is proactively integrating the new WIOA common performance measures into program evaluation, data collection and management information reports. (Page 108)

The South Carolina workforce system continuously seeks ways to improve processes, policies, services and outcomes for job seekers and employers. As such, the core program partners will work alongside the SWDB and LWDBs to identify areas of opportunity that would benefit from further evaluation and research. For example, the new legislation highlights the need for system and data integration among core programs. In 2015, a partner agency work group began to research existing unified data collection and reporting systems in addition to other methods of data sharing. Although the group’s work is still in its infancy, several systems have been demonstrated and options for portals or overlays to existing systems have been explored. As the federal oversight agencies provide more guidance on performance measures and reporting requirements, the work group can further hone the study to determine precise system needs.

The state will also coordinate evaluation and research projects with those provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education. (Page 109)

Data collection efforts solicited input from a broad spectrum of VR stakeholders, including persons with blindness and vision impairments, service providers, SCCB staff and businesses.

It is expected that data from the needs assessment effort will provide SCCB and the Board of Directors with direction when creating the VR portion of the Unified State Plan and when planning for future program development, outreach and resource allocation. (Page 104)

Data collection. Data was gathered from SCCB staff through the use of an Internet-based survey. All 125 staff were sent an electronic invitation and link to the survey. Approximately one week after the initial distribution, a subsequent notice was sent as both a “thank you” to those who had completed the survey and a reminder to those who had not. A third and final invitation was sent out 5 weeks after the second invitation. Surveys were then placed into “inactive” status and the data analyzed.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the staff survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses to the electronic surveys were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the business survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents. (Page 406)

In interviews with staff, it was indicated that these individuals “tend to sit around,” receiving no services. There is a significant gap between the needs of and services available to individuals with the most significant disabilities. Agency services appear to be targeted to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and have no additional disabilities. Individuals with cognitive and mental disabilities in addition to blindness appear to be significantly underserved, and in many cases may receive no substantial services. There is also a significant gap in the employment outcomes for these populations. Results by Data Collection Method Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Quantitative Data on Barriers and Improvements National and/or Agency Specific Data Related to the Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, including their need for Supported Employment. SCCB uses a definition for MSD consistent with federal requirements. SSA Beneficiaries SSA Beneficiaries Applying for SCCB Services (SCCB data) - Total number and percentage of applicants who were SSA recipients: 2012: 169 (29%) 2013: 134 (25%) 2014: 88 (21%) SSI/SSDI Recipients. (Page 418)

Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. South Carolina is one of only four states in the country to see an over 150% increase (specifically 167%, the 2nd highest in the nation) in the Hispanic population from 2000- 2013. ? 68% of SC residents are White. African-Americans make up 28% of the general population. (Page 421)

The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. In 2013, there were 12,700 individuals with blindness or vision impairment aged 20 and under. 57% of South Carolina residents with disabilities under the age of 18 live in poverty. 35% of South Carolina residents with disabilities attained a level of education equivalent to a high school diploma, and 12% attained a level of education equivalent to a college degree. Agency performance From 2012 to 2014, the rate of transition-age youth served by SCCB was 50% or more lower than the national average for Blind agencies. SCCB reported zero successful outcomes for transition age youth over the 2012-2014 reporting period. In its 2010 monitoring report, RSA recommended that SCCB expand its array of programming, including services for transition-age youth. The agency responded that transition programming would be expanded, but this had not been accomplished as of the end of 2015. (Page 425)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting. (Page 445)

Career Pathways

Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. (Page 303)

Findings of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment indicate that SCCB needs to reestablish Cooperative Agreements and community partnerships. SCCB is committed to becoming a cooperative and collaborative partner with community entities wherever such reciprocal relationships can benefit consumers and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the VR program. SCCB will vigilantly seek out community partnerships that enhance our ability to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services that lead to competitive integrated employment outcomes and career pathways. SCCB will develop and maintain new Cooperative Agreements with the following entities not carrying out activities under the Statewide Workforce Development System: 

  • The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of South Carolina for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • South Carolina Association of the Deaf, Inc.
  • Goodwill Industries for the purposes of providing statewide access to job readiness and computer skills training.
  • The Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for the purpose of expanding training options for consumers who are Deaf/Blind and need training beyond the scope of programs provided at the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC).
  • And informal partnerships with community based partners such as faith based organizations, charitable organizations, and non–governmental community based organizations. (Page 374)

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity, resources, and staff expertise to provide Job Driven vocational counseling and guidance that utilizes Labor Market Information and aligns with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project and Sector Strategies initiatives to assist eligible consumers in accessing career pathways that lead to high and middle skill/income jobs.

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity to assist eligible consumers in the development of occupational knowledge, skills, and abilities that culminate in obtaining industry recognized credentials to include GED attainment, certifications, degrees, apprenticeships, occupational licensure, among others.

Gap: SCCB will build VR program capacities, expertise, and partnerships to provide improved transition services including Pre–Employment Transition Services to students who are blind or visually impaired. (Page 390)

Priority 2.1: Align VR Counseling with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project, Emphasizing Career Pathways, Attainment of Industry Recognized Credentials, Job Driven/Sector Strategies & Labor Market Information

Strategy 2.1.1: Staff Training SCCB in collaboration with the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Business Intelligence Unit staff will conduct extensive SCCB staff training during FFY 2016 in order to expand VR staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to access current Local Labor Market Information, conduct Job Driven research, utilize Job Driven and Sector Strategies to provide informed choice and guidance to consumers in selecting vocational goals, assessing skills, locating vocational training to close skill gaps, and connect skilled consumers with existing or emerging vacant positions. (Page 439)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. This is an expansion of a proven model. (Page 445)

Employment Networks

Able SC is approved by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to serve ticket beneficiaries as an Employment Network (EN) under SSA’s Ticket to Work program (discussed in more detail below), and also serves as the host and facilitator for the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, an organization that addresses employment barriers for individuals with disabilities.

SC Disability Employment Coalition. The S.C. Disability Employment Coalition is a statewide systems improvement effort that comprises a broad stakeholder group working to improve employment recruitment, retention, and advancement for South Carolinians with disabilities.  (Page 40)

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities. (Page 42)

C.   THE DESIGNATED STATE UNIT WILL COORDINATE ACTIVITIES WITH ANY OTHER STATE AGENCY THAT IS FUNCTIONING AS AN EMPLOYMENT NETWORK UNDER THE TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 1148 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. (Page 364)

In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide in service training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). (Page 425)

Policies and Initiatives

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SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

South Carolina HB 3768 (ABLE legislation) - 04/29/2015

“A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE "SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM", TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY AND THEIR FAMILIES TO SAVE PRIVATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY, TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO THE STATE TREASURER FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE ACCOUNTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE SAVINGS PROGRAM TRUST FUND AND SAVINGS EXPENSE TRUST FUND; AND TO DESIGNATE THE EXISTING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 AS ARTICLE 1 AND ENTITLE THEM "GENERAL PROVISIONS".”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

S 0704 General Bill (referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs 4/2015) - 04/22/2015

 “A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY TRUST FUND; DISABILITY TRUST FUND; AID FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, MENTALLY ILL, AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DISABLED SELF-EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND FOR THE CREATION OF A PROGRAM WHICH WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, BY PROVIDING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR THE STARTUP, EXPANSION OR ACQUISITION OF A BUSINESS OPERATED WITHIN THE STATE…”

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

Executive Order, 2015-16 - 07/01/2015

“Governor Nikki Haley reestablishes the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, which is the State's forum for developmental disabilities matters and will advocate for persons with those disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina VR “About Us” - 02/01/2016

“In collaboration with community partners and agencies, technical colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations, VR offers a customized approach to employing people with disabilities. Please join us in our mission to help South Carolinians attain independence and success through employment.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Customized Employment

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs “Employment First Directive” 700-07-DD - 10/28/2015

“Policy: Employment Services – Individual, provided in integrated settings, is the first and preferred Day Service option to be offered to working age youth and adults (ages 16-64) who have exited school and are eligible for DDSN services. No other DDSN Day Service,  including Career Preparation, should be considered, or implied to be, a  prerequisite to receiving Employment Services….”

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

Employment First In South Carolina

One of the greatest challenges faced by people with disabilities has been securing and maintaining meaningful employment . SCDDSN believes that most people who want a job should be able to have one and regardless of his or her disability, can work if provided with necessary and appropriate supports. Employment First Assumes the following: 1) Assumes employment is the preferred day services option for adults with disability 2) Assumes people with disabilities require/ want services/support to obtain or maintain employment 3) Promotes Employment rather than non-work services options as the primary option for adults from the first contracts through all contracts 4) Arms Staff with a thorough knowledge of employment service/ supports and of employment related solutions/issues, 5) Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful considerations and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful 6) Responds quickly to those choosing employment without extending waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-works options. 7) Has in place well qualified providers who can readily: - Assess readiness and preferences - Match people to and place people in appropriate jobs selected from and array of possibility - Provide on the job training and coaching - Provide support as needed to sustain employment

Systems
  • Other

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs: Employment First Position

“…SCDDSN embraces the principle of ‘employment first” as an approach to service delivery. As such “employment first’:

1. Assumes employment is the preferred day service option for adults with disabilities;2. Assumes people with disabilities require/want services/support to obtain and/or maintain employment3. Promotes employment, rather than non-work service options, as the primary option for adults from the first contact and through all contacts. Arms staff with a thorough knowledge of employment services/supports and of employment related issues/solutions;4. Ensures that the selection of non-work service options are made based on informed choice, after careful consideration and after attempts to remove barriers to employment have been unsuccessful;,5. Responds quickly to those choosing employment, without extended waiting periods for service and without first being subjected to non-work options6. Has in place well-qualified providers…”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Supported Employment Programs - 05/30/2013

• “Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidenced-based supported employment best practice model. IPS is collaboration between South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD). Since 2005 these state agencies have combined resources and personnel to implement the IPS Supported Employment model. The goal of this partnership is to place people with serve mental illness in competitive employment. Through the collaboration of this Supported Employment model, SCVRD and SCDMH are able to provide an integrated and seamless employment service delivery that results in improved employment outcomes for people with severe mental illness.”

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

The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC)

“The Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC) is spearheaded by the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine. Utilizing funding and support from TASC partners, project staff housed at the Center for Disability Resources developed an infrastructure to support local interagency transition teams.  Project activities are focused on providing interagency teams the resources to increase their capacity to collaboratively and effectively serve young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are transitioning from high school to adult life.”

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

South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition

The SC Disability Employment Coalition (SCDEC) formed in the fall of 2014 to address employment barriers for individuals with disabilities in South Carolina. SCDEC stakeholders represent SC employers, state, and private agencies. SCDEC members meet quarterly. The SCDEC currently has three work committees that meet on a monthly basis. The Coalition is currently comprised of over 20 stakeholder organizations and individuals. The organizations below are currently represented on the Coalition. The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition is made possible by funding from the Southeast ADA Center and SC Developmental Disabilities Council

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE)

“People with all types of disabilities are employed, pursuing careers and building assets just like people without disabilities… Through advocacy and education, APSE advances employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Employment Development Initiative - 10/01/2012

“In an effort to assist State Mental Health Authorities, in close collaboration with Single State Authorities, in planning and implementing activities to foster increased employment opportunities for people with mental health and/or substance use disorders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) created the Employment Development Initiative (EDI).

This initiative provides, on a competitive basis, modest funding awards in the form of fixed-price subcontracts between the Contractor, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and the States, Territories and District of Columbia. In addition, each awardee will receive two consultant technical assistance visits coordinated and paid through the Contractor's portion of the project." South Carolina received an EDI award for its program Integration Peer Support into Supported Employment.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

South Carolina Youth Employment Services (YES)

“South Carolina was awarded a federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) transition demonstration grant in 2007 to fund the Youth Employment Services (YES) program in several schools. SCVRD used the Guideposts to design the YES program activities led by SCVRD’s transition staff… As a part of the demonstration project, SCVRD created agreements with the project schools to locate SCVRD’s transition staff within the school. This provided SCVRD’s staff with greater access to the VR-eligible students and opportunities to develop relationships with the youth, families, and school personnel.”

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

Sourh Carolina SAMHSA Grant - "Health Mind Body Alliance"

“The integration model brings primary care into state community mental health clinics. Clinics are located in the underserved rural counties of Marlboro, Dillon, and Chesterfield South Carolina and the initial strategy included an FQHC [Federal Qualified Health Center]. Year two enrollment target is to serve 150 unduplicated clients (During the first quarters of year two for the grant 194 clients unduplicated clients were enrolled). Services are accessible to all consenting adult clients of TCCMHC [Tri-County Community Mental Health Center] with serious mental illness (Excepting incarcerated clients).”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

No Training/Capacity Building have been entered for this state.

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit a “Statewide Transition Plan” by March 17, 2015. The Statewide Transition Plan outlines how the state will come into conformance and compliance with the HCBS Rule settings requirements. States must come into full compliance with the HCBS Rule requirements by March 17, 2019. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human services (SCDHHS) has branded this effort for HCBS with the tagline: Independent•Integrated•Individual. This tagline was developed because home and community-based services help our members be independent, be integrated in the community, and are based on what is best for the individual.

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

South Carolina DDSN Individual Employment Services Pilot - 12/20/2013

“SCDDSN intends to prioritize Employment Services – Individual across the state and increase the capacity to support consumers with ID/RD in obtaining and maintaining individual, integrated employment. To that end, the agency proposes to pilot a new funding structure with a combination of providers currently serving consumers AND at least one provider not currently serving any consumers in Employment Services – Individual. Preferably, there will be at least one public and one private provider participating, as well as one serving an urban area and one serving exclusively rural areas. The purpose is to determine how successful and sustainable the proposed structure is (1) for starting up a program and (2) for improving/expanding an existing program. Participating providers will be partnering with SCDDSN to increase employment outcomes for consumers exiting school; to maintain employment for consumers placed by the provider, schools and/or the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (VR); and to demonstrate what level of support is required to maintain employment and to regain employment when employment is lost.”

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

SC Community Supports (0676.R01.00) - 07/01/2012

Provides adult day health care, personal care, respite care, waiver case management, incontinence supplies, adult day health care-nursing, adult day health care-transportation, assistive technology and appliances, behavior support, career preparation, community services, day activity, employment services, environmental mods, in-home support, PERS, private vehicle mods, support center services for individuals w/IID ages 0 - no max age.

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

South Carolina ESEA Flexibility Request - 02/28/2012

“South Carolina’s college and career readiness aspirations extend to all students, including those who need additional support and consideration because English is not their first language or due to a disability. To help ensure that we effectively analyze the linguistic demands of the CCSS to inform development of corresponding standards specific to these students that enable their success.”

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

South Carolina Statewide Transition Plan – Revised (HCBS)

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) gives notice that the revised draft Statewide Transition Plan, required per Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Rule (42 CFR 441.301(c)(6)),was submitted on March 31, 2016 to CMS for review. It will be effective upon CMS approval.

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

South Carolina Medicaid State Plan

Medicaid is a federal-state partnership. Federal regulations provide a framework for each state to build a unique Medicaid program. States must all comply with some basic requirements such as:  • Serving certain mandatory populations like poverty-level children and low-income pregnant women; • Providing certain mandatory services like hospital care and physician services; • Providing services that are “sufficient in amount, duration, and scope to reasonably achieve (their) purpose;” and, • Providing services throughout the state.
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

South Carolina Community Choices Medicaid Waiver

“This Medicaid program is also referred to as the Elderly and Disabled Waiver. It allows individuals who require nursing home level care and assistance with their activities of daily living to receive care in their communities or homes instead of in nursing homes. There is a condition associated with the waiver which states that the cost of the care at home cannot exceed a certain percentage of the cost for the same care in a nursing home.”

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

South Carolina Medicaid Money Follows the Person/Home Again

“Home Again is a program assisting seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children with severe emotional disturbances who currently live in facilities to transition back into their communities and receive appropriate services and supports.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Provider Transformation

States - Phone

Snapshot

The Palmetto State is "Prepared in Mind and Resources" when it comes to improving supports for individuals with disabilities to increase access to competitive, integrated employment and socioeconomic advancement in South Carolina.

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 South Carolina’s VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
1.3%
Change from
2014 to 2015
4,896,146
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.29%
Change from
2014 to 2015
370,744
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.5%
Change from
2014 to 2015
106,350
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.19%
Change from
2014 to 2015
28.69%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.39%
Change from
2014 to 2015
74.33%

State Data

General

2015
Population. 4,896,146
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 370,744
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 106,350
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,908,376
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 28.69%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.33%
Overall unemployment rate. 6.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 22.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.70%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 344,318
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 368,421
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 483,588
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 204,296
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 16,894
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,757
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 2,842
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 14,434
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 4,383

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 4,430
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 4.00%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 178,822

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 1,475
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,386
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 12,607
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 11.70%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 339
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 9,724
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04

 

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. 88
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 53
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. 60.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 1.08

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015
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. 4,918
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 25,222
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. $11,773,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $19,278,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $21,209,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $6,178,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 912
Number of people served in facility based work. 2,846
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 3,131
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 45.00

 

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). 58.26%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 17.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 96.60%
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). 25.55%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 53.64%
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). 58.10%
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). 28.09%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,561,788
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 3,877
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 14,767
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 510,687
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 525,454
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 143
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 743
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 886
AbilityOne wages (products). $80,150
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,233,265

 

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). 36
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 37
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). 3,257
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 86
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 3,343

 

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)

No specific disability related information found.

Customized Employment

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas.  (Page 385)

SCCB should consider developing partnerships with other state agencies, including SCVRD, to determine if individuals with most significant disabilities who are also blind and visually impaired can be served in existing programs. SCCB should consider modification of its programs at EBMRC to address the needs of individuals with most significant disabilities. Specifically, SCCB should investigate how Supported Employment and Customized Employment can be integrated into EBMRC’s programs. SCCB should consider assigning a program administrator the responsibilities of reaching out to individuals with the most significant disabilities and overseeing services that meet their needs. Once SCCB either creates or gains access to Supported Employment programs, these programs should have administrative oversight as well. In compliance with WIOA, SCCB should investigate the options for creating Customized Employment programs that would serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. While there are several organizations around the country that provide training in Customized Employment, it should be noted that training alone will not increase SCCB’s capacity to serve individuals with most significant disabilities. Extensive planning, partnership development, policy and fee structure development are also needed. SCCB should develop an extensive strategic plan around building capacity for serving this population. SECTION 3 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH BLINDNESS AND VISION IMPAIRMENTS FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS, INCLUDING NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN UNSERVED OR UNDERSERVED BY THE VR PROGRAM Section 3 identifies the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by SCCB. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. (Page 421)

Priority 2.2: Increase Employment for those with Most Significant Disabilities 

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and on–going supports for consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI.

Strategy 2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

Strategy 2.4.3: Staff Training & Development in Evidence Based Practice SCCB will invest in staff training and development in VR evidence based practices such as: Motivational Interviewing; Customized Employment; Discovery Assessment; Supported Employment; Individual Placement and Supports; Integrating Labor Market Information into Vocational Goal Setting, IPE Development and Informed Choice.

Strategy 2.4.4: Summer Internship Program (SIP) SCCB will continue to offer the successful Summer Internship Program (SIP) where college students engage in a paid summer internship program in their chosen field of study. Students complete a set number of working internship hours and receive a stipend upon successful completion. SIP has a proven track record of influencing the obtainment of permanent employment. (Page 441)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

SCCB is committed to ensuring that services are provided in an equitable manner and are fully accessible. SCCB reviews, assesses and monitors agency programs to conduct continuous improvement activities. The greatest gap identified in the 2016 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment pertained to the lack of a Supported Employment program at SCCB.

In response SCCB has committed itself to

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. As well as

Strategy 1.2.2: Engagement with Department of Disability & Special Needs SCCB will engage with DDSN to develop a new Cooperative Agreement designed to improve collaboration and leverage long term supported employment funding to meet the needs of persons with Most Significant Disabilities. (Page 446)

Braiding/Blending Resources

Additionally, the continued use of collaborative work groups allows partners to gain a better understanding of the resources available and to identify opportunities for braiding and leveraging resources. (Page 56)

As mentioned previously, the SWDB approved funding for EvolveSC, a grant program that allows businesses to develop a training program in partnership with technical colleges that meet employer skill needs and improves educational access for incumbent workers and newly hired employees. EvolveSC is another example of braiding and leveraging resources to increase educational access. Co-enrollment strategies also facilitate resource sharing across workforce development programs. One of the state’s strategies for alignment and coordination is co-enrollment across core, mandatory, and optional programs, replicating the co-enrollment practice that already exists between TAA and WIOA and increasing access to education and training, case management, and supportive services.

 In addition to the examples provided above, the state will continue to seek grant funding opportunities that align with the state’s vision and strategic goals for workforce development and coordinate with colleges that receive grants. (Page 86)

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.

South Carolina’s one–stop delivery system is designed to be fully accessible so that all job seekers and employers can participate in the services offered. The Methods of Administration (MOA) – a state document required by the Civil Rights Center – is a “living” document that ensures current federal regulations and directives are implemented at the state and local level expeditiously, and details how compliance with WIOA Section 188 will be accomplished. Monitoring performed at both the state and local level ensures that all SC Works Centers are in compliance with Section 188 of WIOA, the ADA, and other applicable regulations. Individuals who seek to utilize South Carolina’s workforce system can expect facilities, whether physical or virtual (e.g., SC Works Online Services) to meet federally–mandated accessibility standards. Complaints of discrimination are directed to the State Equal Opportunity Officer. (Page 123)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

No specific disability related information found.

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

The South Carolina Workforce Development Board (SWDB) approved $741,235 to fund an EvolveSC pilot for Program Year 2015. Through EvolveSC, businesses, either individually or as a consortium, can apply for training grants to upskill their existing workforce. Additionally, EvolveSC provides nationally recognized certificate training for new hires in order to meet the requirements for entry level positions. Twenty–five Evolve SC grants have been awarded to fund training in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare, construction, transportation, logistics, and distribution. (Page 31)

The DD Council is federally funded by the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act) and consists of consumers and family members, DD Act partners, and non–governmental organizations. The DD Council provides leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The council recently funded several pilot projects across the state, including Ready, Set to Go to Work, Project Inclusion, and STEP for SC. In addition to providing employment–training experiences for students with disabilities, these pilot projects also fund the training of job coaches and other support professionals who work directly with students.

A brief description of each project is provided below.

Project Inclusion. Executed by Able SC, Project Inclusion is a pilot project that connects independent living specialists with students with disabilities to promote transition to adulthood with an emphasis on community–based employment in Abbeville, Laurens, and Fairfield counties. Activities include classroom instruction on topics related to employment skills development, self–advocacy during IEP meetings, and rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Several school districts have integrated these activities into their curricula, including Laurens and Fairfield School Districts.

STEP for SC. STEP for SC is a pilot project executed by Community Options, Inc. in the Midlands region that connects high school students with disabilities with community–based career experiences. A job coach assesses students’ job skills and provides training so students are able to participate in community–based internships at local businesses. Job coaches work with students to transition internship experiences and supports into job accommodations and employment.

SCCB Summer Teen Program. As previously mentioned, SCCB also operates the Summer Teen Program which provides five weeks of vocational exploration, job shadowing and internship opportunities, as well as adjustment to blindness training, work readiness and self–advocacy skills training. The Student Internship Program (SIP) provides paid summer internships to college seniors and juniors in their field of study. (Page 41)

Similarly, DEW and DSS are piloting a co–enrollment partnership in the Pee Dee LWDA where DEW provides case management and works with DSS clients to develop an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). DEW also provides workshops and helps DSS clients obtain employment. More recently, the Governor announced that the SNAP E&T program will be transferred to DEW resulting in better alignment and coordination of programs that help individuals prepare for competitive employment. (Page 43)

Manning One–Stop Pilot. DEW and SCDC are partnering to help offenders find jobs through a work ready initiative that launched in November 2014. With onsite support from SC Works at the Manning Correctional Institution, this venture allows inmates to apply to participate in a series of workshops that develop important capabilities including computer skills, interview techniques, resume writing and work assessments testing. After completing the required workshops and intensive services, job–ready participants are referred to a recruiter or career development specialists for additional training and services. DEW also assists in getting each inmate that successfully completes the program bonded through the Federal Bonding Program. (Page 44)

Goal 2, Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include:

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting (Page 445)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

Benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Very few deaf-blind consumers applied for services over the 3-year period. Vision impaired is the disability-type most highly represented among SCCB applicants, although the percentage declined from 61% to 53% over the three years while those classified as “Other” climbed from 13% to 20%. In each of the three years 2012 to 2014, individuals with the most significant disabilities were virtually unserved by VR, declining in number from 18 to 8, and from 5% to 2.5% of all applicants, over the 3-year period. According to SCCB, 21% of its 2014 consumers were SSA beneficiaries. While it is unclear whether these individuals have more significant disabilities than other consumers, it is evident that SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn less per hour and work fewer hours per week than non-beneficiaries, suggesting that they have more employment-related challenges. Many of these individuals and their families are concerned about losing the safety net that is provided by either SSI or SSDI if they go to work.

These fears may adversely affect return-to-work behavior and result in settling for part-time work that keeps them under the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount, or prevents them from going over the “cashcliff.” Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include: SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

Benefits
  • 55,700 persons with disabilities aged 18 to 64 receive benefits. (Page 23) 

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities.

Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is an international program first developed in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There are 300 programs across 46 states and five other countries. South Carolina currently has two Project Search locations – Spartanburg and Columbia – based at regional hospitals. (Page 42)

Job Seeker Services. There is at least one comprehensive SC Works Center in each LWDA and one or more satellite center or access point. Through these centers, job seekers can access WIOA programs and Wagner–Peyser Employment Services. Individuals can also get assistance filing for UI benefits and reemployment assistance, including but not limited to: looking for a job, resume preparation, and interviewing skills workshops. Job seekers can also access employment services and manage UI benefits remotely using SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) and the MyBenefits (Page 54)

Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age.

Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1 (Page 248)

Frequency: annual Calculation Method: factors include: total overhead cost; adjustment rate for wage change; unemployment rate; mortality rate; underestimation of referral earnings; gain not attributable to VR services; fringe benefits factor; discount rate; tax factor; retirement age Associated Objective(s): 3.1.1. Item 17 Performance Measure: Reimbursement from Social Security Administration for SCVRD Job Placements Last Value: $906,146 Current Value: (Page 350)

  • South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission (WCC) to facilitate the referral process of injured workers to SCCB to enhance return–to–work efforts;
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) to collaborate on employment incentives and supports and maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program;
  • South Carolina Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) to help identify veterans who need additional supports in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services;
  • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) to eliminate potential duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to eliminate duplication of services and increase coordination of employment services provided to the shared consumer populations;
  • SCCB will develop a Cooperative Agreement with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to collaborate, coordinate, eliminate potential duplication of services, and enhance the employment outcomes of shared consumer populations. (Page 369)

This assessment determined that the following gaps exist in this area: 

  • SCCB does not offer supported employment or customized employment services to its consumers with significant and most significant disabilities. This is reflected in the low numbers of employment outcomes for these individuals.
  • Individuals with disabilities identified the following as barriers to achieving employment outcomes:
    • Attitudes of the public and employers toward individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
    • Lack of reliable and accessible transportation.
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. (Page 385)
  • A significant number of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits and fear the loss of benefits if they seek employment. Access to benefits counseling provided by either SCCB or outside agencies appears to be minimal.
  • Independent living skills are a major need of SCCB consumers. The Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC or the Center) meets this need for a small percentage of SCCB consumers, but many individuals, staff and partners expressed a need for more comprehensive services to be available throughout South Carolina especially in rural areas. 

Section Three: Needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including needs of individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

The most common themes that emerged in this area were: (Page 397)

SECTION 2 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES, INCLUDING THEIR NEED FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT 

Section 2 provides an assessment of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment, as conveyed by statistical data and as expressed by the different groups interviewed and surveyed. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities including their need for supported employment: Indicators Employers’ perceptions, lack of education and training and job skills, and geographic access to services and jobs were all identified by key informants as major barriers to employment for individuals with most significant disabilities. A large majority of SCCB consumers receive SSA benefits, and fear of benefit loss affects their return-to-work behavior. Staff and partners agree that employment barriers are different for individuals with most significant disabilities than for the general population. SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment services. SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either through SCCB in-house or through CRPs. There is no evidence of collaboration between SCCB and SCVRD on behalf of customers with multiple diagnoses. Agency performance Surveyed partners and staff were in agreement that geographic access and slow service delivery are the biggest barriers to SCCB services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. SCCB served a very small number of individuals with most significant disabilities over a 3-year period, declining from a total of 18 in 2012 to 8 in 2014. SCCB appears to provide limited services to individuals with cognitive or mental health disabilities. (Page 418)

(RSA Annual Review Report) – Total number of applicants who were SSA recipients, broken down by SSI and SSDI: FY2012 - 57 SSI recipients, 94 SSDI beneficiaries FY2013 - 60 SSI recipients, 126 SSDI beneficiaries SCCB Programming: Asset Development Services - SCCB does not provide benefits counseling to consumers. Outcomes for SSA Beneficiaries (RSA 911 FY2014 Data) SSI and SSDI beneficiaries earn on average $5.00 per hour less than non-beneficiaries. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries worked on average 10 hours less per week than non-beneficiaries. Observations Based on the Data The percentage of SCCB applicants who are individuals with blindness was fairly constant over time at approximately 25% from 2012 to 2014. Benefits counseling, along with financial literacy training, could improve consumer perceptions of employment options available to them resulting in increased wages and lifting many of them above the poverty level. 2010 RSA Monitoring Report Findings and Recommendations As a result of a federal monitoring visit conducted in 2010, RSA issued findings and recommendations for SCCB to address. Those that coincide with this report’s findings on services to individuals with the most significant disabilities include:

  • SCCB has a long-standing history of not providing Supported Employment, and SC residents do not have access to long term supports, or job coaches, either inhouse or through CRPs. While consumers with multiple disabilities could benefit from joint service provision between SCCB and SCVRD, and despite an interagency agreement with SCVRD, there has been no evidence of collaboration even though consumers could benefit from dual enrollment. Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Qualitative Data on Barriers and Improvements Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews The following themes emerged on a recurring basis from the individual interviews conducted for this assessment regarding the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment: Partners indicated that 60% of individuals with blindness and vision impairments have multiple diagnoses, but that SCCB caters to the 40% whose only diagnosis is blindness and does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the 60% with multiple disabilities. (Page 419)

For instance, if an individual with blindness or a vision impairment wanted to go to a training program to become an IT Specialist, then the AJC could fund a part of the training with an ITA, and SCCB could fund part of the training with case service dollars, or provide AT, transportation, or other needed support services. The case becomes a shared case with both entities and the consumer benefits from the employment experience of the AJC and the disability experience of SCCB. SCCB should offer its technical expertise to the SC Works centers to insure they are fully accessible and include the latest and most relevant assistive technology. In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide inservice training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). This is a rarely used model that can bring resources to the SC Works Center and provide support to individuals with blindness and vision impairments for several years. 

SECTION 5 NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS IN TRANSITION

The reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act under WIOA places a greater emphasis on the provision of transition services to youth and students with disabilities, especially their need for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 34 CFR 361 and 363 released recently by RSA indicates that the comprehensive statewide needs assessment must include an assessment of the needs of youth and students with disabilities in the State, including their need for Pre-ETS. The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. (Page 426)

2.2.2: CRP Establishment & Development SCCB will continue to seek opportunities and partnerships to aid in the development and establishment of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to provide community based adjustment to blindness services, supported employment (SE) services, customized employment (CE) services and life skills training.

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population. (Page 435 & 439)

School to Work Transition

Students with Disabilities. Based on FY 2014 school district report card data, the statewide total for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) has reached 28,738 (SC Dept. of Education). Comparatively, SCVRD opened 2,253 new cases for students referred through the school system, which represents 15% of the agency’s total new referrals. Successful employment outcomes for clients referred by the school system increased to 1,041, representing 15% of all agency closures. Although SCVRD has made significant inroads in transition services in recent years by ramping up partnerships in schools and dedicating more staffing to school–to–work transition, to meet the new WIOA requirements and the need indicated by the total number of students receiving IDEA services, additional resources and continued focus on this population will be required.

The SCVRD provides a robust set of student and youth services to enhance the transition from school–to–work or other post–secondary training opportunities. As indicated in WIOA, transition counselors provide pre–employment transition services for students prior to their exit from high school, and SCVRD staff continue to provide services to support placement into competitive employment, or completion of post–secondary training and/or credential–based programs. The number of SCVRD successful employment outcomes for transition–aged youth has grown by 48 percent over the past two years.

SCVRD has agreements with each of South Carolina’s public school districts and the S.C. Department of Education for collaborative delivery of school–to–work transition services. SCVRD has a counselor assigned to each public high school in the state, and in some instances an SCVRD counselor is physically located at a school. This entails providing pre–employment transition services to students, including: (Page 38)

Similarly, the SCCB provides student and youth services, including the pre–employment transition services listed above, to enhance the transition from school–to–work or to other post–secondary training opportunities. It recently increased the transition team to better serve students with visual impairments and/or legal blindness. Although SCCB is working to establish formal written agreements with school districts throughout the state, a counselor is currently assigned to each public high school, including the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB). Transition counselors serve a specific territory and collaborate with teachers for the visually impaired and other specialized staff to improve outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

The employment rate for working age people with disabilities (18 to 64) in South Carolina is 29.0%, compared to 74.0% for persons without disabilities (Annual Disability Statistics Compendium). This reflects a 45 point gap in the (Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) between people with and without disabilities. In further detail, only 36.3% of the 24,900 South Carolinians who are blind or have vision loss are employed. Also, 46.8% of the 42,800 individuals with hearing differences are employed and only 21.9% of South Carolinians with intellectual or developmental disabilities are employed. This further illustrates the need for effective utilization of assistive technology solutions and expanding school to work transition programs. (Page 39)

A significant focus of WIOA includes strategies to strengthen school–to–work transition programs and youth programs. This includes specific activities conducted within the secondary school system for students to better prepare them for employment, post–secondary education or post–secondary training. There are also provisions within WIOA to address the needs of out–of–school youth to ensure that they are connected with the services needed to achieve competitive, integrated employment. Strong partnerships with local education agencies, VR service delivery capacity for school–to–work transition services, workforce development programs for youth, and connection with stakeholders involved in student, youth and parent engagement are being deployed in South Carolina. The work of these partnerships will help to prepare the next generation of job seekers for the emerging employment opportunities before exiting school settings, in keeping with the education and career pathways development. ( Page 62)

In carrying out its mission to prepare and assist eligible individuals to achieve and maintain competitive employment, the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) actively seeks referrals and comparable services and benefits. In doing so, the department has established formal and informal partnerships with other providers of facilities and services. For the purpose of referral, service collaboration, facility allocation, and staff designation, cooperative agreements have been established with the following agencies in South Carolina: Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). Detailed agreements between SCVRD and the SCDE describe the coordination of school–to–work transition services and also Adult Education services.

With regard to the S.C. Independent Living Council, the department acts in an advisory and technical support capacity. The SCVRD portion of the Unified State Plan assures that an interagency agreement or similar document for interagency coordination between any appropriate public entities becomes operative. The department has entered into collaborative arrangements with institutions of higher education as well. This is to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, described in Title I of WIOA, is included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual. This includes the provision of vocational rehabilitation services during pending disputes as described in the interagency agreement or similar document. SCVRD will seek to assure the participation of individuals with physical and mental impairments in training and employment opportunities, as appropriate. With the exception of services specified in paragraph (E) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) enacted on July 22, 2014, information shall specify policies and procedures for public entities to identify and determine interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity in order to promote coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services. (Page 194)

Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis. 

  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 202)

SCVRD has an MOU with DDSN. Staff works collaboratively with local Disabilities and Special Needs (DSN) boards and providers in serving individuals in need of supported employment services and long–term follow along supports to maintain competitive, integrated employment. DDSN has representatives on TASC to assist in school–to–work transition efforts as well as ensuring youth with the most significant disabilities have access to the supports needed to gain and maintain competitive employment. Through these efforts, clients/consumers are served in a complementary fashion based on the expertise and distinct roles of each agency. (Page 204)

SCVRD has an extensive HRD department that facilitates training for all employees, with programmatic training being provided by internal and external subject matter experts. The department provides/sponsors trainings that focus on medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of specific disabilities, and feature the application of assistive technology as appropriate. Recent topics include: disability etiquette, brain injury, alcohol/drug addictions, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, autism, deafness and hearing impairments, epilepsy, learning disabilities, musculoskeletal, spinal cord injury, diabetes as well as other disability–specific trainings. Workshops on transition from school to work, HS/HT, supported employment, vocational assessment, serving ex–offenders, serving the Hispanic/Latino population, leadership development, and maintaining a culture of quality were also provided. Counseling skills training is provided on an ongoing basis with a focus on motivational interviewing techniques. A series of statewide trainings focusing on providing specific counseling skills and the application of those skills within the VR setting to counselors and other staff who provide direct services to clients also began in 2013 and will continue for all designated new staff. (Page 212)

TASC is a robust state–level interagency collaborative that works in support of increasing positive post–secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. It has multiple stakeholder agencies and organizations, and supports local level interagency teams through training, technical assistance, and strategic planning. The department continues to coordinate the development of designated staff with emerging initiatives by the SCDE and the 81 local school districts (LEAs) under IDEA and state school–to–work transition efforts. Transition training efforts this year included the following: a two–day transition summer series was conducted for transition staff that included presentations and training on vocational assessment, use of ACT and Work Keys assessments, referral development, best practices, documentation and use of school records, work experiences, using O*Net, and post–secondary training. Selected transition staff participated in a session on active training techniques and self–determination. Over 40 transition staff participated in an annual interagency transition conference, focused on local interagency planning and content sessions focused on effective service delivery for students with disabilities. Youth leaders also participated in the conference. (Page 213)

Items covered in the agreement include:

Student identification and exchange of information, procedures for outreach to students with disabilities who need transition services, methods for dispute resolution, consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for school–to–work transition activities, and the requirements for regular monitoring of the agreement. Timing of student referrals is individualized based on need but should generally occur no later than the second semester of the year prior to the student’s exit from school. (Page 226)

Strategy 1.1 Improve the quality of employment outcomes for eligible individuals with disabilities.

Objective 1.1.1 Support continuous improvement within Program Integrity: Productivity, Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services.

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes. (Page 297-298)

 

Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures.

Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services. 

Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all S.C. school districts.

Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.

Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. 

Strategy 1.3 Enhance job driven vocational training programs. 

Objective 1.3.1 Develop job-readiness skills through work training center activities, demand-driven skills training, and on-the-job supports.

Objective 1.3.2 Equip clients for job search through resume development, interviewing skills, other "soft" skills, and disability-related classes

Goal 2 We will be a team of highly qualified professionals who have the commitment, accountability and opportunity to excel. 

Strategy 2.1 Provide training to equip staff to provide quality vocational rehabilitation services.

Objective 2.1.1 Develop training based on needs assessment in accordance with the State Plan. (Page 307)

Strategies that contributed to the achievement of overall goals and specific objectives included:

  • Review and measurement of key performance indicators on a quarterly basis.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on the results of outreach efforts to underserved and emerging disability populations.
  • Monthly monitoring and specialized reporting on services to youth and pre–employment transition services.
  • Dedicated staff for specific populations and specialized services: school–to–work transition; deaf and hard of hearing; supported employment.
  • Demonstration programs to enhance supported employment services and services for youth with the most significant disabilities, individuals diagnosed with ASD, and demand–driven training based on community labor market information. (Page 347)

The following programs have recently been implemented or expanded to enhance transition services: 

  • Junior Student Internship Program (JSIP) – The SCCB provides eligible high school students who an opportunity to gain valuable work experience during a summer internship with business partners throughout the state. Participants receive a stipend upon successful completion of the program. This program is also available to college students. 

Priority 2.3: Increase Vocational Exploration & Opportunities for Transition Students 

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program. (Page 439-440)

Strategy 2.2.3: Build SSA Benefits Counseling Capacity SCCB will work to build the capacity and specialized expertise necessary to provide effective and accurate benefit planning to help improve consumer knowledge of how employment affects SSA benefits and incentives for engaging in employment. The perceived risks of losing benefits are a significant barrier to employment for this population.

Strategy 2.3.1: CareerBOOST Pre–Employment Transition Services SCCB will pilot a demonstration project called CareerBOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition). This program will augment SCCB’s transition services program by providing the five (5) required Pre Employment Transition Services (PETS) to eligible or potentially eligible students statewide. These PETS services will include: 

  1. Self–Advocacy Training
  2. Work Readiness Workshops
  3. Work–based Learning Experiences
  4. Post–Secondary Education Enrollment and Careers Exploration
  5. Information & Referral to SCCB’s Transition VR Program 

Strategy 2.3.3: Student Internship Program Jr. SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, (Page 445)

Data Collection

Rallying for Inclusive, Successful Employment (RISE). RISE is a comprehensive, systematic approach to increasing employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Projects and services include: supporting and participating in the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, hosting community workshops for families, partnering with the University of South Carolina (USC) to improve data collection on barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities, and providing individualized employment and empowerment services to consumers.

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others. (Page 42)

A State-level Vision for System Integration has been outlined with an initial timeline. Activities that have occurred or are in process include the following: review of final rules regarding performance and reporting, review of current intake forms/applications, and identification of common elements and referral processes. Early fall activities will include a review of system needs and project planning in the context of final reporting guidelines and data collection instructions. Each core program is adapting and making changes to data collection and reporting systems to adhere to the final reporting requirements. (Page 81)

SCCB’s data collection process consists of data that is collected directly from consumers, medical health providers (eye and medical doctors), educational institutions, consumer organizations and advocacy groups, and the Social Security Administration. Although Counselors in all consumer services programs have the primary responsibility of collecting and entering data, other staff, such as Counselor Assistants, Supervisors and service providers, can also collect and enter consumer data as needed.

As the SCCB works toward adopting a fully integrated case management, data collection, and reporting system that is shared by all core programs, it will need to reexamine its data collection and reporting processes so that they are consistent and aligned across partner agencies. (Page 94)

This initiative aligns with SCVRD’s longstanding commitment to its Program Integrity model, which seeks a balance among productivity, customer service, and compliance assurance. Each of those components has measurable results and can be used to evaluate the agency at levels ranging from specific caseload or work unit up to an agency-wide level. National standards and indicators, issued by the agency’s parent federal organization, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, are also critical measures of SCVRD’s success. The agency’s performance levels in meeting those standards have been consistently high. The agency is proactively integrating the new WIOA common performance measures into program evaluation, data collection and management information reports. (Page 108)

The South Carolina workforce system continuously seeks ways to improve processes, policies, services and outcomes for job seekers and employers. As such, the core program partners will work alongside the SWDB and LWDBs to identify areas of opportunity that would benefit from further evaluation and research. For example, the new legislation highlights the need for system and data integration among core programs. In 2015, a partner agency work group began to research existing unified data collection and reporting systems in addition to other methods of data sharing. Although the group’s work is still in its infancy, several systems have been demonstrated and options for portals or overlays to existing systems have been explored. As the federal oversight agencies provide more guidance on performance measures and reporting requirements, the work group can further hone the study to determine precise system needs.

The state will also coordinate evaluation and research projects with those provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education. (Page 109)

Data collection efforts solicited input from a broad spectrum of VR stakeholders, including persons with blindness and vision impairments, service providers, SCCB staff and businesses.

It is expected that data from the needs assessment effort will provide SCCB and the Board of Directors with direction when creating the VR portion of the Unified State Plan and when planning for future program development, outreach and resource allocation. (Page 104)

Data collection. Data was gathered from SCCB staff through the use of an Internet-based survey. All 125 staff were sent an electronic invitation and link to the survey. Approximately one week after the initial distribution, a subsequent notice was sent as both a “thank you” to those who had completed the survey and a reminder to those who had not. A third and final invitation was sent out 5 weeks after the second invitation. Surveys were then placed into “inactive” status and the data analyzed.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the staff survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses to the electronic surveys were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents.

Efforts to ensure respondent confidentiality. Respondents to the business survey were not asked to identify themselves by name when completing the survey. Responses were aggregated by the project team at SDSU prior to reporting results. This served to further protect the identities of individual survey respondents. (Page 406)

In interviews with staff, it was indicated that these individuals “tend to sit around,” receiving no services. There is a significant gap between the needs of and services available to individuals with the most significant disabilities. Agency services appear to be targeted to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and have no additional disabilities. Individuals with cognitive and mental disabilities in addition to blindness appear to be significantly underserved, and in many cases may receive no substantial services. There is also a significant gap in the employment outcomes for these populations. Results by Data Collection Method Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities: Quantitative Data on Barriers and Improvements National and/or Agency Specific Data Related to the Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, including their need for Supported Employment. SCCB uses a definition for MSD consistent with federal requirements. SSA Beneficiaries SSA Beneficiaries Applying for SCCB Services (SCCB data) - Total number and percentage of applicants who were SSA recipients: 2012: 169 (29%) 2013: 134 (25%) 2014: 88 (21%) SSI/SSDI Recipients. (Page 418)

Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged across all data collection methods in the area of the needs of individuals with blindness and vision impairments from different ethnic groups, including individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program: Indicators Hispanic or Latino residents make up 5% of the state’s general population. South Carolina is one of only four states in the country to see an over 150% increase (specifically 167%, the 2nd highest in the nation) in the Hispanic population from 2000- 2013. ? 68% of SC residents are White. African-Americans make up 28% of the general population. (Page 421)

The project team investigated the needs of youth and students with blindness and vision impairments in this assessment and includes the results in this section. Recurring Themes Across all Data Collection Methods The following themes emerged in the area of the needs of individuals in transition: Indicators In 2014, 2% of South Carolina residents under the age of 18 had blindness or vision impairment. In 2013, there were 12,700 individuals with blindness or vision impairment aged 20 and under. 57% of South Carolina residents with disabilities under the age of 18 live in poverty. 35% of South Carolina residents with disabilities attained a level of education equivalent to a high school diploma, and 12% attained a level of education equivalent to a college degree. Agency performance From 2012 to 2014, the rate of transition-age youth served by SCCB was 50% or more lower than the national average for Blind agencies. SCCB reported zero successful outcomes for transition age youth over the 2012-2014 reporting period. In its 2010 monitoring report, RSA recommended that SCCB expand its array of programming, including services for transition-age youth. The agency responded that transition programming would be expanded, but this had not been accomplished as of the end of 2015. (Page 425)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

SCCB will work to expand our highly successful Student Internship Program (SIP) that provides paid summer internships for college seniors and juniors, by developing a SIP Jr. Program that will provide paid summer internship opportunities in a variety of career fields to transition students in their senior and junior year of High School.

Strategy 2.3.4: Inventor Lab SCCB will use authority under “innovation and expansion” utilizing Pre–Employment Transition Services set aside funds to establish “Inventor Lab” where transition students will be exposed to career exploration in functional 3–D fabrication, manufacturing using 3–D printer technology, product development, business development, microenterprise development, entrepreneurship, marketing and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Strategy 2.3.5: Summer Teens Program SCCB will continue the very successful Summer Teens Program that brings students from across the state to the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for 5 weeks each summer. This program introduces students to career exploration & counseling, assistive technology, social skills and work readiness skills training, adjustment to blindness skills training, and other activities designed to increase confidence, improve knowledge, skills, and abilities, and create peer mentor networks & self–advocacy.

Strategy 3.1.2: Establish an SCCB Business Advisory Council SCCB Business Relations will work to establish an eight (8) member Business Advisory Council consisting. (Page 445)

Career Pathways

Compliance Assurance, and Customer Service.

Objective 1.1.2 Increase services to underserved and emerging disability populations.

Objective 1.1.3 Identify opportunities for matching client strengths and abilities with community employment needs.

Objective 1.1.4 Demonstrate effectiveness in national comparative data for performance measures. (Page 303)

Findings of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment indicate that SCCB needs to reestablish Cooperative Agreements and community partnerships. SCCB is committed to becoming a cooperative and collaborative partner with community entities wherever such reciprocal relationships can benefit consumers and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the VR program. SCCB will vigilantly seek out community partnerships that enhance our ability to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services that lead to competitive integrated employment outcomes and career pathways. SCCB will develop and maintain new Cooperative Agreements with the following entities not carrying out activities under the Statewide Workforce Development System: 

  • The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of South Carolina for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) for the purposes of ensuring statewide availability of adjustment to blindness training, job readiness and computer skills training, and independent living skills training.
  • South Carolina Association of the Deaf, Inc.
  • Goodwill Industries for the purposes of providing statewide access to job readiness and computer skills training.
  • The Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for the purpose of expanding training options for consumers who are Deaf/Blind and need training beyond the scope of programs provided at the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center (EBMRC).
  • And informal partnerships with community based partners such as faith based organizations, charitable organizations, and non–governmental community based organizations. (Page 374)

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity, resources, and staff expertise to provide Job Driven vocational counseling and guidance that utilizes Labor Market Information and aligns with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project and Sector Strategies initiatives to assist eligible consumers in accessing career pathways that lead to high and middle skill/income jobs.

Gap: SCCB will develop the capacity to assist eligible consumers in the development of occupational knowledge, skills, and abilities that culminate in obtaining industry recognized credentials to include GED attainment, certifications, degrees, apprenticeships, occupational licensure, among others.

Gap: SCCB will build VR program capacities, expertise, and partnerships to provide improved transition services including Pre–Employment Transition Services to students who are blind or visually impaired. (Page 390)

Priority 2.1: Align VR Counseling with South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project, Emphasizing Career Pathways, Attainment of Industry Recognized Credentials, Job Driven/Sector Strategies & Labor Market Information

Strategy 2.1.1: Staff Training SCCB in collaboration with the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Business Intelligence Unit staff will conduct extensive SCCB staff training during FFY 2016 in order to expand VR staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to access current Local Labor Market Information, conduct Job Driven research, utilize Job Driven and Sector Strategies to provide informed choice and guidance to consumers in selecting vocational goals, assessing skills, locating vocational training to close skill gaps, and connect skilled consumers with existing or emerging vacant positions. (Page 439)

Strategy 2.1.2: Talent Pipeline Project Engagement SCCB has been an engaged partner in South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline Project with the WIOA core partners. SCCB will continue to be engaged in this workforce development effort, and will work to align SCCB VR program efforts with the broader state goals, strategies, and objectives. These include focus on developing a strategy for Career Pathways, Customized Training, and services to business including talent acquisition and talent retention services.

Strategy 2.2.1: JOBS Specialists (Job Oriented Blind Services) SCCB will establish three (3) Job Oriented Blind Services (JOBS) Specialist positons that will provide Supported Employment (SE), Customized Employment (CE), and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models employment services to consumers who have Most Significant Disabilities. These positions will function in a one–on–one consumer centered approach as Job Placement Specialists, On–The–Job Coaches, and in other employment related supportive roles allowed under Title VI. This is an expansion of a proven model. (Page 445)

Employment Networks

Able SC is approved by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to serve ticket beneficiaries as an Employment Network (EN) under SSA’s Ticket to Work program (discussed in more detail below), and also serves as the host and facilitator for the S.C. Disability Employment Coalition, an organization that addresses employment barriers for individuals with disabilities.

SC Disability Employment Coalition. The S.C. Disability Employment Coalition is a statewide systems improvement effort that comprises a broad stakeholder group working to improve employment recruitment, retention, and advancement for South Carolinians with disabilities.  (Page 40)

Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program for people receiving disability benefits from Social Security and whose primary goal is to find good careers and have a better self–supporting future. Consumers may receive employment services through an employment network provider, including career counseling, socialization to the workplace, and job support advice, among others.

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA). Walton Options for Independent Living and Able SC are WIPA providers that empower SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed decisions regarding their career strategies and transitioning to self–sufficiency. Community Work Incentives Coordinators provide in–depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits; conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state work incentives program; and work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve social security beneficiaries with disabilities. (Page 42)

C.   THE DESIGNATED STATE UNIT WILL COORDINATE ACTIVITIES WITH ANY OTHER STATE AGENCY THAT IS FUNCTIONING AS AN EMPLOYMENT NETWORK UNDER THE TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 1148 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. (Page 364)

In addition, SCCB should work with SC Works staff to provide in service training and support in the use of assistive technology. SCCB and the SC works centers should regularly provide cross-training to each other on the services they provide and the required processes that each organization must go through. This occurs infrequently at the current time and staff turnover and the passage of time requires more frequent training. SCCB should partner with the Social Security Administration and provide training to w the SC Works Partnership Plus model that allows SCCB to “hand-off” an SSA beneficiary in the Ticket to Work program to the SC Works center as the Employment Network (EN). (Page 425)

Policies and Initiatives

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SC Employment First Initiative - 07/01/2017

“South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

South Carolina Partnerships in Employment - 11/28/2016

“ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) recently awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to six states to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The five-year grants will help enhance collaboration across existing state systems, including programs administered by state developmental disabilities agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state educational agencies, and other entities to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

 

Able South Carolina received a grant for the South Carolina Employment First Initiative.

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

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 5 Year State Plan - 10/01/2016

"The mission of the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council is to provide leadership in planning, funding, and implementing initiatives that lead to improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.”

This plan outlines the goals of the SC Developmental Disabilities Council for PY2017-PY2021

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

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan - 03/31/2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) establishing certain requirements for services that are provided through Medicaid waivers. There are specific requirements for where home and community-based services are received which will be referred to as the “settings requirements.” CMS required that each state submit